|I demand respect for my individuality!|
I am astonishingly fond of my community. Really, I love Khayelitsha with all my heart; it’s my home. However, despite having spent the entire 23 years of my life there, I still feel odd, almost like I do not belong there. My way of doing things is questioned every day. My posture is laughed at and my preferences are frowned upon. Basically I am not accepted nor am I respected.
Quite frankly, I am not bothered by the acceptance part. However the lack of respect for my choices in this community really makes my blood boil. I speak on behalf of my brothers and sisters who love on the same sex, my friends living with albinism and my neighbours from other African countries. I even stand for our Rastafarian populace and all the other groups that are regarded as minor because they do not roll with the societal norms.
We are tired of having to explain ourselves and what we stand for. I say “we” because I know with utmost certainty that I am not alone in this struggle, many other people from the groups I have mentioned fight a continuous battle for acceptance or at least respect. We are subject to countless unfound stereotypes that result in gay bashing, xenophobic attacks, public mockery and, in worst case scenarios, murder. All of this because we are different from the rest.This needs to come to an end! We do not want to be celebrated; all we plead for is respect. A bit of tolerance would not hurt either. Beyond the way we look, our beliefs and our sexual orientation, there are emotions. The cruelty we face everyday does a lot of damage on our wellbeing. So before you voice your hateful remarks next time put that in consideration