Not so long ago, I relocated from Gauteng to Pietemaritzburg and was very anxious about my being able to settle down in this small town. For a small town gayboy like myself this shouldn’t have been much of a concern; but for weeks before the “great move” I was a bundle of nerves as I grappled with the thought of how am I going to survive in a province that is still rooted traditional culture and probably a lot of homophobia?
I have been here before and have always been on the alert about how I walk, talk and do things as not to be singled out as “one of those guys” which I now find funny because there is absolutely no way I can hide my “gayness” as this is something pretty obvious with me as I’m one of the people of whom you might say he wears his sexuality on his sleeve”. If there someone needed a poster boy for Gay Pride, I bet my skinny arm and leg that it would be me. I’ve never been straight acting (whatever that means) nor have I ever gone out with a mission to shout it out loud that “here I am, I am gay”.
I like to think of myself as someone who looks, acts, dresses and behaves the exact way he should. And this has been a challenge wherever I have gone. Please note that there is nothing glam about me as I look and dress just like any other guy you might bump into while running your errands, but there has always been that something that sets me apart from the say “normal, ordinary” guys.
So in the past week as I was reflecting about my move and how I have more or less settled, the thought that ever since I got here no one has ever said anything or questioned my sexuality. This I found very odd as in my hometown and anywhere else in Gauteng, it was quite easy for people to single me out as different or as I have been called “one of them”. Does this mean I am doing what I have always thought was the case; Blending in, or am I invisible or is it just a matter of people being busy doing their own thing and living their lives so much that they don’t care about that skinny guy with a strange voice? Or is it a matter of people not caring what I am.
These questions still remain to be answered, but what I dread the most is having to come out over and over again because I really have never had the need to actually explain myself to anyone. Lets just hope that it is obvious to my neighbors, the guy who cut my hair and all the people I meet on the street and every body else that yes I am gay and I’m not trying to blend in or be invisible because that would mean I’m not being true to who I am.