January 28, 2012
Looking at the photos of today’s march in Mumbai taken by my friend Sukhdeep I can’t help but be impressed by the scale of the event. The creativity of the marchers is pretty awesome too. Posting a few teaser shots by him until Gaylaxy Magazine comes out with their spread ( didn’t officially get his permission but as usual I assume he will tell me to go ahead).
See the rest on Gaylaxy’s Facebook page.
October 11, 2010
Yes I know the second rainbow is fading – but to have the thought.
There hasn’t been a lot to celebrate these past few weeks with all the suicides and new ones emerging every day but it is Coming out Day today so I felt it merited something. As a Canadian I guess it is easy for me to say as I belong to a nation that embraces human nature. In much of the rest of the world it isn’t the case. I live in one of those places now where it is a daily reality. Where kids spend much of their lives fearing judgment and where the statute books say if they engage in a physical act as part of their love they face jail time. It isn’t enforced in T & T but the fact that it could be is is disturbing. If you are a guy who kills another guy here’s the surest way to get off of a murder charge – say “he made a pass at me.” I have seen that work multiple times.
As a self-identified North American I also look at the kids who killed themselves because they were bullied these past weeks and I get angry. Really angry. Some of the cases like Seth Walsh were open at an early age. In Seth’s case it was 13. That may surprise a lot of people who think it is a ‘choice’ but if you are heterosexual I am pretty sure you knew it at a much earlier age even if you couldn’t define it. Seth lived in a small community and probably just spent his entire life feeling different. Somewhere along the line he decided that he found a word for what he was and wanted to express it. He wanted to celebrate the wonderful thing that was his life. Instead, he was bullied and made to feel so awful that he decided to hang himself. He heard what the mainstream religious world said about him, saw the rejection from his friends and decided that he could not go on. A lot of people have blood on their hands. At work today we started talking about bullying and suicide and I brought up the subject of sexual orientation. I heard that there must have been more to it than that – killing yourself because you are gay? I heard that lots of kids are taunted but they don’t kill themselves …nerds get bullied too. Sometimes empathy is a rare commodity. There is a fundamental difference between being bullied because you are small , or because you are nerdy and being bullied because you are gay or perceived to be gay or lesbian or transgendered. Being small or nerdy you go home and your family loves you and so does your church ( if you are so inclined) and the greater society. You don’t live in a world that says you are evil and going to hell. Or that you somehow chose a path that was wrong. I think we always choose the only path that we see. To put that sort of pressure on a little kid is where fundamental evil comes in.
So on Coming Out Day ( except in the UK …because they just had to be different) I think it is important that people tell someone they care about a little more about themselves. The nature of the world dictates that you look around and decide that is is safe to do so. So, if you are a Taliban member in a group meeting, I would urge you to think carefully ( but I am sure you are not alone) . If you are a mormon elder and you want to wave your arms in the air today I suggest you think carefully about it and then do it. You don’t have to tell the world just someone you care about. Baby steps.
And I am very proud that the amazing daughter of my cousin ( yes I know that makes her my second cousin…but she calls me her cousin) came out this evening about her relationship with her boyfriend. Twelve years of loving each other and she chose Coming Out Day. Well done Shivani.
To me the most important day will be Spirit Day. October 20th, 2010 in memory of the kids who died as a result of bullying because they were gay or perceived to be gay. Wear purple.