Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Collagen Palace

They say beauty is only skin deep and true beauty comes from the inside. However, some of us need a little help when it comes to the “skin deep” department. I have just gone for my Botox touch-up at another one of those Collagen Palaces that promise the fountain of youth with a few injections, peels, lasers and surgery. After my little procedure I left wondering why we so eagerly pursue beauty and whether I now too may have crossed the line in joined a group of people that would pay large amounts of money to cling to youth for as long as possible.
My first Botox treatment was earlier this year and as I vividly described on my blog it was a pleasant experience and the benefits aesthetically pleasing. When I was due for my touch up I decided to go to another plastic surgeon that was recommended to me by a friend. All excited I called her office and to my great disappointment the first appointment I could get was only in three months time. Being quite surprised the overly friendly and slightly annoyingly happy sounding receptionist told me they could place me on a “cancelation waiting list”. So two weeks passed before I got a call informing they had a cancellation and I could be helped the very next day.

Arriving at the surgeons offices I was amazed at the magnitude of her operation and facilities. It was a one-stop-shop where you could get anything done apart from major surgery. As one would expect from such an establishment the staff was immaculately dressed and all had a little something done from Botox, collagen to fillers. Walking towards the counter at reception I spotted the Prozac Queen who I had spoken to before. It should be illegal for one person to be so happy and I could not quite determine whether it was just her natural personality or chemically induced, either way if I had to spend a whole day with her I would be forced to staple her lips shut.
After completing the normal paper work I was escorted to the waiting area where I joined a couple of middle aged women all engrossed in the little pamphlets of the different procedures the facility offers. The conversations they had resembles that of people discussing a restaurant menu the only difference was they were discussing chemical peels, body sculpting, facelifts, Botox and vaginal rejuvenations. It seems that apart from the normal nips and tucks of ones flabby bits you can now also get a younger vagina. What will be next a testicular lift and/or penis rejuvenation? Not wanting to listen to how their privates have been tightened I decided to go for a smoke and wait for my turn at the outside coffee shop area.
When my turn came the permanently surprised looking and cheerful receptionist collected me and ushered me into the Dr’s consulting room. My face was examined, the procedure discussed and this time fillers was also introduced into my age delaying chemical recipe. I found the Dr very pleasant and genuinely sincere in her approach. After every possible frown was reproduced, my facial muscles examined and frown line inspected she took out an array of syringes and meticulously placed them on a small table next to the bed. As usual the Botox injections were relatively painless, but when it came to the fillers it was a slightly different story. The best way to describe filler injections is like being stung by a small bee with the slight burning sensation lasting only a few seconds - kind of painful but nothing that would cause a ghastly scream. The other queer thing about fillers is that you can actually feel the thin line if you stroke your finger over the treated area and this really grossed out my hubby.

During the procedure the Dr and I had a nice chat. She told me about the wide range of clients she has and to my surprise she told me of two very well known International Airlines (the names of which I will omit out a fear of being sued) sends their cabin crew to her when they are in South Africa to get Botox and fillers done. Apparently these airlines pays for the procedures and all their staff members that deal with the public are encouraged to undergo these treatments on a regular basis. It’s seems having a flawless and youthful appearance are part of their job description – what a great perk to have. We also discussed the reason people have cosmetic procedures done and from her answer I concluded everybody does it for their own personal reasons, some out of vanity and others out of necessity.
So why do I get Botox you may ask? After some pondering I realized to a certain degree vanity does play a role in my motivation, but mostly it is because if I can delay the effects of aging why not. I do take pride in my appearance. Even though of late I again gained some weight and unlike Oprah my blog readership does not increase with every pound I gain, I still take care of myself and do plan on shaking off the extra pounds and could even inject some of the fat into other parts of my body – Yes, people do that for all of those who just gasped in horror! My decision to get Botox also has a lot to do with the fact that my frown lines made me look unfriendly and every time someone bores me, talks nonsense or when I get annoyed I tend to frown betraying my concerted efforts to hide my true feelings from who ever is sitting across from me in a meeting. Another and final reason for me joining the Botox Band Wagon early is to stay away from the surgeon’s knife for as long as possible as preventative measures, in my opinion, are always the best.

