My Mazamet

Life at № 42

The Magnificent Hannah Gadsby Monologue

” … because I still have shame. You learn from the part of the story you focus on. I need to tell my story properly. Because the closet, for me, was no easy thing to come out of. From the year 1989 to 1997, right? This is 10 years, effectively my adolescence. Tasmania was at the centre of a very toxic national debate on homosexuality and whether or not it should be legalised. And I’m from the northwest coast of Tasmania, the bible belt. Seventy percent of the people I lived amongst believed homosexuality should be a criminal act. 70% of the people who raised me, who loved me, who I trusted believed that homosexuality was a sin; that homosexuals were heinous, sub-human paedophiles. Seventy percent. By the time I identified as being gay it was too late. I was already homophobic, and you do not get to just flick a switch on that. No. What you do is you internalise that homophobia and you learn to hate yourself. Hate yourself to the core. I sat soaking in shame – in the closet for ten years. Because the closet can only stop you from being seen. It’s not shame-proof. When you soak a child in shame they cannot develop the neurological pathways that carry thoughts, you know, thoughts of self worth. They can’t do that. Self-hatred is only ever a seed planted from outside in. But when you do that to a child, it becomes a weed so thick, and it grows so fast, the child doesn’t know any different. It becomes as natural as gravity. When I came out of the closet I didn’t have any jokes. The only thing I knew how to do was to be invisible and hate myself. It took me another ten years to understand I was allowed to take up space in the world. But by then I’d sealed it off into jokes, like it was no big deal. I need to tell my story because I paid dearly for a lesson that nobody seems to have wanted to learn. And this is bigger than homosexuality, it’s about – ”

———————————————–

I cut it off in mid sentence to arouse your curiosity. It’s a show that really must be seen, and it’s on Netflix now. It’s in the comedy category, but it’s much more than that as you can probably surmise from the excerpt above.

Like me Hannah was born in 1978. This means we were both spectators of the development of the global anti-gay movement. The timeline of which I’ve laid out in excruciating detail here, a sort of This Is Your Life of homophobia. The rise of this movement coincided with the rise of televangelism, and created an environment for LGBT people around the world that was psychological torture. We had no recourse, no escape.

They wanted us to be the wolf pack’s Omega. Relegated to the margins and trapped. Stuck in roles assigned to us in a system which has its order constantly reinforced by displays of dominance and submission. The omega bearing the brunt of the aggression. Others asserting themselves over the omega until he gives up resistance and surrenders, assuring the other pack members their own higher status in the hierarchy.

Hell. Margaret Atwood’s colonies.

 

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44 comments on “The Magnificent Hannah Gadsby Monologue

  1. jim-
    June 24, 2018

    I saw the timeline Pink, and I had just started high school at the beginning of that onslaught. These weren’t obscure stories by any means. It was in our faces every day and gay people were the scourge of the world ushering in the end times. What a shitty thing for religion to do to another human being. It was a witch hunt.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 24, 2018

      And it’s still going on today led by people like those at Grace Church Seattle. And the children of the people who go there are going to grow up hating themselves just as many of us did 30/40 years ago.

      Liked by 3 people

      • jim-
        June 24, 2018

        At least now with the web kids have access to some emotional support. I would hope this divisive propaganda would go the way of the N word, and do it quickly. From my perspective it has improved since the 80s. Yours?

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 24, 2018

        It’s improved beyond belief. As a young man I never dreamed things would have gotten to where we are now.

        Liked by 3 people

      • jim-
        June 24, 2018

        Nice. But obviously more to do. I am hopeful of this generation of kids.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 24, 2018

        So am I. They’re absolutely amazing, and if the changes in Ireland and Australia are anything to go by, they’re going to change the world. The religious claptrap worked really well when people lived in bubbles (still does), but as you point out, with the internet everything changes.

        Liked by 2 people

      • jim-
        June 24, 2018

        Amazingly, the Bible somehow missed the internet prophecy nor does it mention its biggest proponent of runaway religious spew—the USA. How did they miss that?

        Liked by 3 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 24, 2018

        Even the imaginations of ignorant middle eastern camel herders have limits 😀

        Liked by 4 people

  2. Robert A. Vella
    June 24, 2018

    Culture induced self-hate is incredibly destructive and a societal problem difficult to resolve. I have felt it myself even though I’m heterosexual. When individuals stand out in contrast to prevailing culture, for whatever reason, they become vulnerable targets. Human nature can be so vile.

