Gay or Straight Love, It Doesn’t Matter

The Jamaica Observer published this article on May 17, 2011:

It was nice reading the May 15 article “I think I’m gay but…” The 22-year old Samuel didn’t provide his real name because he still lives in Jamaica where he would no doubt be vulnerable to homophobia.

I am no longer afraid to state my name publicly. I’m on American soil because Jamaicans couldn’t handle the fact that men like me love men so powerfully that we cannot live undercover forever. Gay or straight love, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that love is an embodiment of complex, sweet emotions that cannot be at peace in fear and silence. Love must be freed to shout above every mountaintop.

I write this as an affirmation that gayness, in many respects, is formed from the early years. We don’t need psychiatrists or folks with degrees to tell us that. Enough queers across the world have been sharing this same testimony every day.

From I was about 10 years old, I knew I was gay. I used Bible scriptures to knock that nonsense out of my head. From Holiness, to Church of God to Pentecost church, I sang and prayed and spoke in tongues asking heaven for a deliverance from homosexuality. All alone I carried this burden. I felt shut out of heaven. I was rejected by family, friends and strangers on earth. I felt isolated from my own self. Indeed, I am now at peace with myself, with the world, without religion.

Samuel echoed a statement that folks don’t have to be having sex to be gay. As long as they feel mostly gay, then they are gay. Nobody queries the sexuality of a priest or a nun or an old virgin who is still waiting for marriage before sex. We all automatically assume they are straight.

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