B is from the Balkans.
I know you know it’s not a proper country. But who needs an exact location? Is this about geography? Anyway, B. belongs to an ethnic minority in the country his country. And you wouldn’t feel satisfied if I started explaining the linguistic and religious mosaic this region happens to be. Again, it is not about geography.
But B. knows this world better than you and I do. Cause he’s been places.
He’s stayed with people coming from places. Many different places.
He’s helped some others of the seven seas to find a new place, putting them at ease. B. does know too well, that some wanderers are not hard to please.
When you leave a place, for a better one, what you seek is peace.
For his current job, B. is often asked to go places. Giving other places necessary spaces, at times in palaces, to address their claims.
B., who represents one place, at a frenetic pace, of those mighty places, always tries to be in the bestest graces.
Always on the move. A damn lot to see. And nothing to prove.
Since B.’s clever moves at any place are goddamn ready. I will take this back. From the beginning, it sure is about geography.
It all seems like exploration has been the focus point of B.’s young existence. Doesn’t mean he’s an obsessed traveller. But as I was telling you before. B.’s very diverse native landscape, both culturally and linguistically, shaped a sharp outward leaning. So sharp it helped B. make the cut.
High schooler B. partook in an exchange program in the USA. From the old world to a new one. Freshman, sophomore, junior, senior B. all happened in Wisconsin. The more the Midwest gives you, the more likely you are to win.
And winning meant somewhat and somehow applying for immigration. So B. found a way to stay. A safety cushion. And because the Midwest can’t fail you, a providential wind brought B. the right thing. In the windy city, B. settled down with a newly earned seat at the table.
And what a table. B., an immigrant himself, started working for an immigration advocacy agency. Dealing with big tech companies. I see innovation. You hear irony. Core of the question is geography.
If it takes a migrant to address migrants’ rights. Will it take a trans, a gay, a lesbian to save all from their plight?
Every year, more than 150000 foreigners apply for a work visa in the USA. The acceptance threshold is set at 65000 individuals. The reality is that the government very seldom issues more than 50000 permits. Not everybody asks for asylum. The latter means no turning back. Immigration, on a work basis, allows more flexibility. This is why and how the LGBTI migration topic remains a hot one. Plenty of stakeholders. No single answer.
Now this takes me to B’s B side. The side he didn’t know he could show until he knew he was.
B loves men. He doesn’t love them all. But of them he loves some. And this can be… burdensome. Before, B wasn’t dating girls, nor was he dating boys. But in his opinion, he was lying by omission. By closing himself off from love and affection.
A friend of his who was openly gay pushily dared B. to give it a try. The wry “gaydar”, well-intentioned. Watching America, step by step, state by state, putting all its efforts into easing gay life. New York, Hawaii, Illinois. Ruling marriage legal. Ended up having B. giving men a try.
Though B. now knows how to be with men. He considers himself halfway into his love path. Coming out is for him an ongoing process. For this to change some day, it’d take fixing a mess. The biggest, the most contagious mess. The one in people’s mind.
B. is right. People slow the motion. At the end of the day, coming out is something that becomes a habit. You assume gays are straight, closing off your spirit. Heteronormativity. This is how, with a weary, too often worried smile, your gay counterpart, “announcing” who he loves, tirelessly, ends up playing their part.
B.’s wisdom stings my soul. How come someone who claims to be halfway seems to have it all seen?
B. is self-protective. And why wouldn’t he be? In a world that harass, physically attacks people for being gay. Being in the closet, even halfway in, assures one protection. For when you go out of the closet, fully, successfully, your world starts shrinking. You’re no longer a clandestine. Your world shrinks so bad you start to realize that the only safe spots are lightyears away. And if you got one handy, well, you lucky.
This sixth sense, the one queer people have, is about reading places. Recognizing the good from the bad, the cool from the harmful. All this, reading faces.
B. says that for queer people, holding hands in public. Or any kind of public display of affection. Anywhere in the world. No matter what. It’s a political action.
I agree with B.. LGBTI people, publicly showing love, are unwillingly claiming their identity. Facing consequences you should feel sorry for.
Further down the line, there are consequences that you wouldn’t expect. That fucks gay people’s minds.
Community internal lack of respect. Internalized homophobia. Certain, yet too many, homosexual men have a hard time accepting those seen as “flamboyant”. For flamboyants are gays, they’re the most blatant ones. They act effeminate, their very way to be, is seen as a display. They represent one fear. A fear aforementioned.
The fear of being spotted, noticed, exposed to people’s conclusions.
I don’t mind if B. is right.
I don’t care if he hides.
In the most humble way, B. makes things move forward. His job, his friends, his claims, his every right to be. I dare you dear people to call B. a coward.
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