Being Gay in Antigua and Barbuda

Letter to Editor – It is a well noted fact that Antiguans and Barbudans are very divided on the issue of homosexuality, however the exact ratio is still yet to be determined. The point that I am trying to raise is that just like any other hot issue, it is placed on the back burner, in the hopes that it will eventually go away.

We keep neglecting to see the importance of addressing these issues, in the efforts at determining what the best step to take forward is.

There are many views where this issue is concerned, ranging from biblical utterances, to scientific findings. But before I get into any of that, let us first analyze the word “Gay”. According the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary “Gay means being sexually attracted to people of the same sex”, and nowhere within the definition does it say anything about the sexual act itself. So in other words a person may be “Gay” but has opted in the interest of his/her parents and other family members, to marry an individual of the opposite sex, however this does not make him/her straight (Heterosexual). Thus, being “Gay” cannot be considered a choice. Now despite whether or not many of us are able to come to terms with the reality of the countless amounts of Antiguans being gay, we cannot hide that fact.

I now take you back to the issue of the different view points on this topic. For those who proclaim to possess strong “Christian values and morals”, ask yourself these questions. Does the Bible not teach us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves? Does it not tell us that we are not to judge others, because we are all sinners? The bible also teaches us that the lord looks at your heart, whereas we as humans look at the physical manifestations. It is only when we begin to understand how magnificent GOD is, only then will we realize that he created each and every one of us different, not to look at each others’ faults but to learn to accept our differences and love each other regardless of what that difference may be.

To those individuals who look to science for your answers, have you ever thought that maybe we cannot know everything? Is it expedient that we find out all the answers to life? If that is so then there will be no point in living. In the search at finding out what causes an individual to be gay we are only allowing ourselves to be further statistics of this ever evolving problem. We should learn to be happy with ourselves and stop searching for answers.

Furthermore, I am tired of seeing children who exhibit “so called” gay tendencies being victimized, not only by their peers but also their parents. Numerous amounts of times these children are forced to adhere to strict “moral beliefs” which states that being gay is a curse and they will rot in hell forever if they do not change. As a society with strong “Christian Morals” most parents will agree to the suggested treatments in the hopes of changing their child’s behavior. We do not at any point think of what we are doing to that child and sometimes even cause children to do the unthinkable and commit suicide.

Yes that’s right, in our efforts at try to “change” the child’s behavior, we let them believe that there is something severely wrong with them and when all efforts fail to try and “fix them” they then resort to further measures at making life easier for the many who think that way. Sooner or later we will have to come to the realization here in this small twin island state of Antigua and Barbuda that everyone is different and we should not try to change an individual to suit ourselves.

For my fellow gay Antiguans and Barbudans, It is time that we begin to stop allowing ourselves to be made victims of society’s’ biases towards us. We are no less of Human beings than the next person. If we do not take the first stand then this issue will forever be shoved under the carpet and we all know that it will eventually create an ugly sight. I am therefore appealing to all Gay Antiguans and Barbudans particularly those in high positions, to begin to set the pace that us, the smaller, less influential Gay Antiguans and Barbudans can follow in making this country a place where we can all live together in peace and harmony, without fear of prejudice or even death.

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by Champagné C.B.Sparkles
Source – Caribarena Antigua