Between Legs and Hearts

I wrote the following piece a while ago and it was previously published on a friend’s blog, KlarOnyx , but I felt the need to bring it here as it is quite personal for me. If you haven’t seen it yet, I hope you enjoy it.

“..And I believe that marriage isn’t between a man and woman, but between Love and Love.”

–Frank Ocean
The average Black child is raised in a Christian household. Men are bread winners, providers, protectors, to those lucky enough to have fathers. Mothers are obedient care givers and children, well they try their level best to not be a disgrace, to not provide any reason for the neighbors to cast eyes in the family’s direction. For the most part we play our parts well.
Except during our teenage years when we discover freedom of speech and the fact that we have rights and once the pubic hair appears and the breasts bloom, we think we’re ready to take on the world.  We learn ourselves.  We learn of other people.  We discover the differences and similarities between us. We discover love, pain, the weight of choices and the terror and beauty of change.
Growing up, I never thought of Love as caged, or controlled.  People loved each other. That’s all I knew.  I was never concerned with whether it was a man loving woman or a woman loving another woman. If it pleased them, I could see no reason why they shouldn’t do it.  I was raised in a household with both parents. The majority of relationships around me were heterosexual, but it was never something I paid any real attention to.
I don’t know when I began to acknowledge homosexuality. The earliest memory I have connected to it was of my cousin, who was a zealous Christian, explaining to me that Sodom and Gommorah were burnt down because people did “bad things” there. Ever the inquisitive  creature, I pestered her til she told me that Men laid with men as they did women. I wasn’t horrified. I wasn’t in the least bit concerned. I did not see the “evil” in their type of affection.
Homosexuality is illegal in most countries in Africa, approximately 38. Many claim it is “unnatural”,”UnAfrican”, some go the extent as to claim it’s “Evil.” When this issue was brought up the other day on Twitter, Tumi Molekane coolly asked someone who shared these sentiments “Were you born straight?”
I have a few issues. First of all, I don’t understand why Love has to be regulated. Why we feel the need to have a say in what happens between consenting adults, something that has nothing to do with us, Love that hurts nobody is beyond me.  I’ve decided it could be because people already subconsciously feel powerless in society as is. They cannot live as they please, therefore looking down upon and judging others, those who do, is the next best thing. Also, divide and conquer works wonders. It would be easier for Governments to do as they please while we’re still busy caring about who’s sleeping with and loving who.
I understand that as people tend to fear what we don’t understand and hate may stem from that fear. The majority of people around are straight, and we respect that, but left to their own devices with no judgement, would they be? Nobody really knows why we’re straight as nobody knows why some are gay. Being straight serves a purpose when it comes to procreation, yes, but other than that, what is there? I am not religious, therefore quoting the Bible to me when it comes to such matters is non sensical. First of all, Christianity is a foreign doctrine, brought to us by the same people who stole our land, spiritually broke our forefathers and raped their women. Let’s be logical for a bit. If you were seeking to take something from someone, wouldn’t it be easier to tell them the Man In The Sky wants him to NOT seek revenge and turn the other cheek? That he wants us to suffer on Earth? You’d know he wouldn’t react to whatever you did to him from there. But anyway, that’s neither here nor there. My point is, telling me things  like “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” renders you an Idiot in my eyes. The Bible has also been used  in arguments to make slavery, racism and abuse of women seem acceptable. So miss me with that.
In life, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting all kinds of people. Straight people. Gay people. Bisexual people. Closeted homosexuals. And even a few Asexual people. I’ve judged them all based on their character as people. I thankfully know that I have no right to call another “disgusting.” In my books, if you are not purposefully harming anyone, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll have an issue with you. I have also met homophobic people, heard all their arguments, met men who hate homosexuals yet love lesbians, lesbians who hate straight men and people who just want to be loved regardless of who provides the affection.
Straight people are blind to how privileged they are in Society. They get to marry, they get to love freely, they get to BE, to exist as they please for the most part.  No one questions this. No one gives them awkward side glances, no one calls them names or judges them. They have not lost friends due to their sexual orientation, they do not live with a constant fear of being a victim to hate crimes. They are not ignored by their relatives. NOBODY makes them feel ASHAMED for being as they are. No one.
I know a man. He adores me. I cannot put in words how secure I feel in his adoration. He is my pillar of strength, my teacher in Life, a constant companion. He has seen me at my lowest in Life, and loved the pain and doubt away. He has shared my bed, my tears, my food, my Life. He is gay and has been for all his life. And I love him with all that I am. Because I have not closed my mind to certain things, I have received the purest form of love there is. Selfless love. I have watched boys come and go in my Life. Many at some point I would’ve died for. But He is the one I would gladly live for. And do. Many people will never know what I’m talking about.
I can only try to explain to you what it’s like to love somebody society chooses not to. I have seem him broken down over comments from people who have no idea what his name even is. I have seen his fear and heard the comments. Seen the looks. Felt the judgement. He moved away and there were nights when I couldn’t sleep because he’d gone out and I was afraid for his life. We have loved each other fiercely, through all this and more. And I have stated many a time that I would marry him, and remain happy forever, than be with someone who doesn’t appreciate me. I have not bought into the idea that marriage should be a chore as it seems to be for most, excuse me.
I understand  the intricacies of the human heart too well to believe being gay is a sin, or wrong. I believe in Love too much for me to look upon forms of it as disgraceful.
With that having been said, I have met a Woman. And my heart adores her. I have not questioned my Heart, I have felt, willingly. Because I have never been one to put titles on myself and live by them. I feel no need to. I Love, and whether it be a man or woman is irrelevant to me. Has it been easy to accept this? For me, yes. I am happy. Others..? Not so much. I find men look upon love between two women as something sexual and not emotional, not spiritual. I guess they think the same of gay men too. It’s easier to assume homosexuality is just..sexual. And I think, straight people think so because they have no idea what any other type of love other than Eros [Erotic] love feels like. I also think this is a damn shame.
I did not write this in order to change the world. It probably won’t. People don’t read nor feel anymore. I just give you my thoughts and feelings and hope.. Hope that maybe you know you might be wrong. Hope you might change the way you think. Hope you might know love is more than anything we could ever understand.
In the words of Frank Ocean yet again, “..I’m starting to think we’re alot alike. Human Beings spinning on Blackness. All wanting to be seen, heard, paid attention to.”

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