Pious Tale Won’t Stop AIDS Spread – Candidly Speaking
Nation, October 22, 2004
P.O. Box 1203, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados, W.I.
Tel: 246-430-5400 Fax:
By Irene Sandiford-Garner
This week I would wish to publicly congratulate Professor
Mickey Walrond for his forthright and fearless pursuit of what he believes to
In the face of public, and I am sure private attacks, the
professor stands firm in his stance on the position of reforming the laws on
anal intercourse. According to last week’s Sunday Sun, he feels the act,
“like others practiced between consenting adults and in privacy, should no
longer carry the threat of imprisonment for life”.
I have always believed and, at 43, don’t see myself
changing that belief, that what two people do in the privacy of their bedrooms
is their business. We are not here to judge, and a true Christian knows that
only God can and will judge.
However, when what you do hurts others, then it becomes
everybody’s business and right now AIDS is hurting Barbados.
The high level of hypocrisy and deceit practised in this
society make me admire people like the professor and priests like Father
Harcourt Blackett (Catholic) and Reverend Dr Marcus Lashley (Anglican). They
have studied the sexual practices of Barbadians and they are calling it like
Sociologist Ikael Tafari summed it up thus: “The
society is masquerading as a Christian society, but yet there is a lot of
kinkiness going on which is covered up. I don’t know how people manage to
cover it up.” He too was refreshingly candid.
We have to stop pretending that we don’t know that men
have sex in jail and come out and resume relationships with their ever-willing
partners, unprotected. We have to stop pretending we don’t know of the men
who claim they are not gay, but sleep with other men, and women.
We have to stop pretending we don’t know that young,
beautiful men sleep with older gay men for a price, and then pose and sleep
with our young, beautiful daughters. Sometimes they are the ones with the
loudest voices vilifying and sometimes physically attacking openly gay men.
And let us not forget the prostitution. As Father
Harcourt said, it goes on in Bay Street, and we all know about the business
run on Pinfold Street, a cricket ball throw away from Central Police Station.
And don’t talk about the beach prostitutes. My cousin
was here earlier this year, and she said she was harassed on the beach every
single morning. Even though she bluffed that her husband was with her and
would soon be coming, the guys never gave up. She said some mornings she would
look up to the balconies of other rooms and see the men easing out the rooms
Self-righteous grandstanding is not going to stop the
spread of AIDS. Step one: Pray for change and give the prisoners condoms.