Welcome to Civilised Society

Maybe it’s a bit rude to suggest that the US had, up until now, not lived in a civilized society, but I’m going to go ahead and say it. I’m mostly okay with saying it since I’m on another continent and not too afraid of any US expats around these here parts.

Anyway, I was just about to say that maybe civilized society is an ideal which no one country has really reached yet?

Back to the US. On Friday the 26th of June 2015, history was made by the SCOTUS, when in a 5-4 decision, Gay Marriage (or as it in now known, marriage) was legalized in all states of the USA. Although I’m not sure that I would say it was legalized, I’d rather say it was made illegal to not allow gay marriage, or to not recognize it. I’m not an expert on the law though. Does it matter in any case? Love is after all, love.

Can I just quickly mention that currently the top of my WordPress page is a Pride flag and that makes me so happy.

I live in South Africa, and although we can’t get married here under the Marriage Act of nineteen sixty something, we can get married under the Civil Union act of 2006. Again, I have no expertise here, but we have something and I can kinda get married here if I wanted to.

Why is it so important to everyone around the world that it finally happened in America? I mean, it’s been legal to marry whoever you want in Canada for years, the Netherlands for more than a decade and even Ireland in recent weeks. These are all perfectly good places to live and to escape to from certain places in the world where a lifestyle of love is still discriminated against in more ways than just marriage inequality.

It matters because America is the 1st world ideal. Maybe not really in reality, considering some things happening there in the recent past. Racial inequality is the top of my list, but gosh there are a lot of 3rd world shitty things going on in the land of the free… All that aside though, America really is the ideal that a lot of other countries strive to. And not just countries, young people from around the world see Americans on TV and in all kinds of social media platforms and think “If only my life could be like that”. That’s why it matters. Apart from being a victory on home soil for all the American LGBT people, this historical event inspires hope and change all over the world.

Every equality victory matters. Even the small unseen ones. If only people would stop saying that changing your profile picture to a rainbow pride flag in Africa is just jumping on America’s bandwagon and that this victory meant nothing here in a country where gays can already get married. Can we just not. I’ll say it one more time – every victory counts.

When it rains

..it pours, right? This is one of the many things moms and dads like to say when you’re little and you really have no idea what they’re on about, I mean, there’s not even a cloud in sight. 

To tell you the truth, I didn’t really understand how accurate this sentiment can be until very recently. 

Last year a cousin of mine had a brain tumour removed, and even though she doesn’t have an agressive cancer she went through a few months of intense chemo and radiation therapy just in case. This left her incapable of working or really leading a productive life, and she’s not even 35 yet. Granted, she’s a drama queen and we all know she plays things up for the attention now and again. That being said, it’s a shit time, even just the unadulterated and unadorned facts. Now above and beyond this her mother, my aunt, has been diagnosed with Parkinsons and Alzheimers diease. I won’t get into the nitty gritty of these things, but I will say that this means tremors and dementia for the rest of her life – not to mention the financial and emotional burden this places on not only her but on all her relatives.

All of this sucks, yeah? But, to be fair, it’s all extended family and in all honesty  I’m not really affected directly at all. 

Until about a week ago – no rap reference intended,  but I will accept any street cred this could have awarded me.

Now, because the person involved is private, and even though they are unaware of my blog, I won’t mention who this happened to. That means that anyone reading this will be blissfully unaware of the consequnces of this new diagnoses not only for the person who was diagnosed, but also for all their loved ones. 

Someone really close to me was diagnosed with a potentially debilitating, chronic disease with no cure and very little possible medical intervention. Even symptomatic and syndromic treatment is severly lacking st this stage. 

This unnamed disease causes irreversible damage to the central nervous sytem, so it has motor affects amognst other things like depression and personlaity disorders. It’s almost impossible to really grasp the scope of this disease, especially when it happens to someone you love. You do not want to make it real, more than anything you want to pretend it can’t possibly all be true or all happen to this person that you hold so dear.

I can’t say much more about it, because I respect this person’s pride and autonomy.  

I really just wanted to put this ‘secret’ in a space that makes me feel like I shared it, just to take my own selfish benefit from it – why else do I even have this blog, right? 

Anyway, something  more interesting next time, promise. 

