Recently, I watched a very depressing and heartbreaking documentary on China Global Television News, CGTN.
It was the story of how a transgender male by the name Dandara, living near the slums of Fortazela, Brazil, was picked up by one of his long time male patronisers, and after having had sex with him, tricked him to the most homophobic area of the slum where phobia for queer people was on record high. There, about 6 to 10 youths and teenage boys brutalized, beat and mobbed the transgender male to death in a manner so gruesome it left me shocked for days after watching the film.
More depressing was the fact that, one of the gang members had the heart to even film the whole event and then uploaded it on the internet after killing the poor guy.
The brutal killing of Dandara was just one and the latest in a long string of killings of transgender and gay people in that country, in a region often described as being tolerant. The Trans Community of Brazil say so many hate related deaths like that of Dandara have been recorded in Brazil over the years. In fact, ultra-Catholic Brazil is rated as number one among countries with the most vicious attacks on queer people, and one of the most dangerous places on earth for transgender people to live in.
Although, I have written a number of articles on why I believe people should accept homosexuals the way they are, watching that documentary movie left me asking what was wrong with being gay or transgender? Why can’t society simply come to grips with the fact that queer people are people too?
I have made this point a million times every where I have had the opportunity to speak, homosexuality isn’t bad, it’s entirely normal and natural. I mean, how is consensual sex and love between two adults, male on male or female on female, anyone’s business? How does the fact that a man chooses to be who he wants to be or a woman chooses to love who she wants to love a problem, especially if they didn’t step on other people’s rights?
I think it is the homophobic people who today are calling for the heads of queer people who, in fact, are sick in the mind because people’s sexual preferences should not affect them any more than musical tastes or preference in food and drink does.
If you don’t like rap, don’t go to the concert. If you don’t want beef, go get fish. How is this difficult to understand? Why mob a man to death because he choose to be who is wants to be or chooses to be with another man?
This is not rocket science. Yet, in many societies, it’s taught that it is bad to be LGBTq for reasons which are religious, stupid and selfish.
Humanity has been teaching itself lies for as long as man has probably existed. It wasn’t that long ago in the USA, people get enslaved because of the colour of their skin. It’s within living memory of most people that Apartheid existed in South Africa, where rights were entirely dependent on skin colour and race.
The story is the same for most countries, especially Arab ones, who withheld the vote from women, prohibited them from driving etc purely because of gender.
However, I believe there is good news for LGBTQ+ people because most of these issues are slowly being resolved, even though in many societies, people are still being taught that it is wrong to be gay, but with what is happening to women in Saudi Arabia and people elsewhere generally, I believe there is a ray of hope, maybe in a 100 years, humanity will look back on the way they treated LGBTQ+ people the same way they now look back on how white people treated black people for so long in the past.
Most religious people are to blame for the evil treatment of LGBTQ+ people around the world today because they continue to teach that being gay is wrong, and it’s hard for people to reject what they’ve been taught especially when such teachers were inculcated at childhood, and the teachers continue to insist that they are drawing their teaching and authority from sacred texts.
However, just like in many countries, until recently, it was illegal for a black person to marry a white person, one day, I believe we will look back in horror, shame and shock on our current shameless and satanic treatment of LGBTQ+ people, on the arbitrary and pointless discrimination of today.
In previous articles I made the point that Jesus Christ did not condemn homosexuals, Sodom and Gomorrah isn’t about homosexuality, but human beings are a complex kind of hypocritical animal, who delights in lying to himself for reasons I still find hard to reconcile till today.
My advice to the LGBTQ+ community across the world is this, be careful, know the laws of the land you choose to live in, be careful who you love, stay true to who you are, stay focused, and have faith in the GOD who loves all people equally irrespective of who they choose to love, because one day soon, respite would come to you…
I dedicate this piece to Dandara and everyone whose been killed for for simply being who they are or choosing to love who they want…
Albert Afeso Akanbi is a Novelist, Researcher, Columnist and Humanitarian. He lives in Abuja, FCT, Nigeria. Email: [email protected]