I stand my ground (in six inch stilettos)

By Stylo

I claim the ground into which my stiletto is digging into as mine and I shall stand tall. I am so high up your heavy hurtful words cannot bring me down, go ahead and try and you will see just how high I can fly; get ready to eat dust though!

I remember me as a little boy wearing mother’s over-sized stilettos stuffed with toilet paper. He had the brightest smile on his face, he was happy, he was strong; even if it was only for a few fleeting minutes, he felt alive and free.

After another day of being bullied and taunted by mean schoolboys I would retreat to the safety of home and throw on a lovely floor length dress and with a hair brush in hand I became a pop diva in the mirror. All the hurt and shame of the day flew away with each sashay and twirl.

With age came a shift of expectations, new responsibilities and pressures arose and I wasn’t strong enough so I had to lock this happy little boy away and spend my days with a much sadder man.

For a long time after that I was a slave held down by this man, the man they all wanted to see. Their expectations seemed to come alive as impish creatures that drove my life with whips and pitchforks to places I didn’t want to be.

One night after another crappy day I lay alone in my bed and I thought of that little boy and what I had become, I wondered if he could still be alive, could he still be happy after all these years of neglect? The next day I got a wig and heels and went to look for him in the mirror where he used to be.

It took me a while to recognize him, he had changed, he didn’t smile as much, and his sad eyes looked as if to ask me if I was happy, I couldn’t lie to him because he knew that I was miserable. I made a promise to him that I would be brave and never let go of him again.

I do not hate being a ‘man”. I’m just a man who dresses differently, not different from many great men in history; Pharaoh wore a pleated skirt, a wig and eyeliner, Moses wore a short tunic dress belted at the waist and leather thongs.

The knowledge that my androgyny is a direct challenge to bigamist definitions of social order and conduct because it blurs the lines of fantasy and reality, masculinity and femininity, morality and immorality, gives me a real sense of power.

Vulgar is wearing your jeans with the faded V on the saggy crotch, unnatural is trying to pair those over-sized khaki cargo shorts you’ve worn for the past ten years with sandals and white socks.

Bigots ask, “Why do you do it”? I don’t think I could give a convincing answer to either you, them or myself. You don’t have to understand me. I am of the most certainty that even you do not understand yourself in all your ‘normality’.

What I do know is that with my feet flat on the ground all the time I feel unfulfilled, but, wrapped in red leather and elevated by a six inch heel I can touch completeness.

My life is balanced whether I’m in a suit and tie or a strapless mini, I can be any one I want to be. I give myself the freedom to live the fantasy here and now. I will not allow myself to have regrets. I embrace that I am different and there is nothing wrong with that. What was wrong was denying myself.

Is it that a man is not a man unless he wears baggy pants and doesn’t shave his armpits? Would you rather have me spit, pick my nose and scratch my crotch in public as well?

What is it about me that gets you so riled up? Do your fear how well I can win over your mind in the boardroom during the day and proceed to win over your throbbing loins in a dark club at night?

Go ahead and label me, like the fine clothes I wear; the labels separate the quality bespoke pieces from the hogwash. You may say I have a problem for dressing this way, I say the only problem I have is when I can’t find a bag to match my shoes!

Whether I choose to stand in loafers or Loubhoutin heels I understand that I shall have to grow a thicker skin (with a touch of foundation and bronzer of course), even if you shut me out in the dark my dazzling smile will light a path down which I  will find joy eternal in all my gender-bender splendor!

Let me be me

By Sir Noire

I did not sleep with Kuda*.

He is a hot 20-something guy with a nice firm supple ass, a glorious cock and well defined upper body muscles with a tattoo on his left arm that gives him the dangerous look that many guys, myself included are after.

He lives a straight lifestyle, pretty much. He watches football religiously, only drinks beer (not that watching football and drinking beer makes anyone less gayer, but you get my point) and hangs out with a straight crowd who do not know what he gets up to behind closed doors.  He only wears loose fitting clothes and baseball caps, the ultimate ‘straight’ look.

