Piggy, as usual, has gotten in first, setting the pace for this blog, with her fast and flip wit. This leaves me to temporarily delve into darker places to give some background explanation of how we got to this place.
This trip was initially a small holiday for maybe one month to an island in the South Pacific, a way for Piggy and I to relax after what has been a fairly hectic, and sometimes traumatic few years.
We eventually decided New York could be fun, and Paris. Still thinking of a one month time frame, we tried to stretch it to include Israel and Egypt. I saw this as an opportunity for Piggy to branch out past her ideas of “old world”, which seems to hit a medieval wall, leaving her trapped in European sensibilities, refusing to acknowledge the significance of any form of historical remnant that doesn’t involve cobble stones, or isn’t overgrown with ivy.
With the inclusion of Israel and Egypt, we could still experience non-European cultures from the safety of colonial settings, which we are of course both familiar with.
THERE ARE NO GAYS IN AFRICA????
It is true that I pushed for Africa.
I was sick of hearing people confidently assert that there are no gay people in Africa. When I actually managed to engage in these conversations without my anger shutting people down, or allowing people to write me off as an “uppity fag”, what I heard was the same old rhetoric that described my sexual identity as being a product of “western decadence”, one that has the capacity to shift the desire of people in “less developed” countries.
This of course is offensive all round. It makes my sexual identity viral, allows me no personal connection with my own desire, and gives no agency to the people that my sexuality is apparently “turning” gay. It is imperial, and extremely offensive when coming from “friends”. I know the whole idea is stupid, yet I feel the need to prove that it is.
Facebook, which I had never paid too much attention to, becomes my weapon of choice. The globe is linked up like never before, I join groups to find out as much as possible about the social and political situation of queers in Africa. Piggy as usual is my constant companion, helping me to articulate in times of anger. Sharing my excitement of new friendships with people who reflect the diversity of Africa.
PIGGY AND PANDA
The concept of making oneself into a cartoon character is still sinking in. Piggy and I do this with each other within an extremely personal context. We use these identities to defuse the complexities of our life, maintaining affection for one another during times of exhaustion, frustration and celebration.
The pleasure of screaming PIGGYYYYYY!! from the top of my lungs across a crowded street never gets tired, it’s always a buzz. And the soft affirming capacity of Piggy saying “Well done Panda” allows me to receive acknowledgment through Panda’s persona, minimising my awkward reaction to praise.
“Outing” these avatars which are admittedly nauseatingly cute, and exposing our dirty little secrets of coping domestically, is both embarrassing and liberating. Well it’s done now thanks to Piggy’s proactive leap into blogdom, and it is already strange and confronting to hear people comment on our secret avatars. We have gone Gaga, and I can’t help thinking of visuals for Piggy and Panda: costumes, fascinators, masks, anything to extrapolate our personal totems as they are exposed.
Piggy and I are always redefining our relationship. We want to be “free bitches” not confined by the traditional boundaries of heteronormative models.
We are queer animals, and our politics inform our relationship with each other. Piggy and I believe that all relationships are transactional, constructed around needs, wants and desires. Often the response to this ideology seems to be one of concern that we do not experience what others refer to as “LOVE”.
I have a sneaking suspicion that what people are concerned about is our absence of sexual expression with each other. I will leave it up to this blog to further describe our relationship to those that read it.
On this subject I would just like to say one last thing:
WHAT KIND OF SICKO WOULD EXPECT A PIG AND A PANDA TO HAVE SEX WITH EACH OTHER???? IT’S JUST WRONG.
Piggy has explained the root of the avatar bestowed upon her well. I would like to add that porcine qualities of intelligence, resilience, and domestic capacity are a freakishly accurate depiction on the Piggy that I know and love. Piggy’s attraction to medieval structures and the safety they represent to the well-fed farm animal are obvious. It is my hope that by taking Piggy into areas beyond this familiarity, she will grow some tusks and embrace the feral aspects of her avatar, incorporating them boldly into her already competent psychology.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Piggy will slowly become “PIG”. We will see.
As a panda, I know that I am a simple polarity of extreme contrasts, Black and White.
I know that neither shade precedes the other; they both “just are”, they inform one another and any external response that draws attention to either tone specifically? Or prioritises any shade? Pure projection.
This projection is something to investigate because it means that you have been seen. Just not all of you. YET!
The best response for a panda is to keep eating, while watching the observer. We don’t usually feel threatened unless our food source is at risk, and even then we usually respond by gathering stock.
This Panda will always try to wear at least one other colour when possible to indicate “emotional responsivity”. For example: Panda in red is either angry or sexually stimulated, or both. Because of my ambiguity, I will try to use symbols through fashion in an attempt to show indicators of mood.
I have just realised that I am really scared of Piggy and Panda’s world tour. Scared shitless. I am scared about so many things regarding this trip that I have been paralysed with fear.
Where to start? Always a good question to ask when one embarks on a new project. The problem is I tend to start “way back”, back to my familial and cultural background, which constantly freaks me out as I tend to be in a state of regression while making big plans for the future.
Any Panda worth its weight in bamboo knows of course that time is relative, a construct, hell it doesn’t even really exist. What does exist, is finding and eating the right bamboo, while keeping conflict to a minimum. Good socialisation skills and the occasional indulgence in mild manipulation will keep Panda moving forward.
The problem is that Panda always worries about bamboo scarcity. As a response to this paranoia, Panda often blows his cover, drawing attention to himself by indulging in public displays of courtship parody through dance and mime.
While waiting in line for his passport, Panda recently tried to start a conga line to relieve the stress and boredom, eventually giving in and pointing to the television screen overhead in excitement. He was extremely thankful to have Piggy’s directional feedback as she sat calmly waiting on the other side of the crowded waiting room:
“Yes Panda, the woman on the passport infomercial does look like a lesbian, this is just not the time to scream it across a room full of people.”
(Non-dancing-crazy-old-man-in-waiting-room: Necessary cover for Panda to cross borders.)
This is where Piggy is invaluable. Piggy and I will help each other to navigate cultures that we know nothing of, knowing that we cannot operate with the certainty that we exhibit at “home.” We will be successful at this because of our “trans” qualities that border on what I call, “emotional bi-sexuality”, which we believe gives us broad emotional sensitivities bordering on superpowers. Piggy and I both believe that “pansexuality” is obviously closer to a “divine state,” however we also believe that currently, heterosexuality does not need to be celebrated. It is safe, secure, and nothing bad is going to happen to it.
The people who believe that heterosexuality is “at risk” are reacting to an irrational personal fear that they refuse to investigate without building extreme political ideologies around those phobias. (Not everybody has superpowers.) Piggy and I will continue to celebrate any consensual desire outside of heterosexuality in an acknowledgment of the continued and historical privileging of heteronormativity.
In short, we are queer animals, free bitches, scared shitless, and have enough respect for one another to investigate our love. This love we have for each other will be tested and hopefully reinforced as we travel around the world sharing our experiences with you while we document them for self examination.
How very Gaga of us, it seems our love has gone viral.