We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
–– Anaïs Nin.
The former Spanish Cuban American novelist, diarist and eroticist, more than most, ought to have known, given her variegated life.
Reportedly a multiple lover of several of her literary peers, and a bisexual as well, and also given to writing erotic and pornographic stuff from way back in the 1940s for an “anonymous collector”, which would come to be published in the early 1970s, Ms Nin clearly pushed the largest of envelopes.
Her diaries would reveal, for example, her infatuation with the surrealist painter Bridget Bate Tichenor and her consummation with the married June Miller (wife of her alleged lover Henry Miller), for both of whom June was a femme fatale, and, of all things, the incestuous relationship with her father. One may say such passionate affairs not only influenced Ms Nin sexually, but as well philosophically.
And in time, she would come to the point of recognition that indeed we can become stuck seeing things, not as they truly are but as we most certainly are. Sadly, in such a disposition it is not difficult to see others as we would rather wish them to be.
Which brings us to the newest and most repetitive epithet with which the gay community and their lobbyists especially describe the heterosexual majority, in particular those who frown upon homsexuality: backward.
Apart from the fact that it is an ill-chosen descriptive word coming from homosexuals, particularly males, given its probable imageries of rearward, aback and in reverse, its use smacks of the illogical. Barbadians who have no passion for homosexuality –– or who may express a revulsion towards the act –– are not automatically mentally underdeveloped or slow in intellectual growth, or stupid.
It is an inaccurate and tiresome label that itself reflects negatively on the thinking and reasoning of the LGBT lobby. We need to recognize that it is perfectly acceptable for people to disagree on personal preferences and tastes.
Some people like sugar; others do not. Some people love salt; others do not. Some people wallow in kissing; others would have none of it. Some people like lying in bed with the opposite sex; some do not. Some people love cohabiting with the same gender; most do not!
Depending on our individual tastes, some of us may find one thing disgusting that is exciting to others; and given there are those who like to have their cake and eat it too, there will be the bisexual luxuriating in bliss on either side –– while the exclusive homoerotic war with the straight.
Who is backward now?
Only the most inane of us would think it was acceptable to deny grown and consensual adults their rights to employment, education, health and other social amenities purely on the basis of their sexual preference or orientation. But recognition of rights itself does not translate to the LGBT group having any privilege to denigrate, for their own views, heterosexuals among whom they must live.
Admittedly, gay marriage and homosexual adoption, as are evidenced across Europe, Australia, North America and in some parts of South America, are not likely to be warmly embraced in Barbados any time soon. Our culture, which is different from that of the aforementioned countries, has much to do with it, and little to do with backwardness. In our cozy little corner, normal natural rights were always those of the Bajan gay.
We cannot attest to the rightness of the church being made to compulsorily marry gays –– when Christian mores are unaccommodating of men lying with men. We may capitulate to the state’s officiating at such unions, for which the powers that be, if they must answer for it, will do so to God –– and not to us.
Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.
The reality is that the LGBT group, among whom all of us will find a workmate, a neighbour, a friend or a relative, have much to be thankful for. Elsewhere, the authorities do their utmost to make life miserable and even untenable for gay people.
Jamaica, they say, is among the top ten places in the world where the LGBT are most unsafe –– not to mention Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Uganda, Russia, India, and more. Barbados is nowhere in that mix.
The tolerance Barbadians have traditionally shown towards the gay community ought not now to be undermined by the thirst of some academics and clergymen, so as to be seen as progressive. The quiet acknowledgement of Bajans of the social rights of the LGBT ought not to be allowed to be sabotaged by those who would present themselves as not being backward, but of rapid intellectual growth, when in fact their touted notions are a carbon copy of Eurocentric schemes, forced upon a Barbadian perspective, and absurdly out of context.
That would be backward –– in every sense of the word.