When Covid-19 struck, the whole World came together as one in trying to curb this virus. Lots of terms that we were not familiar with were introduced, with the most used being “social distancing”. Who knew! The efforts were commended by highly regarded international persons and everyone came to the party. Who doesn’t have a mask? Covid-19 is a global problem regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, colour or creed.
In most connotations the term “Global community” is used to convey meanings attached to consensus or inclusion of all people in all lands. I remember the song “We are the World” by U.S.A for Africa. It started something like “There comes a time when we heed a certain call, when the world must come together as one….” I ask myself “Will this time ever come?” As I see it, the world is divided into small clusters and grouped into very tiny economic and social groups.
While the world has a common problem that we should take part in trying to get rid of, the Queer community has their own struggles that the Global community choose to ignore. These struggles have been made worse by the division within the movements. While the cause is the same in so many ways there are different ways to tackle issues and that must not be taken for granted.
In South Africa, black Lesbian, Gay and Trans bodies are being humiliated, raped and brutally killed. For one community there is too much judgement and discrimination, it is sad. When it suits us, we raise the same rainbow flag world over and those watching from the terraces may say these people have the same issues. Listen, I may stand on top of the roof here in Soweto and raise my rainbow flag concurrently with someone staying in Sandton but the reasons are not the same. My struggles and theirs are not the same yet we live in the same community. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying my struggles should be theirs nor should theirs be mine. It is what it is. What brings us together is the hate that we experience every day.
The same flag we raise here is the same flag that is raised globally but I repeat, the struggles are not the same. The reason for our Pride Events here in Africa is way far away from the reasons they celebrate Pride in the US. These reasons have divided the movement in a certain way making us pull in all different directions in the process hurting the movement.
The Global Queer community has similar problems that we can relate to despite our differences, however, all this is clouded by the way we view one another. Despite efforts by Civil Society Organisations to bring us together through education and campaigns, many have chosen to ignore or just look away. Everyone is pulling in their own wagon to a direction that works for them and that’s okay too, however, we should unite to heed the call when the time calls.
Social media has played a big role in bringing the world ‘together as one.’ At just one click you are connected to the rest of the world. Amazing! Lives and relationships are subject to scrutiny by strangers. Fashion is influenced by people we have never met. Evolution of time. Yes, time changes.
I present to you Globally Queer, an issue that aims to celebrate Queer bodies that have navigated the global platform in so many ways. Thank you for choosing EXIT.