After my touch-up and having had my eyes opened to the other side of cosmetic procedures I honestly don’t think I will go over board and make my visit to the youth fountain a monthly excursion. A visit once in a while (when needed) and in moderation is the healthier option for me. After all I don’t want to end up looking like some of the freaks you see on Dr 90210 or the E channel’s Top 100 Worst Plastic Surgeries. When I look into the mirror in ten years time I still want to be able to recognize the person I see looking back at me.

Till next time.

Robin Williams Plastic Surgery

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Renovation Monsters

What a relief to finally have found and bought the perfect home. After a protracted search, many nightmarish experiences and one broken heart we finally found that elusive perfect property. Our new home was nestled away in a treed and hidden neighbourhood that we have driven passed unknowingly so many times before. However, I could not bask in a sense of relief and satisfaction for long. You see no home is perfect until you have put your personalized stamp on it. Having secured the property we now will have to renovate. I don’t know what is more stressful looking for a property or renovating it, but I am soon to find out.

After just over two months of intensive searching and viewing properties that could only be improved with a demolition ball finding “The One” seemed almost implausible. On Friday viewing the last property of the week we arrived unenthusiastic, tired and expecting to again be underwhelmed. The owner of the property was an elderly lady whose husband recently passed away. The house was a montage of a lifetime’s worth of memories as only an old lady can accumulate. On every wall there were pictures and mementos of past happy times, lost loved ones and historic moments in their lives. To us most of the nick-knacks seemed quite disposable but to her every item was priceless. Walking through her house felt like walking through her life history and it almost felt wrong and voyeuristic. Her two dogs, three birds and one cat was also quite engrossed with us and we were engulfed by an orchestra of excited animal noises.

Looking past the 1935 d├ęcor, hubby and I soon discovered that this home was a place we could and want to live. It had all the elements we were seeking and could not find before. The love the woman and her husband put into their home was evident in every room; everything was impeccable but clearly not our taste. Much like the old lady, the house was due for a face lift and some minor cosmetic changes. The 1970’s porno cabin style ceiling panels did not turn me on. Even worse was the fact that everything was pink, from the tiles to the walls. She and her husband spend the last 35 years building and finishing their dream home and here comes two gay guys who will practically tear it all down. For a brief moment this thought saddened me as she will have to say good bye to her home and entrust it to us hoping we will put the same kind of love into it as she and her late husband did.

Over the weekend we visited a few stores getting ideas and of course prices of everything we would want to change in the house. We visited several building and construction shops. In one such shop the ugly renovation monster reared its head. Husband and I had our first renovation argument over tiles. Being the drama queen I am I was absolutely livid for having one of my tile choices insensitively dismissed. At this point we have not even bought the property and neither has the actual work started and here we were already fighting. Both of us are quite stubborn people and with my French heritage and husband’s Italian bloodline our disagreements can be quite hilarious to witness. Nobody can throw a temper tantrum quite like a gay couple who can’t agree over what colour tile or what design of bathroom taps they are prepared to life with.

On Sunday, after having an engineer friend of ours inspect the property and advised us of what could and could not be done, we signed the contract and the purchase was set in motion. Monday morning as I awoke from a tranquil nights sleep the realization sunk in - we just bought a house and we are going to have to renovate! I took a deep breath and on exhaling I completely freaked out! Pale as a ghost a sea of concerns washed over me: What have we gotten ourselves into? Will we have enough money? Who is going to do all the work? We haven’t even sold our property yet! We will only have four weeks to have the renovations completed before the contractors’ annual leave in December! My brain felt like it was short circuiting as I had my little panic attack and hyperventilated.

Now in full panic mode I Googled every possible contracting company in and around our town and started making frantic phone calls. Before end of business I secured four companies to do site inspections and to provide us with quotes. I dread to think what to total will amount to and strongly suspect suffering another hyperventilation attack upon receiving the first few quotations. We probably will not be able to afford to do everything that is on our wish list but we sure will try to come close.

