In this weekend’s article, I wish to touch on a topic not because it is masked with sensationalism but because it is a very true phenomenon which occurs globally.
Whether you are in the entertainment industry or the sporting fraternity, the fact remains that once you are in the public’s eye, you are going to be under public scrutiny. In the midst of this all, celebrities, sportsmen and entertainers are under pressure to live their lives as the public perceives them. To stray away from the accepted norms in a society that is all too ready to judge, sometimes causes these same public figures to make fatal errors that can bring their world crashing down within hours.
Within the Caribbean, such pressure is almost doubled. The scrutiny that is associated with being a Caribbean public figure is daunting. You are constantly watched, perhaps because of the small geographical scale and a shifting paradigm where your neighbors are not only nosy but are now armed with the latest modern technology to capture your latest coming in, going out, who visits you, what time they arrive and what time they depart.
Quite recently there was an uproar in Trinidad (and the Caribbean at large) within the Soca arena, when a presumably happily married young woman came home to “allegedly” find her Soca artiste husband caught up in the throes of ecstasy with a much younger man.
Not only were their positions compromising but the noise and language emanating from such a forbidden rendezvous would make a priest blush.
The questions here are whom shall we blame? Is there any blame to be given? Is it fair that a prominent Soca artiste “allegedly” chose to betray his wife and thereby causing her not only embarrassment but a sense of inadequacy that is unparalled to no other type of adultery?
See dear readers, this “alleged” soca artiste is not alone in this dilemma.
He might be one of the only ones that have been caught red handed but he is not the only hot blooded Caribbean male to delve into the forbidden love of man sex. Throughout the years there have been rumors of calypsonians, reggae artistes, performers, dancers, sportsmen, politicians and even women who indulge in same-sex proclivities.
You might ask, where is this heading? Truth be told, I find myself bored with these stories but the underlying issue here is society’s perception that once you are in the public domain you are not human. You are made to be a role model; whether you want it or not.
There is a public burden placed upon these men and women, when all they want to do is bring some sort of joy to the public, whilst living their lives in private…and when i say private, I mean a private life.
Some years ago, I was a young hot commodity…I was in my prime and I loved the anticipation of a sexual adventure. I would find myself in areas or places where men of a certain caliber would associate. One such place was a famous watering hole not very far from the Trinidad Hilton. The Pelican Inn was an infamous pick up joint, especially on a Friday night when the men were willing to part with their money. On one such adventure, I met a well known calypsonian who took me to his home and after a night of torrid lovemaking, the well known calypsonian had the gall to tell me that he is not gay…he is not even bisexual….he just gets these urges and he had to act upon it but that HE IS NOT GAY!
Should I blame him?
NO. For him to admit to being gay or even remotely bisexual would be an affont to his career as a calypsonian and a public figure. It would completely destroy him.
My friends, as long as we in the Caribbean continue to deny citizens the right to live THEIR LIVES without fear of reprisal for being who they are, then we are going to be faced with more situations like the one with the married soca artiste and his wife.
My Jamaican counterparts are also mindful of these situation as there are a number of Jamaican reggae artists who delve into the forbidden art of man on man sex. Buju Banton’s “Boom Bye Bye” is said to allegedly be a song that was a message to a former male lover who left Jamaica and sought refugee status in Canada. In the song he shares his loathing for homosexuals but there have been rumors that the famous Mr. Banton is allegedly a lover of man sex. If so, he might be having his full share in federal prison now.
Listen….homosexuality, bisexuality and lesbianism have been around since the beginning of time and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. What is needed is a comprehensive approach by all Caribbean nations to work toward ending the scourge of homophobia and the violence that is associated with it. Perhaps what is also needed is a man with testicular fortitude to stand up and declare his orientation and charge those in authority to do something about it.
Over the years there have been several instances of rumors about another soca artiste who it is reputed to have had a condom stuck into his rectum. Fact or fiction? You be the judge.
Whatever happens, it is truly sad when a man or woman has to pretend to be someone else in order to earn a dollar or get recognition.
Questions and comments are suggested.
LET’S CHAT BELOW.