Resisting the war on love, Day 2: Can young people get some credit in the media? Providence!

Disappointed that their visionary, history-making action was being shut out of news coverage of the HWOM visit (whilst the media puts youth violence and violence against youth on its pages daily), young people spent Sunday afternoon trekking from media house to media house telling the story of their alternative vision of sexual citizenship to Hospital Christian Fellowship and His Way Out Ministries – one of inclusion, and solidarity, and safety from shame and stigma about sexuality.

They stopped at the Express and spoke with Rickie Ramdass; the Guardian, where editor Anthony Wilson referred them to Bobie-lee Dixon, who conducted a lengthy interview; and Newsday, where Leiselle Maraj invited them to come back on Monday. Let’s see how their editors handle the story! At the AnsaMcAl media house, they also stopped by the television and radio studios, but no producers were in.

Getting back in the car at the end of the outing, on came Power 102 with the engine, and with it a familiar phrase: “the acidity of the vagina”. As if divinely ordained, it was Hospital Christian Fellowship live on the radio. We sped up to the Abercromby St. studio, halfway through the broadcast, and asked to join them on the air. The host declined, saying it would be rude to the guests, and referred us to producer Marcia Henville to schedule our own time. The young folks stayed around, called in to the show from the studio lobby, and then waited to greet the guests (Phillip Lee and two of the HCF advocates) at the end. “Are you following us?” they asked us. Er, yes! “We know all the tactics”, Lee smiled.

We hung out at MovieTowne after, where another group, wearing their “Homosexual Agenda” jerseys for the second day too, joined us. We joked that the first item on the homosexual agenda was “Buy multigrain Crix”, said we should send a jersey to the Bermudez Biscuits CEO, shared Crix recipes, and laughed about launching a Crix recipe cookbook (the rally that inspired the shirts, after all, was scheduled for Naparima Girls) as a CAISO fundraiser. Dinner at BurgerKing was uneventful except for a few stares; but everyone ran into someone they knew, including the sister of Godfrey Sealy (who must be smiling down on us). Doesn’t this keep sounding providential?

But the providence doesn’t end there: crossing the courtyard later, who should we run into but Judy Henry (who wasn’t on the radio) and her husband Trevor, who was wearing an HCF heterosexual logo shirt, and whisked her away soon after she began to preach about the fall of the US and the rise of Europe.

How way your day in this amazing country of ours? Did you send a letter, post a comment or make a call? Thanks!

2 thoughts on “Resisting the war on love, Day 2: Can young people get some credit in the media? Providence!

  1. You are right, Jeremy, that there is a global village of ideas. Some ones we don’t like came to visit us, and we took a position that they were free to come. The newspaper gave voice to those ideas two days in a row, without those of the local GLBT community. So we were just making sure that ours, and your local young people’s, got as much attention as Phillip Lee’s.

    We do oppose ideas (like inequality and violence) that do harm to people, especially people who are vulnerable. So we also raised concerns about the harmful nature of homophobia, much as the visit sought to cast homosexuality as harmful. Our speech may have veered towards the impolite, but it didn’t approach the bullying and spiritual violence Lee and his hosts showed towards young people by calling their sexuality disordered and sinful, and Judy Henry did by invoking fears of chaos and God’s wrath.

    No one is competing for converts. We are trying to make our country safe for people to exercise sexual autonomy and citizenship. I can’t think of a better way to spend one’s time. Or something more critical than the liberty of one’s body. In fact I’ve dedicated my career to that. Heterosexual young people thought it was a good thing to labour and spend money to protect gay young people. Isn’t that amazing? What was foolish was to bring Phillip Lee here. I believe the time invested this week in simply standing up for what one believes will mark October 22-29, 2010 as a critical watershed for gay organizing in T&T.

  2. I am trying to make sense from all the commotion about Philip Lee visit. I would think it is safe to say we live in a global village and there are people with varying experiences who are convinced that their story is worth telling. How we hear what is being told is another story. From reading the reporting here and elsewhere it seems that the homosexual community is reacting in a manner that is bullying by all the name calling and disrespectful remark. I am wondering if there is confidence that this lifestyle is normal then it should not cause such an uproar. Or is it that it is a competition who would have more converts. Tons of time is wasted in a foolish response when there are greater critical life issues to labour over.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s