An Engineer Suffering from Non-Homophobia

Maria Matienzo Puerto

HAVANA TIMES — When asked, I always say “I don’t like politics” – which causes people to look at me, wondering what the hell I’m doing writing for Havana Times.

Usually, I’ll continue my explanation saying, “I don’t like it, but I find it entertaining.” It’s that I think we’re all political beings, because apathy and doing nothing are also political positions.

It’s not my intention to go into any polemics over this issue. I think what everybody is against (or almost everybody) is politicking – and we have thousands of examples of that. So why talk about it.

So you tell me if I’m right when I say: Whose going to tell me that my preference for women was going to turn into a political position, even more than the facts of being a woman, being black and Cuban.

While those who know me will say I’m a liar, I’m not interested in arguing back and forth through emails. Nonetheless, when discussing the issue of homophobia, I can’t help but to comment. How odd.

It turned out that a few days ago I received a series of emails from the website of the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) containing the opinion of an engineer, Alfonso Chacon Martin. With these came responses from the organization HxD (Men for Diversity), which were directed toward him for his homophobic views.

The engineer went from one extreme of asserting that homosexuality isn’t normal to another extreme of comparing it to pedophilia. Among his many inconsistencies, one of his arguments was the notion that the “many homosexuals” around him feel embarrassed by all the attention received concerning the issue because of CENESEX.

I imagine that his group of homosexual acquaintances feel pressured by his super-machismo or just need therapy to raise their self-esteem.

The important thing is that the replies to his nonsense came raining down. Wasn’t that great? People fought back with all the tools they had at hand.

I thought of sending a letter. Why not? However, I changed my mind when I analyzed all of the details. The problem was that nothing more can be asked of this Mr. Engineer. And I pity him. In perhaps the only act of freedom in his life, people have pounced on it.

Oh, I forgot an important detail. He’s an engineer with the company TRD Caribe. And who owns this company? The military. The same people who are so determined to form a more inclusive society.

That means that this guy, an important building block of the military structure, was coming up with these half intelligent opinions opposing the LGBT community. This is unacceptable!

It was so much so that the comrade was forced to retract his statements.

I guess that when his superiors called him in they said, “Comrade (or lieutenant or colonel, who knows?) Chacon, look and see how you can fix the problem that you’ve gotten yourself into.”

But his opinions for retracting his previous statements were even more inconsistent and homophobic. And the poor fellow ended up insisting “I’m not homophobic.”

Permit me to take a pause in the writing and bust out laughing.

The engineer doesn’t suffer from homophobia, but from ideological inconsistency or from non-homophobia, like some people are non-racist, non-xenophobic and non-misogynist.

So that you don’t feel like you’re at a disadvantaged, let me tell this brief story.

My father said that he’s coming in August for my birthday. It’s been 19 years since I’ve seen him and he doesn’t know that I’m a lesbian.

This means I’m wavering between my political position and a personal choice: letting my father die instantly of a heart attack at the news.

Should I spare him any possible speculation? That I don’t like women due to the lack of a father figure.

He was valiantly replaced by another good man. You see. Life is richer and I’m asking it for advice from its non-homophobic position.