You know how you’re supposed to be proud of your family no matter what, but it is super hard when your cousin is drunk and starting every sentence with, “I’m not a racist or anything, BUT…” (Note: if you have to start a sentence with that qualifier, STOP. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200.)
That’s kinda how I feel about my country. Occasionally we are awesome. But most of the time, within 2 minutes of opening a local newspaper, I have to go watch a youtube video of a cat with its head stuck in a bucket to remind myself that there is good in the world, and life is worth living. (I’m only half exaggerating).
Jamaica has the dubious distinction of being the most homophobic country in the world. We’ve (rightfully) gotten a lot of flack for it. I myself, have nothing against homosexuality. I never have. I didn’t realise it was a big deal until I moved back here in 9th grade. When I openly stated this in Bible Study class (yeah – not the best idea) the room audibly gasped in shock and the teacher swallowed, put down her book and told the class to join hands in prayer. (You know, I exaggerate a lot, but this isn’t one of those times. I actually had whole classes praying for me. On MULTIPLE occasions. Bless my heathen soul.) In any case, the only struggle I have with accepting homosexuality is that Neil Patrick Harris is gay, and I am in love with him, and that makes me sad. Other than that, though, we cool. Cut me, I bleed rainbows.
My island is slightly different. Homosexuality is a problem here, a big one, and they’re not afraid to say it. (Or shout it. Or write it in numerous poorly constructed letters to the editor.) This has not won the Jamaican community many friends. So, they’ve changed tack.
In a brilliant PR move, those who disagree with an LGBT lifestyle down here have decided to fight offensiveness with being offended. The latest campaign, now spattered all over the newspapers and my facebook news feed like a violent and ignorant chicken pox, takes issue with the word “homophobia”. Someone, finally, picked up a dictionary and realized that phobia means “fear of”. This has made the rounds, and the anti-gay community want to clarify a couple of things.
- Nobody is ‘afraid’ of homosexuals. They just hate them. (Because that is so much better.)
- A phobia is a mental disorder, and it is libel to go around labelling people as mentally defunct.
- They have a right to stand up for what they believe, as obnoxiously as they want to.
On a purely logical basis, if not a moral or reasonable one, I can see the grounding behind the first argument. It is nitpicking and obnoxious, but kind of accurate. Okay. So if Nathan Lane happens to walk into your house, you’re not going to jump on a stool, start screaming and call your significant to ask them how to get him out of the house. Clarified.
As for the rest of it -
You know, this post was much longer, but I realize where it is going and I have to do things do so here: watch this cat eating a watermelon.
In the end, China will take over the earth and none of this will matter.