A call for inclusion in an exclusive society
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Living in a rural community for 20 years, the most disturbing issue that I have witnessed among LGBT youth involves discrimination and exclusion from community engagement. Over the years, it has been the common trend that the expression of LGBT individuals is seen as an act of disturbance as if they themselves are not citizens of the very same country that instituted the law that outlines the right to one’s freedom of expression.
There is a sense of unfairness and bias being meted out to LGBT youth in my community, which leads to gender discrimination and harassment, which, oftentimes, stimulates fear from the community, ultimately leading to psychological effects, for example, depression, etc. As such, it is evident that in my rural community, the law stipulating one’s freedom of expression is paralysed.
I believe that the Government should aim to prioritise changes to anti-discrimination laws, which don’t protect Jamaicans on the basis of sexual or gender identity over the largely symbolic repeal of the buggery laws. Simply put, it means promoting and including LGBT individuals (the youth) as part of the wider Jamaican society rather than applauding the reality that currently stands.