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





Think Before You Speak

7 01 2009

Nearly 9 out of 10 of LGBT students (86.3%) experienced harassment at school because of their sexual orientation in the past year, according to GLSEN’s 2007 National School Climate Survey.

The Ad Council’s first LGBT-themed campaign, unveiled last month, targets anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language among teenagers. It features humorous TV public service announcements that star Hilary Duff and Wanda Sykes interrupting teenagers who use the term “that’s so gay.”





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.





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 realisation of my sexuality (part 1)

2 08 2008

It began at a young age for me, I think. Several things happened in my live and… I mean, who knows if I was born lesbian or not ? Right now, I’m basically listening to my feelings. I believe the realisation of one’s sexuality (would it be gay or straight) should start with what your heart is telling you.

Hum… I really accepted my homosexuality when I was around 17 years-old, but like I said, things happened in my childhood. For instance, my first kiss was with a girl. At 12, I firmly believed I was lesbian yet I didn’t even totally understand what being lesbian meant lol (I read that on my diary. I was a cute kid lol). I never had an attraction for boys like my girlfriends did. Just… you know: tiny little things. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything. But as a human being, I’m trying to link things together even if they probably are not supposed to be linked in the first place. But anyway. I did not wake up one morning and told myself : “Okay, now I’m lesbian.“ It’s been a really complicated and long process. Hum, I guess that like every teenager, I was asking myself questions. Not just about sexuality, but about how I felt. I was dealing – well, even today – with severe low self-esteem and at some point, I felt that I was living for my family and friends, just like a robot. I was doing what people wanted me to do, feeling the way they wanted me to feel. I was basically going through life like a machine. At some point, it became too much and, without getting rebellious, I started to wonder what I really wanted and how I was feeling. And so for my 17th suprise birthday party, almost all my friends were there (even the one I hadn’t seen for 5-6 years) and I totally felt in love with one of those old friends. During the soiree, everything was just so overwhelming that I figured out that what I felt for that girl had nothing to do with attraction, I though I was just stressed and I have to say, a little bit uncomfortable with the whole situation. I mean, for someone who had such low self-esteem as I had back then (now, it’s a bit better), having such a huge suprise party for your senior year in high school is really… outstanding. You know, it marked me. And so that party came to an end and that girl, of course, went away and… Well, I realised that I was felling something for her. Something more than friendship. But she was gone, like, forever.

I cried a lot. At first, I was angry I was crying because I thought it was just so ridiculous and silly, you know ? I was overwhelmed by my feelings and at the same time, I was highly frustrated because… I couldn’t possibly be lesbian. I couldn’t accept the fact that I knew myself so badly. It’s just my personnality. I had to be in control, I wanted to be in control, but in reality, I never was in control of anything, really. Not even my own life. So, yes, it was quite frustrating. And at that point, you know, homosexuality was not a problem itself. I mean, I was cool with that. I was a green peace girl AND a fighter for gay rigths, you know. I was fighting with words agains every homophobic person I knew. ha ha. So back then, being lesbian didn’t bother me. It was the fact that I did not know how I was that was bothering me. And to be completely honest, I probably didn’t even considered myself lesbian right away. I just thought that my poor feelings, they were all mixed up because of that birthday party.

I’ll stop this article here or it would be too long (well, I believe it’s quite long already, lol). Check out part 2 of The realisation of my sexuality. See ya on the other side !