I was born and bred in Zimbabwe. After a turn of very unfortunate events, I am back in the country after having spent seven years in South Africa. I am grateful for the time I spent in South Africa. Being exposed to other cultures opened up my mind and I must say, I am more tolerant, open-minded and less judgemental person now than I was before I left my mother country. Best of all perhaps, is how I have been able to accept my sexuality through being in a place where queerness isn’t as demonized as it is in Zimbabwe. This is not to say South Africa is free from its own spat of homophobia. No! There have actually been several queer folks (most of them women) who have been raped and/or murdered by people who decided they could punish them for being ‘an abomination’ to society.
Ever since I have been more open about my sexuality, I have not failed to receive my fair share of awkward questions from some heterosexual folks. It seems people expect me to have a biological explanation for my sexuality and this is usually so they can, at least, tolerate my veering off what is considered to be or what we have been socially conditioned to believe as the norm or the only acceptable way of expressing our love. I do not have a logical explanation for why I have such a strong affinity for women. Quite frankly, if logic had anything to do with whom we develop a romantic attraction for; I believe I’d be asexual. But it doesn’t! The heart wants what it wants. And on top of that, I staunchly believe that people should be free to love whoever they want to love. ‘Biology’ or socialization shouldn’t have to restrict how we express our love or lust or with who. Live. Let live. Let love!
It is already taxing enough that the heterosexual community expects us to ‘prove’ that we were born ‘gay’ or convince them (usually to no avail, sadly) that transgender folks are not the gender they were assigned at birth. We also have to deal with the same cynicism and intolerance within the LGBT+ community. I am baffled and disappointed at how some queer folks seem to think one can either be heterosexual or homosexual. This reeks of hypocrisy.
Society: How do you get attracted to someone of the same gender? How do you even have sex? And procreation?
Homosexual folks: We are here; we are queer. Live. Let live!
Other queer folks: ‘I am bisexual’. ‘I am transgender’.
Homosexual folks: *screams* confusion
We are that which we hate. We want the rest of society to acknowledge our existence and accept us as we are but we won’t even accept members of our community. Surely, the judged have become the judges. The oppressed have become the oppressors.
Written by Joyline Maenzanise