A lot of my new hits are coming from Eastern Europe and parts of the world I've never visited. I was curious as to what was attracting these new readers. I did a little research into search terms. "Pink" seems to be a big one.
When I was in Poland, I experienced the oppression of the Catholic populace against the gay community and I was shocked that in this era, in the EU, that violence against homosexuals could still be so prevalent and so out in the open and if not sanctioned, certainly not condemned.
The internet is a link to a world that is still so underground in many countries. And there are many people in the world who still feel they are in situations where they can not be authentic. I guess for these readers, it must be disappointing to come here and find that I'm not writing about gay rights or about the best places to go in Vienna or Budapest to meet people of the same gender. And yet, I don't want to miss this opportunity to connect.
To the newcomers here:
THIS IS A QUEER FRIENDLY ZONE.
YOU are welcome here.
Let me tell you a bit about me....When I lived in New York, I joined and then started chairing a bi-sexual discussion group at the NY Gay and Lesbian Centre on 13th street. Some people were passing through from the hetero world en route to deciding to come out as homosexual. And, some people were passing through from the gay scene, wanting to be accepted for having feelings for the opposite gender that were not tolerated in the gay community. And some were there, like me, because they felt that love should have no limits and they had recognised that whatever their (perhaps 'current') preference, that it was within them to love someone of either gender. If you are tempted to think that bisexuals have the best of both worlds, let me tell you, in my experience it is not true. Bisexuals are often shunned as 'passers' by the gay/lesbian community and feel incomplete in the "straight" world. We are 'queer.'
I had four cousins that I know were queer when I was growing up. One cousin lived with us for a year when he came out. His mother and father had disowned him and, although he was my father's nephew, bless her, my mother insisted that we take him in.
The cousin who lived with us died in 1985 of AIDS. He was among the tail end of the first wave of men in Vancouver to have contracted HIV and to have died that horrible death, first through isolation and later, through wasting, that was the fate of so many men in the early 1980s. It was then that gay rights and gay pride became part of my personal values.
I know that I am so very very fortunate. I live in a society where discrimination on the basis of age, gender, sexuality and national origin is illegal by law. Many of those who pass by here aren't that fortunate. But even the rule of law can be very different than the practice.
Since moving to London, a large part of my personality has been amputated. My feminism, my inner artist, my spirituality, my inner drag queen (come on - only a drag queen could pull off that pink wig), and my queer values have all been amputated in an attempt to get by in a patriarchal financial world where success is determined by gender, background, sexuality and Britishness. The world of law in the film Philadelphia is not so different from the London world of finance. It is still possible to tease, without reprimand, a colleague, by calling them 'gay' in an open plan office (read: weird or weak) or to laugh with the lads that one should never work with animals, children or women.
I do not wish to be a hypocrite - I know that I am solely responsible for the amputation of my soul. I tried to play the game but I was playing the wrong game, by rules in which I don't believe. I could try to change the rules, and I have tried. I think all that is left now is to change the game and set my own rules.
We know that one cannot live an authentic life being unbalanced in any aspect of one's personality. And yet, even at 45, I still struggle to live authentically. I am not just an accountant, I am not just middle aged, I am not just a woman, I am not just a feminist, I am not just an aspiring writer and photographer, I am not just a minister, I am not just an occasional flaming bitch, I am not just straight or gay.
I am, entirely, Pink.
I won't judge you and I ask that you please not judge me. We are all trying to find our way in this world.
Photo: borrowed from the internet