UGLAB head wants church to leave gays alone
A veteran of the local LGBT community is sick and tired of the recent gay bashing in Barbados and is advocating an end to it.
In recent years, Darcy Dear has publicly supported the fight against attacks on gays.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY at his Haggatt Hall, St Michael home yesterday evening, Dear declared that these verbal attacks had now reached an “outrageous” level.
Recently, some religious leaders made it clear they would staunchly oppose any attempt to legalize same-sex marriage in Barbados.
The president of the United Gays and Lesbians Association of Barbados (UGLAB), who has been following the comments coming from the leaders, described them as “hypocritical”.
“We have received attacks in the past, but it has never been like this before,” he said.
Some leaders have argued The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin, and that opposing that lifestyle is based on a desire to prevent individuals from falling into spiritual and emotional pain. A few have even suggested that gays should come to the church and be healed.
“Come and get healed?” asked a passionate Dear.
“You know the [number] of gay people who had their first experience in church? I got some gay family members –– we are all family –– that can run, or that run an entire church when the pastor is not there. So tell me now how you are going to say to come and be prayed for and be healed? Be healed of what?
“The handicapped or the mentally retarded, can they go in the church and be healed?”
Dear said while he was aware religious leaders had met to discuss the recent United States Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage across all 50 states of America, he believed their meetings should focus on another agenda.
Dear has called on the religious leaders, from a national perspective, to discuss issues that have been affecting the island. He said the number of young people dying from gun violence was his major concern.
“I think it is too serious an issue for these leaders to take that time to formulate a plan for the LGBT community where marriage is concerned, and leave these young people without guidance, because when they are finished, there may not be any more young people left to be into the LGBT community,” he suggested.
Dear also wants to know where was the church when HIV came to the island’s shores and why it did not respond as quickly to that issue as it had voiced its concerns about same-sex marriage.
“HIV came to Barbados over 30 odd years now, and it took the churches almost the same amount of time to be able to discuss it and react to it; and that is dealing with people’s lives.
The UGLAB president said he was especially perplexed over a conversation he had with the mother of a gay son on Sunday night.
He said the mother complained she had attended her church earlier that day where she felt as though she was being attacked by her pastor through his sermon.
“The way that he attacked the LGBT community, she said she had felt so bad sitting down there and listening to the things that he was saying at her and her son. That is the church she has worshipped at for all these years and her son has grown up at,” Dear said.
“I asked, ‘But why you didn’t get up and leave?’ She tell me, ‘Darcy, I thought about it, but if I got up they would definitely say he was talking to me and I took offence at what he said.
So I sat through it’. She said she has never heard her pastor use the language he used until Sunday,” he continued.
Dear argued that the time had come for all religious leaders to respect members of the LGBT community, and be very careful about how, and where they spoke about the members.
“They don’t know who among them, like that woman, is the parent of a LGBT community member . . . . I am sure there were others who felt the same way.
“Show me the gay man and woman who produce a baby that is gay. It took two heterosexuals to produce one gay person,” the entrepreneur noted.
He added: “They need to be mindful of the things they say on Sundays because they feel they have the right to attack the LGBT community. When they say what they say and then end with, God don’t like the sin, but he like the sinner, the damage has already been done, by the time you get around to that deceitful ending.”
He also had a word of advice for those parents constantly ridiculed because their offspring were gay.
Dear, who believes an individual is born gay, urged parents to embrace their children and respect them.
“I am who I am from the time I knew myself; and anybody who knows me will tell you . . . . I heard my eldest brother in a conversation one time in New York with some friends. The conversation was about how is it that he [Dear] gay and you straight and got so much women, and you does always be ready to represent him,” Dear said, as he shared
his personal story.
“And he [brother] say, ‘When he [Dear] was small, when me and my friends were going to play basketball or cricket, he would be sitting down playing house with the girls and be comfortable. When he becomes uncomfortable is when I mind my friends and go and grabble he and tell he to come and play cricket. All of we had to look for holes when he [Dear] start pelting big rocks. So I know he is who he is now, from when he was small’.”
Dear also sought to set the record straight about the myth that a large percent of gay people were molested at a young age. He said this was the not the case.
“Anybody that penetrates you in that way, where you can call it rape, it would be painful. Now who the hell you know that like pain? You could not go through life in painful situations thinking that that is what you are supposed to be,” he argued.
Meanwhile, Dear has been going through his own personal pain. He woke up Monday morning to find one his truck windows shattered –– as had happened two times before.
As recent as yesterday morning, he said, he opened his mailbox to find yet another hate letter condemning his lifestyle, and calling him an idiot among other things. He said each letter had stated it was a final warning, and had also informed him he was created to worship God, yet he continued to bow to Satan.
“You have squeezed your heart, your mind and your soul to the devil, therefore you must have an experience, and maybe then you will take hold of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Dear said the letter stated.
“So I don’t know if the breaking of the glass is the experience I am supposed to have.”
Dear said he believed having to live through these threats was unfair to him; and that people must be allowed to live their lives the way they wanted to.
“I feel threatened for members of the LGBT community who can’t represent themselves. I don’t see them threatening me or attacking me face to face; so I guess they are a bundle of cowards too. They would break up the van and send the letters, but they wouldn’t come and confront me in person.
“But, these things seem to be happening after the church members had their say on the LGBT community,” Dear observed.