Community

CULTURE CLINIC: Loving Our Neighbour

In A Closeted, Homophobic Society

We live in a closeted and homophobic Caribbean where male homosexuality is seen as a threat to national and regional identity (Atluri). Here, some men are perceived as being feminized, their productivity (having children) reduced, and seen as agents of the spread of HIV. This outlook places limits on their humanity, reinforced when acts of bullying, discrimination and stigma are perpetrated.

When do we admit that, at the personal and community levels, sexual behaviours and orientations in the Caribbean are just neither neatly defined nor experienced?

When do we acknowledge that some of our attractions, behaviours and desires occur far outside of heteronormativity?When are we going to notice that we often use “silence” and “omission” to negotiate appearing conservative or conventional, to “pass” in society?

Now is a good time to hold a line against gay oppression, to resist its conditioning and rigid binaries. It is important to take a more relaxed posture, to review and resist conservative and fundamentalist practices, and build alliances and support to interrupt addiction and compulsive practices that are found in all kinds of sexual activity. Creating ‘safe’ spaces of us to get perspective, face inner fears, and address issues that attach themselves to all discussions about sex. Social media, currently being used by marginalized and ‘taboo’ orientations and sexualities that are underground, can help shed ‘light’ on these issues.

Eddy Grant – Neighbour Neighbour

In Barbados, where “everybody knows somebody”, ‘advocates’ and ‘allies’ are necessary to insist that differences are acceptable. Our ability to interrupt homophobia and heterosexism is a sign of an evolving community. Repairing the effects of gay oppression in our communities is a crucial step. Celebrating our humanity, healing from our traumas, and giving up our privilege is critical to reclaiming full human lives.

Those of us who are non-conformists, who choose not to assimilate and who are visible face being mistreated in various ways. Male-to-female transgenders (trans-women), “queens”, usually considered non-threatening, sometimes get the society’s coded respect once they survive the initial degradation and show they can serve the community. Female-to-male transgenders (trans-men) value being invisible since it is currency for them to “pass” as men. The lives of “butch” Lesbians and bisexual women are sometimes reduced to being seen as either “freaks” or sexual objects. However, men who engage in homosexual activity and carry no stereotypical gay signs, what some may call straight-acting MSM (men-who-have-sex-with-men) or DLs (down-lows) in the Caribbean, are considered deceptive and heinous. Then, there are others that “lurk in the shadows”.

As such, a person’s right to privacy seems to be more at risk. This type of scrutiny reinforces a silence that used to be tolerated in traditional circles behind “veils” of decency and discretion. Self-imposed loneliness, isolation and regulation often protected some against feeling hurt and disappointment. These days, modern-day advocates seek to normalize all sexual activities, while others perceive non-conformist sexual orientations and marginal sexual identities a threat to their way of life.

Culture Clinic is a weekly column crafted by Dr. John Hunte. Picture by Adrian Richards.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Tell Us What You Think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Some Of Our Friends

Newsletter Sign Up

Why We Do This!

september, 2020

02sep(sep 2)12:00 am30(sep 30)11:59 pmScript-O-Rama12:00 am - 11:59 pm (30) GMT-4

14sepAll Day07octOTT Sing Dance Act(All Day) GMT-4

19sep9:00 am3:00 pmIsrael Lovell Foundation Performing Arts Term9:00 am - 3:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Dance

19sep10:00 am1:00 pmMustardseed Youth Theatre Ensemble10:00 am - 1:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Theatre

19sep11:30 amPaint and Play11:30 am GMT-4 Visual Arts:Drawing

19sep4:00 pmDance For YouDance Choreography Class by Jaialicia4:00 pm GMT-4

19sep5:30 pmThis Is How Our Garden Grows5:30 pm GMT-4 Visual Arts:Gallery

19sep6:00 pmBlessingfeaturing Jermyn Demetri, Trenacia Esseboom, Alicia Cheltenham, Jude Clarke, Ronson Small, Peter Sandiford, Trinity Clarke and others6:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Music

20sep4:00 pmTechnique & VibesDance class with Jailicia4:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Dance

20sep5:00 pm7:00 pmXion Network Live Interviewwith Miguel Blanco5:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

21sep7:00 pmF.A.M.E Weekly TalkEpisode #117:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

22sep6:00 pm7:00 pmCompete CaribbeanRevenue Streams6:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

23sep8:00 pmOh My Word Open Micwith Rhy Minister, Sunrokk and Wesu8:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Open Mic

23sep8:30 pmRiteside Of Redat Mojos8:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Reggae

23sep9:00 pmComedy Open Micfeaturing Sunrokk, Biko, Cudjoe9:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Theatre

23sep9:00 pmBack To SchoolDy Browne Live9:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Theatre

23sep9:00 pmAndre Woodvine LIVEon Facebook and YouTube9:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

24sep6:30 pm9:00 pmJae Johansen LIVEat Cafe Luna Barbados6:30 pm - 9:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

24sep7:30 pmVersatile Threads Summer Serieswith guest Locmuse Creations7:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

25sep7:00 pm9:00 pmKevan Sahai LIVEat Pier One Restaurant7:00 pm - 9:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

25sep8:00 pmSupport Yuh Ownopen mic hosted by Sluggy Dan8:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Open Mic

25sep8:00 pmFridayz LIVEwith Biggie Irie8:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Music

26sep9:00 am3:00 pmFlora and Fauna Tour9:00 am - 3:00 pm GMT-4

26sep9:00 am3:00 pmIsrael Lovell Foundation Performing Arts Term9:00 am - 3:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Dance

26sep10:00 am1:00 pmMustardseed Youth Theatre Ensemble10:00 am - 1:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Theatre

26sep2:00 pmEmpress Time To Shine2:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Music

26sep9:00 pmPrestige Ladies Nightwith Lady Essence9:00 pm GMT-4

27sep3:00 pm7:00 pmHunterspring Sunday Groovesfeaturing C43:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Jazz

27sep5:00 pm7:00 pmXion Network Live Interviewwith Miguel Blanco5:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

27sep5:00 pmLampoonA Solo Show by Sheena Rose5:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Theatre

28sep6:30 pm7:45 pmFlowrk6:30 pm - 7:45 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Dance

28sep7:00 pmF.A.M.E Weekly TalkEpisode #117:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

28sep8:30 pmCh'An LIVEat Mojo's8:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Music

29sep6:00 pm7:00 pmCompete CaribbeanRevenue Streams6:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

30sep7:00 pm9:00 pmConnect US7:00 pm - 9:00 pm GMT-4 Workshops, Seminars and Mixers:Mixer

30sep8:00 pmOh My Word Open Micwith Rhy Minister, Sunrokk and Wesu8:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Open Mic

30sep8:30 pmRiteside Of Redat Mojos8:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Reggae

30sep9:00 pmAndre Woodvine LIVEon Facebook and YouTube9:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Online Event

30sep9:00 pmComedy Open Micfeaturing Sunrokk, Biko, Cudjoe9:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Theatre

X
%d bloggers like this: