Sat | Feb 24, 2018

Letter of the day: Gays have same emotions as straight folk

Published:Tuesday | April 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM


I am writing in response to an article published in The Gleaner titled 'Study: Use politicians, employers in new 'strategy' to address attitudes towards gays', which stated that the majority of the sample population who participated in the survey did not believe that LGBT individuals experienced the "same emotions" as heterosexuals.

Of all the findings from this survey published to date, this is the one I find most absurd, for I cannot fathom how the emotions I experience would be different from those experienced by cisgender heterosexuals, simply because I am a member of the LGBT community. In refusing to acknowledge the shared human experiences of LGBT individuals is to disregard our humanity, which only encourages discrimination.

After reading the aforementioned article, I tried to identify which "emotions" LGBT persons experienced that were "different". Perhaps it is the fear and anxiety we experience when we leave our homes, knowing fully well that we could be the subject of street harassment or verbal abuse, or worse, the kind of violence that claimed the life of Dwayne Jones.

Perhaps it is the relief and joy experienced when our loved ones have made it home safely at the end of the day unscathed. Maybe it is the disappointment felt when, after having worked so hard, our efforts have not been successful, or conversely, the happiness and sense of pride, when they are.

Or, it could be the frustration and sense of hopelessness felt after having done yet another interview, we still haven't got a job.

Of the examples mentioned, I still am not sure which of these emotions is straight or gay. I hope the general population can provide me with answers.