Let's get something straight ...

Last night I tweeted something and some people took it out of context and are now using it to malign my character. Out of respect for gay people who support me let me clear it up. 

Twitter only has 140 characters and that leaves room for misinterpretation and confusion sometimes — that's why it is important to ask what the context is before you jump on a trigger happy bandwagon. And I say this understanding that I too will make that mistake some day and hopefully I will have the sense to apologise. 

Bit of background on the topic: I was on RGB with two other guys as part of a panel that discussed the issue of celebrity books on Monday. The episode received some good feedback but as one would expect there were others who had issues with what we had to say. 

I don't mind being challenged or having someone oppose my views. My views are never the gospel so I expect it. What prompted my now controversial tweet was a statement made by one lady that; of the three of us in the panel I was boring because I did not make her laugh. 

Fair enough, but I have the right to respond to that and I did with the tweet below; 

Of course some people saw this and were offended. I understand that. While some had the decency to ask me to elaborate, which I did, some went on to call me homophobic and that I express traits of internalised homophobia. Now that I have a serious problem with. 

Gay people are not this homogenous group that think, look, act or talk the same. As with every sector of society, gay men come in different forms and each deserves the right to exist and assert themselves in whatever way they choose. 

Firstly, I do not know who the people on the picture are. I simply used the pic as a meme [as it exists on social media] to capture the essence of what my tweet was trying to express — since one only has 140 to convey a message on Twitter! 

That tweet was in no way a direct attack on the person. I was just saying that I refuse to exist to be that girl's amusement. Of course my sentiments were motivated by the fact that there is this tendency amongst some women to dehumanise gay men and only see them as objects of jokes and their side kicks. 

If a gay man chooses to have their sexuality be what defines him or he walks in a room and becomes the comic relief of straight people around him; good for him. But do not expect all gay men to subscribe to that. 

All women in my life know that I am Phil first. I am not their choma, I don't carry their bags or become their sidekick. That is not me. 

I went on RGB to talk about the industry as a commentator. I was not there to make anyone laugh as I am not a comedian. I left that to Lasizwe and the other guy. I talk about the work and not people hence when the conversation veered to Bonang being a "bricklayer" I just laughed and I specifically said why are they giving the guys a pass. The guys are not just inanimate objects that can be stolen. 

I love what I do. I take it seriously. When someone disregards the information I shared and reduces my appearence on the show to me not being funny then I have every right to challenge that. I am not labelling the other guys as being less professional or beneath me. They are the funny guys, that's what they do. 

To try and malign my character by pushing the narrative that I look down on other gay men is bullshit. A lot of people who support my work are gay and I respect them. Stopnonsense and Lasizwe have found a niche in the industry and they are using it to benefit their career and that is great for them. 

I ended up deleting the tweet because I got annoyed by getting notifications from people who clearly were not interested in knowing the context but just wanted to be triggered. I was also cognisant of the fact that when you are in a position to influence conversations, it never hurts to just remove something if people tell you constructively that it may be construed to be offensive.

Since someone screengrabbed the tweet and continued the conversation without involving the replies I gave to people who asked me to elaborate, thus giving a one sided narrative about the tweet, I felt it important to write this post.

BUT I stand by my sentiment; I will not be anyone joke. You want to tickled to laugh, there are plenty of comedians in SA. Phil Mphela is a commentator, when I tell a joke; it is like unintentional. If not wanting to be a joke to you makes you think I think I am better, well that is not my yoke to carry... you gotta have to just DEAL!! But do not mislead my people to push your own agenda. 

Now let's get back to issues that actually matter. See you online ;-)

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