THE EDITOR: My social media has been flooded with posts for and against the rights of the LGBTQ community. I am not one to share my opinion publicly but I am compelled to speak out.
My qualifications will show that I am a conservationist. I am an avid lover of the natural world and passionate about protecting it. So sharing my personal view on this topic will naturally be of a scientific manner.
In the animal kingdom there are a number of animals that display homosexual behaviour. It is not uncommon, and dare I even say the norm, for these animals to engage in such behaviour.
Some macaques (monkeys), beetles, albatross (oceanic bird), bonobos (monkeys), giraffes, dolphins and swans, to name a few, are animals that engage in same-sex activity. This shows that humans are not the only species in the world that engage in same-sex behaviour.
Now, I am moving away from science and onto the fact that everyone deserves basic human rights. The human race has a long history of change from slavery, apartheid to women rights and we still suffer from the effects of these today. Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral aspects of us and they should not lead to discrimination.
The LGBTQ community makes up a very significant percentage of the population. There are serious psychological impacts stemming from the continuous discrimination, unequal treatment, abuse and even loss of life by the way we treat a group of people and there is infinite evidence. I think about the individual who cannot live their truth in a safe environment. What if I am the mother, sister, friend of the individual? It is absolutely heartbreaking and makes me question the world we live in today. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but we have no right to dictate how someone chooses to live their true life.
TT is plagued with crime: murders, domestic abuse, corruption, drugs, illegal arms, human and wildlife trafficking – and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Where is this level of protest, comradery and effort against these serious issues? But we choose to come together to fight against basic human rights. TT, it is time to reflect.
Now is the time to unite and teach our children about respect and love for all. As the great Nesta Robert Marley sang, “One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel all right.” One love, TT.
LAURA BABOOLAL via e-mail