by Judy M McCutcheon, MBA
I read an article on NOW Grenada by Donella Hosten, where two young and upcoming male leaders were referred to by female names. As I read the story it had me thinking, why do some men in the Caribbean think that being a woman is such a bad thing? Sometimes I get the feeling they think it’s a disease.
While there was some public outcry over the comment and some persons even called it distasteful, I simply think that it was disappointing and quite unfortunate. Sometimes, our leaders act irresponsibly and hurt the very constituents they are sworn to protect. Ladies, sometimes we too are enablers of this type of behaviour, we excuse it away in our sons and husbands and then we whine and complain when things go awry. I think being a woman is ultra-sexy, it does not matter your shape or size, you should embrace your woman-ness and all that comes along with it. We must learn to celebrate our differences; these differences help to make this world such an interesting place to live.
We should be more accepting of each other and allow people to live life on their own terms. Like it or not our society is also comprised of persons who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and men who are on the down low, and no amount of name calling, jeering or heckling will make them go away. We cannot pray them away, we cannot baptise them away, nor can we beat it out of them. As parents, you can disown them or put them out in the streets. As colleagues, we can shun them or refuse to acknowledge their existence, and as a society, we can shove them under the table and try to hide them. We can even try to demonise and demoralise them, but they will always be with us. Irrefutable scientific research has concluded that they are exactly how nature intended.
I know that ours is a Christian society and we are ashamed or maybe even afraid to talk about our sexuality. We have been socialised to think that anything involving sex and sexuality is a sin, and we will burn in hell for eternity if we entertain those thoughts. We propagate fear mongering and hatred, and the book of Deuteronomy has been used to justify the ill-treatment, mockery and ridicule of those that we consider different from us.
Let us make no mistake, whether we think that LBGTQ is a chosen lifestyle or whether we believe that they are born that way, globally, that community has tremendous purchasing power. Our societies in the Caribbean operate with such tremendous double standards as it relates to this issue, we want to burn them at stake or stone them to death, because they are oriented differently, but first – give us your money. If the LBGTQ community is not good enough for us to openly socialise with and embrace, then why is their money good for our businesses? I will tell you why.
In 2015, LBGTQ spending in the US was approximately $917 Billion. It’s 2017, and the attitude towards gays and lesbians has become more relaxed on the global front. The Caribbean is also part of the global community, and LBGTQ exist among us, and always will. I am not asking you to dispel with your beliefs and Christian values; I am simply asking that you see them as fellow human beings, worthy of your love and respect, just as the Bible intended.
Judy McCutcheon is a partner in the firm Go Blue Inc, a Human Development Company. www.goblueinc.net