Hard times

22 07 2009

king_of_hearts_by_BitterGrapesSometimes I just wish I could live my life without having to worry about stupid things that people shouldn’t even pay attention to. No suffering is more important than another, but being a black lesbian isn’t the easiest thing ever.

These are some hard times, lesbos.

I remember that one time in college. Have any of you ever been outed? Not such a good feeling. But the ‘funny’ thing in my case is that that person who ‘outed’ me didn’t even really realised it. I was hanging out with my friends and the friends of my friends and some acquaintances. We’re a pretty mixed group: Quebecois, one Irish girl, one Canadian from friendly Ontario, Haitians, francophones, gay guys, straight girls, a bisexual girl… And one of my new friends, who has boys on her mind 24/7 just kept talking to me about guys and I would be just like: “Oh”, “yeah”, “right”, “wow”, “huh-huh”, you know. And among the group it was pretty obvious that I have no interest in men but yet, I wasn’t out of the closet. And one day – one bad day – I just said to my girl friend that one random guy was good-looking just to shut her up, you know (yep: a really bad day I’m usually not like that).

Then, boom, it was all she needed. She was so happy I found that guy “attractive”, it made her day. Literaly. She said: “Finally!!! Dude, I thought you were lesbian!” (She calls everybody dude, she’s the cutest thing ever).

Everybody stops talking and looks at me for a sec. Cause, like I said, I’m not obvious as a lesbian (well, I don’t think I am but you never know) but since I’m hanging out with a bunch of gay guys and straigt girls, men are pretty much our no1 conversation, so it quickly became obvious that… you know, there was something up with me.

Now, why ain’t I out to my friends? …………..It’s truly complicated. But to be honest, I think they know. It’s kind of hard to hide it with friends. We just don’t talk about it. It’s complicated. I’ll probably post something about this.

Hard times, people. Hard times…

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Mom, dad… I’m left-handed

11 01 2009

Original text here.

Dear Mom, 

This letter will doubtless find you in a good mood, at least I hope for it. It is a painful secret which I carried for years. I was not able, so far, to share it. And to say it face-to-face is for me too difficult. That is why this small letter will bring you the truth, my truth, the truth about me.

Here is: I am left-handed. I know that it is not easy to admit, but it is so. You are not responsible for that. It is the way it is. You certainly noticed that I often spoke about left-handed persons. Of course, I laughed at them, showing you how much I was proud to be right-handed. I event voted for somebody who defended the right-handed people against the left-handed persons in the society, somebody who opposed to the union of two left-handed persons; however, this person was not a right-extremist. It took me a long time to accept myself as left-handed, although I was that way since I was young. I had to bury it in me, to hide it to myself and to others. I built a fortress around me, so that the others would think I am a good right-hander. But I liked my left-hand better and could go anything about it.

I was right-handed with the right-handers, continuing to laugh at left-handed persons… We often saw our left-handed neighbour receiving other left-handed persons. One day, you said that you preferred that to a drunkard. Feel reassured, I am not a drunkard. Just a left-handed person. It took me time before I talk to you about it because being right-handed is considered as the standard in our society. Nevertheless, how would it without left-handed persons? Léonard de Vinci was left-handed, and nevertheless, his hand did not prevent him from being a genius. I see you asking you ” but why is my son left-handed? “.

It’s not your fault. Since I know how to use my hands, I feel more comfortable with my left hand. My right hand”s purpose is only to make me look a certain way. My left hand’s purpose is to unable me to be myself. I decided to apply Rochefoucauld’s quote: ” we would more win to be allowed to see ourselves such as we are, rather than to try to look what we are not “. (You see, the left-handed persons are cultivated all the same).

If you still have questions on “this”, I could answer you, or you can talk to associations that help left-handed persons’ families to accept the left-hander as he is.

Kisses,

 Mattew





Lesbian Couple give birth to quadruplets separately

5 01 2009

Karen Wesolowski and Martha Padgett spent three years and £35,000 undergoing IVF treatment, but could not believe it when they heard four heartbeats at a check-up. Astonishingly each of the women gave birth to twins on the same day – but the four children born are actually quadruplets, created from Martha’s eggs and donor sperm. Miss Wesolowski, who has been with her… (read more)

karen_wesolowski_and_martha_padgettKaren, 42, and Martha, 38, tried 5 times to get pregnant (at 15,000$ per try, a three years process that exhausted them) before they finally decided that they should both have eggs implanted. They took medication to make sure they were on the same cycle. Even though they knew that 2 embryos had been implanted, they didn’t believe that they would end up with 4 babies. And, happy end, they gave birth on the same date, only 22 hours apart at different hospitals. Now the pair, of Riverside, California, are happily cradling twins – one boy and one girl each – who are all quadruplet brothers and sisters. That is a real love story, eh ? And Martha, who have a 3-years-old daugther named Julia from a previous marriage, says she dated a couple of other men and never expected to fall in love with another women, until she met Karen. Couple of years later: lots of babies. :)

babies1





Gay high school and marginalised minorities

19 12 2008

180px-harvey_milk_high_school_entrance_by_david_shankboneA newly expanded gay-themed high school began the school year Monday with about 100 students attending classes, about 200 supporters rallying outside and a small band of protesters demonstrating against it. Since 1985, Harvey Milk High School has served students who are gay or believed to be gay, but its recent… (read more)

