OUR ALLIES ARE FUCKING UP!

OUR ALLIES ARE FUCKING UP!

The creation of heterosexuality (the identity) marked the creation of homophobia (the response to people who are not protected under heterosexuality), and it is important we know this. The pervasiveness of heterosexuality is what makes it even more violent. Queer people have, for the longest time, been subjected to and continue to be subjected to homophobic violence, structurally and otherwise. But with the phenomenon of homophobia births the pushback led by queer people, with support from people who are protected by heterosexuality – the people who are called allies. This has led to some societies punishing people for their homophobia (although these societies all have a history of state-sanctioned homophobia), especially after Jehovah-for-the-Gays appeared to them in their dreams and warned them of a ten-day plague if they don’t fucking let His people go!

A person being made to suffer the consequence of their homophobia looks good at first glance – maybe even two glances. Three? Four? Man, I don’t know. But what I do know is that it is never enough. In fact, it does not happen enough. In a way, it is selective. This only happens because, while there is a pushback against homophobia, homophobia still thrives. It still protects people. The law still allows people to be needlessly violent, especially in Nigeria.

On the ninth of January 2021, at 12:11 PM, popular Twitter user, self-proclaimed LGBTQ+ ally and photographer Anny Robert (@IamAnnyRobert) tweeted from his iPhone two pictures – one of him and the other of his friend, both of them having lunch at a restaurant in Lagos. Accompanied by this tweet was the caption “My view, His view, Love Wins *inserts rainbow emoji*.” The rainbow added for dramatic effect of course, because apart from photography, Mister Anny “do usually do comedy ear and dear.” The tweet garnered over 4000 likes and over 300 retweets (including quoted replies). Many of these engagements included homophobic people crying in his mentions, others tweeting in support, some laughing at the joke because they could tell that Anny was having fun. One may even argue that these were two men divesting from societal expectations and models of male friendships/interactions. Two men having brunch with such an intimate caption, instead of bonding at war with unwashed boxers! A big dub against the patriarchy, that.

The tweet may’ve seemed innocent, beautiful to see in fact, but when you realize that it was of two cis-heterosexual men in the picture, using queer lingo to frame their friendship, it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

The history of “Love Wins” dates back to June 26th 2015, after the US Supreme Court Ruling that required all states (by law) to allow same-sex couples marry and recognize same-sex marriages from other states. It was a historical event that saw many people on Twitter tweet in support using the hashtag #LoveWins. #LoveWins because, after many years, a pillar of institutionalized bigotry and violence may have been pulled down. #LoveWins because queer people, who decide to participate in monogamy via marriage, could finally do so. #LoveWins because queer people could now get protection under the law. #LoveWins because, for once, the age long battle with homophobia had been won. This is the origin, history, context and usage of the phrase.

It has NOTHING to do with heterosexual expressions, as people protected by heterosexuality have never been at war. They have never had to watch their existence being debated in 280 characters or more on a daily basis on Beyoncé’s internet. They have never had to perform heterosexuality for protection. They simply express. They simply carry out violence and have the law back them. This is because: to be protected by heterosexuality is to be violent. It is to enjoy privilege and maintain inequality. The invention of heterosexuality is violent by thought, design and application. So for a man who enjoys the protection to go ahead and caption his tweet “Love Wins” when he’s not subjected to homophobic violence is wicked, disrespectful and very colonialist. It was not only invasive; it was also tone deaf, because that tweet was expressed in the same space that #LoveWins originated from: Twitter.

#LoveWins and everything queer is not something to cosplay with. We are human beings, not ideologies that you pick and drop. Many of our queer brothers, sisters, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins and niblings have died for expressing. #LoveWins exists because of them. It is a testament to the history of violent homophobia. It’s an affirmation of our queerness, and those people who dwell on Mount Heteromanjaro should absolutely not use it. Queer framing of heterosexual relationships is peak privilege. Queer coding/baiting is a serious problem. TV shows and movies are guilty of this, so we will not be making it out to be some sort of minor inconvenience that we can just “let be”. It feeds into a larger system of structural homophobia. Adopting queerness for money or social currency is evil. Adopting queerness so you appeal to the LGBTQ+ audience, while not alienating your other audience, is cruel, and is exactly a byproduct of capitalism.

Positioning yourself as an ally and doing this makes it more hurtful, because, why are you guilty of expressing the very form of violence you are against? Why are you guilty of homophobia as an ally yourself? Allies should know their place and stay there. Queer people also need to understand why we must gatekeep queerness and queer culture (including language), because it is on the basis of our queerness that we’re murdered, prevented from employment, economically dispossessed, unhoused, raped and ridiculed. These things we do and say are why we are a target, so we cannot fold our arms and watch people protected by heterosexuality use our expressions for fun or, as they like to say, to “catch cruise”. Anny Roberts has since deleted his tweet and offered an apology to the community. We will continue to watch that space to determine if his apology is genuine.

