FAQs: SEXUALITY

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I want to start a new series on the blog. One I think is very important and would open up channels of communication for many people. I want to try, in my own little way, to help people understand a little more about things and people they would not have otherwise engaged with or considered.

Some topics will be fairly common, but I guess bringing them up is more about my wanting to drive a few points home and speak to and against some very important issues.

I don’t claim to know it all; I’m probably a very vocal advocate for the “Help me learn more association”. I can be very ignorant, but that’s only because I don’t know any better. This is in no way exhaustive or from a professional.

These questions are a mere reflection on my past encounters and wanderings and they touch on a few questions I’ve been asked or have overheard people asking.

I have to admit, some of these questions I asked my LGBTQI friends as well, but I was curious and needed to be educated. Now that I know, some parts, I can share some of what I’ve been taught.

Here we go…

How do you reconcile your faith with your liberal views on homosexual acceptance?

I personally don’t think there’s anything to reconcile. The Bible preaches love, quite vocally might I add, and as a Christian man I understand that God is Love and we have been commanded to love. In my heart, I believe that God in His entirety supersedes any views expressed by a disciple who was a mere man who lived in a time that was very intolerant of many things. I don’t believe that accepting someone for who they are and how they were created is in any way a defiant stand against God or a slight against my faith, nor is it treason. It’s saying “I accept you because you are as you were intended to be”. I don’t think God would make a mistake.

Would you be happy if you son turned out to be gay?

I would be happy if my son was healthy, happy and in love and if he was successful and a good young man. I would be afraid, for his life, because we live in a world that isn’t very accepting and someone might see his existence as an insult to him in some way and the only way for him to move forward or express himself would be if he hurt my son. Because of that, I would worry about him being safe and I would probably want to protect and shelter him even more because of that. That would be unhealthy for him, by the way, but he would be my baby and I would do everything in my power to make sure that no harm comes to him. But I would raise him up, every day and I would tell him that he needs to be better than the best and he needs to be excellent because not everybody will have his best interest at heart. He needs to be strong and grow up pretty fast, but I would love him either way.

Why should there be gay pride, why not have straight pride?

Without wanting to repeat the old and worn out but still very true response, but having to; every day is straight pride. It’s like saying “All lives matter” in a way. This is in no way equating the two situations, but for context.

Every day is straight pride. Every Sunday is straight appreciation day in every church. Pride isn’t a message to say the LGBTQI community places one orientation over another, it’s saying “The prejudice needs to come to an end”, “the hate crimes need to come to an end”, “we need to live in a world that values our lives and stories and dreams just as much as it values the lives and dreams of every other human on the planet”. Pride is not an agenda to push “the gay way”, it’s not propaganda, it’s lifting up a community that’s been downtrodden for centuries, it’s lifting the stigma off something that should have never had it to begin with. It’s a proud call to action for an equal chance at freedom. Straight pride would honestly be redundant.

Isn’t it a choice though?

The choice is when someone chooses whether or not to come out to the world as who they are or not. The choice is in how their families react to their sons and daughters finally expressing their truths. Being is existing is breathing is not choosing. That is what people need to understand.

Nobody in their right mind would choose to be persona non grata, nobody would choose to be hated, the poster child for all things anti-god and nobody I know would choose hell over heaven and all its glossy splendour.

But who is the guy and who is the girl?

In a lesbian relationship, both are meant to be the girl. I mean that’s the whole point. Just as in a gay relationship, both are meant to be the guy. People want to reconcile their idea of sex, heterosexual sex, with that of what they picture homosexual sex (should) entail. Thing is, homosexual and heterosexual sex is both fundamentally different and not that different at all.

The rolls change and some are rigid, in homosexual sex. The boxes so conveniently created for those who live in a world of binaries are Top and bottom. The specifics you can google (at your own risk), but I’d argue that those are the answer to what someone would want to know as being “the man” and “the woman”. Sex is inherently fluid and very complicated. You can’t limit it to two simple roles.

Don’t you think that kids nowadays just want to be different and are all about experimenting with everything, including being transgender and bisexual? Aren’t they just confused?

Firstly, you could say that there is an element of confusion there, just not in who they are. The confusion is in trying to express their truths in a world that refuses to recognise them. Imagine living in a world where being LGBTQI was what was traditionally accepted and being straight was “taboo” or “the big evil”. And babies arrived by stork. Now imagine being straight, and knowing that you were born straight, but you don’t know how to express that or fit into a world not moulded for you. Gender identity has been a muted crisis for centuries, people aren’t suddenly choosing to be transgender because they’re “experimenting”, they’re choosing to be open about their truths now because they feel a change in the ether. They feel more accepted now. It’s still a long way to go, but it’s going somewhere.

