Under Attack?

I’ve been grappling with the generally negative tone of my posts. I tend to be inspired to write when I see or feel that our community is under attack, usually from the outside. This is one of those moments, although it seems like this time, the damage is being inflicted from within. What do I mean by that? Well, let me explain.

Every so often, various lists are created and circulated via certain messaging platforms and become viral. The lists usually have some malicious content, and only function to spread rumours and lies about the individuals named. Some have called them harmless fun, but I disagree wholeheartedly. The latest list comes in the form of a snarky newsletter, which the author has promised to keep publishing weekly. The tone is malicious, hateful and hurtful. It’s really disappointing that at a time when we are reeling from the massacre in Garissa, the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the mysterious disappearance of Itai Dzamara and countless other issues, the contribution of our community is the diatribe that is this list. Whoever the writer is, and there are many theories circulating about his identity, he has done nothing to help our community. He has played into the often cited stereotype that we are a bunch of bitchy queens intent on bringing each other down. I hope he realises that these are fellow human beings that he is so gleefully attacking. We are under such assault from the country at large that we don’t need to arm the gun and pull the trigger ourselves.

Then there’s the video, a 13 min sex tape that is doing the rounds. I won’t describe any of what I saw. I feel sorry for the two guys in the video. Their lives aren’t ever going to be the same again. They are going to have to live with the aftermath of this video going viral for a long time. And in a country where possession and distribution of pornographic material is illegal, both of them and anyone who has shared or received this video could face some sort of legal action if the video gets to the relevant authorities. What surprises me the most is that a lot of people have been sharing this video. I know that it’s a salacious and titillating thing and people want to share the latest gossip, but what about the individuals involved? I’m sure they didn’t create it so that their faces could become the most famous among gay Zimbabweans. I hope people stop sharing it. I hope people delete it from their devices. I hope people stop judging them, this can happen to anyone. We need to rally behind this pair and make sure their mistake doesn’t cost them their security, safety or livelihoods.