terça-feira, 3 de outubro de 2006

I. On homophobia and other issues...

This is how a student from Cyprus decided to protest. At first it seems paradoxical, contradictory, even shocking, I'd say...
But then again, what a fabulous idea!


From Bruce @ «Not so different»


i) "Throughout western and central Europe, without a politically active and potent Church to turn homophobia into doctrine and then into law, the way is open for reason to prevail and for gay people to be able to claim their rights."

It's happening already, slowly but steadily, in Spain and, in a lesser extent, in Portugal. The Penal Code is about to be revised, and more severe penalties have been added in cases of sexual hatred, homophobia, etc. I can only hope this new Code will be approved by National Assembly without the usual tricks from right‑wing hypocrites. And more I won't say for glass roofs are all over…

ii) "Even if a European gay man manages to move away [from his home town] to a different city, he is still expected to, and almost always does maintain very close contact with his family, even if they are inveterate homophobes. This situation is most extreme in Italy, where a man’s ties to his mother are legendary, but it is even true in the northern countries. It is, therefore, very difficult for a European gay man to separate emotionally from a family that refuses to accept his sexual orientation."

I believe this situation is gradually changing, though very, very slowly indeed. The Mamma character is overwhelming in Southern Europe. And this seems still to be undisputable…

iii) "Contributing to this problem is the general physical immobility of European society. Most Europeans grow up, are educated, work, and die in or very near the city where they were born. Also, unlike more recent American society, changing jobs too often is seen, in Europe as a sign of unreliability, disloyalty, and general instability."

This is perhaps the problem's touchstone as I see it. I am a «good» example of both geographical immobility and unchanged job (though I've recently tried to reverse the situation, but it's not easy at all.) There are still far too many hindrances along the way.

iv) "If personal blog sites do exist among gay Europeans (…), I would assume that they would be used primarily by very young people."

This is my opinion as well. Most of Portuguese overtly gay bloggers (as far as I could assess myself the situation up till now) are young people indeed attending University.

v) "All these factors considered, therefore, I would say that it is probably easier to be gay in the US, especially in a city, than it is in Europe. Despite much firmer legal status and protection, and despite more or less the same degree of acceptance by the straight community, European gay men have a somewhat more difficult time integrating their sexual identity into their everyday lives than their American brothers do."

… As I would have most certainly not said it better, here is the quote of Bruce's latest article (not post!) on these candent matters. Please, do read it at «Not so different»! (Click here or at my blogroll on Bruce.)

… And don't forget it, dear blogger friends! Your opinions do matter! And I would like very much to hear them!

8 comentários:

Minge disse...

I think it's easier for gay people in the USA, they can move to a large cosmoploitan city, if they come from a wee village in the Bible Belt. However, I don't think it's easier *to be* gay. American society is much more polarized than the European. Sure, there are some fabulously open minded liberals, but there are also some very terrible people indeed. Klu Klux Klan, the Baptist Church, right-wing Republicans... Matthew Shepherd, a case in point. Seen "Boys Don't Cry"?

RIC disse...

Oh Minge, what a fabulous cultural concept: the Bible Belt!!! Where everything depends on criationism.

Well, Southern Europe is no piece of cake either. Name me a «Mamma» who wouldn't mind her lovely boy turning into a faggot instead of a macho f...king all the girls in the village?

No, I haven't watched «Boys Don't Cry», but some bells are ringing. I'll look into it.

Minge disse...

Why is life so complex?

Bruce disse...

Yes, I have to agree. If you happen to be stuck in the "wrong side" of America, and can't get out, your situation is worse than any place in western Europe. If you are overtly gay in a small, provincial town in southern Europe, for example, you may be ostracized and humiliated; in the US Bible belt, you may very well be lynched.

RIC disse...

... Because, Minge, we're complex, because we're imperfect, because...

RIC disse...

Yes, Bruce, I believe I've never had doubts about that.
In Portugal, where we're supposed to have «smooth customs», any overtly gay guy in a village or even small town is nevertheless the «court fool» and will be scorned till madness.

Gray disse...

No one nation nor no one part of the world has a monopoly on homophobia!

Only through education will people one day begin to understand. Education in the various churches, temples and mosques as well as education in schools, universities and halls of governments.

[As an aside: Moving to a large comopolitan city in the States is no guarantee of having ones' homosexual lifestyle accepted. One might find more homosexuals in those cities but bigotry, discrimination and hatred are alive and well in those cities as well!]

RIC disse...

Thank you, Gray! I believe what you just wrote as an aside may be far more important than we tend to think. Large metropolitan areas may work as refuges for those coming from small towns and villages. But there's a price to be paid: absolute anonymity. That is why today so many lonely people live in urban areas. And this problem is still growing...
Greetings from Lisbon!