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BrokeBack Mirror

May 15, 2007

It was via this blogopoly post (Greek)(3) where I caught up with an issue that seemingly rocks a small rural town in Greece. It seems like two native men were married somewhere in Europe and many other natives have nothing but their affair to talk (or most possibly gossip) about.

Having lived in (the otherwise beautiful) rural Greece I can easily reconstruct the mindset and imagine the style and tempo of such conversations. You don’t wanna know. Yet, again this isn’t to be seen only in Greece but in other seemingly advanced countries as well. If you want a relevant post refering to US South have a look here.

I have the feeling that hostility towards homosexuality is inversely proportional to the general cultural level. I also believe that this kind of hostility goes hand in hand with general intolerance towards whatever strays from the mainstream. Be it religion, life style, political views. Should we accept that intolerance is insecurity we come to the conclusion that such behaviors are to be expected by people that are afraid of assimilation because they themselves cannot stand on their own cultural feet.

To put it simply. If your live in an irrational frame set you have every reason to be afraid that any other suggestion might unroot your way of living just because it gives people more joy. So, you fight it to defend your way of living because you are a slave to it and you don’t know another way to live.

I wonder how many criticizers of gays do have a happy erotic and family life. How many of them do live inside a dead marriage without love and sex. How many are being tempted (or already have) cheated their mates to get that little of Eros drug in their veins, to feel alive just a bit. How many do get back to a home to find a waiting hug. How many do sleep by seeing bad porn and trash TV. How many have ever realized just for a fucking moment that they lead a dead life. How many of their kids know what love is and how not to deny it for cheap senseless sex. How many do have a certain higher purpose in life other than eat-work-fuck-sleep.

If the story of the Greek gay couple is true then those two guys seem to the eyes of many like a spike in a flat line. They decided to follow their selves. They decided to answer their call. To cut out of the mainstream which might safely lead all sheep to the slaughter house but it will never serve any specific sheep to find its own way. These two are a mirror and they reflect the dead faces of their judges. And mirrors is something dead people hate. And they react the only way they know. By throwing stones to break them.

brokeback.jpg

PS 1: 17th of May is the international day against homophobia (IDAHO). You can see a relevant TV spot in blogopoly’s post.

PS 2: For what is worth, this post is dedicated to memory of Matthew Shepard.

Notes/Credits/etc:
1. I should point out that such criticizing behaviors do not, by any means, characterize the majority of Greeks. It’s just that, as you might know from personal experience, that venomous criticizers tend to yell while serious people talk quietly. But, as you might also know, yelling is like fireworks. Just a boom. Quiet reasonable talking, on the other hand, is like the stars. They’re gonna last much more.

2. Image is the main poster of the “Brokeback Mountain” movie. An excellent movie based on an even better book.

3. Just to keep references staight blogopoly’s post is a reference to this original post (Greek).

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10 comments

  1. i’m very surprised… last time i was in greece it didn’t seem homophobic at all…


  2. Great post! 🙂


  3. @ Dule: Well, that depends on where you’ve been. In general I can’t say that there is such problem but still there are pockets in country where people think otherwise.

    @ Sarah: Thank you dear Sarah

    Thank you both for coming by and commending pals 🙂


  4. I like your allegory of the noisy fireworks and the contemplating stars.

    So, rather than making a noisy comment I´d rather point out, that if my son would ever look down upon someone just from what he assumed was going on in his/her bedroom, I´d be forced to realise that I must have done something wrong in his upbringing.

    Bad manners. Really bad manners.


  5. “that depends on where you’ve been”
    athens, thessaloniki, katerini, olypia and delphi… these places seemed ok…

    “there are pockets in country where people think otherwise.”
    which reminds me, are women still banned from mount athos? what’s happening with this issue? i heard something about greek government’s intention to force the church to allow women to enter monasteries


  6. @ Allan: Couldn’t agree more dear Allan. I, too, would be seriously pissed off both with my son and with my inability to get him to understand the basics.

    @ Dule: Well, those places pretty much cover a large percentage of Greece :).
    I haven’t heard anything about Athos. If there was such a big change though I believe I’d knew about it. Yet, I think that Church has to do a lot more than just permitting women to enter Athos. I’d be more akin to see it giving some of its property to the poor. That’d be more conformant with Jesus teachings, in my humble opinion.

