Thursday, November 22, 2007

Open letter to a homophobic newspaper.

I know I haven't posted anything since May, and that's because I've had such a hectic and ever so changing schedule but I've decided that until I post something new and of value, I might as well post this letter I sent to a leading newspaper in Rwanda in response to a very homophobic piece they had printed in a 2006 issue. Here's a link to the piece and my response follows below:

Sent: November 22, 2007 4:09 PM
To: ''
Subject: Re: sodomy, animal sex un-african by Patrick Bigabo

To Whom It May Concern:

I just stumbled upon this article on your website and I was puzzled by the level of blatant ignorance and utter hostility that it was written with. I’m not certain the author has done their homework before publishing such rubbish, but to quote an ignorant and downright dictator such as Nigeria’s Obasanjo speaks volumes.

For ANY African to claim that homosexuality is “un-African” and back their opinion on the fact that “the Bible says so” itself is contradictory and ludicrous. Need I remind Mr Bigabo that the Bible itself IS indeed un-African? Need I remind him that the same book upon which he bases his assumptions was used in the enslavement and the colonization of our ancestors and many other “cultured societies” throughout history? If he fails to see such an obvious historical fact, then maybe he should consider history lessons as a part time hobby?

He pathetically claims that a survey conducted, not recently but well over four decades ago, and might I add, very biased, concluded that homosexuals were having sex with boys between the ages of 16 and 19. Well, Mr Bigabo needs to be reminded that the said homosexuals were in that age range themselves. Also known as the age of puberty! And so did and still do, heterosexual males when they come of age. They have sex with members of the opposite sex within that same age range. What an absurd comment to make!

The Western World is not “assuming superiority” by pushing gay rights within third world venues. This is a moral issue. If someone’s rights are being unfairly reneged based on brainless assumptions and archaic beliefs, how do you expect the World to sit and turn a blind eye? Didn’t Rwanda suffer a horrendous genocide EXACTLY because of the same attitude?

I could go on and on about what Mr Bigabo or anyone else with similar beliefs, should consider before making hurtful and ignorant remarks, but my keyboard would have to be replaced. So I only have a few options here:

1) Take half an hour everyday to educate yourselves on human sexuality.
2) Research, extensively, locally or otherwise, and find out what indigenous attitudes were prior to the arrival of western colonizers into our lands in order to understand which is un-African. Homophobia or Homosexuality?
3) I challenge you to publish any findings of that research. Better yet I challenge you to publish this letter in your newspaper.

Lastly, I’d like to comment on Mr Bigabo equating same sex desire with bestiality. I’m sorry for having to lecture him but it appears he skipped his English Vocabulary lessons. Bestiality is a sexual relationship with an animal. Same sex desire is between two human beings. Is this really so hard to comprehend or am I missing something?

My humble opinion and thank you for taking the time to read this letter.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Feeling much better...

What is it about vulnerable (and hot) men that's so appealing? I, sometimes, can't believe myself and the types of men I fall for. When I was 18 or 19, it was okay and made sense to fall for a straight guy in despair. Then I could just give them a shoulder to cry on without crying along. Then I could look them straight in the eyes and say that I understood what they were going through. Hell, then I could even make them cry by just...Well let's not go there. Topic for another day.
But now, in my late twenties, to think that I can still fall for anyone who happens to give me extra attention. Even if that attention is for a short while and only serves their own agendas, I should just slap myself real good.

This great friend of mine from childhood has been going through a lot lately. He's the sweetest straight guy you'll ever meet. I probably should mention that I had a huge crush on him when we were in high school. But...We parted ways at some point in time and kept very minimal contact, maybe because a part of me still had a thing for him or maybe because our families are close. I'm sure if they weren't I would have completely forgotten about him. Well, maybe not completely. Who am I kidding? I could never forget about him. Period!

So this poor kid is going through some sort of pre-mid-life crisis, and I use this term because I couldn't think of any other that would describe this condition. He just turned thirty and I know that mid-life crisis doesn't hit until you are between your mid-thirties to your mid-forties. So he's sorta rushing, if I may say. At least, I think so.

