THE EDITOR, Sir:
Dr Carolyn Cooper's column 'Costly sexual inhibitions' (Sunday Gleaner, September 1, 2013) was simply brilliant.
Tel-Aviv (Israel) is a well-known gay Mecca, one of the most gay-friendly cities, this despite its significance to Judaism and Christianity. Our country is losing big time because of our reputation of being one of the most homophobic places on earth.
There are foreigners who have told me personally, they would never ever visit Jamaica because of its homophobic culture. So, of course, our economy suffers.
I have been to Cuba a few times and seen many gay tourists in hotels and elsewhere - no problem. Cuba, despite its limitations politically and economically, has made significant strides in terms of gay rights.
I believe public perception in Jamaica could be better served if our leaders acted more intelligently on these issues.
I am also in agreement with Dr Cooper that Jamaican homophobia tends to be more of a public front - mass hysteria. In private, I believe most Jamaicans, individually, really couldn't care less, and most gays in Jamaica still manage to live their lives in their own little worlds with countless friends and associates - gay, straight, and everything else, whether they are 'out' or not.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller made the bold step when she declared that anyone could serve in her Cabinet if they were qualified, regardless of sexual orientation. We are still waiting on her, however, to follow through with her promise for a conscience vote on the buggery law.
Our leaders must lead by example, and eventually Jamaicans will either get it or get over it.