Last Post

It would be really nice if I didn’t feel I had to write this last post to my colleagues, trained as we all are in ‘gender sensitivity issues’ within the bosom of these united nations.  We do not choose our sexual orientation any more than we choose the colour of our eyes or skin, yet down these last ten months while you have been free to be yourselves, I have felt uncomfortable, not quite at ease.  No, no bad experiences, innuendo is all it takes.  We have worked side by side, we have worked well together, had some laughs, you’ve come to no harm.  My being gay has been of no consequence.  You’ll find one in ten of your country men and women are just like me, decent, likeable and approachable. Yes, in your country too.

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8 Responses to Last Post

  1. wadawson says:

    Roger, Hilary, Bob J, I temporarily pulled the Last Post for want of courage and a need for more positive wording. Hearing from you helped put it back.
    T

  2. Navin says:

    Hi Tony. It was wonderful getting back in touch after all these months. I’ve been browsing through your blog for the last 30 miniutes…very insightful indeed. I am not sure regarding the context of the above blog but it seems you’ve had some bad experiences and I am sorry to hear this. however, keep well, have a good holiday and we will be in touch.

    • wadawson says:

      No, no bad experiences Navin. This is a country where one can be put in jail for being oneself. Surly you know the innuendos, the sorry jokes, the off comments that betray how people really think about gay men and women. I had to work in Tanzania in an office where even one or two such comments kept me ill at ease, quiet, and therefore not as free as my colleagues.
      Shall I add this comment to the post by way of explanation?
      T

      • Navin says:

        Yes that would be useful Tony and yes, I fully understand what you say having experienced the same especially in malawi and Zambia. Fortunately I have not had that experience in South Africa although it does not mean we don’t have homophobia here.

  3. garratt88 says:

    Hi Tony
    Well, congratulations in “coming out” to all. While I was working in Malawi (two 3 month stints) there was no evidence of homophobia at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. But perhaps it was because the issue never arose. The brouhaha that was raised by 2 fellows wanting to get married there was an eye-opener but didn’t worry me when I went back a year later. Nevertheless I think it was a deciding factor in not going to Africa with the Peace Corps. The stigma of being older and not having a family raises too many suspicions – in countries hunting for witches or scapegoats. None of it is helped by the Christian fundamentalists such as those in Uganda whose malevolence is so contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
    I will look forward to hearing of your adventures when you return Canada and indeed when we can visit. You are a strong man.
    With best regards.
    Garratt

  4. Robin Suchy says:

    Hi Tony
    Being in such a foreign place can be very uncomfortable if people are like that with their innuendos and vibes. You know we are all who we are and you are loved by your friends who hold you dear to our hearts. You’re a wonderful person and friend and what you have been doing this past year is selfless and loving. Negative comments from people come from their ignorance and fear and unhappiness. You don’t need to take on their negative energy. I am looking forward to seeing you and catching up when you get back to Canada. I thought of you last time I went skiing and thought it would be fun to go skiing some time. Big Hug Robin

  5. Karen Timoshuk says:

    I continue to admire you and be inspired by your posts Tony. Thank you and Happy Holidays to you!

  6. wadawson says:

    My Last Post seemed to puzzle some. No, no particular incident but, couple
    standard low level innuendo now and again with evangelicalism and the
    lengthy prison sentence and you shut up, back up, take no chance. I
    had to work in an office for 11 months and now I don’t and I figured if ever there is
    to be change now is the time…

    Thank You Garratt, Robin, Karen, Navin, Roger, Hilary, Bob J. et al. …

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