How can this be something beautiful and about love if all we ever see it as and hear about is the sex?

Perception is a unique affliction. What one sees another cannot wholly echo. Not to go all conspiracy theory on everyone, but in a world where same sex love is so taboo, would you expect anything but the sordid to be expressed as propaganda? With that said, sex is a very natural and beautiful way of expressing so many emotions; love, lust, longing, etc.

But think about this; if you were too afraid to love freely and openly and show your affection for someone every day, twenty-four hours a day for fear of retaliation, and all you could do was lay in wait, bottling up your emotions, holding back. In those few minutes, maybe an hour or two, of freedom with someone like-minded, would you spend that time playing scrabble or would you want to feed your hunger for connection.

We aren’t meant to be solitary beings. We’re sentient, social and sexual creatures that need human contact to survive…literally, by way of reproduction, but to also feel connected and not go feral. Many in the LGBTQI community are stealing moments; what little time they have, they use to fill themselves before winter comes again and they have to lay in wait for the next brief moment of freedom.

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This is a very important and very extensive topic and discussion that I have not been able to do justice to. So much more needs to be asked and answered. The more people learn, the more they understand and the less they feel…phobic. We’re a world hungry for answers. Let’s be a world prepared to accept them.

Feel free to comment and or ask anything. This is as much my forum as it is yours.

Today, we will be yellow

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Today we will be yellow.

We will walk with the Sun on our heals, healing and living and laughing with little care of the cracks on the pavement and the gunshots behind us.

We will be blind and buoyant and beautiful, dancing with fallen leaves, flirting with death and enjoying the rhythms and rhymes that crescendo with the howling wind; the screams behind street corners, the heartbeats gunned down in broad daylight, the futures massacred.

Today we will create a symphony like none other, it will be new and it will be timeless and it will burn through the ghetto like the cries of fatherless children, brotherless sisters and loveless protectors.

We will show mercy, we will chant it until our throats run raw, until our breaths wane and until we are forgotten and yet remembered because we were yellow.

We were and will forever be, gold, magic, perfect, joyous, here.

In the beginning, there was darkness…

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I’m not sure how true this may be, nor am I certain there’s a study or a science that could back this possibly careles claim, but i think that we need depression to survive.

So I might have baited you with that one, but what I mean is that the creative spirit needs something akin to pain to thrive…in a weird way. Don’t get me wrong, happy is good, and happy is productive and light and laughter and great, but there’s a freedom that comes with the darkness.

In my mind, there’s significance in the idea that God himself created from nothing, that the darkness was His canvas.

So maybe i’m just trying to justify my process; one that involves the sombre melodies of Adele, Ed Sheeran, Kwabs and Florence + the machine to name but a few. Maybe i’m trying to hide behind one evil to vindicate another; that hurting feeds me and makes me feel…good.

Good is a bad word, it makes me feel, alive.

Being happy makes me happy, but i know that happiness is just one side of the coin, a few colours within the spectrum and those colours don’t interest me. I work best when the canvas is blank and the colours are barely that. That way the creation speaks for itself, without the distraction from those darn bountiful, buoyant hues.

My sister once said it wasn’t healthy, and she’s right. But we can’t deny the power pain has in igniting the soul.

Adele created arguably her best album “21” thanks to heartbreak.images (1)

Picasso’s Guernica, created to protest the bombings in Guernica, was one of his finest work at the height of his genius.images (2)

And those are just two examples, albeit not enough to sway the mind and convince you that i’m right, but i’m not here to prove that i am. I’m probably very wrong.

What I am here to do, is to help you understand that if, like me, you find secret solace in your pain and it helps move you and inspire you, don’t be afraid.

You aren’t alone.

I was the kid that painted with the colour black, i love wearing Brown and grey and i’m fine with it. You should be too. Sure it might mean you’re weird, but who isn’t?

To those of you who’re foaming at the mouth, eager to protest my views, i love the Sun too, butterflies make me smile and laughter fills me in ways I couldn’t possibly begin to explain.

Like I said, it’s a wide spectrum, so feel free to pick your poison.

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How do you guys do it?

Okay so maybe I’m asking the wrong question here. What I really want to know is how you keep it; how you don’t let it slip through your fingers; how you’re able to let it burn long enough to get through the trenches and how you ignite it when you need it?

Yes, I said “trenches”, because it feels like war, and no I’m not referring to any relationship, although you could see it that way. The give and take exists, the love and hate, the good times, the joy, the heartbreak, it’s all there. So yeah, I guess you can look at the dynamic between yourself and inspiration as a relationship.