Without revealing anything about his life (that would be unfair), I happen to think that he has accomplished a lot. Great career, great goals about his life and also great shoulders...Ahem, I mean great future. No seriously, this kid is on the right track to an amazing future. So you're probably wondering. What the heck does that have to do with me?

Well, I honestly don't know how and when it started. But I tend to be very attentive to people's plights. And every time I'd sit through a conversation with him, I'd grow fonder and fonder of him. And before I could realize it, there it was again. Me falling for another straight man in need of "attention". He most likely didn't see it coming, but I did. And the interesting part is that I could tell he didn't seem to care or mind or even worry that I might get myself in a very hurtful situation. I don't know if it's because, like me, another Gemini, we are supposed to have this self centered personality and he was only concerned about his own issues. Or if it's because he didn't want to face it out of laziness (another trait of Geminis), or maybe because he was afraid he'd have to hurt me by rejecting me and/or pushing me away. Either way, it happened. These past few weeks were a heck of an ordeal for me. I would cook up a quick dinner, just because he said he'd drop by. I'd serve him dinner and even clean up after him. I'd play the kind of music I know he likes, just because it makes him happy. Hell, I'd even let him borrow my ipod for a few days just so he can listen to that same music I know he likes. Something I don't do, since I listen to my ipod when I'm at the gym or reading a book or traveling. My friends and family noticed and started making fun of me. Telling me how I behave when he's around and stuff.

But, thanks to that new book, The Secret, I realized that, no one else could get me out of the mess I had managed to plunge myself into, but my damn little self! As one of my favorite blogger, Kenneth Winfrey, so gracefully says it:"...being both black and gay, many of us really just function on instinct (auto-pilot) to survive. We are reacting to what is happening to us rather than choosing what we want to happen." I decided, much like Kenneth, that "we all deserve a mate that is affirmed and confident enough to fully acknowledge the relationship for whatever it is...Although I can remain the sensitive empathetic individual that I am, I won’t settle for less any more." The sad thing is though, remaining the attentive and caring friend that I am, has a unilateral impact. It only helps the other party. It does not however, help me with my feelings. So the first step was the realization that I can't afford to put my heart on the floor to be stepped on and that's a big step but I'm left with a big question mark. How do I manage to deal with my feelings without stripping Mr NOT of a great friend (which I think
I am to him)? Since, that would be an unfair thing to do. After all, he never pretended to be anything other than the same childhood friend he always was. Just because we enjoy each other's company to a great extent and happen to agree on most topics, from religion to sexuality to politics to the type of music we listen to and everything in between, this doesn't mean he was ever willing to go down that road. And he shouldn't have to pay for not meeting whatever my hopeless expectations might have been. Sad, this journey we call life, ain't it?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

New French Justice Minister, highest ranking person of North African origin.

Lawyer Rachida Dati, was born in 1965 in Saint Rémy, of a Moroccan father and an Algerian mother. She lost her mother when she was just 16 and she felt like she "had been punished", as her mother was everything to her and her 11 siblings.

She managed to study economics and law while working in a private clinic and got her degrees in both fields. She worked for both public and private companies, namely the oil giant Elf.

In 2002, she wrote a letter to the new French president Nicholas Sarkozy, then freshly appointed as interior minister. And she offered to advise her on matters of immigration. Which he agreed to and hired her as his adviser. She managed to help him keep a somewhat positive figure, after the notorious racist comments he made after the 2005 riots which, as we all know, included inner city youths of North African and Sub-Saharan origin. BBC online has more.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

South African boy rescued after 13 years in captivity!!

The boy, known as Bongani, according to BBC online, was held in a dark room for the last 13 years in a dark room in house in Durban, South Africa, and there's reason to believe that he may have been indecently assaulted while he was held captive.

The Durban police has been searching for his family, whom he doesn't seem to remember much about since he last saw them when he was just five years old. The young man seems to be traumatised and horrified by bright lights and can only respond to questions asked once the ligths are switched off. Read more.