Wed | Jul 8, 2020

Orville Taylor butt-hurt by LGBT activism

Published:Monday | October 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM


I always find interesting the group of columnists who are quick to be critical of the local LGBT community and its activists.

There is a tendency on the part of columnists like Orville Taylor to throw rocks and hide their hands. They want to be able to make particularly problematic or poorly reasoned statements (generally calling us activists fickle and sensitive), but are defensive and butt-hurt when we respond.

I turn to Taylor's most recent article for my discussion. He seems to have taken issue with a case to be heard by Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) about two members of the community who had to leave the country to preserve their lives. He then refutes the argument that Jamaica is the most homophobic place on earth and cites J-FLAG's continued operation and the police support to MoBay Pride.

Here is the rub. Simple research on the work of local activists would have shown that many of us equally contest the narrative that Jamaica is the most homophobic place on earth and have put out releases saying the exact opposite, i.e., our laws, though problematic, are not the worst. We reiterate that there is more work to be done and a longer way to go to ensure equality and respect for all, but seek to be fair in our critique of Jamaica.

Orville is so quick to be critical and angry at the local LGBT community that he forgot to mention that the case involved events that happened at least 10 years ago, but are only being heard now because of the processes of the IACHR. He is so quick to suggest that we are liars and colluding with an international community, that he didn't bother to research how the Jamaican LGBT community has evolved in our positions on Jamaica and the Jamaican police, in particular, and that those positions are nuanced and varied.

I would have expected someone with such broad learning in the social sciences would understand the importance of nuance. Alas, I am only left to wonder, Orville, who hurt you?