By: Banzi Mehlo
“It’s so difficult to say because half of the time we don’t even notice the looks we get. Sometimes it’s in the mall, sometimes in a restaurant,” Cape Town based couple, Andrew Murphy and Matt Pike said. For Andrew and Matt, it is less about the problems they deal with in public but more about the challenges in the relationship. “If we’re talking about challenges within our relationship; there has been a bit of a culture clash in the beginning but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t fix. Obviously growing up with completely different backgrounds definitely gives us that opportunity to broaden our minds on how we both think and react to situations. For the most part, it’s been really beautiful seeing to cultures come together,” said Matt. Being a homosexual couple comes with it’s own difficulties, now being an interracial gay couple, for sure comes with more judgement or hatred. For Andrew It’s more subtle. “It might even be within the circles I move in but maybe they’re just afraid to say it out loud or maybe they don’t even realize they’re doing it. I do sometimes feel like our generation can be ready to move forward to an all-inclusive society, they just need to be educated and also willing to learn”.
“When we have meetings together, people tend to address me instead of Andrew and we know that’s because I’m white”, Matt continues. In terms of homophobia , he has not experienced it directly but people that used to be his friends before have distanced themselves, leading to making him believe that they were “accepting” of him, from a distance. To deal with the scrutiny, they both have made the effort to either subtly mention that what was being said is not okay and their efforts are never to force their beliefs and life on anyone, instead, they try to encourage a more open-minded and inclusive attitude.
Matt also believes that one does not have to always agree on everything and that’s okay but it is important to understand where the next person is coming from. There has been stereotypes about queer couples and these two have surely proved everyone wrong. “We’ve had to battle with the stereotype that our kind of relationship, gay and interracial, does not last, but we’re going on to almost 6 years now and we don’t plan on giving up,” they both mentioned. They also added, “What is crazy in the gay community is that there’s this extreme need for instant gratification and most people in relationships don’t want to accept that fact that a relationship is hard work. It’s not a meet up and go and it’s definitely not what it looks like in the movies, it’s way more beautiful than that anyways”. According to them, finding love in the LGBTIQ+ community can be difficult at times. “It is definitely hard. At the same time, I wasn’t looking for love it really did find me. I know that’s cliché but it’s true,” said Matt.
According to Andrew, it’s hard and the relationship standards in the gay community are shocking, no one believes in true love anymore. Finding love is the most beautiful thing ever but Andrew feels that he has always been the “different” one in his family, so it didn’t come as a shock to them. “My family has honestly been the most amazing and the most accepting and I’ve never felt excluded or like they were ashamed of me. My friends are also my family”. They do see a future together, probably marriage and they both definitely want children. With them pushing 6 years together, it is definitely bound to happen. The focus is to stay clear of the drama and focus on achieving their dreams.