The first site inspection is scheduled for tomorrow and what seems to be a mammoth task officially will start with the screening of this first contractor. I truly feel sorry for who ever we award the contract to as they will be in for a though time. No one can nit-pick, complain and bitch about final finishes as we can. The words “I am paying for this and I want it perfect!” are words they will soon grow sick off. "What don't you understand about a BUDGET?!" most probably will be the next phrase they will come to hate. They better be miracle workers with great patience and exceptional workmanship or else all of us will have grey hair by the end. Worst case scenario - someone will disappear into a cement grave and become a permanent hidden fixture of the house!

Having survived house hunting hell and finally having found the proverbial needle in the gaystack, part of our relocation battle has been won. Now the war with the renovations and contractors starts. At the end of the day I am sure it will all be worth it if we survive it!

Till next time!

Two Gay Construction Guys

Monday, September 21, 2009

Todd M. Dobson's Thoughts (Caster Semenya)

I love it when a normal day is underway and I’m surprised by learning unexpected lessons. I spidered my way to a Facebook friends (Pierre Le Roux) blog to read what promised to be an interesting post (Warfare: The Delightful and Dreary Sides to Gay Life). The article Mr. le Roux delicately wrote, details the tribulations of world known athletic runner Mokgadi Caster Semenya, who finds herself in the midst of an embroiled controversy questioning her sex.

I stated that correctly, those who stand opposite Ms. Semenya are challenging whether she is a woman or a man. Mr. Le Roux expresses very poignantly his opinion that in this case he believes Ms. Semenya is placed in the between category of Intersexed, formally known by many as Hermaphrodite. To be an intersex person, one must either have some of both sexual genitalia or in even fewer cases neither (androgynous). However, it is so much more complicated than having a hoohoo and/or a winkie, because there is much that makes either function. This doesn’t even mention all that goes behind the physical parts into the psychological aspects of a person’s sex.

This is a more commonly known issue than people think, but it is one that very few wish to discuss, therefore as a society we don’t even think about it. It is only thought about when parents find that they are faced with having a baby being born this way. Those parents have no clue what to do other than what their immediate doctor recommends. Most physicians try to separate themselves from their work; but human beings can no longer leave their personal ideologies at the door than you can the physical aspects of this issue. However, it is far more than just the presence of extra parts. Some doctors will try to force the new parents into making a decisions right then upon the birth of their child as to its sex. They feel that corrective surgery must be performed immediately to make the child the chosen sex of the parents. This is truly demonstrative, because you have a fifty-fifty chance at making the right decision. But what does a parent do when they make the wrong decision?

Most psychiatric doctors would tell the family to treat the child only as the sex that was chosen for the child, but what of natural selection. This brings the conversation square with one that I have been arguing with Christians over for years, I was born male, and yet I was also born gay. Most Christians are taught by the organized religion that sexuality is a choice, but this might prove them wrong. When a soul is born into this world with both genitalia, why then do parents, doctors (mental or physical) believe anyone but that soul can define what or who they truly are?
With that being said, times have changed many things and for now, half of the physical doctors coach parents to hold off on corrective surgery until such time as the child starts to show masculine or feminine tendencies. The surgery should be done before they enter their hormonal years, so that means before teen years. The truly horrible aspects are; most children are developing both masculine and feminine propensities during these formative years. Some even continue nurturing them through puberty and some even beyond into their twenties.

All of this to point out my primary ideology from the very onset: why can’t we just accept someone like Ms. Semenya for who she is…as she is? If she chooses to be defined as one sex over the other, then it might be the right time for surgical action. If she accepts herself physically as she was born, who are any of us to tell her she’s wrong. Our position should be to LOVE, HONOR & RESPECT the living soul that she is. Nothing less than that will do. She is no greater than we are, nor is she less than we are! She is a living, breathing human who deserves everything that we expect for ourselves.

