Barbados was the first to moot the idea of working remotely from your country base, back in July 2020.
While reporting on the one year stamp, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) tried to give some cons of the remote work idea. One of these was Barbados’ attitude to LBGQ people.
Frankly some savvy opportunists have been playing the sexual persecution card to get refugee status in Canada/USA quoting old laws inherited by Barbados from you know where.
Here is the link to the article.
Ironically, it seems though that a few on the island who profess to want to rid themselves of the “fetters of colonialism” brought up the arcane law and stirred some churches on their teachings in order to attain some visible mileage. For whatever reason.
However, I did note on my trip home 5 years ago that Barbados seemed to be getting rather hot under the collar with Homosexuals and the Bi/Trans tagging.
While some views in Barbados are not particularly favourable towards gays, I must say any open show of distaste by Barbadians was a relative new thing in its apparent ferocity of speech and manner. I would go as far as to say it was due to the import of some types of people who spread discord and dissension, while trying to cement their religion on a larger scale, and thereby, perhaps, creating a knee-jerk reaction by some other religious groupings who just had to get on the bandwagon. Sure homosexuality had been addressed from time to time with fervour from a few pulpits, but open antagonism of gays was never really the thing.
Some have tried to otherwise undermine the general laid-back tolerance of good Bajans. This was a shock to me as it went beyond the then political shenanigans I had heard of and of which I got a glimpse when I was back home in 2015/2016. It was distasteful behaviour to those who, whether associating or disassociating with gays, had no problem with a person’s lifestyle choices as long as they “kept it to themselves” i.e. not try it on. The manner of the imports and those they influenced by whatever means was and is not a Bajan thing; it was too agressive. Barbadians are a peaceful, peaceloving people by nature.
Even smokers seemed to get the stick in public open spaces!
And that the Church, well some vocal ones, sought to do some gay-bashing really got my goat. Needless to say the religious broadcasts I heard were part of the new norm of having a “consortium” of religious denominations rather than the formerly normal arrangement of Church. This “consortium” however seemed only to consist of two religions. In public ceremonies the effect of the imported locals is most evident in the supposed sharing of the religious duties. Those baying for more inclusion seemed to be those not willing to be inclusive. More than a token to equality, this sharing and imput from those previously kept out of Church and political national/international events can give the impression that Barbados is no longer as we knew it.
Unfortunately, much of the chaos Barbados was faced with bordering on and through the recession and its after-effects meant, apparently, having to get into bed economically and by extension politically with those not truly Bajan in outlook or demeanour.
I would like to say therefore, that these anti-gay elements do not represent me nor the vast majority of Bajans. They were given scope and visibility by a foolish some.
Additionally, while the laws and legislation have been there for eons and are only now being looked into, Gay people themselves have not been hanged or be-headed on my little rock or even sentenced to jail under these laws. I do not know of any gay couple having been taken to court for holding hands in public. I do know some people cringe when they see a gay couple kissing (the longer the kiss the more shuddersome the cringe), but they are likely to cringe at any public display of affection no doubt. And no, no jail time has been served for kissing either. As for the real bedroom business, well keep it to the bedroom. And since gay people have been visiting Barbados for many years, I guess they must sleep together in their hotel rooms. 🤫
Gays and I
I went to school with gays, was taught by gays, worked with gays, lived on the same street as gays, had and have friends that are gay/bi. One of our Ambassadors (that I knew of) was a known gay. They mostly never really flaunted it or tried to rub it in our face. They just were. Just like we just were. People.
Yes, that itself may have been harsh. Many mainly “stayed in the closet” if they were not the flamboyant sort :), apart from being known in their own village or community. It was nobody’s business, just as whether I had had sex with the chap down the road was nobody’s business. Who knew, knew. Full stop.
BUT….one of my dearest friends died due to AIDS back in the day. That was painful, because I lost someone who really loved me; but it was painful because it was only after he had got Aids and was gradually dying, that I realised that most of his adult life he had been ostracised. Not totally – he had friends and others who loved him from both camps – but the silent pain of a perception of not being fully, completely, embraced as a non-gay would have, was brought home to me as I saw him suffering in isolation due to the fears attached at that time to Aids.. He spoke of it as “maybe it was preparing me for this.”
Yes, we made comments some of us; yes a few of us cracked jokes, or laughed at some of the mannerisms, but we never hated gays. We never hounded them. They we just another part of our make up, what made our community special or that more colourful.
To any Gays thinking of going to Barbados, I say go! And let the few idiots be damned.
And according to Steven Unwin whose article in Gay Times, spurred me to write this post, you may find Cobblers Cove the right shade of pink.
Barbados has gay people; always did always shall. They helped build our country. They have much to offer. Whether people are desirable as countrymen, residents, or visitors is not a matter of their sexual orientation, but of their disposition. Reject all that are not good for us, that have nothing positive to offer, and let us move on and up!
Re: LGBT rights in Barbados
Historical reading concerning the laws, representation of LGBQ subsequent to 2016, probable reason for the religious consortium etc may be found in Wikipedia
Barbados recognises ‘foreign’ same-sex marriage. It had its first Pride march in 2018 and has pledged a vote on local marriages.
Equaldex.com stats Barbados
this post is dedicated to Elroy who was a real friendl; who cared about me when some didn't give a damn or wouldn't lend a hand; who prayed for me to be safe when I needed a prayer; who wished me well from the time I was a child before I got to know him; who always smiled at me, and who made me smile; who taught me a good few things about life; who listened to me when I rambled on or was silent; who never judged me; who let me be me and loved me anyway; who was kind, gentle and always respectful. I love you Elroy. Rest peacefully with your Maker.