I’ll probably leave this lead subject alone after this treatment. I’ve explored, cursorily, male and female homosexuality in two previous pieces over the years. They were titled `What? A same sex partner?’ and `Homos in high places’.
A few of my basic observations back then went like this: that for the more “upright”, straight-laced, Christian and “straight” amongst us, it is now an inconvenient truth that homosexuality is now a creepingly-normal social factor in Guyanese society; that there are young ladies with same sex-partners who openly mix, meddle and demonstrate their mutually-held affections in night-clubs and other public places; that there are Guyanese who prefer their own gender holding down senior or executive positions “in high places” – in the media, the military, entertainment, education, even the church; and that now past sixty, I have learnt to be tolerant and respectful of people’s human/social rights compared to my youth, when I was fashioned to find homosexuality abhorrent, repulsive, sinful!
In those pieces I also recognized that all the “debates” about the same-sex phenomenon naturally evoke issues related to human rights, moral dilemmas, law and questions of health. As I stated then, I repeat now: life is about choices and today’s generation certainly know how to choose or to exercise that right; and not being an active Christian, I won’t evoke any Biblical injunction against what many still regard as rabid, unhealthy, anti-social lifestyles.
I do still muse, wonder about just why persons seek out their own gender to live life with. SASOD, Guyana’s Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination is holding their Film Festival and Discussion Forum in this month. The launch saw me in attendance asking questions. The answers, frankly speaking, were incomplete but that could be my fault. Assist me folks: what factors contribute to the “making of gays and lesbians? Genetics? Acquired behaviour in specific families and environments? Becoming fed up with the treatment from the opposite sex? I’ve read up quite a lot but still welcome more enlightenment. I’ll return to my caption-related issue after this brief background.
There is an abundance of literature now on the nature, history, complexities and implications of the same-sex reality.
Boldly, legally, perhaps good-naturedly, various societies have come to appreciate the reality of the GLBT – component of our humanity – (Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual folks and Transgenders, persons who choose to change their sex, preference and orientation.)
Find out! You don’t have to embrace. You’ll discover the history, rooted in a strong, even romantic attraction between members of the same gender, has been discerned in animals, has existed in Europe, Asia and Africa for centuries and has Greek and Latin hybrids which gave the world the actual description “Homo-sexual”.
They say that Psychology was “one of the first disciplines to study a homosexual orientation as a discrete phenomenon. From “disease”, “disorder” “abnormality” and “unnatural”, homosexual descriptions have taken on much more scientific and accommodating explanations in recent times. But what has arrested my attention is that the behavioral and social sciences have now found that “same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings and behaviours are normal and positive variations of human sexuality!” (Don’t feel bad, sick or threatened if you merely admire some one of the same sex.)
I dwell briefly because I urge citizens to eschew Jamaican Dance Hall ignorance and inform yourselves about a reality.
How I recall the hell some well-known or newly discovered gay men in old Guyana went through. They were called anti-man, anti-Sheila?, and the supposedly horrible “B-word”, let’s get tolerant in 2011. Remember the laws must keep in step too.
SASOD is actively engaging local and international bodies in a dedicated commitment to eliminate homophobia. From cross-dressing legislation to discrimination at work places SASOD has its work cut out.
I, however, wish them still, to assist me with my concern: How do you explain homosexuality to children? Same sex males or females with children in their care have much to do – to explain how those children came by two mommies or two daddies. At school and play, how do those youngsters explain or relate to their puzzled peers?
The SASOD meeting at Sidewalk attempted to explain that some coy children even want to know how they (too) can get “two mommies” (huh?). And an amusing assurance was given that the world’s population (increase) was under no threat from non-producing gay couples because the GLBT community is still a minority and it is claimed that the planet is now over-populated (! ?).
Obviously, more has to be done to assist me…
June month –
Every month – I suppose – could lay claim to significant happenings within its 28-30 days, now and in history.
Guyana’s June is one for weddings, if not long-lasting marriages; for observing anniversaries of the Enmore Sugar Martyrs, the various “days” designated by the United Nations and yes, the Death Anniversary of a Brilliant Guyanese Son and Mind – Dr Walter Rodney.
I feel forced to contribute my bit to the Rodney Recognition. Merely by repeating something I wrote six years ago. Contemplate friends: “An Enquiry assassinated…
Rodney died in 1980. There was never any genuine full-fledged inquiry into the circumstances. Here is why.
1988: Desmond Hoyte wanted to demonstrate reform, so he inspired an inquest. Magistrate Pratt could fool no one as neither Donald Rodney nor Gregory Smith was called.
1993: Shaka Rodney fasted outside State House and caught Janet Jagan’s attention.
1994: The PPP set up a special cabinet sub-committee which included Dr Luncheon and Mr de Santos. Not much happened however.
1994/95: An ICJ (international Commission of Jurists) Team came in connection with the assassination. The court files disappeared. Laurie Lewis found them after the ICJ team left. The ICJ found that the Pratt Inquest was “marred by defects” – key witnesses ignored. They also recommended that Donald Rodney’s appeal of Norma Jackman’s conviction of him being in possession of explosives be heard. To this day, the appeal remains unheard. Justice delayed?
1995/96: The WPA filed a private charge of murder against Gregory Smith on a summons issued by Chief Magistrate K. Juman-Yassin. Warrants issued for the arrest of Smith. Doodnauth Singh identified to be Special Prosecutor.
Since then: Smith, the accused assassin, found to be living in Cayenne – a Department of France. But no extradition Treaties exist between Guyana and those countries. Nor does France send accused persons to countries with the death penalty. President Jagdeo was asked to guarantee no death penalty if Smith found guilty. Government reluctant to grant such an exception. Smith dies in Cayenne. And Foreign Minister Rohee left grappling to forward all papers to France, in French.”
So how do you rate this government’s commitment to bring closure to the Rodney Departure?
*1) You know its elections time, when there is increased talking and writing about Guyana’s “Ethnic Divide” and “Racial Polarisation”.
*2) And you see the Think-Tank WPA’s Dr Roopnaraine on panels with the PNC/R-1G…
*3) What happened to the massive structure at Princes and High – Georgetown?
Til next week!