Recently, I posted a picture of my lesbian flatmates kissing on Facebook, not thinking anything other than it being a really nice picture. The next day, the shit hit the fan…
The one girl, Agi, is pretty much open to everyone around her … except for the people she works with. Apparently, a bunch of them are on her friend’s list and saw the picture … and she was upset because she’s the boss and she didn’t want them to know anything about her personal life, apparently. I thought this odd, as she works in a salon .. but maybe that’s more of a stereotype for gay men.
As for her girlfriend, Maryke, it’s a little more serious but she took it better: her mother is on her Facebook profile and isn’t out to her. So needless to say, she got a phone call all the way from South Africa asking about it. It wouldn’t be an issue except for what her parents are like – they’re really religious and apparently somewhat bigoted, especially her father. She told me a story about how he’d once likened being gay as to being black in South Africa. Obviously not the most open-minded person in the world… (and no, that’s not me giving a personal opinion here…).
Of course, all of this would have never been an issue if I’d only asked them if it was alright to ‘tag’ them in the photo when I put it on Facebook. Neither one cares that it’s on there, they just can’t have their names attached.
When this happened, it kinda reminded me of what my friend Shuaib was telling me about him trying to live life in Saudi Arabia and being gay. Once we’d added each other on Facebook, he specifically told me to never put anything ‘gay’ on there with his name attached, or send him anything remotely gay.
So when I got this picture of him, myself and my friend Vince (from Agi’s b-day party actually…), I posted it to Facebook .. but left his name off, eventhough there’s absolutely nothing ‘gay’ about the picture. The last thing I’d want is to risk him getting in trouble, bashed, or worse because of my posting of a picture.
Basically, the whole situation has gotten me thinking about how lucky I really am to have been born and raised in a ‘Western Civilization’ such as Canada. Canada was one of the first countries to legalize gay marriage, and decriminalize homosexuality. Pretty progressive if you ask me.
I was recently reading an old advice column by Dan Savage, where he said about Canada: ‘Oh, Canada, while we scream and yell about being the land of the free, you quietly live it. I love how my boyfriend magically becomes my husband when we visit Canada, without anyone else’s marriage being threatened. Here’s hoping that one day soon the United States will recognize the legal marriages of all Canadian citizens, gay and straight.’ (http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stories/savagelove/081120/ at the bottom of the page..).
Reading that makes me proud to be a Canadian .. even if I don’t live there anymore. 😉