GAYS ARE MARTYRS
Somewhere around 13/14 years old my mind took a mental picture of a man being stoned as he ran down the incline of the road toward my home in my little community. He was wearing an ankle length bridal dress, a lopsided tiara with an attached veil blowing in the wind, and heels that at a guess I would say were three inches high. Despite this, in flight he wobbled some sort of gymnastics that kept my eyes peeled to his feet for every safe landing.
My entire little neighborhood had come out to watch this debacle. Where bodies were not in full view, heads could be seen furiously bobbing atop craning necks shouting pronouncements of “gay” or some other unpreferred banter, over their concrete fence. I had never before seen or heard of homosexuals.
My head swirled with thoughts of the whereabouts of his groom, the pastor and his bridal party. I wondered if this bit of exhibition was meant to be a statement in advocacy of rights and liberty, but certainly I knew that he had to be straight up gay because one could tell in the moment, that no one in their right mind would dare to run such a joke in Jamaica in the 1960’s.
In 1978 while going about my business in The Village in New York, bundled in sweaters that came up a tad bit short of staving off the 50 degree temperature, that felt more like 0 Fahrenheit to a body acclimated to 90 degree temperatures, I saw a strange figure running toward me. It was wearing short shorts, a skimpy scooped neck sleeveless top and a wig. As the figure neared I realized that it was a man whose face was so loaded with makeup that his perspiration made rivulets in his foundation for escape down his cheeks. My body wreathed with revulsion at the sight even as my lips involuntarily released the words: JAH RASTAFARI.
So much has happened since then that has helped to open my mind to the plight of gays. Homosexuality, I have learnt, has been observed in birds off the US West Coast, and clownfish, wrasses, moray eels to name a few species of fish that change not only sex over time, but reproductive functions as well. Parrot fish, a favorite for many Jamaicans, starts out as male or female but grows with both male and female sex organs, says National Geographic. Parrot fish is known as protogynous hermaphrodite, meaning, it changes from male to female or it carries both organs.
My reference to those “lesser beings” is not an attempt at diminishing or belittling the intelligence or sophistication of man, but rather to be used as a reminder that traits which are found in innate nature sometimes carry through to higher intelligence. Through volumes of reading, watching interviews, making comparisons and personal interactions I have come to accept that there are human beings who, having a sense of who they are or what they feel like internally, can sometimes conflict with what they see when they look in the mirror.
From closely guarded secrets shrouded in pain, one parent divulged that she realized that something was amiss with her son from he turned 3 years old. She had taken him shopping and refused to get him the only item that he truly wanted – a doll. He cried from mid-afternoon to bedtime. Except for a roof over his head and the basic necessities of life, he was completely ignored. When asked if she had ever tried to discuss this with him, now in his teens and obviously “flaming”, she said she was in too much pain and disappointment to do so.
From biological to psychological to influence or choice, I lift my hat to gays who are no doubt acutely aware of the consequences of their choice but chose none-the-less to live comfortably within their own skin and to exhibit their sexual preference without regard to the opinion of insensitive parties bent on criticizing areas of life of others, without boundaries.
Marlene Daley is the Founder of Kotch Magazine and the author of Spiritual Prose, Quotes & Notes and the autobiography A 3rd World Awakening. http://kotchmagazine.com/