(And here’s my final word at the end of that long national same-sex talk…)
Finally, after one week, all the loud and heated ‘same sex’ and ‘same sex marriage’ talk is boiling down to soft whispers – and some more realistic ones too.
We heard a senior administrative lady in the LGBT community say last week that she’s quite aware Saint Lucia simply isn’t ready for same-sex marriages. She insisted the ‘buggery’ laws of old needed to be scrubbed off our law books, but, like me, didn’t see same sex hitch-ups happening soon at local altars.
But I also heard some quite interesting, learned and refreshing comments.
I heard brick-bat bard Rick Wayne ask, for example, whether those opposing same-sex marriages were only against ‘same-sex marriage’ or just against anything involving ‘same-sex’ (as in sex between persons of the same sex). And, like me, he wasn’t exactly looking forward to an invitation to a same-sex wedding. Period!
Some admitted it is unrealistic to expect any ordained priest (or certified pastor) here to publicly administer the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony to two men or two women.
Someone also suggested that since some support ‘same-sex’ but most oppose ‘same-sex marriages’, the way out may very well be to legalize ‘same-sex life partnerships’ – two men or women living together, but without needing a legal license.
And most agree that Saint Lucians are simply not ready to clap for two men or women kissing outside a church door in celebration of having just been declared ‘husband and husband’ or ‘wife and wife’.
Like it or not, folks, this is the kind of discussion we need to have, instead of simply concentrating on whether ‘same-sex relations’ or ‘same-sex marriages’ are ‘right or wrong’, ‘legal or illegal’ — or whether God or the Bible defines sex as ‘between a man and a woman’, ‘between a woman and a woman’ or ‘between a man and a man.’
Fact is, all of the above variations of ‘sex’ have been around for as long as the word has been known to mankind – and womankind.
Whether sex between consenting males or females is a ‘genetic’ or ‘acquired’ or ‘adopted’ condition is something I think we should leave to the scientists for now. In the meantime, we should just accept that all of the above is all right there in our faces – here, there and everywhere.
The continuing discussion on ‘same-sex marriage’ has to be honest — and those debating must be ready to give and take. Proponents of modern change will have to understand that certain traditional patterns still remain strong.
People need to better understand the various terms now being used to advocate and communicate gay and lesbian values, vices and virtues.
For example, the umbrella term used to describe gay and lesbian communities is ‘LGBT’ (meaning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender). These four letters have now been increased, to accommodate newly-identified sections of the wider related population.
But I’d bet my next dollar that if I ask the average Saint Lucian by the Castries Market this (Saturday) morning to tell me what the letters ‘LGBT’ mean, more will say they ‘don’t know’ than those who will actually know.
Even in the media, we still have colleagues who find it difficult, if not impossible, to explain what the term ‘LGBT’ means. Just recently, the local LGBT support group ‘United & Strong’ issued a statement. When it was read on a local Kweyol news programme, the group (United and Strong) was described by the Kweyol radio presenter as: ‘Associasyon Zamiez ek Boolah Sent Lisi.’
Now, I had an initial problem with the way that was put across, but I soon jumped out of my sleep to realize that in the real field of real communication, my Kweyol colleague had actually been better able to describe the entity in creole than if he had tried to get what others might consider more suitable words to identify what ‘LGBT’ means.
But there’s also another aspect of the discussion in last weekend’s newspapers that I couldn’t help but observe.
For starters, nowhere did I observe any media house acknowledge that despite all the noise about CARICOM leaders being pressured by the US and the UK to introduce same sex marriages across the Caribbean was just that – empty noise. It never happened – and it was never an agenda item at the just concluded CARICOM summit in Barbados.
The Voice also told us this week that, say or do what we want, the discussion is here and we simply have to deal with what it brings. (In other words, ‘It just ain’t going nowhere!’)
One a-musing English (language) bard (who wrote a Kweyol dictionary and scribes his musings every weekend in the Star) has found a way to make a connection between all the talk about sex and women’s periodic menstrual discomforts. (He even coined an imagined new periodic medical condition to describe some things most men don’t even want to think of, fare less fare with.)
Michael Walker mused last weekend that if you had any doubt that ‘God is a Man’, then just take a look and see what he’s caused women to see monthly.
Rick Wayne too, also found another quite revealing way to look at the same-sex situation. He argued (also last weekend) that women have been championing people’s causes here more than men, over the years. He named six local women (two dead, one abroad and only three still alive and kicking) and asked: ‘Where have all the men gone?’
But he also found another even more interesting (and communicative) way to ask the same question, which turned out to be the headline of his two-page article: ‘Have we turned into the Land of Manumuss?’ (Admittedly, not many of our young people today will know what a ‘manumuss’ is, so if you don’t, just ask someone — your father, your mother, your granny or your grandpa.)
Below the faces of his six chosen ladies (who I’m sure he really wanted to describe as ‘Women with Balls’) Rick admitted just how hard (he thinks) it is to find Saint Lucian men with any inner strength, even to ‘rock the boat’ on anything.
Rick also admitted his failure to think of any man in Saint Lucia with any level of intestinal fortitude to even stand-up for anything by documenting for (posterity) the following lament: “Hard as I’ve tried, I seem unable to come up with the name of a boat-rocker of recent vintage, who was not attached to a vagina!”
See what I mean?
So folks, I say let’s just continue to ‘talk the sex-talk’ before we start to ‘walk the same-sex walk’ without understanding how to walk the same-sex talk!