Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Garth Rattray | What if he’s gay?

Published:Monday | August 29, 2016 | 12:00 AM

An insensitive twit tweeted a derogatory epitaph about our surprise gold medal winner in the male 100 metres hurdles event on the Lasco Company Twitter account. It cost him his job and left Lasco doing some serious damage control.

I know absolutely nothing about our champion 100 metres hurdler, so I have no idea why the twit tweeted what he did. But then it occurred to me that out of every bad comes some good. What if our champion hurdler is gay? I'm not talking about the kind of so-called 'gay' that swims on both sides of the stream (those are bi-sexuals) and I'm not referring to the sort of 'gay' that has had a very unfortunate sexual encounters at an impressionable age that ends up steering him into homosexuality (those are misdirected human beings). I'm certainly not talking about the kind of 'gay' that dabbles in homosexuality because his female partner(s) can no longer satisfy his insatiable, lascivious appetite (those are perverts); I'm referring to the kind of gay man who was born that way and can't help or change who he is.

If we ever had a gay Olympic gold medallist, I hope that he would find the strength to tell it like it is so that Jamaicans might be motivated to try to understand the spectrum of human sexuality. I happen to be born and programmed for heterosexuality; for me there is no alternative. Yet, experts claim that every single human being has mixed sexuality. They say that even immutable heterosexuals have a tinge of latent homosexuality somewhere deep, deep, deep inside of them.

We are told that many children pass through a phase where there is a minuscule or brief excursion into same-sex attraction, but usually, that soon passes and the individual's sexual orientation becomes imprinted. But some are hardwired for homosexuality and therefore oriented for homosexuality their entire lives.




I've heard of people claiming to pray away or heal or somehow treat homosexuality. That is unmitigated claptrap. Bona fide homosexuals can't alter their true sexuality any more than they can alter their true gender.

If someone who is thought to be gay becomes straight by whatever effort, it simply means that he/she was never a real homosexual in the first place or is being disingenuous about becoming straight.

I am always flabbergasted when I see people admonishing homosexuals and calling them all manner of horrible names. The only sexual choice that homosexuals have is whether or not they will engage in homosexual acts.

They cannot change their feelings (desires), they cannot wake up one day and decide to stop being homosexual no more than anyone else can decide to stop being heterosexual.

People ascribe all sort of terrible things to being homosexual. There is often the unreasonable and vapid extrapolation that homosexuality is akin to paedophilia and even bestiality! It's as if homosexuals are so outrageously warped that they will do any and every depraved thing. Nothing could be further from the truth.




I strongly believe that no one should comment on homosexuality unless and until he/she has sat down face to face with a homosexual person and listened very carefully, without judgement, bias or preconceptions to what he/she has to say. No amount of legal prohibitions can change someone's sexuality. No amount of persecution can alter someone's sexual orientation. No amount of quarrelling, shaming, counselling, medication or preaching fire and brimstone can modify one single iota of a true homosexual.

The fact is that, throughout every society, there are always people who happen to be homosexual. We have had several very eminent homosexual citizens. Unlike what Mrs Malahoo-Forte said, there is no law against homosexuality, but there is a law against sodomy. Given Jamaica's social and religious condemnation of homosexuality, no sane human being would chose to be gay. Those born that way just can't help it.

"Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?"

Pope Francis

- Garth A. Rattray is a medical doctor with a family practice. Email feedback to and