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





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 ?





Keith Olbermann talks about prop 8 in California

9 12 2008

I know this is old news. But I just heard about it. I’ll do this real short because I suppose that you all heard about it many times. When it comes to gay rights and trying to convince people to just leave us alone (minimally) and trying to make them understand that it is ok to be homosexual or asexual or transexual or transgender, it’s always a little difficult, you know. There is no chemistry, and both parties are absolutely sure that they are right. I’m a bad speaker and a bad debater because it is tough for me to clearly express myself. At times it is very frustrating because it’s not because I have a hard time verbally defending my values that I don’t have any (some people think that, isn’t it silly ?) But anyway. I think that Keith Olbermann really managed to say almost everything I wish I could have said to people when it comes to homosexuality. He’s very clear, he’s thoughful, he’s convincing, he has charisma, he’s got it all. Of course. I mean, the guy reads the news, of course he can do and has all that. But I mean, if you didn’t watch that short video about him talking about prop 8 in California about same-sex marriage, you should sit back and watch. That man has some really strong powers, lol.

One thing that I still can’t understand, though, is why do people care about homosexuality ? Why do homophobic people think that only one portion of the population can love, be loved, and be happy? I just don’t get it. Why do people waste so much time with hatred ? Ah… -_-‘





Creole proverb

15 08 2008

Some days are just weird days. I’m trying to stay optimist, though. That may sounds corny, but I’m trying no to let bad thoughts overwhelming me. Negative things are such a waste of time (I believe I sound like a priest or something write this… ;))  But anyway. People often think I’m naive because of my always optimistic personality. It’s almost like an insult to them. Let me give you a little tip of mine when you have bad days, it’s creole proverb (with an arab origine, I think…):

Sé pa tout chyen ki japé pou ou viré dèyè gadé’l.

Wich means: It is not every dog that barks at you that you must pay attention to. Or, if you know a little bit of french (I believe it sounds better in french than in English): Le chien aboie, la caravane passe. Wich means: The dog’s barking, the caravan is passing. Let people say what they want, do what they want, it must not affect you.

* Graciousness of my mom who used to tell me that a lot as a kid and a teen going through rough periods… 🙂  Don’t we love our moms ? 😀





The Black Stereotypes

6 08 2008

I know everybody can be the target of stereotypes. Each group have stereotypes related to them. But have you ever notice how the Black stereotypes makes us so strong and perfect ? And at the same time, imperfect ? We are athletic, criminal and poor. We have rhythm, we are loud, us girls know how to shake our butts, we are all obsess with our hair… You know what I mean by perfect and imperfect ? It seems like we never have serious mental and physical disabilities, we are never homosexual, we never hardly have any problems we’re never blind or deaf or mute… I mean, who really sees a black man or woman when they hear about the LGBT community ? I understand that society’s goal is to (indirectly) push heterosexuality, however, homosexuality is only understood as good because homosexuality is constructed as bad.

Stereotypes always hurt. Even the “positives“ one. I don’t know how to dance. I hate it when people tell me: “You’re Black, of course you have rhythm ! “ Now, not only the stereotype hurts. If you don’t fit within these limited categories and stereotypes, you are not Black enough to count. And at the same time, you are Black enough to be discriminated against.





Daddy drama on Dr. Phil

5 08 2008

Did anyone see the Dr. Phil show yesterday ? You know, Daddy Drama? The guy went on the army, got married and had kids, but he always felt that he was a woman ! His oldest daughter was 21 I think and his youngest, 13. I think he was divorced or that the mother died, I don’t know (I didn’t get the first part of the show). And just recently, he decided he couldn’t live as a man anymore and so, he began to dress himself as a woman.

I mean, I understand the fact that all his life, he didn’t feel good on his own skin. That part of the story is sad. The fact that the girls didn’t seem to understand too was sad. But I mean, like Dr. Phil said, it’s not what you do that is wrong. It’s the way you do it. There is a bad and a good way to do things. The guy didn’t get that, I think. He made choices in his life. He may not have choose to end up being like a woman trapped in a man body, but he choose to get married and have kids. Those kind of things come with responsibilities.

The man was saying that he is a father to his daughters even his he is transgendered. But what is being a father, really ? His little 13 yeard-old girl was just so confused she couldn’t even look at him. Being a father implies to support your kids and keep them from being so confused. You knows how she could turn out if this situation stays that way ? She may stay confused, become ignorant, deal with low self-esteem, have anger and hatred issues…

It seemed to me that the guy just thought of himself. He seemed just really selfish. “Oh, you don’t know how it’s like.“ “You don’t understand me“. It’s YOUR job to explain them this. In fact, it your job to keep being a role model to your daughters. You can’t just go in front of them, say that you always knew you were a girl and act as if it was nothing. You need to communicate. Find a middle ground.

I have to say, though, that the girls were just so closed minded. They wanted to have their father back. And to them, their father was a man. I thought that their perception of family was… just so rigid. Is it really the physical appearance that counts ? Or is it the soul, the care, the love… ? Does that mean that if their father had a serious car accident and was disfigured and unrecognizable, they wouldn’t consider him as their dad anymore ? I know that you can’t really compare those 2. But still. You got my point.

I believe that if 1) the father was less egocentric and 2) the girls were more open-minded and that 3) they would communicate, everything would be better for them. I’m sure that the man still have a lot of love for his kids. The kids need to accept that love. If you don’t accept love, what do you expect to change ? The older sister was saying over and over “I’m certain you don’t love us. You can’t love us. I don’t believe you. You’re just gross, it’s disgusting.“ and Dr. Phil was all over her as if the girls were the angels and the father, the devil. I mean, come on !

The man has kids, yes. Does that mean that he has to give everything to them, even his own happiness ? I mean, please, what about the communication and the compromises ? What about the love that they absolutely don’t (want to ?) share ?