Thursday, June 12, 2014

Life In a Gay: Memoirs of Gay Paul-UniBAM Director Speaks


Reposted June 12th, 2014



So today, after my work shift I decided I would go out and grow my little direct selling business. For most of you that did not know before, I started selling Avon back in 2010 and had to slow down in 2012. Recently last week, I picked up from where I left off and back to that good old Avon guy that everyone knew me as.
Maybe back then, while running here and there, waiving down taxis, jumping in and out of buses, picking up payments, dropping off deliveries, I really never had to stop and think of my safety. I have always been an OUT PROUD GAY MAN! If anyone would ask me, there would be nothing to hide and ALL and I MEAN ALL my customers that I used to serve back then in 2010 to 2012 knew exactly who I was and that was never a problem, and hopefully it remains that way.
On this journey of re-joining the Avon family, I’ve decided to take on two young gay men, one 19, young and excited about life and the other, my partner’s little cousin, a business major from high-school at the age of 16, under my wings and apprenticeship. I try my best to ALWAYS look out for the best interest of young people, especially that of my own – the LGBTI. I hope that I can be an example for them and that they continue living life, with dignity and with pride.
Unfortunately, it seems that Belize or rather, some of my fellow Belizeans do not see me as apart of the economic machinery of this country and of course sees me less than human. I got on the Ladyville bus from the PUMA gas station with my two apprentices, found our seats and sat down. And the jeers and mockery begins, ”who you think da d lady?” ”Da one have bigga titty!” ”3 UNIBAM de pahn D BUS!” one of them belted and alerted! Of course, I am one who simply does not care what comes out of my my mouth and I responded with the same tone, ”and so fucking what?!” The bus grew quiet and serious, no one said a word. We continued our journey from where we picked up to the Belize City Pound Yard area, with the continuous taunts, and announcements of “Orozcos” on the bus. All I did was grew more and more angry and hoped to the divine that I did not react in a violent way. We got off and while the back seat hate mongers, who I might add were 4th form Ladyville Tech students, passed remarks to have us continue off the bus, so as to avoid any conflict at that point, while all the while, all I did was remained quiet after my burst of profanity on the initial start of the journey.
We continued down Orange Street, passing Euphrates Ave and again, a man shouting from the near by store, “FUCKING BATTYMAN!’ Another man riding along side, stood up and notified a police officer around that corner where we were at, “da bally d harass d young man dem,” luckily the police was around to make his presence known; for that, I am grateful. However, I only had one thing in mind, AVON SALES! One of the friends, called his mom asking her if she could pick us up. Determined as I am, I told him, we are simply walking through and I need to worry about my customers and have no time to wait. So, we pressed forward unto Regent street.
We stopped by at our local district sales manager, Rialto Caribe Ltd, not before hearing the taxi drivers, upset that we refused their taxi services, yell out, ”de nuh need we, de have Orozco money!” I asked myself, ”Fuck, someone, please show me this money.” I did what I needed to do, I bought some brochures, and a couple products and off to LoveFM, to visit another customer. It did not take too long, when I saw some kids, about 12-15 passing taps on each others’ shoulders, as if to say, “look at these three” and of course, one of them, tantalized by picking up a rock from off the ground. Of course I remained alert and continued.
Mind you now, this was all on foot. I finally, finished up with all my customers, drop offs and could not wait to get to my safe space. Well, at least that is what I hope and is at least what anyone hopes for, to have a sense of security. But NOT TODAY! Some random guy visiting my neighbor, rode off but not before saying, “BUN FAYAH!” Ah yes, the good old, brimstone and fire, the good old ”bun fayah” had to be used today and why not? We are after all NOT HUMAN! Is that not what the backward far right wants for us to think?
And so I leave you with this. Today I had only ONE “agenda,” and that was TO SELL SELL SELL! To live, to survive, to be able to provide for my family unite, my partner of 6 years, my 2 dogs, my cat. That was my only agenda. To be able to go back home to the man that loves for who I am and to LIVE FREELY WITHOUT FEAR OF MY LIFE! Will I continue to speak my mind on the issue of human rights? YES! Do I blame UniBAM? No, it is moments like these, that drive me to continue to press the issue, speak my mind and to fight until truly, we can say, ”freedom comes tomorrow’s noon” FOR ALL BELIZEANS.

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