But yes, I’m talking about inspiration.

It used to be easy; I’d stumble across a wayward thought, I fragment of an idea and I’d expand on it like turning water into wine or breaking bread for the masses. I don’t mean to compare myself to Jesus, but when you’re in it, when your head’s glued to that screen, when those words flow through you like the rivers of Babylon and when those ideas, plots, words and lives are given breath from the very tips of your fingers, you can’t help feel powerful.

Now my question is how do you sustain or reignite that power, because it’s inebriating, it’s consuming and affirming. I feel like I’m in control of everything when I have it, when it’s flowing through me and I’m good with it, I feel like the things that lurk in the shadows don’t exist, that I can be fulfilled, that I have people. That’s what it feels like when I write, that’s what I’ve been missing.

I mean I’ve had moments, brief, fleeting fancies with that elusive lady called Inspiration, but I’ve never been able to hold audience with her long enough to feel that kind of fulfilment I once took for granted.

I could call it writer’s block, but the words exist. The characters are alive and kicking and the ideas are very much waiting to be released. I just can’t get past a few lines, a paragraph if I’m lucky, before she slips away under the cover of reality. The walls and worlds I once had at the tip of my fingers, the kind of magic I once wielded wanes and I’m…impotent. I guess that’s exactly what writer’s block is, but this feels different, it just feels…worse.

I had it, I was powerful; once you’ve tasted it, you have to have it again. You feel like your very existence, most notably your sanity, depends on it. I’m probably being overly dramatic, but when the walls are caving in around me in the real world, I need to know that I can still build my very own in a world where I can be both prince and pauper.

So I need to know how everyone else manages to keep it. How do you let the words flow, how do you turn water into wine and how do you conjure it up at will, because I need it?

I want to feel strong somewhere, it just so happens that somewhere isn’t here.

But I don’t know how to get back to the place where I once was.

The good wife (husband)

Sometimes you have to not see things.

You have to not see the odd wrinkle of his shirts at midday or the smudged collars. You have to not see the passion marred skin, the unworn wedding band and the stolen glances.

Sometimes you have to not hear the secret phone calls, the near silent giggles and the hushed proclamations.

Sometimes you have to not notice the secret smiles, the stolen, lustful leers shared from across the table, room and rear-view mirrors.

You have to ignore light touches, the unfamiliar colognes and fragrances and you have to not see the change.

YOU are still in love.

You have to ignore the growing distance, the gnawing silence or the burgeoning unfamiliarity.

You have to ignore the unanswered calls, the late night arrivals, the even later and more frequent meetings and the unexpected weekend-long conferences.

You have to hold hands, smile lovingly, laugh agreeably and you have to cry yourself silently, secretly, to sleep.

You’ll need that.

Better to purge your frustrations, every night, over tear stained pillows and remain pliable than to hold it all in and become untamed, uncontrollable. That way the sky won’t fall.

But what if the sky fell?

What if the earth shook, the mushrooms finally inherited the earth and the wounded got off their knees?

What if the trenches were dug, the regalia bravely worn and the smell of war burned across the atmosphere?

What if you saw it all, heard it all and finally took a stand?

You are in love.

You’re responsible for your happiness. To not see things, to not hear them or smell them and to ignore the signs would be accepting your role in your own unhappiness.

Sometimes you have to risk your life to own your life.

So yes, sometimes you have to not see things.

You have to not see your own defeat, your fears and you have to brave the storm and admit your strength.

You don’t have to go unnoticed in your own relationship.

Am i black…?

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Am I black because my ancestors were born and raised in Africa?

This isn’t my ‘motherland’, this is my home. I breathe this air every day, I walk these streets every morning, noon and night. This is where I am from.

Am I black because my nose is large and my laugh loud?

These are gifts from my forefathers, preserved and proudly handed down from generation to generation.

Am I black because I find Madea hilarious?

Black on black humour, spotlighting the often exaggerated and though very familiar happenings within a society so unapologetically black, it snores in gospel hymns.

Am I black because I sometimes think in ‘Yes sirs’ and ‘No sirs’ and ‘thank you sirs’?

I’m a product of multigenerational conditioning. It’s singed into my genetic code now and it’s sometimes so synonymous with blackness, that our only way out is further into the western rabbit hole.

Am I black because I have to appear nonthreatening and non-invasive?

My smile has to be wide, my eyes bright, my hoodie off and my hands in plain sight. I have to be walk tall, not too tall, but tall enough to be seen, not noticed, but to not too…black?

Am I black because I can read this and not feel threatened?

