June 25, 2018 at 3:37 pm #1761
Since returning from college, I’ve been paying attention to how casually homophobia has integrated into our lexicon. Much of it is hidden under the guise of religion, but it becomes clear very quickly that those quoting the Bible aren’t consistent in their adherence to the Word. At the first sign of any deviance from we understand to be masculinity, you might hear “you’s a f**got/battyman/fish/any other word used to refer to gay people.” This stands even if all parties involved in the discussion are speaking in jest. Homophobia has become a punchline, effectively. A question to ponder would be “what role does masculinity play in our community such that any deviation from it is actively perceived as a threat to be annihilated?” As the rest of the country evolves, the territory will have to move forward with it. But how? And when?June 30, 2018 at 8:38 pm #1921
What role does masculinity play in our community? That’s such an interesting question because from experience, it has always appeared that we live in a culture where women are in control, at least on a family-level. I come from a two-parent household, but I have many more friends who came from single-parent where their mother was the head of the household. Yet we are surrounded by patriarchy and a masculine-dominant culture in every other aspect of our lives here.
I can’t think of any other source besides religion as the foundation of the “casual homophobia” you have witnessed. And, like you mentioned it’s super ironic given that (1) most of the people you here calling the LGBTQ community derogatory names don’t even go to church, and (2) even if they go to church, I’m sure there are too many sins to count that they participate in….if we’re going by the Book.
The solution to this problem is education and it will take some time. Education means teaching people about constitutional and human rights and understanding the breadth of what that covers, and that being a part of the LGBTQ community is no different than being a part of any other demographic where we each have our own histories, cultures, experiences. This type of education can happen through community events, in our schools, etc. I really hope we begin to have more of those conversations so that we can move forward.June 30, 2018 at 11:34 pm #1923
The Caribbean has always skewed toward Latino machismo. This expresses itself by some guy believing he is more the alpha male by attacking the another person’s sexuality. Some church groups contribute to this by interpreting biblical passages in ways that justify this behavior.
I read that some African leaders, egged on by hyper religious groups, are now claiming that same-sex interest is a new and deviant Western cultural import. Ha!
Jamaica and some of the islands have a bad rap, deserved or not, as being pretty frigging homophobic. An annual gay cruise from the mainland has had problems at some Caribbean ports.
I do find that what people say differs from how they actually behave.
Gather a group together and in that group you will find different sexual preferences and interests. Unfortunately, gay people here are much more in the closet than you find in many parts of the mainland. The individuals I work seem to accept different sexual orientations but I doubt they would be OK with a gay person expressing themselves the same was as a heterosexual might express themselves in public. Maybe I am wrong.
I am told that in the sixties and seventies the Virgin Islands was reasonably well known for its prominent gay expat community and that community was reasonably accepted by local Virgin islanders. What happened?
Homophobic behavior is bigotry and it is as unacceptable as is racism. It needs to be called out for what it is.
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