Postcoital

Everything is pretty much much of a muchness when you’re in a precoital state, moments before it happens. Things are also not too clear or important while you’re in a coital state – that is, your thoughts are pretty much filled with only one subject, right?

Postcoital, now that’s when the situation gets sticky.

The only time you really want to spend the night after the deed is done, is when you’re in some sort of relationship, or when you’re a tiny bit intoxicated and getting home after hooking up with this random that you met at the club hours earlier might actually be potentially life threatening. I mean, who in their right mind is actually keen on sleeping over if the whole point was just to get your rocks off? Not me.

For some reason, I find the exact type of guy who wants me to spend the night. Thank goodness they can’t force themselves into my house and move in there for a bit – the first time I’ve been glad to still live with my folks.

So I’m continuously in this awkward situation where I either have to suck it up and endure hours of unsolicited cuddling and spooning, or try be creative on the spot and make up a feasible reason to get the hell outa there. I said continuously, maybe that gives the wrong idea, it happens to me the average amount of times, not hundreds of times a month, I’m not nearly enough of a catch to get that many people to even invite me to their place.

So in this postcoital pressure cooker you have mere moments to make a decision. If you do indeed decide that staying over isn’t the worst idea ever, just wait until the next morning. This person you had every intention of never seeing again and probably forgetting about for the most part, might get it in their head to make you breakfast. I like bacon, sure, make me breakfast. Do not however, try to get in the shower with me. I’m washing last night off me, I don’t want to make it worse. It’s daytime, it’s light out, my conscience can’t take a backseat when I’m sober and I have a whole day ahead of me.

The best way to avoid all of this is probably to become celibate until a sustainable relationship prevents itself. But I still need love, I’m just a man.

Snoozing

My life has been rather boring lately. And I’m not exaggerating, my life is all about viscera and blood vessels, bacterial infections and hormones. As much as it sounds like glitz and glamour, well, it’s not. In fact, my life has taken such a wind down the path to absolute monotony that even my written thoughts have been about the lives of others, at least in a few cases.

In movies, they often roll a montage of the lead character at work. In such a scene, the character’s day to day existence is oft summed up simply by a repetitive action, and usually not the type of action that’s, to put it plainly, full of action. My life has started to play in my mind like one of these montages. It’s all just a repeat of the same few things over and over again, interspersed now and again with a splash of something ever so slightly psychedelic.

By psychedelic I don’t necessarily mean filled with wonderfully enchanting drugs, but rather more colourful and less ‘tired’. I feel old way beyond my years when I say this, but I really live for these in between moments. These little escapes from the ever present anticlimax that is normal life. I sound depressed, I know. I’m not though. I’m just ever so slightly cynical and ready to press the snooze button on what is already a snooze fest.

I’m going to go take a nap now, I mean snoozing really can become a lifestyle.

Gaydar

Us gays like to believe we have something that we like to call a ‘Gaydar’. Said Gaydar, or gay radar, is our talent for distinguishing between gay and straight men. Fag Hags pick up this talent pretty quickly as well, and sometimes develop a better Gaydar than some of us who have been practicing for years.

Anyway, sometimes our Gaydars are a little faulty. Sometimes they are just outright completely wrong. Of course, we like to believe that we’re always right, but sometimes, and I’ll admit it, I simply proclaim some guy must be gay, to convince myself that I may have a shot with him.

I usually wouldn’t just make statements about someone else’s sexuality unless I’m pretty sure. The above mentioned cases are only when guys are seriously crazy hot. I do have a friend though, that loves proclaiming, loudly and very publicly, when guys are gay. This would probably be okay, if he wasn’t wrong 99 percent of the time.

Before I continue, of course he’s been right a few times. Statically, when you believe that everyone is gay, you’d have to be right at some point. This is the only reason he’s ever right.

So, the other day when we found out that someone was bi, he of course said that he had told me so, and how could I ever doubt his Gaydar. In his opinion it’s always on point. I’ve actually given up pointing out that the whole statistics thing, he’d convinced himself of his absolute talent to tell sexuality from a distance of 500m ages ago.

