EDITORIAL: We must get to the bottom of this shame
IF?EVER there was a social challenge that needed most urgent attention, it is the ignominious face-offs which members of the gay community of Barbados claim to have to endure.
First, it would have come as a shock to many Barbadians that there is a “gay refugee status” that might be applied for by locals, and that Canada is a veritable refuge itself; and more so that “refugee status” has been taken up by several Barbadian men over the past few years.
Secondly, equally surprising would be this declaration to the world, apparently accepted wholeheartedly by the Canadian sympathetic, that the Barbadian public is not “gay-friendly” at best, and is into gay-bashing at worst.
Were it simply the mouthings of a single frustrated gay man, the shock might have been tempered by what appears on the surface to be facetiousness. But the “spokesman”, who would not give his name, probably for fear of victimization, purports to speak for a group who, once stifled in the land of their birth, are now making a contribution to the Canadian community “despite their sexual orientation”.
This cannot be so readily dismissed; and raises poignant questions.
How do Barbadian homosexuals qualify as gay refugees? How much discrimination must they suffer? Who documents such suffering and ignobility?
Is the Government of Barbados aware of such developments? Has it ever really confirmed that Barbados is such a place as the gay refugees paint it to be?
Has Barbados ever been hauled over the coals by Canada or any other sovereign state, or international body, for having its gay citizens so emasculated as charged?
The Government owes us some answers.
Also, can it be true that 80 per cent of Barbadian men are bisexual, 18 per cent openly gay, and only two per cent straight? Is there a reliable source of stats anywhere that would confirm or deny this? This is not the first time this seemingly outrageous sexual preference imbalance has been projected.
Gay HIV/AIDS activist Darcy Dear has already made some such projection – which has gone unchallenged to date. It is time the truth is laid bare.
Whatever may be said though, there can be no denying that all is not well in the gay community itself. The said refugees spokesman has been pleading to members of the gay group to stop the gay-bashing of each other and “try to live good and help one another”.
“Scandal”? “Scam”? What? We need answers now!