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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.

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december, 2019

14novAll Day08decNIFCA CalendarSave the date(All Day)

05dec6:00 pm9:00 pmTorchlight Tour: Bad John Cover Down Ya Bucket6:00 pm - 9:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Theatre

05dec7:30 pmJae Johansen LIVEat Blakey's7:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

05dec8:00 pmWesu LIVEat Jamestown8:00 pm GMT-4

05dec9:00 pm11:00 pmTGIT Partieswith the NJ30+ band9:00 pm - 11:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Jazz

06dec6:00 pmNotes Of ExcellenceNIFCA Tribute Night to Janice Millington6:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Music

06dec6:00 pmScars Beneath The Sun6:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Theatre

07dec1:00 pm4:00 pmEast Side Saturdays1:00 pm - 4:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

07dec1:00 pm4:00 pmEast Side Saturdayswith Lennox1:00 pm - 4:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

07dec6:00 pm7:00 pmBajan Rhythm & RhymeRadio Show6:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Radio Show

07dec(dec 7)7:00 pm08(dec 8)1:00 amWKD Lounge Nightsfeaturing Kalead7:00 pm - 1:00 am (8) GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

07dec8:00 pm10:00 pmG-Syndicate LIVEat Bar 1887 The Crane8:00 pm - 10:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

08dec7:00 pmSweet BadinageNIFCA Tribute Night to Andrea Gollop- Greenidge7:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Theatre

10dec6:30 pmPan In De Gap6:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

11dec6:00 pmOistins Paint Nightshosted by Ryah6:00 pm GMT-4 Visual Arts:Drawing

11dec8:00 pm11:00 pmOpen Michosted by Rhy Minister8:00 pm - 11:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Open Mic

11dec8:30 pmReggae Wednesdaysfeaturing Riteside A Red8:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Reggae

12dec4:00 pm7:30 pmFull Moon Over Bathshebaan Intimate Night with Marvay4:00 pm - 7:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

12dec8:00 pmWesu LIVEat Jamestown8:00 pm GMT-4

14dec1:00 pm4:00 pmEast Side Saturdays1:00 pm - 4:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

14dec7:00 pmChristmas With G-Syndicate7:00 pm GMT-4

14dec(dec 14)7:00 pm15(dec 15)1:00 amWKD Lounge Nightsfeaturing Kalead7:00 pm - 1:00 am (15) GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

17dec6:30 pmPan In De Gap6:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

18dec6:00 pmOistins Paint Nightshosted by Ryah6:00 pm GMT-4 Visual Arts:Drawing

18dec8:00 pm11:00 pmOpen Michosted by Rhy Minister8:00 pm - 11:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Open Mic

18dec8:30 pmReggae Wednesdaysfeaturing Riteside A Red8:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Reggae

19dec8:00 pmWesu LIVEat Jamestown8:00 pm GMT-4

21dec1:00 pm4:00 pmEast Side Saturdays1:00 pm - 4:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

21dec3:00 pm6:00 pmRasta Freedom Beach Jamwith Kalead3:00 pm - 6:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Reggae

21dec(dec 21)7:00 pm22(dec 22)1:00 amWKD Lounge Nightsfeaturing Kalead7:00 pm - 1:00 am (22) GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

24dec6:30 pmPan In De Gap6:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

25dec6:00 pmOistins Paint Nightshosted by Ryah6:00 pm GMT-4 Visual Arts:Drawing

25dec8:00 pm11:00 pmOpen Michosted by Rhy Minister8:00 pm - 11:00 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Open Mic

25dec8:30 pmReggae Wednesdaysfeaturing Riteside A Red8:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Reggae

26dec8:00 pmWesu LIVEat Jamestown8:00 pm GMT-4

28dec(dec 28)7:00 pm29(dec 29)1:00 amWKD Lounge Nightsfeaturing Kalead7:00 pm - 1:00 am (29) GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

31dec6:30 pmPan In De Gap6:30 pm GMT-4 Performing Arts:Acoustic

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