As for the next time parents are faced with such a decision at the birth of their child…LOVE that being you were graced with as they enter this world. HONOR that they are a part of each of you and perfect exactly as they come to you. Above all, RESPECT that this soul will endure enough from such cruel, hateful people that cannot see them as anything other than the unique and beautiful soul they are.

I wish Mokgadi Caster Semenya love as she traverses this treacherous world of ours. I also hope that the governing body that has brought such attention to a graceful woman, that you see the soul before you as she is, treating her with LOVE, HONOR & RESPECT as you would have all others regard you. Allow her to continue her athletic pursuits without fail.
– Todd M Dobson

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Intersexuality & Hermaphrodites

Mokgadi Caster Semenya (South African middle-distance runner and world champion) has been the centre of controversy the last few weeks. Doubt about her gender started to surface and consequently she had to submit to some rather degrading tests to determine her gender. It has been rumored that Semenya is a hermaphrodite (having both male and female reproductive organs) or is an intersex (term adopted by medicine during the 20th century applied to human beings whose biological sex cannot be classified as either male or female). This led me to ask, what are our own attitude towards people like this and where do they fit in society.

Having seen and heard Semenya on television admittedly she does not seem to sound or appear very feminine. With a muscular build and deep voice it is easy to understand how the rumours developed. Having now submitted to tests the result of which will be made known only in November this year, the public and local- and international media continues to speculate. The manner in which the issue have been dealt with is, in my opinion, deplorable. The poor woman has been degraded and her athletic achievement diminished and now could be permanently tarnished. If she is found to be a hermaphrodite or intersex it could be argued that she had an unfair advantage and how this will affect her career one can only assume it’s going to be utter devastation.
The exact number of hermaphrodites and intersex individuals in the world is unknown to me. The little that I do know is that in some hermaphrodite cases the parents are given an informed choice by a doctor to decide what gender the child would keep when corrective surgery is preformed. However, even after corrective surgery it can not be guaranteed that the person will be comfortable with their assigned gender later in life and their sexual preference could also pose a challenge.

Being born intersex or hermaphrodite and having a relationship with a person of any other gender, could that person be classified as being in a homosexual relationship? In Semenya’s case her physical appearance and traits could make one assume that she might be a stereotypical “butch lesbian”, and if she is found to be an intersex or hermaphrodite even in a “heterosexual” relationship her biology could qualify her “technically” to also be homosexual.
In the gay community we seem to prefer to only include Gays, Lesbians, Bi-Sexuals and Transsexuals (GLBT) and noticeably omit hermaphrodites and intersex people. This made me to further wonder why this is. Is the gay community purposefully shying away from this group due to the stigma associated with them or is their case so highly unique that their inclusion is not justified?
In the case of hermaphrodites and intersex people it is often congenital and is a physical biological anomaly that occurs in 0.1% to 0.2% of all births, therefore making the condition rare, unique and a physical deformity. Yes, it can be argued that no matter whether corrective surgery have been preformed on them or not they would inevitably end up being in a homosexual relationship no matter what their actual sexual preference. It is my opinion that this segment of society does not qualify for inclusion in the GLBT community, as true homosexuality entails both parties in a relationship to be attracted to the same gender and that the chromosome and genital anomalies of the one party does not truly make such a person or that relationship gay. Being a member of a minority group I have a natural tendency to be fiercely protective of any other minority groups, hermaphrodites and intersex people are no different. They are people that didn’t choose to be born in the bodies they have, some living with an embarrassing secret and others when exposed are left to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives alone.

The case of Caster Semenya truly is an interesting one, but she is by no means the first athlete who has been shrouded in this type of controversy. The same happened to the Indian athlete Santhi Soundarajan who was stripped of her medal at the 2006 Asian Games after failing a gender verification test and was found to be a hermaphrodite. Perhaps the earliest case was Stanislawa Walasiewicz (aka Stella Walsh) a Polish athlete who won a gold medal at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, but who after her death in 1980 was discovered to have had partially developed male genitalia. What will happen to Semenya? I guess we will have to wait and see. Did she want to become world famous due to perhaps being a hermaphrodite, I think not. Never the less, what ever the outcome I believe Semenya should be supported.

Till next time.

Michael Johnson's views on Caster Semenya

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

3 Tons of Fun and the Coke Head!

Hairstylist much like fashion designers can be quite bitchy and fiercely competitive creatures. This past Sunday hubby and I were invited to attend the Trend Vision South African Finals of which our hairstylist was a finalist. If you put a bunch of hairstylist together in one room under stressful conditions and throw alcohol into the mix it can only lead to one thing – a party and tons of fun!!!

Our stylist have been preparing for this competition for the last nine months, working tirelessly to perfect his colour and cut and hubby was commissioned to design the outfit that would complete the final look. Months of planning, stress and hard work would culminate into this one day of judging and a final runway show that would determine who would win and have the honor to compete at the International finals in Berlin Germany later this year.
On arrival at the hotel the staff immediately knew that we were part of the Wella Group Booking, I think the blond and the black Mohawks pretty much gave us away. We settled into our quirky room waiting to hook up with our stylist, his wife and their model. Upon their arrival our stylist was slightly boozed up already, and as his wife pointed out that you could tell he was tipsy by his wondering left eye. We had a few glasses as champagne before they disappeared for the final rehearsal. The model was instructed to intimidate all the other models as only she can. Earlier that day two woman were talking about her in hearing distance and said she was beautiful, tactful as she is she turned to them with a polite smile saying “yes, I am” – you cannot buy self-confidence like that!
An hour before the show was scheduled to start hubby and I and the rest of the “poofter possy” decided to queue in front of the door, as there were no reserved seats. The moment that door opened a mini stamped ensued as we were all elbowing people out of the way and recklessly throwing our tickets at the staff as we rushed to claim the best seats in the house. Settling into our front row seats the show started. We were entertained with a trapeze act and a cabaret show by three obese ladies appropriately named “3 Tons of Fun”. When our stylist model emerged from a cloud of smoke my jaw dropped with amazement. They truly saved the best for last. Our stylist nailed it, and the model burned up that runway with oozing self-confidence and dramatic flare.

After being wowed, the talented 3 tons of lard entertained with a few more melodies. After what felt like an eternity the 3 whales left the stage just before it could buckle and the results was announced. When it came to our stylist’s category my hands were sweating and I could hear my heart beat in chest. Our stylist was sitting in a strained attention with his wife tucked into his arm. When the words “and the winner is” was uttered a dramatic paused followed with the whole of the poofter possy softly vocalizing our stylist’s name. Then our stylist’s name graced the announcer’s lips and nine months of hard work finally paid off – triumph!!!
Then the party started and alcohol flowed. Many congratulations and drinks came my stylist way and the odd bitchy remarks by sore losers could not be avoided. As we all got juiced up some other people got high. Two ladies in particular seemed to have enjoyed their little white powders too much and they were obviously in an altered state of reality. One coke head introduced herself to me as the “fairy princess” and the other one had an inappropriate relationship with a white feather. The most amusing part was one of the salon staff members who loves her tequila (as do I) who didn’t want to go home and kept on hiding behind hubby and I and at one stage leopard crawling to the bar thinking her boyfriend (who was responsible and did not drink) would not see her. Well he did, allowed her one more tequila and then very diplomatically took her drunken ass home. Naturally, after they kicked us out of the venue at midnight we took the party to the hotel. Hubby missed a few steps on our way there to the great amusement of the group. The model said that if they won she would streak through the hotel and the stylist would join her wearing her bra. So guess what, she did! I accompanied the two crazy semi-naked people through 3 floors of the hotel. Strangely enough even in his drunken state my stylist noticed the CCTV cameras and was worried security would kick us out. Personally, I think the people in the security control room had loads of fun watching our antics and that the security video should be on YouTube soon. At least I had all my clothes on and nobody was “technically” naked, but indecent we were indeed.

After a couple of hours sleep it was time to check out. Tequila and their friends left quite a mess in my head after their party and I felt like death warmed up. Protected by my sunglasses I proceeded to settle our account. The hotel seemed brighter than usual and the staff and their little gadgets excessively loud and abrasive. After forcing some food into my body and a strong cup of coffee, we were on our way home where I spent the better part of the day nursing my hang-over.

Looking back on the competition and the party we had, I am tremendously proud of our stylist for winning and being a representative of South Africa’s best talent abroad in Berlin. I am sure he and his team will do us proud. The only draw back is that we aren’t going with and hubby’s fashion creations seems to travel more than he does; having been to London, Milan, Paris and now Berlin. Concerning the party, it was great fun but once a year is quite enough as anymore would definitely lead to my liver asking for a bail out.

Till next time.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rear Ended!

How I just adore ending a busy not so pleasant week with a bang. I have only been in two car accidents in my whole life, both rather minor. Being a good driver I firmly believed that I would not be in a third. Gosh, how presumptuous can one be. So today at 2:20pm, on a clear spring day it happened. I was rear ended and not in a good way. Being slightly shaken, a little bit pissed off and grossly annoyed I have to go jump like a show dog through several hoops to get my insurance to pay out. The prospect of this unexpected additional drudgery is turning this little “ray of sun shine” into a “little thundercloud”. Regardless how I may feel, I am glad I have insurance.
Minding my own business at a slip way with my car peacefully idling and waiting my turn to enter the road I am abruptly jerked out of my Zen serenity. Without warning my car flies forward, my sunglasses is ripped of my face and in the shock of moment I am left confused: What just happened? Did I take my foot of the clutch by accident? If I did that then way was there a load noise? As my car comes to a halt and my eyes readjust to the sharp sunlight, I pick up my sun glasses from the dashboard put them back on and look into my rear view mirror. Behind me I see a white car with a very pale and shocked driver and passenger. The horrified expression on their faces notified to what transpired – they crashed into me. As the bitch in me wanted to surface I remembered what my mom use to say “always be nice when you’re in an accident, people do not give you their correct details if they think you are going to kill them!” So, I rummaged through my gay man bag for a pen and paper. I took a couple deep breaths before exiting my car to prepare me for the shock I was to find on inspecting the damage.
As I stepped out of my car walking towards the back of it I noticed the other car’s windscreen was cracked on two places – two places where the driver and his passenger hit their heads. They were not wearing safety belts. Still being pissed off I was concerned that they might be injured so I walked over to their car to ask them if they were ok. The driver looked scared as this angry platinum blond gay guy who is visibly fuming was making his way towards him. Reaching their car with his now almost completely rolled window I asked two questions “Are you guys ok?” and “Do you have insurance?”. He answered in the affirmative to both. I then proceeded to ask him to get out his car so I could take down his details. The front his car was completely wrecked and the back of my car damaged but less severely in comparison. While taking down his details he begged me not to phone his dad before he had a chance to speak to him first. Honestly at that point I could give a damn about what his father was going to do to him, but I respected his wishes as I knew for sure he was going to be in trouble anyway.
Arriving at the police station to report the accident my calm demeanor soon changed as I was informed I had to go to another police station to file a report - the accident didn’t happen in their jurisdiction. That was so the wrong thing to say to me at that time! Feeling like I just went through a traumatic event I decided to throw a hissy fit, as only a slightly effeminate gay guy can. I refused to go to another station and demanded to file my report there. There was absolutely no reasoning with this blond as I was now angry and determined. For some reason the police officer thought raising his voice would get his point across. Naturally I also raised mine in response and told him there was nothing wrong with my hearing and whether he liked it or not I will file my report with them. By this time the whole of the police station was looking at me as if I was crazy. In retrospect it was more post traumatic shock than being crazy, but I did get my way at the end.

Arriving home I contacted my insurance company, calmly informed them of my splendid afternoon and they e-mailed me their claim form with an annexure with a detailed description of everything I have to do, get and go through to get my car fixed. It took me a while to complete the form being asked everything apart from requesting a DNA sample. So on Monday I will be getting quotes, possibly throwing more hissy fits, and bitching about it to all that that will listen and also those who don’t. Being in an accident is an inconvenience but I am grateful no one got hurt. At least everyone is still alive; our cars are dented and we will be adding additional chores to our busy schedules, but shit happens! Like a friend have been quoted as saying “Put your big girl panties on and deal with it” so deal with it I will.

