This ongoing debate about the apparent unwillingness of many Jamaicans to be tolerant of homosexuality is pretty interesting. It was in the news this week that both major television stations have chosen not to run a public service announcement urging tolerance of homosexuals. There is merit to their arguments, which I won't get into, but I believe both missed opportunities to help erase the stigma.
I find the whole thing rather hypocritical because if tolerating homosexuality was our only crime, Jamaica would be a lot better place for everyone. However, in this country, we tolerate corrupt politicians, we tolerate gunmen, we apparently tolerate the beheading of women and the murder of children, but when it comes to homosexuals, that is where we put our foot down. No siree. You can kill and maim and steal all you like so long as you are not gay.
No politician in this country will ever call for the repeal of the buggery laws because that would be tantamount to political suicide. Jamaican politicians are even willing to face international ridicule just to prove to the local populace that they are staunchly opposed to the gay lifestyle. "Not in my Cabinet!" Prime Minister Bruce Golding declared on the British talk show Hardtalk a few years ago. This was in response to being asked if he would tolerate gays in his Cabinet. He was chastised in the international press but many people here loved him for it.
What I was interested in finding out is how did he know who was gay from who wasn't? Does the prime minister possess a gay test? How does he know who is gay from who isn't? It's not like people walk around with a sign that says 'Gay' stapled to their foreheads. In fact, contrary to popular belief and what Clovis would have you believe from his cartoons in the Jamaica Observer, gay men don't walk around in high heels and lipstick and not all gay women dress like tomboys.
Take a trip down to any of the local prisons and find the guy who has sex with the weaker inmates and see if he is wearing lipstick or in any way behaves 'lady like'.
There are men and women walking among us daily who go home to same-sex lovers every night and you and I don't know nor do we care, so what is the problem? Do we really think that if we accept gays it means death and destruction for us all? Officially, we have not but does that stop the murder and mayhem and economic malaise? No, it doesn't, so what's our problem?
And let's just put some other fears to rest. If we became more tolerant of gays, it doesn't mean that suddenly they're going to start having sex in the streets nor does it mean that our little boys are no longer safe from paedophiles. What intrigues me is that we literally turn a blind eye when middle-aged men - paedophiles - engage in sexual relationships with 12 and 13 years old girls, but all of a sudden we are so concerned over our young boys, many of whom end up being hardened criminals by the time they celebrate their 16th birthdays. So I guess its better that our boys become hardened criminals so long as they are not turned out by gay men.
The biggest hypocrisy of all is that many of the people who are most vocal against gays and the gay lifestyle are themselves closet gays but instead of advocating tolerance, they make it even harder for themselves and their partners who continue this counterproductive stance; that, and the fact that people seem to be more tolerant of lesbians than gay men.
Man, I just wish that we would all grow up because the bottom line is that we could huff and puff until the cows come home, gay people aren't going anywhere. They're here to stay. Like the sun, the moon and the air we breathe, they're not going anywhere.
and my audio rant on the issues I have with the ad: