Monday, October 11, 2010

You're Gay? You Die!

Okay, maybe the post title is a bit dramatic, but I think this is an issue one cannot overdramatise. I first saw a CNN report on the deaths of four young gay men over the past three weeks last week and after reading the latest copy of TIME Magazine I felt very sad at the thought that the world can be such a mean place. It's one thing to face everyday life challenges but gay people in the world have to face the reality that homophobia is not just another prejudice; it's a lethal one.
The saddest of these four cases, for me, was one of the college guy who didn't get along with his roommate, simply because of his sexuality. The roommate's way of getting back at him? Secretly recording this guy having sex with a dude and posting it on the net for all the world to see.
I was delighted last week when Milisuthando Bongela used her Mail and Guardian column to highlight some of the things that irk her about homosexuality simply because she started a debate about something we all tend to believe is a subject South Africans are comfortable with- homosexuality. The truth is a lot of us still remain trapped in our prejudice and although most are happy to ignore the fact that there are gay men or women sitting at the table next to us in a restuarant, the minute we are confronted with a situation where gay people start discussing sexuality, or simply how "gorgeous" that guy is, an imagined threat to heterosexuality emerges. It is downright ludicrous and often manifests in discomfort and, at times, hatred that even leads to violence.
The four young men who are now dead thanks to homophobic behaviour stand out, for me, as an example of how intollerance- and the perpetrators of such- is guilty of murder. #JustAThought

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