Local Issues · Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Making a Giant

On Saturday, a PNM Senator went on a podium and before national journalists to say that he thinks that the LGBT community is imposing their lifestyle on others, namely him. I can’t begin to talk about how amazingly aggravating it is that our politicians and decision-makers are still in this place. But, reading the coverage of it in the newspaper this morning, it dawned on me – who the hell is out there to get them out of that place?

Yep, that’s basically what he said, in case you haven’t read the article.

This is an issue that we at CAISO have been dealing with for quite some time (and one that my boss might probably fume that I aired online of all places). Where are all the gay folks in Trinidad & Tobago? Of course they’re not out, for fear of discrimination, alienation and in some cases acts of violence. They’re invisible. And it doesn’t matter how big the elephant in the room is if no one can see it. We can’t feed it if we want it around, and we can’t move it if we don’t. Because, to us, there’s nothing there. And that’s what’s been holding the LGBT movement back in Trinidad & Tobago, and possibly countless other places as well.

Truth is, the LGBT community has spent a lot of time relying on LGBT movements to say the words they’ve bitten their lips from saying. We’re looking for that one spokesperson to play Atlas and hold the entire expanding galaxy of LGBT issues on their shoulders. They’ll wait until he takes the blows and stands tall to decide whether it’s safe to come out, pun intended. It’s all understandable, when the stigma is high and rampant. I can’t blame them for a second. But one person can’t move and idea. They’re heavier things than people imagine…and that’s why we need an entire movement of people.

We all wanna be giants, but our heads are too heavy for the mess that we’re in…
We all wanna have patience, and we want it right now, getting tired of waiting…
We all wanna make progress, and we’re suffering running in circles again…
The only reason that I stand to make it through is that I’m twice the man I am when I’m with you…

Josh Osho, Giants

The truth is, no movement needs a Goliath who’s expected to shoulder an entire movement themselves. Especially since there is no such Goliath. What we do need is people coming together to shoulder that weight together, and people supporting them on their own shoulders to ensure that they can do their meaningful work and still feel whole when the going gets rough. We need support systems that encourage the activist and emotionally supports the man and woman. And we need movements, full of people who all see the importance of the cause and recognize that it’s valuable enough for them to get up and get it for themselves and the countless others that need it.

If we need to build the giant, one shoulder at a time, then won’t you give your shoulder?

Here, take in the song I quoted. That should inspire you.

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