On September 4, 2011, Vinci Kallaloo posted an article from a man claiming to be homosexual. It was entitled: Not Easy Being Gay in St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Part 1. That article attracted 3, 488 hits and nearly 50 comments from our readers in a relatively short space of time. Apart from our home page, only two other pages have generated more hits. Several of the responses posted were too incendiary to publish, even on a liberal site like Vinci Kallaloo. Indeed, several person used the forum to issue violent threats to gays who they know and named on the site.
For some time now, we received a second article from the same source. This time, he attempts to explain what led him to a life of homosexuality. However, given the backlash over the first article, we agonized over whether it should be posted or not. After extensive deliberation we have chosen to publish the piece in the interest of free speech and in accordance with our belife that every voice must be heard. Below is Part 2 of Not Easy Being Gay in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Back when I was a student in Grammar School in the 1970s, they did not have any tolerance for people who decided to turn into homosexuals, or decide to “bull”. No one encouraged me; I was not abuse by any relative or teacher; I did not even know that men had sex with men in my community. So I’ve been puzzling over the notion of why I chose to be gay. Especially since I didn’t even know what “being gay” was. I didn’t even have the word “homosexual” in my vocabulary. As I grew up I heard about bulling and I knew it was nasty.
I became a Christian once. I went to church. It was crystal clear that my church did not tolerate anyone who was gay. Yet, I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what it was that made me make this choice…especially in the face of such hatred when it came to guys calling other guys “cock suckers” and “queers,” “bullers” and “batty man”. I guess I wanted to be hated and despised as well. What normal, heterosexual teen male wouldn’t give up acceptance and privilege to become a member of a hated group?
Believe me, when I say that I was a cute teenager, and girls were interested in me. So maybe I was tired of being a popular guy who had girls asking me out on dates, and at one point having to decide which of two girls I was going to take to a party. At one point, I was tired of having girls have crushes on me. And assuming that we’re all born heterosexual, and because we’re certainly all raised to think in terms of heterosexuality as the only possible “lifestyle,” I’m confused and puzzled as to just what it was that made me choose to suddenly become emotionally and physically attracted to boys, rather than girls.
I went out a lot. Never wanted for girls. So it wasn’t a lack of self-esteem in that department. Nonetheless, I just suddenly chose to be attracted to a few boys I saw around school or had in my classes. I just suddenly got “all shook up” as Elvis Presley said whenever I saw these boys. My heart began to race, I felt like I was about to die of heartache whenever I was around them, and this choice to feel this way became stronger, no matter how many girls I went out with. And the oddest thing about all this is, I had no idea what was happening to me. I had never been approached by another guy for sex, and the only notion I had about “buller men” was that it was absolutely disgusting to be one. Yet I realized I liked boys and what I wanted to try with them. I wondered what it would feel like to kiss another boy (a particular boy), and what it would feel like to hold hands, and what it would feel like for him to feel the same way.
Now, how I chose to feel all this is still beyond me. But once I did finally figure out that “bulling” also meant “homosexual” and that there were places where men liked to go to meet other men, about the only thing I can say I chose to do was to carry through with my feelings and went with another man for the first time of my own free will when I was 21 years old. And, despite the hatred and revulsion from family and friends when I declared my hand, along with the ups and downs in my life and the periods when I pretend to behave in a heterosexual way, I’ve never doubted my inner gay soul since then. I am gay and I am no longer ashamed of it!
Is it time for this country to engage in a rational and civil discussion about the acceptability of homosexuality as a lifestyle. Should we continue to criminalize men having sex with men? There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of homosexuals, both males and females in our midst. Do they not qualify for the freedom to engage in their lifestyle without provocation?
Let the debate go on!