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Bajan gays upset

Maria Bradshaw

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Barbadian gay refugees who have sought asylum in Canada say they had to flee Barbados because they were being persecuted for their lifestyle.
And they are angry that entertainer/promoter Dwayne Grazette has labelled attempts by members of the gay community to seek asylum in Canada as a “scam”.
They say Grazette is only upset because his gay friend had left him to go to Canada on the refugee programme without telling him.
But Grazette, who has written to both Canadian and local Government officials claiming that his name was fraudulently used by one of the applicants, while admitting that his former gay friend was one of the refugees now resident in Canada, insisted he had not done anything out of spite.
In a lengthy email sent to the SUNDAY?SUN by one of the Canadian gay refugees, who is spokesman for the group, they argue that the article appearing in last week’s SUNDAY?SUN would hurt the chances of other homosexuals seeking refugee status in Canada.
“The Bajan Canadians are most upset about the article posted in the SUNDAY SUN. There are more than nine refugees up here, who are now permanent residents and citizens in Canada. This has been going on for years; but it has only come to light now and it has caused a big disturbance up here.”
The spokesman, who did not want to give his name, said a number of the gay men now living in Canada were dealing with personal issues that forced them to leave Barbados.
“Gay is not legal in Barbados; neither is the public gay-friendly. Barbados is small, and when your life is in danger because of lovers who don’t want out, you have to flee the country because there is nowhere to hide.”
The spokesman asked: “Can two men walk holding hands in Swan Street without being bashed, or sit in a park and kiss? Can we go into Bongo Lights, Club 360, Sheriff’s Place, Liberty, or a dub with our boyfriends and dance or kiss and enjoy ourselves like everyone else?”
He further charged that even homosexuals living in Barbados were upset about the article because “Dwayne is only making things hard for people that normally go on vacation in Canada”.
He said the gay community was making a contribution to the Canadian community, were accepted in Canada despite their sexual orientation, and were representing Barbados in a positive way.
He also stated that gay men in Barbados were forced to live double lives.
“In Barbados the men are two per cent straight, 80 per cent bisexual and 18 per cent openly gay. Most men have to hide and do gay things and live double lives, having their wives, girlfriends and kids . . . .
“We gays are humans too, and instead of gay-bashing each other, we should try to live good and help one another.”