Your existence, your voice, your anger and frustrations as well as your joy will not threaten me. I am not afraid of your meetings, I do not feel targeted by your grievances and your literature does not make me uncomfortable.

Am I black because my father has a stab wound, my uncle a gunshot wound and my grandfather…is no longer with us?

I was raised by wounded men who still fight even when the dust has settled and the bread broken. Their crocodile is still at large, very much alive and it watches them every day.

Am I black because I know my way around real curves?

The kind that only God himself can create, the kind that intimidate you, but were designed to nurture the future within supple rise and falls of their bountiful beauty.

Am I black because I can’t complain about poor service or a messed-up order out of fear of being thrown out for causing a scene?

Am I black because I’m always angry?

I was born with a chip on my shoulder. Every injustice, every argument, every wrong done to or around me is lighter fluid for my fire and boy is my fire all-consuming. I can never smile, I’d scream at a dead horse for being dead, because somehow…it must have done so because…well…I’m black.

Am I black because I’m resilient?

I don’t sunburn, I don’t back down easily and I’m rarely demotivated. All that I have is because I more than wanted it, I needed it. I built it with my bare hands, I even built all that you have with my bare hands. History has dehumanised me, but I’m still standing.

Am I black because I have to be ten times better to be half as privileged?

My spoon was never silver, my spoon never existed. It was always my hands.

Am I black because I have ‘white friends’ as opposed to ‘friends’?

People need to know that we’re different. It needs to be clear that the people I hang out with, the people are share my life with, the people I grew up with are not like me, they were never like me and I need to understand that. It’ll always be us and them…

Am I black because I try to dress so as to not fit the description?

My hands are never in my pockets, my hoodie is never on, my back is always ramrod straight and my clothes are always bright. A smile helps too.

Am I black because I can experience racism but I can’t engender it?

It’s my word, my scar, my inheritance.

Am I black because my consciousness believes so?

Am I a movement? Is my skin the flag, my history the memorandum and is my voice the chant? Am I an uprising, a force to be feared, a collection of experiences that demands vengeance? Or am I just a guy, born in South Africa, working his way up, understanding the existence of prejudice and working towards a better future for the people he loves?

“If music be the food of love play on”

Leopold Stokowski once said, “A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence”. Few truer words have been uttered.

I could go on for days, months even about the power of music, but the proof is in the pudding. We live in a highly digitized age where there’s little shortness of anything really.

We’re surrounded by creators, of film, photography, music, art, law (enacted law and those that govern the ins and outs of our society…the kind of constructive laws we create ourselves) and because of this we’re inundated with a ton of stuff with a click of a button.

I don’t know about you, but technology has a specific kind of noise all on its own. It’s stifling sometimes, it’s discouraging and overwhelming but once in a while, you’re afforded the privilege of witnessing something so remarkably spectacular that the world and all its clutter fall to the wayside.

For me, those moments present themselves behind a simple melody, a classic voice and sometimes it’s a loud thumping (don’t judge ). But, what i’m saying is that, in the midst of all the insanity, there are these songs, voices and souls that move us to silence.

Examples:

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Alice Smith is enchanting, heartbreaking, raw and unapologetically haunting in this cover of “I put a spell on you” included in the “Nina Revisited…a tribute to Nina Simone” album.

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Then we have the incredible Ms Lauryn Hill. Her version of “Feeling Good” in the same album is incredible. The androgyny in her voice was new though, but i love it.

kimberly nichole

Then we have Kimberly Nichole. Her performance of “Creep” on The Voice US will live in infamy in my humble opinion. Her voice is real. She’s stunning, a powerful woman whose ability is a respectful and empowering nod to an age passed. she’s without a doubt, a woman worth remembering.

birdy

Without a shadow of doubt, Birdy’s version of “Skinny Love” claws at you from the inside. The sincerity, the purity and shear profoundness (yes, i went there) of this performance and song, originally by Bon Iver, is captivating.

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I mean, do i even have to explain why this is incredible? Tori Kelly is something to behold in this cover of Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T”. The riff she does towards the end at 2:24 literally devastates careers.

jazmine sullivan

Before i go all out and ramble for days on end about the singers and songs that seem tailor made for my heartstrings, i want to leave you with one more woman who knows how to translate emotion almost effortlessly. Jazmine Sullivan is a force of nature, and this albeit risky (lol) performance of “Stupid girls” is something to play over…and over and over.

There’s a slew of incredibly talented young men and women out there and songs and singers that take you there with a whisper, if you troll long or hard enough, the silence will take you.

Click on the song titles to troll on your own, please do.

It’s a welcomed reprieve from the everyday grind, i suppose.

Much love.