I have so much to say that I don’t know where to begin.
The first time I saw this picture saying that straight people had to share it to show that they were proud to be straight because apparently straight people were being ostracised I laughed. But as time goes by it makes me angry.
I’ve been really depressed the last week or so. I’ve been having trouble sleeping, and at the same time all I want to do is sleep the days away because sometimes being awake is simply unbearable. I made a commitment to blog at least once a week, and I had a very witty (in my mind) blog post planned about how January was fucked and February would be my start over month. It would also be my 47th blog post and 47 is my lucky number. But in my state of mind I was not able to type it. I had scribbled a rough draft in a notebook, but I didn’t get further than that. I thought that I would post it this week, but I feel even worse now, so I guess that number 47 will be my number of anger.
I still go for walks often. It’s one of the things that help me to clear my mind and stay slightly sane. I haven’t seen Elaine, the lady who can’t remember my name in over a year, and something tells me that she has probably died. So now I walk alone.
It was a Saturday afternoon. I had been staring at the ceiling and eating unhealthy food for too long. I needed to get out. I threw on some clothes and started walking. I put my earphones in, because I constantly have music playing regardless of what I’m doing. I don’t really interact with people much while I’m walking, because it’s my thinking time. Also, I have crippling social anxiety.
When I came around the corner I saw him. He was talking to someone over the fence of a complex. A couple walked past him and he seemed to interact with them, although it was briefly and they seemed eager to get away. I started moving toward the street to cross it. I’ve had incidents of people trying to rob me, so I’m extra cautious when someone gives me a strange feeling. At the same time I kept him in the corner of my eye. I could see that he took notice of me and that he was moving closer.
Then he greeted me. Being from the Free State and all, I was taught to greet back. But I kept walking as he tried to get closer, because I knew if he got hold of me he wouldn’t let go. He asked if I had a lighter. I smiled politely and said no.
“Oh don’t you? You moffie.”
As he said it I could feel my feet hesitate. My hands went into fists. My jaw clenched. But I told myself to keep walking. I knew that if I turned around I would either go into a blinding rage and tear into him, or he would get the upper hand and I would be left with bruises and broken bones. What has violence ever solved? It wasn’t worth it.
As I walked away I wondered what had brought it up. The last time it happened I was wearing a bright pink T-shirt with eyeliner and tight shorts. But this time I really looked like shit. I was wearing loose shorts that went down to my knees with an old tattered T-shirt and old Nike trainers. My hair was tangled and I didn’t have a trace of makeup. My beard was relatively long. I didn’t feel the need to put any effort into my appearance. Who would notice?
It sounds stupid, but I kept wondering what it was that made me “look” gay. Was it the way I walked or the way I talked? Was it my long fringe? Was it the way I tend to hold my hand in front of my face when I speak? What did I do “wrong”. I don’t know.
Feeling the need to vent, I spoke about it on social media. It didn’t bring much comfort. Some people, gay people, mind you, told me to laugh it off and get over it. Because it happens. I found this even more insulting than what he had said. If I had been a black person and he used racial slur, or a woman and he called me a whore, everyone would have been outraged. Better yet, the people next to the street who witnessed it probably would have come up in my defence. But it was “just one of those things”. It didn’t really matter.
So dear straight people:
It’s okay to be straight. No really, it is. Go ahead and hold hands in public. Kiss. Post pictures on Facebook. At worst you might be told to get a room. But generally everyone will just gush over what a beautiful couple you are. You can freely express your love and sexuality without fear of malice, or worse, violence. Do yourself a favor and read the novel Moffie. And then you can tell me how difficult it is to be straight. By posting shit like this you aren’t helping “your people”. You are propagating fear and hatred towards millions of others.
I could go on and on, but I feel like I’m kicking a wall. Hatred is something that will never go away. As much as we try to tell ourselves that things are better and that we are past all the discrimination and injustices, we are not. We will never be.
“Inequality promises that it’s here to stay. Always trust the injustices. It’s not going away.” ~ Lily Allen