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Sunday 15 December 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Do we need this kind of social convulsion now?

THE EDITOR: I found it curious that a young female LGBTQI activist in this month’s march in Port of Spain could lay claim on a placard that “I am natural.” I wondered on what basis could she have made that claim.

Macbeth’s murder of the king in that play was considered a “crime against nature,” “unnatural,” “deviant” in the sociological sense for it was universally accepted then, “cultural” if you will — if culture is taken in its broadest sense to mean the sum total of the norms and patterns of behaviour in any society at the time — that the king was the lord’s anointed. It would have been the ultimate cultural violation then to murder someone who held office by “divine right.”

Not that there would not have been the kind of behaviour this activist represents in Shakespeare’s time. LGBTQI would have been there, but they would have existed not as “mainstream” but as a silent deviation from that mainstream.

This, however, is not Shakespeare’s time and we are not speaking about the “throne,” but does the same principle apply to the young activist who claims that “I am natural?”

Her “truth” is not the “truth” of mainstream, but a deviation from it, as much as Macbeth’s was.

Can she then lay claim to being “natural?”

If she does on the basis of having been born this way, or having evolved biologically this way, or having been socialised this way, does the hard fact remain that whatever made her “gay” would have caused her to become “deviant” in relation to the wider forms of mainstream behaviour related to sex, love and marriage?

This is deviant behaviour in the true sociological/cultural sense.

If such is the case then, is she laying claim to a group subculture with its own patterns of behaviour, within mainstream?

Such “multiculturalism” would have been the prevailing ideology over the last two decades, but has been on the decline because of the myriad problems which arise when subcultures and mainstream cultures attempt to relate. The problem of Quebec-Canada relations is a case in point.

Is it any wonder that LGBTQI wanting to function in mainstream would have enormous problems here and elsewhere?

Decriminalising buggery in this country strikes at the very heart of mainstream thinking and giving it such “visibility” through its legalisation is bound to lead to trauma, even hate and violence.

Would it not have been in the interest of peace and tranquillity if LGBTQI simply functioned in the way they always have, quietly being the “double chennet” among thousands of chennet on the tree, or the “double mango” among hundreds of mangoes, or simply and quietly being the exception to the rule as in Shakespeare’s time, instead of attempting to publicly champion a mode of behaviour that is bound to create problems within mainstream?

Do we need this kind of social convulsion at a time when we are having our fill of the same at the present time?

DR ERROL BENJAMIN via e-mail

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