It’s a terrible trial being a moffie. Suffering and swaarkry blights our constricted, crooked lives. We’re always expected to be buff, stylish and witty – and remembering the words to Climb Every Mountain can be a killer.
I darkly ponder the travails of our lifestyle which – according to the gaggle of dominees of South Africa’s churches – we sisters perversely chose to follow. At exactly what age I’m expected to have sat down with my brightly coloured crayons and drawn up a list of pros and cons, and decided on balance to go pink, I don’t know.
And on precisely when I, a docile little soul happiest reciting a gediggie at the local Eisteddfod, decided to become a sexual renegade and call society’s wrath upon my neatly combed head and become a pansy, they’re not altogether clear.
But none of these details, of course, are important. Moffies are sinners and need to be, ahem, chastened. The white correcting fluid of the straight world needs to be daubed across us – to erase us.
Even in South Africa in the year of our Lord 2005 one hears the criminally stupid attempts at sexual reprogramming being endorsed by churches. It certainly strikes me as affirmingly Christian to cloister a gay man in a little room with copious amounts of straight porn and to administer electric shocks to him whenever he gets pleasure from viewing gay images.
It’s no less Christian to erect statues, of seriously dubious design, to glory in the brutal slaying of gay teenager, Matthew Shepard, as done by the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas in the United States.
The toxic sludge constantly pouring from the mouth of the Reverend Fred Phelps, the founding if not caring father of this church (sic), is indeed at the far end of a continuum, but the South African church fathers need to know that they themselves are on this very same, dangerously well-lubricated slope to hatred.
“Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, consorted with the lost souls on the periphery of society…”
The hoary old game of spitting bybelversies across the chasm is for the dullards and dimwits. The bible is a complex text which, any dominee will know, requires a sophisticated process of exegesis.
It does, though, seem pretty clear that over the centuries it has been reinterpreted rather dramatically, to keep up with the time and with the Joneses. I recall, I think, that the learned Copernicus was excommunicated for arguing that the earth was in fact a ball, and the dominees of the apartheid era went to hell in a handcart believing asininely that the groot boek was on their side.
And many would argue that one should look to Jesus, the cipher at the centre of the Christian faith, to understand its basic tenets. Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, consorted with the lost souls on the periphery of society – the homeless, the prostitutes, and the moffies.
Who, I’d suggest, are the dominees to differ?
If the rest of the world lost its prurient curiosity about what exactly happens under lace-edged gay duvets, and accepted human sexuality as joyfully varied, they’d soon realise how thunderingly silly it is to try to ordain who may love whom.
Recent studies have, after all, shown that far from being abnormal, the urge to be with another of the same sex is boringly normal. Nearly every species of animal does it. Even my straight sister’s bluff, blundering boerboele have been known to rub each other up the wrong way while the kiddies’ eyes were averted.
Heavens above, I hear a moffie sigh, as long as we don’t become too normal. We may, then, have to choose another vice to make us all jolly and other and interesting.