Monday, 18 May 2015

Ginger Spice: The REAL reason why I am a Unionist.


Ginger Spice: The REAL reason why I am a Unionist. 


Since I have arrived home to Belfast, a place where I have spent a great deal of my time is Fitness First Connswater. For anyone who does not know, Connswater is situated right beside the Lower Newtownard's Road (Which is were the rioting near "the 12th" occurs in Belfast, as well as I like to call the "Fleg" protests). Fitness First would be my closest gym, it's about a mile from my house, which is situated close to Ballyhackmore nick named the "Champs-Elysees of Belfast" or the "Upper East Side". Like in a lot of cities, "posh" or middle-class areas are not far from working-class areas. Thus in the gym I attend almost daily, there is members from both areas. Ironically the reason why I use this gym (apart from to look incredibly sexy when I'm naked!), is also to keep myself in shape for Irish dancing. 



If I don't know someone well, I tend to be quite shy (apart from when I am drunk: I have a mischievous drunk twin!).Nevertheless, I tend to be quite polite and wouldn't consider myself to be unfriendly. However, for some reason in Belfast when I see a very muscular man with a shaved head and tattoos, I become terrified! I all of a sudden feel as if I have a massive flashing sign above my head saying "Taig" and then because of this, they want to kill me. What is this(I am sure a lot of my English LGBT friends would find this hilarious, "they sound sexy", they sound like they just walked out of a Vauxhall Nightclub!) ? It is paranoia! It is the reason why I believe a lot of the trouble in Northern Ireland occurs along with many other types of prejudice and discrimination such as Racism and Homophobia. Many people are homophobic for example, until a member of their family or a friend becomes homosexual. 

I wish I wasn't paranoid about this; this voice in my head saying "all working class protestants want to kill me." I am sure the men in this gym are offended that I am afraid of them. When does a dog bark? When it senses that someone is scared of them. They don't understand. Human's fear what they don't understand. I grew up with a variety of people from different backgrounds, however not many working class protestants or working class people whatsoever, and thus I am naturally intimidated by them, because I don't understand them; I've never new any well. I was friends with middle-class protestants and my friends in school who were middle-class Catholics use to say "they are different from us", some people use to even call me a "mud-blood" because my mum was a Protestant and my dad was a Catholic. 

These paranoid feelings I have, are quite ironic; I should feel at home in East Belfast considering some of the political views I have. A "Catholic turned Unionist", I must seem like some sort of a hero, like i have been "saved". And to be honest, I quite like the colors red, white and blue. My favorite spice girl after all was Ginger Spice. My dad use to make jokes, when he would see a Union Flag, he would point to it and say "there's another Ginger Spice supporter." I think maybe he blames her on turning his only son into a unionist, also when Gerry Adams was named on the news, he use to say "it's you and ginger spice getting married".  My Grandad, who was a Chinese-Malaysian G.P., practice was in the exact same area, so probably what quite a lot of the member's Doctor. My uncle who is also a G.P. (ironically again) has his practice is in Ardoyne, and is the G.P to some Catholics I know from Irish dancing. 




I have been told about a program called "Corrymeela", which is a "Christian community whose objective is the promotion of reconciliation and peace-building through the healing of social, religious, and political divisions in Northern Ireland. It runs programs aimed at establishing a shared society defined by tolerance, where differences are resolved through dialogue in the public sphere and where there is equity, respect for diversity and recognition of interdependence." Although, you may know from personally knowing me or reading a previous post, I am agnostic and hence not religious myself. However,I am about to apply for a program ran by this community. I hope to become more involved in it. I think it is terrible that  myself and others are paranoid about people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Hopefully by being involved in this program this paranoia will stop. 










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