Sunday, 8 May 2011

Planet Mona: Gayer than Hell but certainly not Happy
When you really, really object against something is it usually not a question of how much of that 'something' is in you? Mona Farrugia on the cryptic topic of Gay Conversion
Gayer than Hell but certainly not Happy
Gayer than Hell but certainly not Happy
Gayer than Hell but certainly not Happy

There is every possibility that Billy Elliot was the only boy in this world who danced and danced and danced and was not gay. He came from a poor and very working-class background, his dad could not accept the love Billy had for movement but Billy went ahead with his life’s love. Like writing, dancing is not something you can ‘control’ or get out of you once and for all.

Or like homosexuality. What a word, my God. Gay men and women do not refer to themselves as homosexuals unless they’re taking the piss British-comedy style (howmouseksuals). In English, a guy who loves another guy is gay (not ‘a gay’ please unless we’re going back to Little Britain), or queer, or a fag; a couple of women are lezzies or gay also. In Maltese we say pufti or sinjorini or lezbjani. There are no derogatory tones anywhere: it’s just a state of fact. My hair-stylist calls her girlfriend ‘my partner’ which is gender free. Men who dress as women are ‘trannies’. Nomenclatures are just something useful and descriptive. There is no big deal.

Or so we thought.

Gordon-John Manche went to the US a few years ago. He had started dancing in Malta and he wanted to take this seriously. He returned after a few years and, maybe to give us a glimpse of what was to come, he went on Xarabank to tell everybody about it.

Fine, he’s a ballerina now, I thought. I don’t like his style, but good luck to him.

You see, I know Gordon from a long way back. He is a distant relative. I know his family. They are, as far as I am aware (and in Malta you never really know) lovely people. Religious yes, but not overtly so when compared to a good percentage of the population.

The thing is, in the US, Gordon did not just discover dancing. He discovered Jesus. Actually he discovered Jesus!! Jesussss!!!! He discovered a Jesus that told him to go out and preach and ‘lay hands’ on masses of desperate and slightly loopy Maltese who are easy fodder for ‘salvation’ because, for one reason or another, they are desperate. In Gzira’s Rue d’Argens there is a weird garage-like structure with a huge ‘River of Love’ written outside. This is the name of Gordon’s ‘movement’.

Not only does Gordon manage to attract a good amount of desperados who really need anything but these shenanigans to sort their lives out but he also gets constantly invited on the very same Xarabank, which has, over the years, become the rubbish bin of Maltese attention-seeking, a perfect reflection of the culturally-skewed country we live in. There, he attracts equal amounts of derision and followers.

Now it seems like Gordon has finally managed to push the final attention-seeking button: he published an invitation on Facebook to publicise a prayer meeting (as we like to say in Malta, thinking we are ‘different’) ‘with a difference’: this time, he would be presenting three men who have been released ‘from a life of homosexuality to a life of freedom from that lifestyle’.

Moreover at this 'meet' there would only be [people] '...that came along ONLY by a face to face encounter with the Risen Lord Jesus (no no no, it's not religion!] [sic]. I have absolutely no idea what this means.

There is a hilarious episode of South Park (they all are if you have not had a triple sense of humour bypass) where Cartman is sent to a Christian Gay Conversion camp to, obviously, convert. The suicide rate at the camp is sky high and of course, it turns out that the entire organisational and management structure is made up of closet queens.

I was surprised on the morning when this ‘invitation’ by Gordon-John Manche went out that thesinjorini (and a huge bunch of non-sinjorini too – we are not really living in a segregated society regardless of what Xarabank would like anybody over 60 to believe) just resorted to some very hurt comments on his event wall. I kept expecting somebody to say ‘The ones that object most strongly to loving another person of their own sex are the closet queens’.

But then Gordon-John took the event off, so I never got to see it.

Incidentally, this River of it something on the banks of which you can set up a row of tents?

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on Planet Mona's website.]

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