An opinion piece by MonD The GaySuperHero
Image by: @Remyshoots
“When we were younger , we were scared to be made fun off but now when we are older we are afraid that we might get killed “, A statement made by Theo_Payne , a pan sexual human being in one of the new found social media sensational platforms called twitter spaces. A platform I have decided to use to further extend my activism. These gallant words created a plethora of reactions from the listeners and the speakers. We could all relate because from the moment we were born we were told by the world that who we are is wrong and that the world would exert its violence on us if we dared to be ourselves. That in some way we were expected to seek acceptance and validation from the world which is untrue , now as adults we are left trying to teach ourselves the wonders of our existence. We are learning to love ourselves after copious conjunctions with prejudice not only from the world but from our own families.
We as a community pride ourselves in chosen family but the idea that we live in constant fear of rejection from our own blood families. This can be paralyzing. This fear sometimes intensifies leading to a number of mental health related issues. One cannot negate the irresponsibility of our own families due to the lack of information and empathy about our existence. I draw context from the lived experience of Black and Brown Queer people, who are often raised in religious and cultural families. The idea of religion and culture is often centered by patriarchy and our own families tend to use that to violate our human rights.
When they see us , they think we are a threat to their moral compass, that in some way them acknowledging us would mean them losing the values that they use to uphold themselves in society. Some parents are willing to beat and humiliate their own children with the attempt of ridding them of their queerness. One would think that this does not happen in a modern world but it still happens particularly on the continent of Africa. A world that they have tried to erase us from forgetting that we are the hidden figures who played an integral part of history. The world deems us as sexual deviants and mentally unstable people just so that they would silence us forgetting that you cannot silence what has always been there , it might have not been visible before ,but this is a new generation. We are the generation of queers who aren’t afraid to own their identity but we also aim to place homage on those that came before us ,who against all odds fought for our freedom. We must acknowledge the likes of Simon Nkoli , Dr Bev Ditsi, David Kato , Rev Jide Macaulay and many more who I consider to be mavericks of their time. They shaped our world as we know it today so no matter how they see us, our existence is activism. Choosing to exist as queer in this present time is activism. You don’t have to be holding placards or be at rallies but waking up every day to choose yourself is enough.
Over this year alone we as a community have suffered at the hands of violent, homophobic, transphobic ,Biphobic people who weren’t afraid to take our lives. Hate crime continues to exist in a country with one of the most progressive and commendable constitutions in the world. One would ask? Why are we still being killed? Why are we still subjected to conformity just because we don’t fit into the construct? There are many questions left unanswered but we will continue to occupy spaces that we were previously denied. We will surge forward towards queer liberation especially on the continent of Africa. We will continue to use platforms such as twitter spaces to spread the Queer agenda.
I do believe that we are standing on the precipice of a queer resurgence, that the generations that will come after us will live in a better world. A world that doesn’t question who they are but accepts them. The statement made by @Theo_Payne in #TheGaySuperheroSpace allowed me to reflect on my development as a queer body. I resonate with that statement that indeed we did fear to be bullied when we were younger but now as young adults living in an African country with a progressive constitution, we are scared of being killed. The trajectory into adulthood took a lot of constant unlearning caused by society. We were denied the basic rights just to exist like other humans. People tend to downplay the definition of human rights. There are no human rights without the acknowledgement of all the intersectional bodies existing on this planet. We cannot progress forward if we as the human race are exclusionary. The micro aggressions, the slander , the slurs and the degradations need to come to a cessation.
My parting words to the broken unseen, find the molasses to your sugar cane, bloom in the parts they said you cannot bloom. Our queerness deserves reverence and we should not ask for it but demand it . We have lost so many Queer bodies on the quest to Queer Liberation. African governments need to let go of archaic laws that continue to infringe our human rights. Being Queer is African. Governments will lose nothing but gain incredible contributors to their societies. The idea that we have distorted reality is false. One day the concept of gender will be a thing of the past .We will live in a world where who we are does not define our capability to love. At the end we are all humans and all humans are created from a place of love. We must continue to spread love. No matter how they see us what is important is how we see ourselves so be Queer, be proud and be loud.