LETTER OF THE DAY - Lesbians suffer in silence
THE EDITOR, Sir:
It seems that Nadine Wilson-Harris' article ('Lesbians targeted by men who want to 'straighten them out'') was written with great intent to highlight the fact that there are attacks of different types on the Jamaican lesbian, gays, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
This article is one-sided. While some women expressed that it was after their sexual orientation had been revealed that they were violated or attacked, you have forgotten those who have been targeted without even disclosing their orientation.
You should try walking the streets. When a man calls to a woman, if she doesn't respond in his favour, he then refers to her as "lesbian gyal" or "sadamite". They do not only do this to the women who dress very feminine; there are women who dress comfortably in loose clothing, without looking masculine, and still they are approached by men who display crudity when they are turned down.
Today's Jamaican society empowers the male every day, allowing them to believe they are dominant and that whatever they say or do is what effects change and is law. This should not be so!
For the majority of the LGBT community who have not disclosed their sexual orientation, it is because they face discrimination by their male counterparts inside the workplace and outside as well.
Jamaican society is filled with double standards. Because of how we are educated, a lesbian is understood not to have the same rights as a heterosexual woman.
Many lesbians are afraid to speak up because we know we will not be heard, and clearly, a few areas of Mrs Wilson-Harris' article highlighted that. I speak for the quiet lesbians, the ones who try to lead regular lives who are often pointed out in society. We don't speak because you don't listen. We stand with each other because in this male-dominated society, if we don't, we will fall.
We applaud your efforts, but next time you want to talk, speak to us. We are a diverse group with many opinions and stories.