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Age old conflicts and trauma

March 13, 2009

There has been a lot of talk this week about the current moves in Nigeria to further outlaw homosexuality and prevent gay marriage. Read the full BBC News Article here. I’m not someone who generally lacks an opinion on a subject, but on this topic I am truly torn. Whilst I may not fully understand how someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, I do fully understand attraction in the heterosexual context (!!), so I guess it isn’t that different.

I have very good friends who are gay; both male and female who I adore for who they are, equally I have known straight people who couldn’t compare to the little finger of my gay friends, so I certainly don’t believe it is a measure of a person’s character. My default position is that it just isn’t a straight down the line issue the point being that people are whack because they are whack, not because of their sexuality.

I am however slightly troubled at the fact that I think there is a proportion of ‘coolness’ attached to homosexuality. Partly because of this I do not believe in bisexuality and I think it’s a bandwagon for an awful lot of people which is potentially making life even more difficult for those for whom there is no choice involved.

Either way, the latest moves in Nigeria are really unnecessary. The exiles of people like Bisi Alimi and Davis Mac-Iyalla because they are prepared to stand up for their sexual orientation, as well as stories of people beaten and killed for being gay, make it feel like Nigeria is trying to get stuck in a suffocating and highly detrimental religious lock down which has implications way beyond homosexuality.

Something else that traumatised me as a female is the problem of ‘corrective rape’ in South Africa. I read Raped and Killed for being a lesbian on the Guardian website and watched the video. I can’t even begin to contemplate how these women can talk about being raped, beaten and stabbed so calmly. Surely you don’t choose to go through all of that?

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