Quite by accident I came across two brilliant bloggers yesterday, both who were writing about homophobia. They come with very different stories but the message is still the same. The first is from Gay Fourth And Multiply who recaps the incredibly tragic story of David Kato from Uganda who was beaten to death with a hammer last week. Because he was gay! An excerpt…
“Not only had he (David Kato) been viciously murdered, the chances for justice are slim, with homosexuality a crime in Uganda and newspapers running a "name and shame" campaign, printing photos of suspected "homos" under the headline: Hang them.”
Can you imagine? If Sydney newspapers did this we’d strip the world of trees.
Gay Fourth And Multiply also tells the story of Brenda Namigadde who fled Uganda for fear of prosecution. While this degree of homophobia seems a problem far removed from our Western society, homophobia takes many shapes and forms. As GFAM points out, lets not forget the newsagent in Arkansas who felt he had to hide the Elton John magazine cover which featured a picture of him with his partner and child. God-forbid gays can love too.
|Fimly shield my arse!|
Which brings me to my next blogger and much closer to home. Cate Swannell tells the story of the obvious ignorance and homophobia of the guy in front of her in line at a petrol station. And this is on the Gold Coast! It’s a funny story, but her message isn’t. She confronts the ignorant bastard brilliantly, then, in her words… “You’d think i’d rubbed an ice-cold dildo between his arsecheeks he moved that fast.”
We need to hear stories like this! The reason is that so many of us can go about life in our inner-city bubble – myself included – and lose sight of the homophobia that exists around us. I’ve always been very lucky and homophobia has rarely touched my life, compared to David Kato I have not a care in the world. I am incredibly grateful for that. I also think that is one of the reason’s why his story hurts so much, I live a life he could have only dreamed of.
But like I said, homophobia takes many forms, some of them incredibly subtle. We need to be alert and aware and pull people up on it whenever we get the chance. Just like Cate did. As lucky as we are in Australia we still have a ways to go. From my perspective, the most frustrating hurdle we are yet to overcome is marriage equality, the greatest legalised homophobia left in Australia. So while compared to David and Brenda’s issues it may fade in significance, it is still homophobia. And we all need to speak up about it.
Especially to our politicians and the ugly bogans at the petrol station.
If you were like me and didn't really listen to the news on David Kato last week then catch up here...
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