With the recent Paralympic Games being held in London - I have been captivated by all these inspiring athletes and their incredible stories, but none more so than Oscar Pistorius. Oscar Pistorius was born November 22, 1986 without a fibula in each of his legs. It was decided that Oscar's legs would be amputated below the knees before he learnt to walk- as this would allow greater receptivity in mobility later on in life, and evidently prove to be his strength rather than his weakness. Oscar initially played rugby, water polo and tennis in Pretoria Boys High School (the highschool I too attended), and it was only after a rugby injury that Oscar began running, for rehabilitation. The rest is, as they say, history... Currently Oscar holds the world record for the T44 400m, and also the T44 4x100m along with his fellow team mates. Oscar is also the ONLY double leg amputee EVER to compete on the Olympic track and make the Olympic final.
So how does this incredible athlete relate to being gay?
After watching the Paralympic games one evening I realized that being handicapped can be likened to being homosexual in many ways. (KEEP READING!) Not only are both handicapped people and homosexuals treated as second hand citizens, but we both have an internal obstacle to overcome. Just as Oscar, and many other disabled athletes had to overcome their impairments, we as homosexuals have to overcome our internalized fear of being who we are. In no way am I trivializing being either handicapped or homosexual - I am just comparing the struggles we both endure, just as our struggles have been compared to many other civil rights movements. This leads me to the relevance of Oscar Pistorius and his story on a blog intending to help gay youth come to terms with their sexuality. Oscar was born without a fibula in each leg and yet it hasn't prevented him from running, let alone walking. Being a double leg amputee, it would go without saying that Oscar has had a great amount of obstacles to overcome, not only physically but mentally too. Yet, here he stands, a handicapped athlete, challenging able bodied athletes at the sport.
|Oscar at 2012 Olympic Games|
So we're born gay, just as Oscar was born without fibulae, and here we stand confronted with this huge life obstacle we call sexuality, which in many ways scares us just as much as a physical defect. What do we do? We do what Oscar Pistorius has done, we make our weakness our strength. Oscar may be an advocate for The Paralympics, but he represents something far greater! Oscar represents the outcome of dedication, appreciation and passion, all things we as homosexuals need to adopt. Dedicate yourself to making your environment an LGBT friendlier one. Appreciate who you are, and this life you've been given- do so by making the most of every moment. Lastly, what ever you do- do so with passion. Passion is what drives you to obtain the unobtainable and achieve the impossible. Passion will guide you to what you heart desires.
Regardless whether you agree that homosexuality and being handicapped are similar or not, you cannot deny that Oscar Pistorius has made the most of what he has. You are in no way different to Oscar, and there is nothing you cannot achieve. Oscar looked beyond the ability to walk- just as you should look beyond the obstacle of coming out. Dream big. Dream of an accepting world, living with the person you love and being authentic to yourself. If you can dream it, it's yours for the taking!
Oscar will be running his final race this evening in The London Paralympic games. I wish him all the best in the 400m race. He has definitely reshaped the way I see handicapped people, as well as myself!
I'd like to show people that if you put the hard work in and you believe in yourself, then you can do whatever you want to. - OSCAR PISTORIUS