Life On The Fag Lane... Such A Drab


Something has been bothering me. There is part of our society that is neglected. We never bother to get to know about it beyond the frivolous stereotypes and the drama it always evokes when it becomes part of the conversation. 


The gay community in SA has had many strides in it being acceptable in our society. Our soapies have embraced the existence of gay people and have acknowledged them in storylines. Of course their actions are mainly motivated by ratings rather than social responsibility but it is still something that is worth applauding.


Due to the stigma and prejudice associated with being gay, many of our local celebrities who are gay would never openly admit that or 'come out'.

I am not one to label people or expect people to be branded by their sexual orientation. However I do feel that the lack of visible gay role models in our society could have dire consequences for young gay men and women in our country.




Yes, one’s career should never be defined by who they sleep with. One should be praised for his work and not have that be clouded by the fact that he or she is gay. Thabo should be Thabo and not Thabo-the gay actor.

With that, I understand the reluctance by gays in the arts to 'come out' because the latter statement is the norm in SA. Once someone comes out as being gay, they loose all their identity and just become “The Gay Guy”.


My main concern on this matter culminates from a recent trend I have observed on social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Many young gay guys find bragging about their sexual escapades and perceived wealth as a catalyst to being cool. 

Problem with this is that there is something called AIDS that's ravaging young gay men in SA, and wealth in gay society is mostly nothing more than just perception. The revered image of the glitz and glamour is what we push but unfortunately all that glitters in gay-ville is not gold. 

The reality is that many people these young gay men look up to in this industry are BAD role models. They flaunt their wealth and perpetuate the stereotypes. Sadly, quite often all that wealth and happiness is just a façade.

Once you open the curtain and look beyond those DIVO personas you will find lonely men who live in debt because they want to keep up the appearance that they are rich and live life on the FAB LANE.

They wear expensive clothes and drive fancy cars they cannot afford just to keep the façade going. These are not the kind of role models any mother would want their child to have. 

Sadly if your mother can’t even acknowledge that you are gay, how is she going to give a damn about the kind of GAY role models you have? 


This article was inspired by a death of a dear friend. He passed away this time last year. He was a 24 year old good looking young man who came to JHB with dreams of being a dancer. Unfortunately he got caught up in the GLITZ and FABULOSITY of life as a gay man in SA’s celeb circles. 

When his career wasn’t taking off he resorted to unsafe acts to acquire the means to keep up the façade. He lived well and partied with the crème de la crème of Jozi’s gay society. Unfortunately that came at a price - his life. 

Yes not every gay man in Jhb would make the same choices that he made but I am seeing a growing tendency among young gay men in JHB to live beyond their means just simply because they want to fit into the stereotype that gay men live extravagant and glamorous lives.


Since there are no role models to guide these kids on the right path let me give my young gay fans my 2 cents’ worth; It’s all a lie. Yes there are gay men in Jhb who have the money to live Kimora-esque lives but they are very few.

A lot of these gay men who grace tabloids papers in GUCCIs and attend J$B Mets with A-listers have nothing to back those images with. 

If you going to live your life recklessly simply because you want to impress the world you will end up sick, alone and disillusioned. 

Do not get a role on a tv advert and all of the sudden think that you are Somizi Mhlongo. Somizi has paid his dues and is able to flaunt his success because he has the means to do so. 

If you going to get one gig in this industry and all of the sudden you leave Soweto and come to live in the north then you better be sure that you can sustain the lifestyle when you get here. The last thing you want is to return back to Soweto with nothing in your bank account but memories of celebrity parties and a bonus… AIDS. 

There can only be one Somizi.

The important advice whether you in the entertainment industry or not is to live a truthful life. If you can’t afford the Versaces and Fabulous life that other gay men you know can... you don’t, so be content with that. 

Be aware that if you are young and good looking you will attract attention. Sadly not all those who give you attention give it because you are special. Often the attention comes simply because you are a new face. 

Lest you look back and find yourself having slept with every known name in JHB gay scene. Rather concentrate on building your career so that when you live that FAB life you know you live like that because you can afford it.


Remember: 

- Dating a celeb does not make you a celeb, 

- Befriending a celeb does not make you a celeb

- Dating a rich man does not make you rich (unless you marry that sap without a pre-nup and clean him out when you dump him). 


PS

Are positive gay role models only going to be characters in Soapies?

PPS

Being bitchy just because you are gay it’s “worn-out queen” mentality and so unattractive. It reeks of bitterness from a mile away. Be you and leave the drama on stage or for people who get paid for it. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An informative article for our young gay friends, I think you are the first gay role model.actually let's remove the gay part You are role model

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