To the words of Lana del Rey - Radio, which is currently playing on my YouTube playlist:
Now my life is sweet like cinnamon Like a f*cking dream I'm living in Baby love me cause I'm playing on the radio
This Friday is #IDAHOBIT and I have been invited to give a talk at St. Albans Community Centre while also opening my first ever exhibition: DIS-CONNECTED. Since queer advocacy is something new for me, while researching for the speech I came across a wonderful article by Sarah Baughey-Gill - "When Gay was not okay with the APA"( READ IT HERE ) she goes through a tight timeline from late 1800 to modern times regarding homosexuality and psychotherapy; while reading it I couldn't avoid but think about my upbringing and past.
Coming from a tight, religious extremist and homophobic cult, it's silly to mention it but homosexuality and any other sexuality (to not talk about gender identity!) were a sin. A gross sin to be precise, so I remember reading on the magazines I was myself busy distributing (cognitive dissonance hurrah!) how wrong it was. Sensational experiences on how people managed to "change" etc. The underline stigma of being queer as being a mental deviant, sexual predator, you know the gig, and these were the main channels. The community was even harsher, I remember sitting at gathering where homophobic rants were as common as the prayers they would give before the food. "Rather dead than gay" and blah blah blah.
One now wonders how did I actually survived? I do not know to be fair.
Anyways, reading that article was a "hah" moment; how many homophobic people felt empowered by "science" backing up their moralistic bullshit? Guess what, how many of these people are actually now in positions of ruler-ship? You got it, PLENTY.
While it might not be able to say their opinions out-loud anymore for fear of backlash, we are talking of people (stereotypical white/cis-gender/straight men) who grew up in the late 70ies listening to psychotherapist and physicians confirming religious bias and that now hold those notions deep in their subconscious (Opposition to Equality Act). A bit like the vaccines' craze, even if it has been proven stupid, still people think of vaccines as the evil, due to ONE scientist.
Humans are tribal, very much so unfortunately. We might hide behind skyscrapers, giant metropolis, isolate ourselves into digital worlds, it doesn't change the soup: we are tribal animal.
Which is great if you think about it, society and community is what helped us survive practically everything, but on the other hand our society has now surpassed the innate ability of our brain of discrimination of "us vs them".
On paper, human society has evolved to bring us to interplanetary expeditions, gender fluidity, artistic freedom, renewal technologies, futuristic interconnection. On paper, we live in the future, yet we are still far away from it.
We cling so hard to this US VS THEM that it impairs our ability of moving forward and expand our brain to acceptance and knowledge.
Clear example is what happened with beauty guru #JamesCharles (LOL, even mentioning him makes me laugh), my YouTube algorithm sometimes fucks up and shows me shit that I apparently don't care much, (the whole beauty community), but since I have watched a few makeup tutorials etc, I guess that's where it gets its ideas. ANYWAYS, recently this 19 yo, I like to say it, because it makes it even more ridiculous; which made millions off 12-13 girls (LOL, stay with me please!) has revealed its true colours in a series of dramas with straight guys; basically pressuring straight guys /bi-curios into intimacy and then threatening backlash with the use of his power (being famous because you sell make up and over sexualised content to 12-13yo kids). James repeatedly admitted his fixation with straight guys, and he is not the only queer person I know that has the same problem. While I DO NOT CONDONE any type of sexual pressure, I am not sure this 19 yo multi-millionaire has all the blame.
- First, how can someone become so rich off make-up tutorial which C'MON WHO ACTUALLY HAS THE TIME TO DO ALL OF THAT!? is unknown to me. Kudos!
- Second, the queer community needs to unify its fronts and fight the internal homophobia and the glorification of the stereotypical straight man as the god on Earth. Queer artists, public figures have a responsibility on this.
STOP LOOKING FOR VALIDATION FROM THE BULLIES THAT PUT YOU ON A MENTAL DISORDER LIST FOR DECADES. Seriously, stop. By perpetuating this idea of "straight is the ultimate prize" you perpetuate the discrimination that comes with it. We then end up with a lot of James Charles that make themselves a fool and potentially could destroy years of progress.
I recently had a chat with a lovely gay guy on how much anxiety and struggles he felt and with the whole look of "straight-acting" he had to put on with his peers - while being out with family and friends-. He couldn't bring himself to be honest with his football team and other social groups and ended up telling me how much he wanted to be with a girl. I felt the immense pressure he was on, part of it self induced, part of it absorbed by society. Telling me on how he always end up having crushes on straight guys.
I was there, sitting next to him to the fire, with my eye-makeup on, a weird outfit, listening to him I felt like crying because that pressure was something I felt all my life. So, I shared with him where I came from and how the same pressure was literally going to kill me, I couldn't give him a solution but just an experience from someone that went through it. We left on a consensual hug and I wished him to find the strength to release that pressure and the courage to be himself no-matter the fears.
Again, US VS THEM and the whole straight glorification.
So yeah, let's celebrate #IDAHOBIT with the understanding on how fears are way deeper programmed into us that we give credit for. If we want to pay our respects to those who fought for us, we have a responsibility as queer artists and makers to dismantle hetero-normative within our own community, to unify and prosper. Let's also worry less about what Lady Gaga wore at the #MET galas and inform yourself before you vote at the next elections; BUT if you can do both, go right ahead.
Moving through the world with grace and glory.
P.S I can't be bother with grammar, so there you go, something to keep you on your toes.