In Toronto they have one, too. As well as a school for Black students. Here in Montreal, we have a school for Italian Kids and for Jewish kids. I’m not sure this is such a good idea, though. I understand that the point of schools like those is to create an environment safe for its student (in the case of homosexuality), or to create a sense of belonging and pride, or to prevent student to drop out of school, or to preserve a cultural heritage that tends to get lost in the larger Canadian society. But could you imagine if everyone starts to go to schools like this? There would be not unity, no understanding of the “others”. Quebeckers have experienced a lot situations like this I guess I could say. Not going into the details, but to be a minority in your own country contributed to the climate of “Us” and “Them”. At a large scale level, it is exactly why I am against the separation of Quebec. I think it is ridiculous. Why not focusing on zero tolerance for discrimination, fighting ignorance, and promoting curiosity of different cultures instead ?

In the last few years, a new program was installed in Quebec (at least in the French system, I’m not sure about the english system) called “Éthique et Culture Religieuse” which means Ethics and religious culture. It’s basically a program that focuses on discovering and learning more about different religions. In high school, a little bit of philosophy is added to it. I took this course for the two last years of high school and I absolutely liked it. Partly because of the teachers, they were so funny and so good. Anyway, my point is : this should be the solution. To stop sticking to the traditional way of education, you know ? Add new things as society evolves, courses about cultural diversity, for example.

In the past, people fought so that Blacks and Whites could go to school together. Why separating them again ? To me, it is the same thing as saying “Oh, well, on second thought, that was a bad idea. Let’s segregate again.” It’s a shame.

460595XSo far, I’ve always went to private schools. My parents wanted the best for me so I went in one of the best high school in Montreal. It’s just now that I’m in CEGEP that I stopped wearing a uniform to go to school (can you believe this ? 11 years of light-colored shirts and dark skirts!). I decided to go in the public system for college. I had enough of snobish rich people and I am happier now, I think. What I like the most about public schools is the diversity. There is always something happening, so much different clubs (Black Unions, Muslim Associations, Gay-Straight alliances and so on)… This is how school should be. In my snob, rich, perfectionist high school, most people were white, nothing happened, everybody was dressed the same way to create this illusion of equality. It was just boring.  

I don’t think I would enjoy going in a gay high school. I like diversity too much. We should celebrate this diversity instead of marginalising it. Don’t you think ?





Am I out of the closet ?

14 12 2008

teenager_by_adikijaOf course not. I mean… are you serious ?! There is no escape for me, unfortunately. My family is pretty homophobic, especially my father. Gosh, sometimes he says things that are just so awful… 😦 I consider myself quite young (maybe too young) to break my family apart. They don’t want this, neither do I. I know someday it will happen. Just not now. Let’s just say I’m not ready to come out of the closet just now. It is so easy to say: just do it, this is who you are. Of course, I wish to everyone to be out of the closet and be accepted. It’s just not that simple. Not only would my sexual orientation break my family apart, to be totally honest, I am scared like hell of my father. There are so much things that happened in his life and in my life and in our life as a family and knowing that his daughter is lesbian would just be too much, I guess. I am just afraid of what he would do like I’m sleeping, if you know what I mean… Seriously, it’s not even funny. At time, he just so violent. But anyway. My father is pretty much the main reason why I keep a low profile about this. Better off this way.

There is nothing else much to say about this. Except that for the moment, my only alternative to this unfortunate situation is to move out in Ontario (probably Ottawa or Toronto) after my CEGEP studies. In other words: Cut any type of relationship with my family. They won’t know anything about who I would be living with nor how my life is like. I would just be gone.

Well… Nobody knows what the future holds.





Sexuality, identity and God

11 12 2008

 So, this picture right here is an Italian pro-homosexuality campaign that promote the idea that homosexuality is genetic. The poster caption says “Sexual orientation is not a choice”. I think it is a little bit over the top. Some people try so hard to make homosexuality overly accepted that to them, pretty much everything is good to support their cause. Even if it is not true. If it fits with there thesis, that’s ok. I’m not saying that it is false that homosexuality is genetic. But this theory has never been proved. Same thing with the brain activity and size of gays and lesbians. If you want to support a cause, just do it right. This add doesn’t upset me, it just makes me feel disappointed and a little sad. After, if ever someone finds a good and reliable proof that homosexuality is not genetic, then homophobic people are going to use that against us. Of course. It just makes the whole situation more complicated.

 Since society assumes that everyone is straight from birth unless told otherwise, it is a real struggle to define yourself as gay or lesbian. It is a process that straight people know nothing about, since they never have to make that journey. But I wonder if being born gay or not really changes something. You’re gay, you’re gay. That’s it. It’s like: who cares if you were born with blue eyes ? Now your eyes are brown and they are pretty much going to stay that color so why bother about the blue eyes ? You know ?

