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Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

THREE THURSDAYS AGO, Justice Devindra Rampersad, in the Jason Jones Case, declared the old buggery laws unconstitutional and, on the steps of the Hall of Justice, two kinds of people gathered: a large LGBT group, quivering with the sheer delight of finally being seen as deserving of equal treatment before the law; and a smaller, snarling group of Muslims & Pentecostals – strange bedfellows, indeed – who openly attacked the LGBT people either verbally or physically for the sin of being exactly what God made them.

And you don’t need a burning bush or a holy prophet to foresee that, in time – and probably a short time – the numbers in those two groups will reverse, but not their attitudes, and that little happy LGBT crowd, which represents the hope for freedom of all downtrodden humanity, will be greatly outnumbered by the religious folk, who claim to speak for God and are willing to kill, if not die, for what they insist he wants.

And then one of two things will happen.

Either the good religious people (who probably outnumber the ideologues in their churches, mosques or temples by the same factor the religious outnumber the LGBT) will stand up for human rights and defeat the reptilian-brained, doctrinaire segment of their own faith that loves God and hates bullers, thus silencing the aspirant militant clique; or – and this is far more likely –

The dormant embers of the hardline doctrine that lie in the hearts of all religious folk will be fanned into an inferno; and congregations filled with love will turn into conflagrations driven by hate.

And then one of two things will happen, or rather, one thing will happen that will have one of two results: the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, queer & questioning who celebrated their humanity a little too prematurely or provocatively will be surrounded by the enraged holy mob and be beaten either (1) to death; or (2) back into the closet.

And whether the T&T LGBT are allowed to come out of the closet, at last, will depend on two groups of individuals: religious leaders; and closet queens and dykes.

For LGBT people to be able to come into their own, the priests, pundits and imams must first lead their flocks out of the Dark Ages. Witches, the left-handed and people who happen to love, deeply and sincerely, others of the same gender, must no longer be burned at the stake if they happen to float in water.

If religious leaders are man enough – and Godly enough – to instruct their congregations to respect the LGBT, the lunatic fringe in every religion will be kept at bay.

The second group is far more important.

If you are one of the very many LGBT people who hold high positions in the society because you have hidden your sexual orientation and escaped the prejudice, bigotry and hatred your brethren and sistren faced on the Hall of Justice steps two weeks ago, it is high time for you to declare that, whoever you are, you also happen to be LGBT.

And the higher the office, the clearer the duty to come out, come out, wherever you are, and to stand up and be counted.

If you are a religious closet LGBT person – though no LGBT person ought to defend a faith that never defended him or her – the compulsion is even greater, because it is your kind that will deny your kind.

If the religious sheep are encouraged to bleat, “Man & woman marriage, good, man & man marriage bad”, hatred will surface as quickly here as it did in Nazi Germany or I-Sissy Syria, and it will be all over for the LGBT before you can say Jack (or, indeed, Colin) Robinson.

A tinderbox will flash at any spark. The LGBT community needs the help of everyone else today, if Trinidad itself is not to descend into chaos, triggered by hatred of a minority.

But this moment’s most prominent heroes must be drawn from the front ranks.

If you are an LGBT judge, or surgeon, or insurance executive, or oilman, or sports figure, or Parliamentarian, or taxi driver, or calypsonian, or police officer, or teacher, or cabinet-maker or Cabinet member – for we can be certain there is no rank that does not include the LGBT – you must come out today.

And tell the world, “Man & woman marriage good, person & person marriage better.”

BC Pires is hoping, not against hope, but against experience

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