    In the long-term, secular education seems to be the only remedy for the prejudices of ignorance and orthodoxy. In the short-term, principled leadership can accomplish much if properly motivated. Concerning LGBT issues, we’ve seen such leadership in recent years – thankfully.

    Liked by 5 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 24, 2018

      Absolutely. Just look at the success of hair straightening pastes or skin bleach in Brazil and Africa. They’ve become huge industries despite being verifiably dangerous.
      In the case of LGBT rights, we’ve been fortunate in that the anti-gay case was a complete fabrication, based on lies, innuendo and straight out fraud. That can only work where access to information is tightly controlled.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Arkenaten
    June 24, 2018

    Our dear friend Senor Fuckwit Branyan also did a post on this woman. For some odd reason his take was not quite the same as yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 24, 2018

      Wow! And he got four whole comments! How many followers did you say he had? Amusingly fishy 😀

      Like

      • Arkenaten
        June 24, 2018

        It says 20,593 subscribers.

        I have often wondered if all these ”subscribers” are hiding behind the church pews cringing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 24, 2018

        Or it’s an Indian tech firm which organises “followers”.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Arkenaten
        June 24, 2018

        I have no idea what this means. I’m so low tech I have a label on my laptop that says On/Off.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 24, 2018

        There are tech companies in India that sell followers. They have bots (fake email accounts, fake Facebook accounts, fake twitter accounts) that they can program to follow anything. It’s also cheap to do. Austin Ruse claimed to have tens of thousands of followers on Breitbart, and hundreds of thousands of readers, when I asked him how that translated to less than 300 twitter followers and very few comments and responses to what he said, he deleted his twitter account 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arkenaten
        June 24, 2018

        Ah … I see.
        There a couple of photographic blogs I follow that have a lot of followers , one has several thousand. Judging by the number of regular comments, usually over a hundred for every post, this figure seem s much more realistic.
        If you peruse Branyan’s blog, exclude all comments from the regular non-believing crew, then he has around six regular commenters, and this includes his daughter!
        I have also suspected on occasion that a couple of these are simply the same person using another email account, but I would not know how to check this.
        His blog seems to be similar in set up to that woman Katy(?)you went head to head with a while back?

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 24, 2018

        It seems to be a favoured tactic in right wing religious internet circles. I have the impression a business plan is being passed around (or sold) and people keep falling for it. In the end unless people keep the cash flowing (like at Breitbart) the system fails because people catch on. I wouldn’t be surprised if Branyan and all of his commentators are just him.

        Like

      • Arkenaten
        June 24, 2018

        What strikes me as odd, is that practically all his posts are vitriolic. Even fundamentalists such as Mel Wild present a Christian view, even if it is somewhat warped.
        You’d think that maybe a few of his ”Christian” followers would take him to task on occasion. He certainly comes across as a sociopath and sometimes worse.

        Liked by 2 people

      • inspiredbythedivine1
        June 25, 2018

        Well, I have over 7 billion followers on my blog. Really, I do. Why would I make something lie that up?

        Liked by 3 people

  4. I like it when you get your gay on and post on being gay and gay oppression. People need to know,people need to be reminded.

    I often think young ppl who are LGBT haven’t a clue, they are growing up in a much different era, BECAUSE, because of one HUGE reason you didn’t have, it is because of the internet their lives are so much better than your was. The internet allows them to connect and get validation, care less what their church or the churches in their community preaches, they are able to reach outside their community because of the internet.

    I follow on Twitter the young people of Parkland Florida High School, and a few parents whose children were murdered, I know one thing, these young people are different than even the millenial generation. Time is on your side Pink, the world is changing and this younger generation isn’t having non if this anti gay shit. They just won’t put up with it. Their parents may think one way (anti gay) but the young people are not having it. It is great, i love to read their tweets, they are so inspiring. One thing though is they are not truly aware of the history, what people in your generation and Mike’s generation went through.

    I do completely believe that we stand on the shoulders of giants, those men and women who came out in the 80’s and 90’s and refused to stay closeted. ACT UP! The people at Stonewall, and the millions of people around the world who refused to be cowed or ashamed. Even if you harbored private shame in public you rejected it, this was the change generation YOU Pink, YOU are the change generation. You did it, this was your generation, you accomplished a hellva lot and we stand on your shoulders. We do, we really do. You had it bad but you, God Damned, made it BETTER, you made it better for the generations that came after you. You were the change generation and you deserve our respect and appreciation. You suffered but your pain and suffering and REBELLION made it so much better for the young LGBT people after you. Keep fighting Pink keep fighting, not fr yourself but for the young 13 year old 14 year old boy who is gay. Fight for him.