    Thank you both for floating here guys 🙂


  7. if my life were just eat-work-fuck-sleep i’d not survive you know. i have been wondering though -how do we counter judgmental behavior without judging? because if i’m being unfairly judged and then decide somebody is “wrong” to have that opinion-then i too am being judgemental of their behavior.

    surely if i want them to accept me no matter how i behave, then i must accept them too-“i don’t like that you’re gay and i don’t think it’s right” vs….”i don’t like that you don’t like that i’m gay and i don’t think it’s right”…etc. can we ever get away from it? is it not just to be accepted by virtue of our humanity that we will not all agree and to leave it at that. who knows. i am only earthling.


  8. Hallo dear Michelle 🙂

    Well you might also counter judgemental behaviour just by ignoring it but don’t get too technical about it. If someone is being unfair to you, that makes you very well eligible to fight for your own rights. You’re not being judgemental if you’re defending yourself and the values you stand for.

    I also don’t think it’s a question of accepting someone no matter how s/he behaves. One’s rights are suppossed to end where another’s begin. Yet, I cannot see any harm done by two men loving each other (and that’s why I’m supporting them and every other gay). It’s also not a disagreement between equals. The way I see it, it is a society against two men and that drives me crazy. It reminds me of a group of dogs that round up a helpless man.


  9. i don’t know really. and this is just my opinion-if i’m sure of my values and rights i would hardly feel the need to constantly defend them, i feel others are also free to believe what they like, even if it’s “i hate gay people” or “you’re an ass” or whatever.

    my reply is usually: “i’m ok with that” which is my way of saying, i certainly won’t substitute your judgement for mine, but feel free to have your beliefs, good luck”

    -unless of course i was in a life-theatening situation or my rights were being opressed as in laws about racial issues, or outward, violent displays of homophobia, animal or childrens rights. but words, opinions, judgements,feelings they can’t affect me unless i allow them to quite frankly.

    thing is, as i view it, society is made up of so many people that it’s impossible to expect everybody to see things the same way. and i don’t feel it’s even ideal that we do.

    i’ve come to realise that personal feelings aren’t really debatable (unless: see examples above). thus i should defend your right to them as well as mine even if they’re very different. this doesn’t mean i have to hang with you or be your friend only that if i want my feelings to be validated then i need to give that back. whether i agree or not.

    as in “i respect that you don’t think homosexuality is ok, it would be nice if you allowed me think it is” in practice people will always think differently, which is why i can choose to not fraternise with those i feel are not healthy to be around. i subscribe to “the two feet rule” -if you don’t want to be somewhere, if it’s not right for you, take your two feet and leave”

    this is not cowardly or taking the easy way it, it is making choices which are right for me and not allowing myself to be manipulated by those who don’t have my best interests at heart.

    you and i are accepting of gay people and our opinions might sway somebody somewhere, someday, but we won’t change them all because the world is just too variable and colorful for that. having said that activists have been able to change world views such as racism-though variable amounts of this still exists just by virtue of generational influence. perhaps the new generations will prove me wrong-i certainly hope so.

    but im not sure that starting a fight in a bar about it, is ever going to bring healing to the situation, though stranger things have happened.

    anyway it’s nice to be able to talk with you and know that we can express differing opinions and we’re cool like that 🙂 that’s what peace is all about! and you’re a honey!


  10. 🙂

    Thank you for this great commend dear Michele.

    It is hard to disagree on most of what you write, so I’m not sure whether we are in disagreement over anything else but the way to sustain democracy and tolerance at a personal and social level.

    I think that we can influence and change history and sometimes it is our duty to do so. Nevertheless it must be done properly (for example I agree that a fight in a bar is a stupid way – at least most of the times). Spreading one’s beliefs, letting them open to criticism and exchanging views is essential and vital to making social progress. Whether this will be done in a civilized framework is a procedural yet vital matter. What’s important to me is that this process goes on uninterrupted and for that to be so, an opinion must not pass without social scrutiny. Gossiping, murmuring and consequently ghettoing gays is an opinion (totally inhuman according to my standards) which if left uncriticized will be an unwritten law and a verdict. This alone, apart from inhuman, is dangerous to democracy and society in general and as such it calls for solidarity towards gays. I just tried to show my solidarity with a post (which is, yes, a next-to-nothing action but it was all I could do).

    Of course no one wants to make everyone hold the same view. This is the ideal of fascism and that’s the main reason why fascism is wrong and unsustainable. Even if we were to submit to the noblest king there is no way that he would be always right. The aim should be to democratically synthesize our views in order to get the best from everything (at least when they are not totally opposite). The complementary aim is to preserve democracy and tolerance and that’s where we need to step in and help out minorities.

    Kisses 🙂



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