Three people I know recently told me they aren't bothering to vote and don't bother with politics - and I have seen numerous others online say the same. Hearing things like that make my blood boil, not because I want people to support a party of my choice - but because they are so uninterested in their own affairs - in OUR affairs as gay and trans people in South Africa.
These same people are ones who often complain about homophobia in their workplaces, the hate in the media expressed against gay and trans people - and they often wonder aloud why "somebody" doesn't do anything about it.
They cannot see that even a non-vote is a vote for our enemies who campaign against us. They simply couldn't be bothered.
Granted, the majority of us seem to be realizing the need to add action to words and do something, but there are still some who choose to just sit on the sidelines. WHen political parties boast and brag how they are going to take away our equality and our rights after the 2009 election, they are not referring just to those gay and trans people who voted against them - they mean ALL of us. And yet they sit there in a dark corner with their heads buried in the sand hoping nobody will see them.
And then people at the front lines of GLBT advocacy who fight for our rights and equality, pause to sit and think WHY it is we actually take the trouble to put our jobs and even our lives at risk for the good of all of us.
I surely love irony - about as much as tetanus.