We lose out, Betty Ann
This is an open letter to Betty Ann Blaine.
As the parent of a gay son, you cannot imagine the revulsion and disgust that came over me when I read your recent column, "The big gay lie."
Your reliance on former ACP Les Green's observation on gay-on-gay murders to conclude that homophobic violence in Jamaica is misstated would be laughable, if it weren't so close to home. Surely, you must know that it is unrealistic to make definitive projections when the number of observations is as low as the seven deaths I counted in the Jamaica Observer article that you relied on.
Yet you go on to state that, "For far too long the homosexual lobby has been perpetuating the big lie about Jamaica's violent homophobia with little evidence to substantiate the claim." However, as discussed above, you do not appear to have reliable opposing data either. Furthermore, your attempt to conflate our supposed tolerance for cross-dressing with your imagined tolerance for male homosexuality is even more laughable. While it is true that some cross-dressers may be homosexual, many are not, so our attitudes towards them are not necessarily reflective of anything, specifically our tolerance of male homosexuals.
Your question, "...is the (gay) lifestyle good and healthy for society," took me even further aback. I was particularly struck by the stunning lack of awareness this question implied of the latest scientific findings regarding homosexuality. I am speaking specifically about the fact that for most people, being gay is not a mere lifestyle choice, but an immutable characteristic, much like their race. I know that for some of us, time moves slowly, if at all; but it has been 37 years since the Board of Directors of the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders! Isn't it about time this science found its way into our intellectual discourse?
I know from your writings that you claim to be concerned about the plight of children, but your column makes me question your commitment. I am concerned by what appears to be a lack of empathy for the physical and psychological abuse that gay children face daily. The bullying. The psychological damage to their self-esteem from exposure to columns like yours, which falsely accuses them of choosing to be social misfits.
You seem to have this bizarre notion that gay people can coexist with you in peace, but only if they live a life of pretence and sexual denial. I cannot believe this is a serious thought, because it implies you are incapable of seeing why this attitude might motivate some gay children to choose suicide instead of facing such a life. Can you imagine living a life where you are never allowed to be yourself and where you might be tortured psychologically or physically if any part of your deception fails? I can't imagine that for my son or me.
Fortunately, my son will never be subjected to this level of bigotry. As a newly minted Doctor of Jurisprudence with an MBA from a top 5 American university, he has already taken his place as an investment banker on Wall Street. The USA will gain from his intellect, and as is usual, we are the losers.