Let us learn to demand more from our allies. The work they are doing is not enough. A lot of them are homophobic and just need a little push to unmask it. We should not applaud decency or accept the barest minimum.

Fuck homophobia.

Written by Big Bad Judy

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  1. Francis
    January 11, 07:54 Reply

    Abeg has the said picture being wiped off the internet? I couldn’t find a screenshot since the drama started.

  2. Alternate Jay
    January 11, 12:40 Reply

    Interesting piece. But I don’t entirely agree with your opinions here. First things first, I think the fact that you kept on saying that allies are protected by heterosexuality carries a shade of bias on your part, you’re questioning or rather doubting the genuineness of their support which for me is wrong because there are actually well-meaning allies out there, a lot of them are.
    And how can you say Heterosexuality is violent? Ffs your use of language is troubling for me.

    • Ken
      January 14, 07:21 Reply

      I totally agree. You don’t win the battle by becoming the monster you ought to be fighting. Even if u are heterosexual, there are a thousand more prejudices u may have to face on account of race, sex or belief system. So it’s not surprising when str8 people understand and show support.

      Many gay people have this misinformed view that anybody who isn’t gay is an automatic enemy. Wrong!
      If for the lgbtq it took you time to finally accept whom u are, let alone someone who does have your particular shared reality. I think it’s enough that people accept and allow you to be who u are. That doesn’t make them enemy or violent.

  3. Manny
    January 11, 18:53 Reply

    It’s sad to see, heterosexual men getting away with things they kill queer people for

  4. Dunder
    January 11, 22:18 Reply

    I know the community is sidelined, isolated and hunted but can we fight everybody? Is everybody an enemy? Even queer people drop the ball sometimes. Everyone cannot be a potential enemy, a mistake away from eternal damnation, a spy from straighville. All our relatives and friends cannot be condemned eternally because they are not gay- that bigoted tone is eerily familiar.

    I don’t know this brother and I am honestly not interested in bromance pics and their captions but can he have done as much damage as the members of the community when they make their mistakes? Has he done as much damage as the guys resuming at the tallest buildings in towns in certain countries, waiting to throw fellow humans into their death? If you asked women or bisexuals, you may not like your score card and that’s not because you’re a colonialist, predator, hired killer or ritualist. It is simply because you are seeing things from your own perspective. Let us be calming down.

    The guy goofed and owned up to it. You have started the clock, waiting for his next mistake, why the call to arms and bloodlust? The tone of this piece, to me, is rather too militant, the kind of vibe that comes before a lynching. An eye for an eye….. Let our correction be redemptive, restorative.

    I for one, am grateful for capitalism. If you look at the history of countries were gays have won the war, it is the freedom to exchange goods and services played a very big role in showing our humanity, swelling our arsenal and winning these allies in addition to helping us grow confidence and create means of helping each other. Even this blog is a grandchild of capitalism. Imagine kito diaries in the hands of a government ministry. Imagine a world without this level of technology.

    To wrap it up, “he do do comedy ear and dear” 😂😆. I’m definitely stealing this.

  5. ChristianGayBoy
    January 16, 21:17 Reply

    About the tweeter post, I think your reservation came from a very subjective space rather than something to be generalized and expect every queer individual to buy into.

    While I read this, I couldn’t stop but ask myself repeatedly, “if two gay men made such post, what is the likelihood of homophobic bigots not coming after their heads?” And just then you stated it yourself, if two gay men made that post they wouldn’t be protected under the umbrella of heterosexuality.

    And this in multiple ways justifies the tweeter’s post. If he is an ally then don’t you think the pictures he uploaded were rather strategic in voicing out the normalcy of two men having a romantic outing?

    He didn’t get homophobic back lash because they were two straight men, what if every queer who saw that most took the opportunity to start a conversation or a Twitter trend around it? Taking advantage of the fact that the heterosexual found it comical and leverage on that atmosphere, educating swiftly on the absolute beauty of a gay relationship.

    What if we had seen the #lovewins from his post and decided to remind the world that day that truly love wins by making the #tag trend in a different narrative, taking the lesson in the comedy and making an impact.

    We are a people who have been judged more times too many, surely we must know how to not judge people too quickly ourselves especially the allies so we don’t lose them to our insecurities.

    Again, your reservations are not invalid but they do not seem to fit the example you choose to use. A more befiting example would be the ones who “tolerate” and not “support”.

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