He’s also convinced that he’s going to end up with a very cute straight boy in my class. Sometimes I wish that I could be as positively optimistic as him, but then I remember that being realistic has saved me in some potentially embarrassing situations.

I guess that’s all I had to say. Just, don’t get too positive about a boy before you know if he likes what ya got, if you know what I mean.

Pride Week

It’s that time of year again, when the LGBTQI (and probably other letters as well) come out in their masses, rainbow banners and heads held high.

Most pride marches in SA are a whole day event, followed by any number of after parties all over the larger cities. My university has gone a step further, and has instituted an entire week dedicated to the many gender and sexual identities found on our various campuses.

On the one hand it’s so great that gays and lesbians, transgender and intersex students and whoever else finds themselves represented in a rainbow colour on the iconic pride flag has a place under the sun and can celebrate their diversity in peace. On the other hand, does it not feel like a way to press all the weird into one week in an attempt to try forget about us when it’s all over again? What I’m saying here is not that we’re too weird, I’m saying that society seems to that if they give us a day or a week to enjoy our freedom, we’ll go away after.

I don’t really support pride week, although I am up for the parties, they’re great. I’m much more into everyday celebration, not by waving a flag and forcing my pride down everyone’s throats, but rather by just being open and out all the time – and not overly and obnoxiously out, but just out in the same way that straight people get to be straight all the time. Please don’t misunderstand, pride is great, we just need to have pride all the time and not only in organized events.

And yes, I am aware that’s there is a level of suppression, but I don’t think that angering the old and conservatives is the way to stop the suppression and cases of violence. Let’s not get into some anger-states just because I said what I said.

I mentioned that I’m not making a political point right? I’m not. The whole point of this post is to make clear that I want pride all the time. Not the oversexualised, sometimes angry and politically charged pride march.

Boom Clap

By a series of not so spectacular events, a friend and I found ourselves in Prague earlier this year. This post isn’t really about the beauty and splendor of Europe in the summer, but let me just mention that nothing compares to it. It’s romance is one I cannot even begin to describe – all I can say, is that it awakens a special kind of yearning deep down in your very being, a yearning for an understanding of all the secrets of the world and a yearning to see and experience all the beauty hidden away in every fold of space and time.

Amidst all the beauty and splendor and romance and whatnot, I was reading. To be honest, my summer reading list was rather haphazardly composed of books I had either found in my house or had previously downloaded onto my tablet. It included “The God Delusion” and “A Song of Ice and Fire: A Dance With Dragons”. Both of these books were fantastic in their own ways, but neither resonated with me on a personal level in the way that another book did. This book I borrowed from my friend after she had read it, also on our Euro vacation. This book was so marvelously simple and so marvelously real. I read it cover to cover in less than 24 hours, and that’s fast for someone who gets bored in mere moments.

I just now realised that all this happened months ago, so my revelation on how great this book is has been lived by many others by now and besides, many have even seen the movie adaptation, which I’m sad to say I still have to see.

The story is about a girl with cancer who falls in love with a boy with cancer. There’s joy and there’s sadness, love and hope and tears. I won’t spoil anything though. The book is called “A Fault in Our Stars” as is obvious from the title of this post – a song title of the first single off the OST. As a side note, also check out the song by Troye Sivan, that was inspired by this story.

The gist of what I wanted to state here, was that reading this story in such a magical place was almost beyond belief. This story, read in this setting, made life so much more than it was mere moments earlier. Silly, I know.

It goes to show, literature needs to stay important, even in an age where everything has to be truncated to 140 characters or less.

Bi-Lemma

With regards my title, yes, I know I’m not nearly as funny as I think I am.

I discovered last week that a guy in my class is bisexual. Seeing as this information reached me through a grapevine and did not uhm, come straight, as it were, from the horse’s mouth, I’m not going to give it too much weight. I do however, want to give it quite a bit of weight, because I’d be lying if I said that the prospect of a new boy to dote on wasn’t pleasant.

Now, the only other properly ‘out’ boy in my class has proclaimed to the world that he has no interest in this new prospect, so there will be no stepping on toes in that regard. The way is paved, but is it a way to walk?

I’ve mentioned that the bi-lemma includes me not knowing how accurate the said informer was, but there’s a bit more to it than just that.

