intolerance, racism & hate

Although this is a chef site and most of my blogs reflect about TCM in a broad way – today I am adding another personal story to the blooming pseudo-political aspect of tolerance and racism…

In 1995 I participated with my ex-partner Mathieu in a catalogue production based out of Healdsburg Sonoma Valley. TZABACO. This shopping-magazine targeted gay consumers with a story line of Mike and Alex, a gay couple that lived in a cabin in the Sonoma Valley and had friends visiting. Michael (Mathieu’s character) was a bartender in the city and I portrait Alex, a writer and home-buddy. We had a sleepy golden retriever named Bob and everything you would find in the catalogue pictures/story was for purchase. It was a gutsy and risky undertaken by the owners to “openly” promote products with a gay couple in the days where gay people hardly were seen kissing in TV shows and way before Queer as Folk or gay sports personas would ever step to the front and admit their natural preference. The meaning “transgender” was unknown to most and is still unclear to people living  revoked from urban modernity or “sheltered” by religious dogma.

Tzabaco with Mike and Alex chef raphael gamon

Tzabaco with Mike and Alex (mathieu mcbee raphael gamon)

My modeling agency warned me that this might be a bit “homophobic” for my carrier. Although I grew up unconcerned about any gay issues – I had no problem with admitting my sexual preference when asked about my lack of girlfriends. Growing up in Switzerland where being gay was not an issue – not even when I joined an elite branch of the army – I had never been threatened, harassed or bullied for being me. Quite the opposite, I think my “gay” upbringing was rather exciting; I got laid left and right and ponder in hindsight about the friends I knew in my “active” youth that are today happily married and seemingly content as well. As an intelligent child I would have told you that if I had a choice, I most likely would have preferred to be married and have children as well; but I am sexually and psychologically attracted to the male body. I have had beautiful sexual experiences with woman; it is not as intense, as exciting and I never fantasize about making love to a female… Actually, I can’t explain it correctly – but I know with certainty – I am gay. Fascinated about extreme sports and always the first to strive for dangerous adventure, my sexual desire have nothing to do with the person I am in my professional life, although I choose to life in a gay city. My sexual preference is rarely influencial in any of  my dailly actions. I get along with pretty much with anyone nice, sane regardless of their life-style preference or even religion.  I never made a big point about mine either. I’m the spirit that was raised to embrace the positive aspects of being, to express the likes before the dislikes and point out that my reality quietly included the obscure, difficult and disharmony that makes life colorful.

So many out there have this strong urge to express their dislikes. Why?

I listen better than most. Very aware of the words used when talking, writing or even drawing my ideas into reality. Religious extremes are quick to voice their unique views and hide behind multiple translations of bible verses and confusing moral correctness created mostly by peeps that used brutal force in past times to doctrine their worldly existence beyond their living time. Preachers today confuse followers with rhetorical old-time views that don’t reflect current science. Hate is simply an emotional expression from a perspective of one-sided righteousness. It often lacks logic and requires a very narrow view. Such individuals invest a great deal of energy, intellect and excuses in why their deep seeded feeling is acceptable and they often use physical power to manifest their ideology.

I’m utterly irked when people promote their personality in chat sites with racist wordings like: “…I’m sorry, no blacks or Asians, just a preference… It’s a hateful  remark! It’s equally ignorant to say: “…only disease free…” Clearly indicating a lack of basic HIV education. Anyone with an undetectable virus is in good care and quite impossible to transmit “disease” – besides that HIV is by far the most commonly transmitted of all STD’s … This is not the ideal prophylactic way of preventing an infection when designing your racist personal profile while thinking it is racy…(Study your words…) It starts as a single step to change the world. As long as politicians and omnious leaders of kingdoms and nations refuse to be educated – because they would discover what awful samples they are – there is little chance for all nations to balance old wisdom withresearch; it’s merely one “powerful” dude branding his simple minded ideas onto others… often driven by junk science!

While a bearded transgender performer just won the Eurovision contest before a 120 million TV audience in Europe, here in the USofA the news media is sadly broadcasting every detail of a billionaire league owner that  lacks business sense when laundering his hateful persona to the public. He does not even understand that Michael Jordan is HIV positive and does not have AIDS… His ego is about as inflated as that of Putin, promotes self-confidence as comical as Palin or Bachmann and displays a poor sense for what is poverty as do the Kardashians. Sure, they all give generously to charities; not because this is a heart driven gesture – because their accountants calculate this is best to secure their wealth. Revoked from the reality of “normal” being; completely ignorant to the sad realism of their immediate surrounding which is constructed to never allow anyone working for them to speak the truth and reflect the despicable human they are… Being rich requires to be isolated from the norm.

The TZABACO catalogue in it’s fourth edition showcased me, Alex piggy-horse riding my laughing nephew on my back during a family Christmas party. In the early days of internet and social media we received handwritten letters from mostly religious corners expressing their frustration and disgust about a fag carrying an innocent child of God on my gay shoulders. I was not hurt, but confused that here in the US – this advanced country that invates with weaponries and soldiers other countries when they express intolerance – citizens would take time to write hate letters while self-convinced that their action was honorable.

That is equally as confusing as any NFL player of color opinionates about the congratulary kiss of a man with his male partner – It was in my lifetime when in 1968 their status of a 2/3 human was finally corrected. Yes, racism, intolerance and hate of any kind are all twined when expressing your one-sided deep emotions. Just, today with the internet, it’s irrevocable out there. It would be much simpler and all inclusive if most of you would restrict your expressions to what you like instead of shouting out the many things we dislike.

Just portrait yourself with the things that you like instead. For most of you that would still draft you as the freak you are! …because I listen and often withhold my reaction… In the end it is easier to let you live in your isolated bubble since I have learned that wealthy people tend to retaliate against a truthful opinion.

chef raphael