“I’m Gay & proud about it!” Ummm, So?

Why do gay people assert their sexuality as they do? Why is it that someone says they are ‘lesbian and are proud about it’? We see it in news pieces, hear it along the streets, and in social media. For those of us who really don’t give a rat’s ass (no pun intended) about who you sleep with, it can be quite unnerving.

One common version of a Heterosexuality symbol

But I usually go further and ask the question. Why assert it? Why say it? What’s the big deal? You don’t see me going around and say “I am _sexual and proud about it!” do you?

Here is one way of looking at it. It is known that being gay for aeons has been viewed at as a taboo, something shunned from society, something wrong. At this point in writing this I feel like this must have been written somewhere else but let me go on. I feel like straight people (which is assumed to be the majority, depending on your definition of straight – story for another day) have never needed to think about their sexuality. Only a handful have been involved in some form of same sex activity which (they say) somewhat made them settle into their heterosexuality. Because of heteronormativity, anything but heterosexuality, is viewed as ‘abnormal’.

So a gay person trying to understand their sexuality begins this understand knowing that they are abnormal, shunned and a taboo. They feel worthless and outcast from the rest of society who happen to be heterosexual.

In their reconciliation of their sexuality, they begin coming to terms with it and begin accepting themselves for who they are and it is in this acceptance that they feel the necessity to assert their sexuality and in some ways make the world know that they are okay with it.

This, for them, I figure, is one way of coming to terms with them being who they are and is also another way of trying to tell society that they may view his/her/their sexuality as a taboo/something to be shunned but they don’t have to because he/she/they are fine with it.

Maybe my analysis is not in depth, but it also helps me in some ways, come to understand why it is important to mention it.

But the so called ‘liberal self’ in me wonders, is it important? Why is it so important for anyone to mention their sexuality with such pride? Arent we all ‘proud of being who we are’? Maybe not. But I think this is something we as a society are yet to come to terms with.

We still live in a “majority rules and directs” kind of life. We have not allowed ourselves to be open to diversity and fluidity. Because of how we have been socialised, we are expected to to view the world in a “dichotomous, gendered, with specific roles, one sex” type of beings; heterosexual and heteronormative. We, for some reason or other, expect everyone coming out of a female womb is either going to be male or female and will be heterosexual; will conform to certain roles ascribed to their gender, and these roles include being sexually attracted to the opposite gender and nothing else. We even further expect that the female role and gender will be below and submissive to the male gender and role.

I still insist, this must have been mentioned elsewhere. I have just touched on bits and pieces of the broader topic. But these are things I feel need to be interrogated further, thought through and, be there any barriers, those barriers to be eliminated.

For me, I hope for a society where diversity and fluidity are a norm. Where being who we are is just that, being.

Conversation on Homosexuality

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Some time back I was involved in a heated debate on a certain list serve I’m part of and I thought the following was quite an interesting take. Yes, I am FOR human rights and thus why this. Hope it sparks some thoughts in you too. It was one of the participants responding to another’s claims. Note: These are not my words, so E.&OE.

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...

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I believe in human rights and advocate for it but on same sex marriage issue I strongly oppose
for the following reasons…

First let me assure you that the last we want is to advocate for same sex marriages, as a community, we feel that marriage has been an institution that has been used to discriminate against persons of LGBTIQ identities and even further entrench heterosexuality as the only valid and recognizable relation between individuals. Secondly,our struggles are so deep and so personal and political that subscribing to the institution of marriage keeps us from defining healthy ways to relate without having oppressive attitudes towards each other, your orientation and gender identity not withstanding. For example, as a woman, I would hate for anyone to think of me as an object of possession – I do not want anyone to pay dowry to my mother because first there is no price for me in monetary or otherwise, other than my precious life and to be expected to change my name to that of the person am getting married to is to invalidate my existence as a person with my own life to live (these are my personal feelings) as I am believer in equality and freedom to be and the marriage institution has proved to be a sexist and patriarchal institution and unless it changes, I want nothing to do with it.

This is not African orientation,brain washed ideas from the west,AFRICANS SHOULD REMAIN AFRICANS.DID YOUR GRAND FATHERS INVOLVE IN SUCH ACTS?

That must be stopped. I can go on and on with examples of healthy same sex relations that existed in very many African traditions, but if you want to chose to retain that argument, I will point you to your reference to Christianity and Islam, both of which are not indigenous to Africans, these religions were introduced to Africa by the same westerners you claim to have brain washed all the queer persons in Africa. And in the queer community we have people of all generations which goes far into explaining that sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and not choices we make, the terms we use are borrowed from the English language gay lesbian, etc. and thus might not denote our lives as queer Africans and hence our desire to define ourselves within our African context,this however does not nullify our rightful existence as queer persons in Africa and does not call for blanket condemnation and invalidation of our being.

Why are our reproductive [parts] different because am a woman and the the other is a man. Its wrong biblically, Koran wise and indigenous wise. Who will marry us?

You will be married by the person you fall in love with, that person you make the choice to live the rest of your life with, that is a personal choice and we all have that opportunity to pursue any relationship and engagement that contributes to our well being. All the queer Kenyans would also want to indulge in that choice, of choosing the partner they want to share a life with, and our biological anatomy is a question that needs to be revised in relating with ourselves, should the fact that I have breasts and a vagina mean that I am only good for reproduction? That my role in the world is to reproduce and that’s it? I advocate for sexual rights and autonomy because sexuality is an intrinsic factor of all human beings, and it is interlinked with every other aspect of our lives. In this case we need to move beyond defining ourselves by our biological anatomy to a holistic approach to self identity…where all the attributes of my living are respected and acknowledged as the combination that allows me to experience life to the best most highest standards of potential and lived life.

I welcome all those who are ready to share,learn and engage in seeking social justice.
Amandhla!

Somewhere in the conversation I saw this interesting equation.

Genes + Brain Wiring + Prenatal Hormonal Environment = Temperament
Parents + Peers + Experiences = Environment
Temperament + Environment = Sexual Orientation

Then came this equally interesting fact.

Population of gays in the world??

One can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5%. that is, 5% of the 6 billion people in the world.

So will the human race decimate?

Quite fascinating conversation eh? All I can say is:

I yearn for the day when “HUMAN” will be the only label we brandish ourselves.

*Over & Out*

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