I mean, do we really chooseto be shy or out-going ? Do we chose to love chocolate and not vegetables ? Have we decided to be touched and affected by discrimination and not by political issues ? I think love is pretty irrational. We don’t know why we love our lover. We just love herhim. We might say: ‘Oh, she’s cute, she’s funny, she cares about me’. But there is more than one lover who is like this, isn’t it ? And we don’t necessarily fall in love with everyone who falls into that description. We don’t know either why we are afraid of spiders or heights or water. We just are. Isn’t the same thing with homophobia ? So far, I met many homophobic people and none of them manage to clearly say why they hated homosexuals.

Aren’t we, as a society, trying to rational the irrational ? I mean: love. Yes, being gay or lesbian or bisexual is about love, I believe. Certainly not about hate, for sure. Some Christians that refuse to see themselves as gay argue that it is not about being homosexual, it is about being a Christian. They say they smoother their sexual orientation and choose to live as a Christian with these attractions which they don’t act upon. They say it is a distinction that more gays and lesbians should see. Okay. Not so bad. The problem is: Are they really going to live all their life with those attractions at the back of their head, not going to satisfy them at all ? If you are happy with the heterosexual live, good for you. But you might want to ask yourself if your are doing that for you or for someone else ? Usual answer: ‘This is what God wants for me’. Or something of that effect. Doesn’t God want you to love yourself the way you are ? …  No ? Yes ? -_-‘

I don’t want to start the religion/homosexuality talk. But man, some times I just wish everything was just nice and easy.





To be Black or not to be Black and same-sex marriage in California with Dan Savage

8 12 2008
"Confident" by BitterGrapesAt times, I say to myself: “USA is basically the same thing as Canada.” Right ? But let me tell you, sometimes, those two looks so utterly different. Even the history of those two countries: The same but oh, so different. Isn’t ? I mean, every time I hear Black Americans talking about themselves, about their culture and their history and stuff, I mean, sometimes I just don’t relate to this. All this “Don’t forget your ancestors that went through slavery, you’re black, be proud of it, and don’t forget how much your ancestors struggled to get there in America.”…. it just… I don’t know. Personally, my ancestors basically stayed in Haiti all their lives. My parents came here, were born in Haiti. Yes, sure it was tough for them. But when they came here, they spoke french a little bit, and they were young so…

First, in school in Canada, were only briefly skim over the US history in high school, just enough to say that the loyalists came in Canada because they didn’t agree with the independence. That’s it. I don’t know if it’s because I live in Quebec, so maybe, we learn more about the french side of our history rather than the english side. But all that to say that no, I don’t feel “Black Canadian”. Sometimes, I feel like in America, being black is really important for people. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it that in the US, it is more about being black than being south african or congolese, or whatever? You know ? When you ask African Americans, they  might say yes, my family is from Africa rather than yes my family is from Mali, Somalia, Chad, Mauritania, Côte d’Ivoire, and so on. When people ask me, I say that my parents are from Haiti so that my heritage is Haitian but that I am born here.

Once, I saw a video on Youtube of a girl basically proudly saying to all Black Americans to not be afraid of saying that they are Africans (I actually found that video kind of weird… :s). Isn’t funny ? Why should people say that ? Immigration has been there for so long, and people have started families with people of a different ethnicity from their own that knowing where someone comes from doesn’t mean much to me. If Black Americans say that they are Africans, than Canadians and Australians are British, Quebeckers are French, Haitians are Africans, French and Spanish, ect. It doesn’t make sense. We don’t say that. Quebeckers don’t say that they are French, they speak french, that is. I mean, why should we even care ? Especially if your family have lived in one country for so long that they pretty much “lost” the culture of the country they “come from”. When in Rome, do it like the Romans. And that is what most people do. And thus, my lifestyle is Canadian. I never lived any other way.

Here is a little video of Dan Savage talking about prop 8 and same-sex marriage in California.

So when D. L Hughley says in this video that he never met a Black Atheist, I find it very funny. There are so much atheists here in Montreal, and from all ethnicities, Blacks included.

I am atheist and I’m Black. I’m lesbian and I’m Black. I say I’m from Montreal first. If you don’t know Montreal, I say I’m from Quebec. And if you don’t know Quebec, I say I’m fom Canada. I went in Haiti only once in my life. I was 12. I liked it a lot. Big house, lots of sun, nice people. I would come back anytime and see the country with different eyes this time. I know most Haitian people don’t live in Haiti the way my family live there, with lots of money and all. I would like to see the majority of Haitians everyday life. But that’s another subject.

My point is: I believe that the society in which we live in is what shape how we see the world and how we live our lives. I don’t “believe” in nature, I don’t believe that babies are born gay or born criminal or born pianist or whatever. I think we choose who we are. Yes, there are many things that can alter our choices. The pressure of society, for example. Norms, taboos, ect. Family is another example. Peer groups in which we belong. You know ?

Just be proud of who you are. Not what you are.