Till next time.

Kathy Griffin - Allegedly

Monday, September 7, 2009


They say change is just as good as a holiday. Seeing as my tranquil island holiday is still four months away I decided to settle for change in the interim. What did I get up to this time, you may ask. The answer is simple I bleached my hair. I went from being a normal blond to platinum blond. Having altered the way I look I was now left to wait and see if change indeed would break the monotony of my daily toils and indeed inject some new energy into my life as one would expect.

A simple haircut or colour can make a world of difference when one is in desperate need of a kick-in-the-ass when you are feeling stuck in a rut or have just been through an ordeal such as a breakup. Many of my female and male friends have under gone drastic transformation after their breakups and shedding their locks and/or changing their hair colour has been like leaving the pain and memories behind and turning over a new leaf. So after a couple of stressful months at work, just loosing a property that we desperately wanted to purchase (which did feel very similar to a breakup) I was due for a little fashion renovation. It didn’t take much convincing from my crazily artistic stylist to convince me to once again push the boundaries. After more than five hours in the salon having all the colour fried out of my hair follicles I emerged as a white as snow platinum gay god! Or at least that how I felt!

Upon my arrival home, hubby was visibly taken aback with my new look but seemed to like it. His first words were of concern asking me what the people at my work are going to say. Working with a group of people in a fairly conservative milieu and not taking well to change or drastic fashion statements, hubby’s concern was well justified. My colleagues reaction to change could be similar to that of nuns should they learn pink is the new black of their habits. On Monday morning I was admittedly nervous arriving at the office. I snuck past some of my colleagues offices and avoided my boss. Unfortunately avoiding him was not an option!

News of my “drastic” change spread through the building faster than the average bad office gossip. Soon my phone rang and an ominous sounding voice summoned me to the boardroom where my whole department already congregated. Stepping into the room my heart skipped a few beats and I was sure I was going to be reprimanded for transgressing some clause of our overly stringent dress code. I sat down looking nervously across the table at my boss trying to ascertain his mood and trying to interpret the looks I was getting. Was it shock, anger or disbelieve? The meeting progressed and ended without any reference being made about my hair – it truly was the white elephant in the room. Having shocked these people so many times in the past they must have become immune to my weird hairstyles, unique sense of fashion and flaming fagotary; all they are left to do is ask – what next?

The reaction to my new look has been met with varied responses from my friends and family as well. Showing up for Sunday lunch at the in-laws the only thing they did was role their eyes, sighed and then we went about our family visit as usual. One of my least tactful friends asked me whether I was preparing to have a nervous breakdown as my hair would now perfectly match the outfit I would wear in the padded room at the mental hospital – he obviously didn’t care for the new look. However, the majority of the responses were favourable most wanting to know whether this was a one time thing or whether the look will stay around for a while. I am yet to decide that for myself.

People’s reactions to me in public hasn’t really changed that much. I have noticed the odd stare here and there, but I guess it’s only because it’s “different” and “not natural”; two terms I have become accustomed being gay. Who wants to be just like everybody else and have natural coloured hair anyway? I can’t even remember what my natural hair colour is, yes it has been that long! Having made such a drastic change forces one to carry the new look with confidence and pride because whether you like it or not, deal well with the reactions of others or not, you will be stuck with your platinum locks for a good few weeks if not months to come.

They say blonds have more fun, the truth of this I am still waiting to discover. Amongst the sea of blond jokes that are raining down on me via e-mail and looking in the mirror and sometimes having to take a second glance to make sure it is indeed me I must say the change has done me a world of good thus far. I have noticed a slight increase in “blond moments” to the great amusement of others and am having fun with it. All things considered I think I have achieved my goal: I have injected a new energy into my life; the monotony at work has been broken as others have something new to gossip about and the status quo have been challenged yet again. However, change is not just as good as a holiday as I am still tired but at least now I know I’ll make it to my actual holiday.

