I’d like to consider my family pretty westernized but at the same time tags like #GrowingUpBlack and #GrowingUpAfrican are so easy for me to relate to. However, traditions and mindsets are not so easily swayed by two years in the States and three in Stockholm. Being gay, and I’m using this as an umbrella term, is not easy. It’s especially difficult when you were raised in a Catholic household, your older brother is insanely homophobic, and if you came out to your parents, your extended family and dead ancestors would know the next day.
I think for anyone that falls under the LGBTQ+ spectrum knows what it is like to want to come out of the closet to family and friends, it feels like hell. Obviously, actually coming out for some was easy breezy and for others it was painful. For me, I don’t what that’s like cause I haven’t come out to my family. If I’m being honest, I’m still contemplating as to whether or not I should have put a ‘yet’ at the end of that previous sentence.
Firstly, I feel like in understanding my dilemma you need to know a couple of things about me. I’d be what most people describe as bisexual, but you know, sexuality is fluid and some of you may have rolled your eyes at that, thinking ‘wtf.’ It’s inexplicable really, but I’ll simplify it, butts are great, and so are rock hard abs, as well as that concave to convex ratio. Hopefully that didn’t confuse you even more. The first person I came out to was my best friend, and that was honestly one of the most relieving moments of my life because from then on it became easier telling other people, other people except for my family of course. Those of you who know me online, know I’m pretty open about my sexuality, but there’s still this feeling of incompleteness, which I associate with not coming out to my family.
Secondly, I live in Zimbabwe, a beautiful country found in Southern Africa, just north of South Africa. The only problem I have with Zimbabwe besides its bad driving is the crazy homophobia. Personally I feel the homophobia lies with the older generations but this doesn’t change the fact that it’s there. Not only are Zimbabweans driven through religious passion, but we are deeply rooted with our traditions as well. So by now you should figure having #GayPride on my car bumper might as well be me announcing I’ve sold my soul to Satan.
In Zim, being gay isn’t a crime, but the act of engaging in ‘homosexual activities’ (ie. sodomy) is a felony. My issue with this is, if people want to get jiggy, it really shouldn’t be anyone’s concern but it also extends to the fact that a large population of people are still against the idea of someone being LGBTQ+. There have been a number of instances in which people have been beaten within an inch of their life simply because they weren’t straight.
Maybe this is an overused line, but the matter of the fact is people are afraid of what they don’t know. Don’t get me wrong, Zimbabweans are a wonderful people but when it comes to things like being gay then for them, it’s perceived as a threat. So for me to come out to my Southern African is quite the dilemma in which I’m not sure I want to solve. Maybe in the next year or two I’ll have the courage to sit them down and take what is dished out to me or I might just send this to them and hope they don’t kick me out. For now though, I’m just going to sit on my gay-ness and daydream about the wonderful unisex world of butts.