Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Letter of the Day: Respect my right to sexual privacy

Published:Monday | January 18, 2016 | 1:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

This is an open letter to Joy Fraser, who demanded of me answers in her letter to the editor ('Piercing questions for Maurice Tomlinson') published January 16, 2016.

You sought to blame my parents and brothers for my homosexuality because they supposedly rejected me.

Before answering the points that you raised in your letter, I will just clarify that both my parents are, in fact, very supportive. My father helped to organise Montego Bay Pride last year, and my mom has attended multiple screenings of The Abominable Crime film, which chronicles my work challenging homophobia in Jamaica. She has also encouraged me to show the film across the island.

In addition, I have a wonderful relationship with my younger brother (even though he struggles to understand my homosexuality). My older brother and I were not very close growing up, but I suspect this is not an uncommon story. Whatever resistance my family had to accepting my homosexuality was because of the fundamentalist brainwashing they endured and which you so amply demonstrate.

As to the other questions in your letter, please note that in the cases I am bringing to challenge the TV stations for refusing to air the tolerance ad, as well as the 1864 British colonially imposed anti-sodomy law, I am simply trying to get the public to respect my right to private consensual adult intimacy, which harms no one. Jamaicans tolerate many things that they don't accept for themselves personally, including fundamentalist Christianity. There is absolutely no evidence that being attracted to someone of the same gender is harmful.

 

HIV AFFECTS ALL

 

Please note that HIV is spread by a virus, not a sexual orientation. Therefore, if two gay men have endless anal sex and neither is infectious, no virus will be transmitted. However, if a heterosexual couple has one instance of unprotected vaginal sex and one partner is infectious, there is likely to be an infection. This helps explain why so many heterosexual women in the church have HIV.

There is no evidence that the anti-sodomy law has prevented HIV among gay men. In fact, even with the law, Jamaica has the highest HIV prevalence rate among men who have sex with men in the Western Hemisphere (33 per cent). Your question about the number of gays who have killed each other out of jealousy is quite irrelevant. The same question could be asked about heterosexuals. Does this mean that we should now ban straight sex?

Ms Fraser, the lack of knowledge in your letter proves why all the nation's guidance counsellors desperately need urgent (re)training on how to handle sensitive matters such as homosexuality.

MAURICE TOMLINSON

maurice_tomlinson@yahoo.com