Till next time.

Raw Comedy Stand up.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I should apply for Asylum

The recent ruling by Canada to grant the South African Brandon Huntley asylum has ruffled the feathers of many political pigeons as the proverbial cat has caused a Public Relations nightmare. William Davis (Chairperson of the Board) ruled that Huntley was the victim of crime due to his race rather than being a victim of criminality. While in South Africa Huntley was allegedly violently attacked 7 times by black South Africans and claimed to be truly scared to return. Pondering on the issue made me question the state of crime in my country, whether this ruling is justified and whether there is any truth in the message this sends out to the rest of the world.
After the ruling I looked at my black colleagues and friends with suspicion, wondered when they will turn against me. Driving home every black person appeared to be a threat as according to Huntley they are all out to get “payback” for what happened during Apartheid. All white people should be scared to death as you never know when the “Black Danger” (a term used during Apartheid) will strike! No white person is safe, no matter where you are or what your political affiliation or nationality. If you are white the blacks will seek you out and harm you. If you see a black person on the street you better clutch your purse tighter and make sure your pepper spray is in hand as they will have no mercy and they are all vengeful criminals. Also don’t think that the police will assist or protect you because they just don’t give a damn. What a load of bullshit!
It is true that South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world with violent crime being prevalent. However, stating that crime is racially motivated seems quite bizarre. Yes, the majority of criminals arrested are black but there’s a quite simple explanation for this: There are more black people in South Africa than white people but this doesn’t mean that there are no white criminals. If we really want to be controversial we can blame most of the crime in South Africa on the immigrant communities of the Nigerians and Zimbabweans as they run most of the drug trade, human trafficking, house theft and car hijacking syndicates. Yes they are also black but at least they are NOT South African!!!
Having been a victim of crime as well, I never felt I was being specifically targeted because I’m white. They didn’t burgle my house because they knew that two white guys lived there. They must have burgled our house because they knew we had nice things. Everybody knows homosexuals have good taste! I was rather targeted for being gay! Maybe I should apply for asylum with this defence: I live in fear in South Africa because I am gay. Even though homosexuality is legal and we can get married I spent my days a nervous wreck not knowing when or where the heterosexuals will attack or victimize me. Here I can include all races and don’t have to specify or sound like a racist. I have also been the victim of crime 5 times in my life and if I really wanted to I can make it appear as if I was a victim due to my sexual orientation.

Racially motivated crime truly poses a conundrum as we really cannot be sure that the crime was racially motivated. People of all races fall victim to crime in South Africa, it’s not just the defenceless pitiable white people. We can also not say crime is a result of revenge due to Apartheid as such statements are baseless and irresponsible in the absence of supporting evidence.

Not knowing the exact details of the crimes Huntley was a victim off, we cannot criticize the Canadian Board’s decision. However, I am sure the ruling will be reviewed. The Board makes their ruling based on individual cases and circumstances. In Davis’ ruling regarding Huntley’s application he stated:

“The evidence… shows a picture of indifference and inability or unwillingness of the government and the security forces to protect white South Africans from persecution by African South Africans”.

Being a “White” South African I have never felt I needed protection from persecution by “African” South Africans. The only times I do feel persecuted is during tax filing season when I actually owe the tax man money and I don’t even know whether he/she is black or white. South Africa does have a problem with crime but to make it an issue of racism is preposterous and using it to justify an asylum application remarkably audacious!

I hope Bradon Hartley keeps his asylum status (refugee status) in Canada as after this unwanted bad publicity and resulting Public Relations nightmare for the South African Department of Foreign Affairs, I do not think the politicians and the powers that be would welcome him back in the country with open arms anytime soon. I wonder how many other South African’s abroad are going to attempt to apply for asylum using the same queer argument.

Asylum should be granted to people who truly need it due to a real threat of persecution and/or genuine threat to their lives.

Till next time.
Racism in Elevators

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