To The Editor:
As we mark the fiftieth Independence Anniversary of Jamaica and Trinidad, let us take this opportunity to reflect on the struggles of all sexual minorities. Emancipation from personal fears and sociopolitical demands are paramount as we move forward in the new millennium.
Far too often the voice of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals are unheard. The Caribbean has its share of sexual minorities and they must be protected under law. No longer shall gays and lesbians be slaughtered by any for their sexual orientation. A civil society protects all its citizens.
Sexuality is not an assignment by socialization, as sexual orientation is determined by your Creator. As we come of age we either choose to recognize our homosexuality or “hide in the closet” by (pretending to be heterosexual). Caribbean LGBTs are no longer closeted. We are making supplications to our government for legal protection.
No government has the right to legally define how any individual expresses love. The job of lawmakers is to protect and ensure individual rights. When the government discriminates against its constituents for religious reasons, a redress of those laws are necessary. The LGBT Movement is an evolutionary step for all of humanity.
Former president, William Jefferson Clinton, made a formal apology for chattel slavery on the steps of the White House and more recently celebrated dancehall reggae artist Beenie Man apologized for his anti-gay and homophobic lyrics. When legendary Bob Marley held the hands of then Prime Minister Manley and the Jamaica Labour Party’s Edward Seaga at the One Love Concert on April 22, 1978, it was symbolized as a momentous change in Jamaica’s political climate. Similarly, when international Jamaican soul-reggae singer Diana King announced on her Facebook page that she is in fact lesbian, it changed the course of politics throughout the Caribbean.
Diana King’s public declaration of her lesbianism is the most significant act of any Jamaican celebrity. Her announcement gives an identity to all Caribbean LGBTs.