Dear Young, Lesbian, Celebrity Beauty Queen, LGBT activist, asylum seeking, singing, journalist who ran for your life to Canada,
I am a young ‘Antiguan’ individual who has also, at a point in my life, decided that migrating to another country was indeed the most ideal thing for me to do. In doing this, I not only looked at the fact that I was constantly being treated differently and it was exhausting, but I also looked at the fact that I have always wanted to migrate and the fact that I needed opportunities to pursue a career that Antigua & Barbuda does not yet have available for me. I was not and am not a ‘celebrity’ or ‘significant figure’ in Antigua as you have been. I am an individual who simply wanted to find happiness without the fear of persecution, constant judgment and antagonism. Let’s face it: the Antiguan community can be very critical of a lot of things including one another. I respect the fact that you have come forward and ‘established’ yourself as LGBT activist stationed……..in Canada.
If I’m being honest….. I have followed your LGBT up rise from the beginning, and I follow your page on FB (Facebook). I respect the fact that you want more for our country…. I even respect the fact that you’re not afraid to boldly show your love to the world. That is your choice, however. I have always been private, not hidden, but as a concerned LGBT youth…. it would be remiss for me not to make you aware of a few things.
- ……you do not speak for all LGBT individuals- (DISCLAIMER- I in no way am trying to tear you down but someone needs to remind you of the vast spectrum of the LGBT community and also share with you their views…even if it could be deemed as conflicting). We don’t all run away (NB not every LGBT individual who migrates, runs away). We all have our reasons…. I am sure you may know some others who have done it because they have become tired of the discrimination, but we all cannot be painted with the same brush. Some of us leave for better opportunities for work or education. Some of us leave for love. Some of us leave because we want to explore the world and much more. It becomes a terrible idiosyncrasy when you constantly paint our community with the brush of hardship and struggle. I personally know many LGBT men and women who strive under the hardships we ‘sometimes’ face. Some who are senior level staff, managers, entrepreneurs who although (they) live in a place that can sometimes be damning, have made a name for themselves and are respected and looked to for the work they produce and their professionalism or in general…for being good human beings. I cannot say I know every LGBT person because I only know the ones around me. Also my opinion does not negate the fact that there are persons who are struggling to fit in and to be accepted. We all have those issues.
- Sorry to burst your bubble….. but as far as the LGBT movement is concerned….. as a lesbian, you may be on the better end of the totem pole. I’m really not trying to grind your gears or break the movement but gays and transgenders have had it waaayyy harder than you. I understand that your truth is your truth but a realistic question would be……. “How many times have you heard about a lesbian being interfered with to the point of persecution?” I worked in Tourism and have encountered quite a few open ‘butch-like’ lesbians. I was a bubbly-spirited worker who constantly got picked on and harassed by different people almost every other day and I never identified myself as gay or straight. I say this to say….. that the sad fact is….. gay men and transgenders tend to be more harassed and persecuted than lesbians. Some lesbians can hide behind lipstick and dresses and femininity while if a man happens to be a bit flamboyant…. he is quickly marked and branded with disdain and disgust and will forever be seen as a joke to society. A lot of individuals tend to feel that we as men and transgenders are the abomination while lesbians will ‘grow out of it eventually”. I respect lesbians (P.S. some of my closest friends are strong open lesbians) and all my other LGBT counterparts but why don’t you state the facts as is, you tend to mislead and misinform. Moreover, it makes you look like a liar especially when there are men and women who all know and have experienced the truth to be different. And when I say men and women, I speak not only of the LGBT community but Antiguans and Barbudans in general.
- Is the Antigua &Barbuda LGBT community an advocacy platform for you or simply a platform with meal-ticket? Gurl………sometimes you confuse me. I really want to believe the things you write as an LBGT activist on your Huffington Post blog or the things you say in your famous Facebook rants and tantrums, but the things you do sometimes leave me and many others to wonder, is it because you care or is it for attention? I want to believe that WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY deep down inside there is some sincerity in ‘your truth’ but you always leave me wondering. In one breath, you promote equality and (that) love wins. Yet in another, you bash the country YOU decided to leave with such harshness. You speak on the love of the LGBT community in Canada and then jump to stand arms in the pain and suffering of Black America then you leap over to smite Antigua & Barbuda once more. Really Gurl? Then we see you advertise a performance…. then a guest appearance……and the list goes on. It’s exhausting sometimes. I know if I don’t want to see it I can always block and delete or unfollow but unfortunately… you seem to be the ‘last hope for LGBT existence’. Sadly, you are one of my current events as a gay man. I know we have others who are fighting the good fight for equality but…. no one, to me, has gathered more attention as an activist than you have….unfortunately.
I’m sorry for the things that have happened to you. The things that would make you feel the need to run away from your home. I know it is never an easy decision to move….. especially to another country. I do not doubt your patriotism but I do find fault with your approach to LGBT issues. In one breath, you want everyone to accept us for who we are, yet in another you try to degrade and tear down the same people from whom you seek attention to your issue. It’s like telling a child, “don’t cry”, after giving the child a beating. I feel like sometimes your approach could interfere with the way the world perceives our people. I not only look at the fact that we are hurting, but you have to look at it from the other side. For example, Tourism takes up a great percentage of our GDP. The greater your platform becomes, the more you are heard which could mean being heard by tourists, whose money unfortunately we rely on. Therefore, you are now messing with families, their incomes and their livelihoods. ‘To every action there is an equal or opposite reaction’.
You always post #LoveWins. Well, if love wins then why not keep to that approach. Stick to facts. Be unbiased to “your truth”. Make your platform less about the fact you are a former Jubilee Carnival queen and more about the fact that all we want in our community is to be loved and respected as human beings on this earth. No one would choose a life of marginalization, persecution, and discrimination if this were a choice. This is what I would like for my LGBT activist: To promote change and not self in between. The attention should come from your hard work and dedication to our cause but it is blurred by the misrepresentation that is sometimes displayed. At this point, I wouldn’t want others to think that we ALL think this way and all share the sentiments you submit. This is why I wrote this public letter to you.
I am not seeking attention, nor am I trying to promote you. I am not expecting a response to my letter, and if there is one, then, you can definitely be sure that there will not be a rebuttal to anything being said. I just hope you can look at what I am saying to you as hope for you to adjust rather than to continue a highly flawed approach to winning people over. I have really tried to speak to you intelligently and without being disrespectful to you or your character. I wish you all the best, and I hope that your direction will be shifted in a way to bring about ‘real change’.
With respect and high regards,
John Public’s gay son