Orville Taylor: Hey, gays! Women matter, too
Two bona fide friends read the string of comments after my column, as well as the 'Gay for a day' article by gay-rights advocate Maurice Tomlinson. Of course, the learned attorney, without reading my column, was accusing me of saying being gay was a choice and other unfounded criticisms. Indeed, some of the he-mails bordered on his-teria.
Still, whatever great pains they took to sit on the hard facts, the gay bigots seemed to have forgotten that I was looking on the study that was commissioned by their advocate organisation, J-FLAG.
Nonetheless, I tried long and hard to understand what was 'homophobic' about anyone saying that they were repugned by two men having intimate contact or two women doing same. Not to mention the petty grade-schoolgirl name-calling which cluttered my mailbox afterwards.
Yet, eliciting a second opinion from my aforementioned friends, I canvassed their views, along with others. Much to my surprise, they were even more strident than I am about how repugnant male-male intimacy was. In fact, in a study I am currently undertaking, it was quite a revelation. And herein lies the surprise. My two friends, who use words like 'disgust', 'repulsive' and 'sickening', are female and gay.
Yes, a very large number of gay females just cannot bear the thought of sex involving men. Expressed succinctly by a dear friend of mine, who rolls in the grass at the cheap androcentric attempts to label dislike as hate and homophobia, she declared, "If I cannot stand the idea of a penis involved in sex, how in hell am I going to enjoy or like seeing two?"
Tomlinson, by his own admission, stated that he never liked the idea of heterosexual sex. Therefore, during his brief excursion into male-female wedlock, in order to successfully make love to his wife, he "had to fantasise about men". Is he, therefore, a heterophobe? Does he want to carry out acts of violence against straight couples and want them to disappear off the earth? Does it imply that he wants the legislature to outlaw sex between men and women? I think not. Dislike and hatred are not the same, and that is the main point of my last week's article; and he should have read it.
As regards the fight against HIV/AIDS, I wonder just how committed the 'penilecentric' and 'anuphile' gay advocates are to the protection of the majority of their community. Yes, another inconvenient fact: there are more females than men in this society and the USA, and bet your bottom dollar that there are more gay females than men who have sex with men (MSM) in Jamaica.
Never mind Diana King's shameless attempt to exaggerate and blatantly lie that this society vilifies rapists and abusers of children less than homosexuals. While her revelation about her sexuality did not create the impact and widespread attention that she might have hoped, this utterance barely had an impact on anyone but a Shy Guy. Just check what happens to rapists and paedophiles in prison, and ask the gay prisoners who run large parts of the correctional institutions if I am wrong.
Why is it that female-female sexuality is so unimportant to the male gay voices? In the national database on HIV/AIDS, the data are not collected or presented to reflect transmission among lesbians. This is true for the statistics in the USA and even UNAIDS. It is only now that a small subgroup within Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) is attempting to gather information, more than 30 years since the virus was first detected in Jamaica.
And as ridiculous as this might sound to the 'gay-from-birth theorists/activists', there are indeed some women who thought that they were gay while in boarding school and college. Some are bisexual and some have, in a manner of speaking, turned their backs on their gay past.
Another subgroup of women (and some men too) engage in transactional sex. Called female sex workers by UNAIDS but judgementally labelled 'prostitutes' by the USA and 'promiscuophobic' Jamaicans, these vulnerable women are a high-risk group.
First of all, being women, they are more prone to being victims of violence. Second, because of the lower status of women, they are less able to negotiate the terms of their sexual engagement, inside and outside of their consensual sexual unions.
Third, their vulnerability adds the risk of human trafficking - a big problem in the USA and a noticeable one in Jamaica.
Finally, perhaps men, who might never have experienced the dynamics of sex with women and natural lubrication, are ignorant, or don't care, that copious amounts of potentially virulent body fluids get produced by aroused females. As a matter of fact, female sex workers also complain of harassment and extortion by a small group of corrupt cops, and other human-rights abuses.
Yet, with sheer hypocrisy and selfishness, male gay advocates argue that the illegality of anal sex (with men and women, too, by the way), or buggery, prevents them from telling their constituents, 'don't bend for a friend without rubber on the end'.
However, hardly anyone, in seeking to protect 'at-risk' groups, seems to think that decriminalising prostitution, which includes women going to other women on 'Back Road', in massage parlours and strip clubs, is as big a deal. I might have only passed through the law school a few times, but the infinitesimal big of law I know tells me that if telling MSMs to 'rubber up' is aiding and abetting the commission of a crime, condom-ing a prostitute is also condoning her crime.
By the way, is anyone following the war in the USA regarding the right of transgender people to use bathrooms of whichever sex/gender they identify with? As horrific as it might be that a man with a functional penis, but dressed as a woman, is using the bathroom with your 10-year-old daughter, can you imagine a female transitioning to male but with an intact vagina surrounded by a bathroom full of 'rusty-back', horny men at a stage show?
I end with the gay for a day challenge, which I graciously decline, because once you go back, you can't turn back.
- Dr Orville Taylor is senior lecturer in sociology at the UWI, a radio talk-show host, and author of 'Broken Promises, Hearts and Pockets'. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.