S. African gay couple’s plea: Put yourselves in our shoes

2 Jul

76 crimes blog, by 

Michael Robin Wynne and Donovan Wynne

Donovan Wynne and Michael Robin Wynne (Photo courtesy of Michael Wynne)

How happiness replaced violence and self-loathing

South Africa still has problems with homophobia and anti-gay violence, despite the nation’s legal recognition of LGBT rights. But for many LGBT South Africans, life is good. In the following article, Michael Robin Wynne describes the challenges that many gay people face, as well as the normal life that he and his husband now live. He was inspired to write this commentary in response to the often nasty, sometimes thoughtful, barrage of anti-homosexuality and pro-rights comments from readers of this blog’s list of 76+ countries where homosexuality is illegal. Michael Robin (Cronje) Wynne, a song writer, lives in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with his husband, music teacher Donovan Wynne.

Hey, guys, I have been reading and thinking about all these posts for the last hour. My husband has too and we’ve been talking with a very open mind about everything that’s been said on this blog. We have left out all emotion and prejudice from our conversation to try and understand why so much hate has come out of this and, quite frankly, we can find no reason for it.

We live in South Africa. We have been married for almost two years but have been together for almost five years.

In our country, we as gay men have the same rights as everybody else. We are treated like “normal” people. Nobody cares that we are gay. We do not promote that fact that we are gay but then again we don’t try to hide it either.

Normal daily life

We live our lives like everybody else. We do our jobs, we go out for dinner, we wash our car, feed our pets, and we pay our taxes. The only time we make a point of not showing affection to one another is when there are children close by and the reason for this is because we think it is unfair to parents to force them to have to explain matters of a sexual nature to their kids before they think the time is right.

Before 2006 it was illegal for gay people to get married. We had our protests and pride marches and there was a lot of angry words and several gay bashings but as soon as we were protected and treated like everybody else it stopped. Yes, there is the odd gay bashing here and there, and every now and then some religious leader says something in a public forum that upsets us, but on the whole we get to go about our lives unscathed from homophobia and life is good for us.

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