Yesterday I started the day by crying, in bed whilst scrolling through Facebook. My cat thought I was a wee bit insane but snuggled up to my mopey self anyway.
It was this video that had me crying.
I was teary all morning due to this and it wasn’t until I stopped to question myself why this video had affected me the way it had.
And I think it’s because I’ve been there. I’ve been on the receiving end of that kind of hatred before, unjustifiable, unreasoning, un-containable hatred. For loving someone of the same gender. I can’t and don’t understand the blatant anger, hatred and blind rage that it causes in people.
Why does what and who I do in the bedroom matter? Why do people feel the need to tell me that I’m going to a hell that was concocted just for the very reason that people could be subjugated? Why is it ok for people to feel that they have the right to scream abuse at me and my partner while they drive past in their cars? To spit at our feet as they pass us in the street because we were holding hands? To tell us that we’re less than human because we’re in love…
I don’t get it. I don’t want to get it. I refuse to get it.
A few months ago I watched a documentary by the man I think should be dictator of the world, Stephen Fry. It’s called Out There. He went around the world talking to people, facing homophobia and questioning it.
Uganda. They now have a law that allows them to kill homosexuals. Males get harsher treatment than women in prison. Outside of prison woman are getting raped to cure them of their homosexuality. One woman in the documentary was raped by her childhood friend. He took her virginity and gave her a baby and AIDS in the process. She lost the baby, blessing in disguise possibly. They preach that it’s all about the anal sex and the corrosion of human values because of all this gay. Nevermind that straight people also like anal sex.
Australia. Where you can be taxed for being in a same-sex relationship but you aren’t legally allowed to marry your partner. We have the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras every year, which draws in millions of people from all over the world. And yet the night is filled with alcohol fueled idiocy from the straight male contingent and police who over-exert their powers because they can. We have police brutality against any gay people in the crowds, they later dropped the charges of assaulting police against the 18-year-old since the whole thing was filmed on video and it can be clearly seen that he was the one being assaulted. There were certain areas in Sydney that I refused to hold my ex-girlfriends hand. I was too scared to. Scared of what the reaction would be, where we might end up and the police would not be on our side.
I think that’s why #YesAllWomen on twitter hit home as hard as it did yesterday. Because as a woman we deal with this constantly. As a gay woman it’s tripled.
France: Where it might be legal to marry your same-sex partner but half the country are still happy to beat you to a bloody pulp if you try. The school boys wearing skirts to fight for gender equality made my heart sing. The good thing is that generations to come won’t be growing up with the same kind of bigotry, more and more people are accepting. And future generations will wonder what all the fuss was about.
But for now, there is a fuss. There is injustice and there is pain.
Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, America, Canada, England…
I could go on and on.
So the video of what happens in Texas made me cry. It made me cry because for a state that gets so much flack about its homophobic anti-woman stance, the video shows that there’s more people who will stand up and call out injustice than there was 10 years ago even. Nearly half the patrons that visited that restaurant called the waitress out on it. The note that the guy wrote, well, that’s what caused me to cry. That a straight male gets it. And the fact that no one stood up to say anything in NYC? It’s kind of like Sydney I guess. The bigger the city the more the autonomy the less the interference. Except me, I interfere. I stick my nose in and most times I cop slack for it, but it’s better than not asking if they are ok and need help.
All the kowtowing and carrying on by our PM and other leaders and politicians around the world might be a slap in our faces now, but it shows that it’s the older generation that is still hanging onto the bigotry, the hatred and the intolerance.
And you know what the best bit is? They’re old. They’ll be dead soon and it’s the younger people with understanding, love and compassion that will be replacing them. I hope it extends across a lot of things from homophobia, to women’s rights, to men’s rights to a full spectrum of social understanding.