But that is not why I did not sleep with him.

I did not sleep with him because he denied me the conviction of my own experience. Like how I have straight friends who are aware of my sexuality and are still comfortable to be my friend, to spend nights at my place or theirs, at times even sharing the same bed. He says I have been fucked by all of them. He can’t believe that I don’t have to lie about having a girlfriend anymore or that if someone is straight, it doesn’t automatically make them a homophobe.

But that has not been his experience as a closeted man who has obviously not come out to himself yet.

There is nothing more irritating than someone refusing you your own truth because of their narrow minds and because they have not experienced that truth yet.  And this is not a problem particular to Kuda only; it is rife within the gay community.

A tall/muscular/masculine guy is a top.
A skinny/short/chubby/fem guy is a bottom.
Two gay guys together are sleeping together.

The above stereotypes are taken as true. But from experience we all know how looks can be deceiving. Things are not always as they appear!

With all the experiences that we as the LGBT community have been through, we all know that our experiences have been different. Our stories of coming out and/or into ourselves are different. We all have different relationships with our families and friends. We come from different backgrounds and have different interests.

We are human after all.

Fitting ourselves into boxes is basically a denial of our own varied experiences and agreeing to the boxes that the outside world puts us all in. The beauty of being queer is that we already exist outside expected norms.

My name is Sir Noire and I am undefined by society. My personal convictions based on my own experiences are mine and no dangerous looking muscles or firm supple butt is going to change that truth!

*Names and identifying features have been changed to maintain anonymity

Be you, be happy

By Sir Noir

Tafara is Bisexual.

So are Ben, Themba, Vincent and Simba. Other than their sexual preferences and nationality, they also have something in common; I tried to get on with every one of them.

Tafara is 22. He has actually never had a girlfriend nor has he slept with women. But he is not a virgin. He has only ever been with guys and still insists he is bi-sexual. Themba is 30, homophobic and calls everyone a pussy and he does nothing else in bed except lie on his back or his face. Ben and Simba both have girlfriends who work in South Africa who they never regularly visit.

This is the reality among a lot of gay men in Zimbabwe. Even at 32, some men are still praying the gay away. Claiming they are half straight or have at least been with a woman at least once seems to have been hammered in a lot of gays as an indicator that you are a true man. All these guys are surprised when I tell them that I am 100% gay and have never tried to cross the line. I think, in a way, this has intimidated all of them.

Drama of course is abundant with this lot. When Themba is with people, and is talking to you on the phone, he refers to you with female pronouns. I may like men, but I am still a man and you are going to refer to me with the appropriate pronouns. When with Ben, you have to act as straight as you can, although he walks with a very obvious gay gait.

I truly trust there are people who are truly bisexual and are genuinely attracted to the both sexes. A lot of men in Zimbabwe, however, who identify as bisexual are truly gay and are trying to hide their gay because of the attitude that our society has towards homosexuals. And a lot of us hide who we are to the world unless we feel safe. But to believe that lie internally would be a tragedy.

I may be wrong. My friend calls me a baby gay. I came out to fellow gays later in life. I do not know many things that ‘come naturally’ to the gays like 80s music and films and fashion and I just became recently obsessed with Lady Gaga.

There is nothing as liberating as living life as your true self. I never advocate for people to walk with their gay on their forehead. We live in a dangerous society for our kind. I however think that admittance to self about who you truly are is important. And to share that person with people who are like you or who understand why you are that way is important. But then again, I am a baby gay. My ideas of gay are extremely underdeveloped.

Granted, each one of us has the right to come out in our own way and at our own terms. I am now in the phase where I am now telling new friends that before the friendship goes too far and I cannot undo the lies of being straight. And it has been amazing. Although you get those that will stop talking to you immediately, most are intrigued and want to hook you up with the gays they have only ever heard about and want you to hook them up with girls because apparently, gays have a reputation of hanging out with hot girls.

My name is Sir Noir and I am gay Zimbabwean. No pretense of who I love. And I am a very happy man.