THE CARIBBEAN now has its own social media network for its gay, lesbian and bisexual communities. Caribbean Gay Scene is an underground network and is not open to the general public. The website can only be viewed by members. You must be invited to join and your membership must be approved. The aim of the network is to offer the Caribbean gay community a forum to openly discuss issues related to the gay scene. The man behind the site, Charles Lewis, told the SATURDAY SUN yesterday that he came with the idea because he recognised there was a need for the gay and lesbian community to have their own social media to discuss issues that affect them. He said the site was launched two days ago, September 22, and the response has been fantastic. “I’ve had 60 to 70 emails from Barbados, Bahamas and St Maarten,” said Lewis, the founder and consultant of Sex Trade Impact (STI), an international organisation which uses its resources and expertise in the sex industry to assist Government and non-governmental organisations to develop effective and sustainable solutions to the problems of the global sex trade. Lewis said though he was not gay, from his work in the sex industry he knows that the gay community is alive and well in the Caribbean and larger than more people would admit. “I am not gay, but I have made great friendships and business partnerships with the gay community. I have great respect for the community,” he added. To the suggestion that we don’t need to promote this lifestyle here as this is corrupting morals, Lewis said “being gay is not a choice so when someone is in touch with their sexuality it is not a matter of morality. It is reality. He stressed that the new gay social network was for those who were gay and know their sexuality, and he advised that those who were not gay should not try to join it, and would not be allowed to join it. “Because of the politics of the Caribbean, the gay community is very discreet. I created a site where people can only join when invited or referred by a member and the application must be approved,” he said.