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All of us enjoy listening to gossip from time to time even though it is often difficult to admit. Gossip is interesting and exciting. It releases fresh news including many secret happenings or affairs before the general public becomes aware. Many topics can be overheard in the informal gossip channels ranging from sport updates, family matters, relationships at work and conflicts.
Several years ago the most common discussions were centered on relationships between individuals, with extra marital affairs or lasa-i-tuba being the most prized of all gossips. However, there is a new trend of gossip emerging nowadays.
For some reason, single men and women appear to be the target of this new form of gossip. I find it weird that men and women who choose to remain single (either temporarily or permanently) are increasingly being singled out as gays or homosexuals and lesbians. The truth is that there are an increasing number of individuals who prefer to remain single and are also attracted to individuals of the opposite sex. The gay gossip is not only restricted to women as men are equally good at it.
Interestingly, around the tanoa or Kava drinking sessions, I have often heard men of all ages and cultural groups stigmatising single men and women. It seems that single men and women form an easy target as discussions focus on proving and associating them as confirmed members of the gay community.
Sadly, the gay gossip is sometimes inclusive of degrading terms like qauri, ghandu and panikeke. It is true that some single individuals are in fact gays, but this is not always the case. Surprisingly, even the most educated and respected members of society including some religious leaders enjoy participating in this form of gossip.
The night spots are no exceptions. For example, single men or women found hanging around one corner of the bar at O’Reilly’s are somehow, for some reason, classified as gays among the informal gossip channels. On a recent trip to the bar, one of my male workmates advised me not to move to the right hand corner. I replied to him “who cares .. let them gossip all night. We are here to admire the beautiful ladies and that’s all that matters.”
Adults fail to realise that such forms of behaviour influence minors. While waiting in a bus full of primary school children the other week, I overheard the leader of a bunch of bullies loudly proclaiming the weakest boy as a “gay”…
The next time you hear this form of gossip stop, walk away and ponder for a moment. Is it really true? What good will it lead to? How would you feel if you were a victim of such lies and deceit?