Should I be interested in someone purely because they’ve suddenly become available? I’m not one to chase after straight guys, because come on, am I seriously that desperate? And does it look like I enjoy setting myself up for disappointment? No. But now, suddenly, straight is no longer an issue, so the way is open to make a move, however subtle. Easier said than done though, right?

I have to ask myself, was I ever attracted to this boy? Before there was a glimmer of a possibility that we could hook up or that we could even, god forbid date, did I ever look at him and think, hmm, that would be nice? I can’t recall that I ever had such thoughts about our topic character. I also can’t, with all honesty, say that there was ever a time when I thought to myself that he was not worth a second thought. Does that mean that I’d been neutral until just then?

Okay, last week, we spoke. This in itself doesn’t seem so spectacular, but in a class of nearly 400 students, who speaks to everyone often? No one. So we spoke, and there was a wink. From him. Toward me. Toward? Anyway. He doesn’t know that I know. Well, he doesn’t know that I know what I think I know. So this wink was in all probability totally innocent, but who can blame a guy for being excited about a possible admirer.

I’ve now, actually just now before I started writing, invited the subject of my bi-lemma to be friends on Facebook, slightly late maybe, since he was a guest at my 21st birthday party. This is a big leap for me. I’m shy in real life, even though I seem very loud and outspoken on social media. What on earth is the next step? Do I want there to be a next step?

See, the problem of ‘shitting where you eat’ is a big one that stresses me out quite a bit. I’ve made out with two of my class mates, one guy and one girl – both pretty darn attractive if I might add, and since it happened, I have’t really been speaking to either. So, I’m not really keen on making my way through the class and leaving a cloud of awkward nods and shy greeting in my wake.

More to follow as the story unfolds then.

Chidren

Okay? So first things first (I got you singing Iggy in your head hey?), the title is not misspelt. Chidren are similar to children, but they’re webbed. I’m sure I stole that from a comedian, possibly Izzard.

Anyway. I’ve always wanted kids and I’ve even been thinking of specializing in pediatric surgery. This past weekend however, the mere image of kids has changed in my mind forever.

I’m not easily swayed, and my convictions are pretty strong for the most part. So having my world crushed and spinned and titled in the matter of a few hours isn’t a usual occurrence for me.

I gotta say, there’s not much more to this thought, but I’m going to push on anyway.

My cousin has a little one that’s starting primary school in January, and since I’m the youngest of the generation older than this jack in the box busy body, it always falls to me to entertain the grandchildren at family gatherings. This weekend was no different.

If I’m being honest, the little ray of sunshine didn’t do anything more annoying than usual, it’s just that she’s become too old for her tantrums and attention needing stunts to be considered cute.

It was warm, and I got annoyed. That was enough for me to change my mind about kids forever.

Problem

Tonight I’m actually really sad.
I had lunch at family today, and all was going well at first. While waiting for lunch to be prepared, a bunch of us were sitting outside in the sun, having a few drinks. Conversation was civil until, out of the blue, a friend of my aunt’s decided to show us all that he was an absolute dick.

Not only was the integrity of my degree and educational institution questioned, but so was my honesty and work ethic. This I can still handle, I know about all the hatred from the the white Afrikaner toward tertiary educational institutions, especially when regarding the medical profession. So, these things I’ve learned to shrug off without too much thought.

What really pissed me off was when the racism surfaced, strong and wet with a hatred that, in my life, I had not yet experienced.

Hatred toward black people, the Islamic religion, the Jewish religion, and basically simply toward all non-Afrikaans and non-Christian folk everywhere. I was so angry. I was literally on he verge of tears, and what do my parents say? Nah, don’t stress, that’s just the way he is.

Excuse me, but do we say about murderers and rapists, don’t worry, that’s just how they are?

Do I go out and say to the world, listen, I’m gay, but homophobes are so chill, that’s just how they are? No, because what kind of a bullshit excuse is that?

So with a heavy heart I have to wonder if my family would speak out if family or friends were to speak homophobic words in my company. I also need to wonder, even though I hope it never comes to this, if my family and their friends have any place in my life after I graduate and move out. Melodramatic maybe, but I do not stand for inequality or xenophobia.

Peace, hope and love. Values to live by.