Decked out head to toe in fiery red, Lady Mama (aka yours truly) took the “stage” when it was show time. With Harry on guitar, I proceeded to belt out Born This Way in front of my entire Sex & Intimacy, backed up by HKU’s high tech microphones & amps.
After the song drew to a close, Harry continued on the guitar while I started our spoken word.
Born This Way was featured as Hong Kong IDAHO International Day Against Homophobia 2011 Campaign Theme. While the song lyrics and attitude resonate with many gay people with its on point lyrics, it also perpetuated the common perception that gay people HAVE to be outrageous, diva, or different. In reality, homosexual people live among us in our own circles. They could be your aunt, your best friend, your teacher, your postman, or your classmate.
For our project, we chose to take a step back from our media-influenced perspective. We interviewed Gay and Lesbians in monogamous relationships. Our interviewees hailed from various ages and stages of life. When reading the interview transcript, one of us expressed his surprise that the answers were strangely…normal. Indeed, gay people live among us, and they face the same struggles and vicissitudes as all of us, if not amplified by homophobia and a clash of values with Asian Society.
With that I beg of you to take a step back and look with an open mind to see what it truly means to be gay and born this way.
I have so many wonderful gay, bi, and transgender friends, as well as friends that hail from all nationalities, cultures, religions, and ages. This presentation on the celebration and recognition of homosexuality as normal was actually extremely personal for me to express my beliefs in front of a still somewhat conservative big group of HKU students. While many people take this class with an honest interest in learning more about intimacy and social theory, the majority are really in for the shits and giggles when it comes down to it. The more outrageous the clip, the more scandalous the story, the most unique presentation; those are the showstoppers. While I have thoroughly enjoyed this amazing class and would definitely recommend it to everyone, I think the content and its presentation sometimes only reinforces stereotypes: the flamboyant gay diva, the slutty prostitute, or the disgusting BDSM practitioner. I really hope my group’s presentation today helped to dissipate some of those preconceptions that are often etched in our minds.