Saturday, December 01, 2007

Living It

I wrote part of this in reply to a dear net friend whom I would love to meet one day:

These people do not realise the alienation and hurt they cause those of us who are not as political as they are, or not according to their terms anyway.

I am a radical and it shows in how I live my life. I bet the way I live my life takes more guts and more 'radicalism' than any of them!

They seemed more intent on criticising and finding stuff to be offended by than making me feel welcome as one of them. Not one person did that. No welcome. Just alienation.

And yet I have always been OUT! Since I was a boy. I have never hidden who I am. I LIVE it. I am who I am. I live in an ordinary world surrounded by ordinary people and they either accept me or they don't but I don't hide or pretend I am what i am not.

The life I live is sort of like that of a traditional housewife! Now THAT takes courage. Now THAT is being really radical. THAT is political. THAT is standing up for my rights and the rights of my fellow 'queer' people. Yet my fellows have the gall to ostracise me because I am not queer enough!!! I don't live in a 'queer' ghetto or community. I live in an ordinary community and I do not conform to their ordinary standards. I walk as I talk, right in their face, I live in their midst, not surrounded by others like me. If I lived in a 'queer community' I would not have to and the challenge would not be there and I could pretend the world was different.

Instead, I everyday face the filthy looks, the derogatory comments, the sly lack of respect from service people(this is a small town) and yet I hold myself up and my head high and feel pity for their lack or spirit and intelligence. I might also add that they are the minority. The rest either ignore me or accept me. I am well know and there are many nice people here. Unlike at my main home, London, where we suffered abuse, physical violence and bricks through our windows and car being smashed on a regular basis.

Just as I have found that being disabled alters people's perceptions of me, and causes them to freeze me out, I have found less acceptance from my so called 'queer' brothers and sisters than I have from the str8 people I am surrounded by. My physical disability is much less acceptable to them(homosexuals), I have found, but I always knew that before I became disabled.

I am told that by referring to myself as gay man, I am being a middle class snob who alienates others. Never mind the fact that this dismissal of me was alienating! So I get turned into the enemy. Just like that. Just by using the term gay, I am looking down upon people of lower class, people who are transgendered and all sorts. Never mind the fact that snobbery seems to be on the other side as I never see people in terms of class or anything. I see people as people! I don't think in terms of normal and not normal.

It is one thing to expound on 'queer politics' and to be vociferous and seen to be right on. It is quite another to live it.

I LIVE IT. I always have. I always will. And NO ONE, absolutely no one, will stop me living the truth of who I am nor will they make me feel less than they are because I don't conform to their idea what I ought to be. It really really p's me off that those who know opression and live with it, can so lightly and easily alienate others who they see as not being what they think they ought to be.

F**k you! I am who I am and I will NOT hide for anyone. Certainly not for acceptance. Not being me is worse than death. Been there, done that and I can assure you death is preferable to living life pretending to be what I am not.

To quote whoever it was:


Edit: the term queer, which to me is offensive and means strange or abnormal, has been adopted by some and the meaning of the word has been changed. It is now used to describe anyone who doesn't fit the societal idea of normal , it seems. Well, I have never considered myself not normal! I don't now. I am a normal human being. Just like everyone else, I eat, I sleep, I laugh, I cry, I love. I don't buy into this not being normal.

I am who I am, not who you say I am.


nana said...

Well said, Colin.

You are a role model for acceptance, and being different is good in this conformity 'mud' out there.

It is good that you live in a place where most people are accepting and only few are not.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes! I have no idea why these folks want to be referred to as "queer." I will take YOU any day to anyone who is a bigot on either side.

As Nana said, YOU are the role model and they can all go and chase their tails the way they always have.

Annick said...

You are right Colin, just stay as you are, don't change anything, your life is yours and not the others one. We are no more two centuries ago and up to me you have quite a normal life with its gladness and its sadness.

steel breeze said...

Hear, hear, that man. I've never understood why a community that is already persecuted for being different can persecute its members - surely they should stand together?

I don't decide how I feel about someone until I've gotten to know about them, and there are very few people I don't like. I try not to make snap judgements (though sometimes it's hard).

Gail R said...

One of your strongest statements of you that I've seen!

I don't understand why so many people define others by what their sexual lifestyle is. That is a private matter and should remain that way. It's the same, to me, as whether I sleep in the buff or in pj's or a nightgown. My business - not anyone else's.

You, of course, have put it so much better than I can. I'm proud to say you are a friend - even if it is a long distance one.

Suna said...

Sounds like you run into some really messed up people. There are gay people everywhere, in all walks of life, in all stages of coming out. And none of them are better or worse, or more or less properly gay. It's really sad to see people judging others that way. People only put others down to build themselves up, though--those people must really be insecure.

I had a similar experience in the years when I was a strong feminist, yet chose to stay at home with my children when they were young. Most people liked it that I could choose what was right for me at the time, but others put down "feminist housewives" as being traitors. As if raising children isn't an honorable profession...or that all work MUST be compensated for monetarily (I then transitioned to a few years of volunteer work).

It really does seem to me that we'd get a lot more progress toward peace and mutual understanding if we worked harder to eliminate human beings' natural tendency to separate the world into "us" vs. "them."

FugueStateKnits said...

SO F'IN TRUE, Colin! Whether one takes the term queer, gay, straight, lesbian, or bi, it's still 'human.'
What part of human do they not understand?