    One of the most touching comments I ever read was from a guy called Oakland Ben, he wrote that in his generation he never expected to be married or have children it was not anything he ever considered was possible. He is married now to his husband and he says all the young people who are gay who he fights for (and he does fight) he considers them his angel children, the children he never had. When a boy is not allowed to bring his boyfriend to prom for example, he fights for him, that young gay boy is his angel child, that is how he thinks of them. He wants their lives to be better.

    I always like it when you get your gay on Pink.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 24, 2018

      Then you’ll be pleased to know that I plan on talking a while lot more about these things, and the early days. When Mike and I moved in together in a conservative community and that was in itself a *scandal*. We’d walk into a restaurant and people would look and whisper. Invitations to dinner parties were accompanied by questions or special instructions. It was not a fun time…

      Like

    • acflory
      June 25, 2018

      What a beautiful comment. -hugs-

      I had gay friends at uni, but it wasn’t until I stumbled across a young boy called Kenneth James Weishuhn that I finally realised the horror of what continues to happen to children who ‘come out’ as gay. That child was hounded until he finally took his own life.

      Not a unique story, I know, and that is part of what makes me so angry. Children have a right to be loved for who they are, not twisted inside out to conform to some perverted religious ‘ideal’.

      All parents socialise their children in some way, it’s inevitable, but love should never be contingent upon conformity. Never.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. acflory
    June 25, 2018

    Thanks for this excerpt, Pinky. Hannah Gadsby is a well-known, Australian comedian, but I had no idea her journey from childhood was so torturous. I admire her even more now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 25, 2018

      This is the tip of the iceberg. She’s had a very tough time. The only consolation is being so incredibly talented she can use the things that happened to her and just by talking about it the way she does makes other people who were victimised in some way feel less isolated 🙂

      Like

      • acflory
        June 26, 2018

        On TV she always looks so incredibly upbeat. I truly hope that one day her inner reality will match the outer. 😦

        Like

  6. theoccasionalman
    June 25, 2018

    I got into my experience with some of this when I wrote about Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde recently. If you’ve not seen that post yet, it’s something I’d like to share with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. inspiredbythedivine1
    June 25, 2018

    “When you soak a child in shame they cannot develop the neurological pathways that carry thoughts, you know, thoughts of self worth.” What an incredibly powerful and true statement. I’ll be watching this tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 25, 2018

      She has a very particular style, so don’t expect something you laugh all the way through – but still, it’s definitely worth watching.
      And I couldn’t agree more on the neurological pathways. The problem is then compounded as in adulthood we try to “fix” the past. I’ll have self worth by… doing x job, driving x car, living in x house…

      Like

      • inspiredbythedivine1
        June 25, 2018

        Yep. I struggle with that every single day of my life. I’m not gay and wasn’t shamed for that reason, but my sociopath parents shamed me simply because I dared to breath. You learn to live with it, but it doesn’t ever go away. The more stress I’m under, the harder it is to do and not flip right back into the mindset that I’m worthless and should feel shame simply because I exist. I’m looking forward to watching her show. She seems spot on and very poignant in her views.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 25, 2018

        Sexuality as the catalyst for mistreatment is easy to identify, but of course it can be anything. Growing up I knew a girl who was labelled clumsy and that became sort of an all consuming thing in her life. Clumsy was in reality the code for rendering her worthless. Clumsy came to mean stupid, careless, lazy, anything that would make her question herself and keep her in a position of useful subservience.

        Liked by 1 person

      • inspiredbythedivine1
        June 25, 2018

        I understand that all too well.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Colin Bisset
    July 3, 2018

    Such a brilliant show (and art history, too). You might track down Josh Thomas’ Please Like Me if you haven’t already seen it – I think it’ll appeal and Hannah is great in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      July 3, 2018

      I’ve seen it and loved it. The formatting (or lack of formatting) was absolutely brilliant. I think it’s one of the few shows ever made which just tells a story without falling back on classic media/storytelling techniques.

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on June 24, 2018 by in activism, thinking aloud and tagged , , , , , , .
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