Sunday, July 15, 2007

My life is Censored

I just read a very moving post over at Brownfemipower's site, taken in part from Sokari. My intention was to go over there and continue reading over at Black Looks, but when I clicked the link I found myself redirected to the University's website when I looked at the web address I saw something that made me so mad. It said "Adult lifestyle filtering". I'm sitting here absolutely puzzled as to why? I know why but that still doesn't answer the larger question of why is it that just living and breathing and being who God made us to be is seen as lewd and indecent. While here in Trinidad I tried to go to a few of my regular blogs that I read Vegankid, Sly Civilian and those two were also filtered. Its just something else that reminds me of where I'm at. So far I've loved my time here today I ate "Bake & Shark" which was delicious! I've also been just shocked looking around and seeing people of color every where, running things. The only white people I've seen have been tourists. Its been a weird and slightly delightful feeling being surrounded by all People of Color. But, then something like this happens and it reminds me that as a community we still need to deal with homophobia that is ever present in our community. I don't get why when people say Gay or Lesbian or Homosexual they whisper, especially in front of kids. I have a friend who was in a relationship with a woman for 6 months and whenever she talks about that relationship she whispers, despite the fact that she said that she is not opposed to being in another relationship with a woman.

This and in light of the post about the Black Lesbian who was tortured in South Africa just reinforces the fact that something needs to change. My online friend that I'm constantly talking to and I always talk about starting our own country or land where women of Color are safe. It would be secluded and all Women of Color and some allies, we're joking but sometimes I wish that it was a real place. I'm tired of being censored, not talking about my life in certain situations to certain people and even having to be secretive here in Trinidad, where as I type this I worry about if anyone is looking over at my computer and knows that I'm a lesbian, and what will happen if they find out. I worry about some of my travel mates who don't know that I'm a lesbian and how they will react especially the women. I'm constantly making sure that I don't make any other woman feel uncomfortable by being too close, or complimenting her in a way that she may feel like I'm hitting on her. I'm tired of censoring my life. I'm ready to get away to that safe land.

update: Vegankid I was able to see you site briefly before it blocked me again...maybe a tiny glimmer of hope, or their filter system sucks


TS ;) said...

Great entry! Enjoy the experience over there...LOVE the BUSH ticker countdown, can't get it to work for me yet though...I have to keep trying, now THAT will bring a smile to my face each and every day!

Anacaona said...

i say Fuck 'em, at least you'll be home soon ;-)

i also say that if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable, especially people from your school, i will travel to west bumble, where you live lol, and beat somebody's ass-

otherwise have the best time you can and make the most out of every moment because the US is not as beautiful lol

sly civilian said...

a while back, i was at a christian conference (sponsored by a solidly mainstream foundation) and found that i was really quite alone.

by thursday night, there was a prayer service, and a few of us found ourselves at the alter, clinging to one another...and it occurred to me that i was actually afraid to leave.

since, i've been much more careful about travel. it's not the going some place new that freaks me, but i refuse to put myself into a world where i must pass or stifle myself alone...just so i know that i'll be okay. so i'll send prayers your way, and i hope you can feel the ways that this trip has been good for you.

TS ;) said...

One more comment I wanted to make quickly; if you go to the above link -it's a piece about some protesters in the DR but - it will connect you with a blog written by a gay latino from the city that takes on a global position with his activism. I know I read something there about the crap going on in T&T (I can't find it now) as well as many of the Caribbean isles; maybe there will be some info as to whom could be a confidant or contact for you during your stay. Some of the propaganda they spread in those little islands is quite scary. Take care of you!

brownfemi said...

Journey--i'm so glad you're writing about this.
as someone who can pass for straight--even i know that sense of fear--that somebody will find out, that i will be hurt--that my kids will be hurt. it's terrifying. your life may be censored, but your tongue is not, and I'm so glad you're speaking out...

vegankid said...

maybe the filter was confused for a moment by my Whiteness and gender presentation.

its funny. i remember back in the mid 90s when i signed up with the Blue Ribbon Campaign of the Electronic Frontier Front. the campaign was against internet censorship. at the time, i signed up cuz i wanted to be able to check out feminist websites at my school library (the sites were being censored cuz they talked about abortion and the bodies of wimmin). i never really thought that one day i'd have a site that would be censored.

thanks for covering this. as much as those in power may believe that they will be able to silence voices and make oppression invisible, they will never succeed. you're proof.

Journey_Wmn said...

Sly - The prayers are much appreciated, being here and having some of my favorite blogs like yours blocked reinforces how important the internet is in feeling like you have a community, which is why it is also so painful to be closeted here. I will definitely be thinking twice about where I travel or at least how much time I spend there.

BFP - Passing for straight annoys me so much I wanna be out and proud but feeling compelled to be silent is annoying. I want to walk around with a big stamp on my forehead that says Lesbian and proud of it, but I know that wouldn't be safe. This is definitely making me more bold and proud.

Anacaona said...

hey lady, my last comment was one of a best friend and not necessarily well thought would dare call it knee jerk lol

Anyway, i want to say that i am proud of you for trying to be yourself as much as possible. And I have confidence that you will take every opportunity, both good and bad, to grow and be an important voice in your community.

And you're cool enough to be my friend, it doesn't get much better than that really ;-)

“I remember how being young and black and gay and lonely felt. A lot of it was fine, feeling I had the truth and the light and the key, but a lot of it was purely hell.” ~Audre Lorde