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‘We need specialists to encourage inclusion’

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PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis speaking in the Meet The Policy Makers lecture series at the University of The Bahamas. Photo: Austin Fernander

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NATINO THOMPSON, in this image from video of the university event.

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

A PERSON who identifies as gender neutral has said the country needs more people who specialise in LGBTQ+ issues to encourage greater inclusion in society.

Natino Thompson on Tuesday night at the University of The Bahamas questioned Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis about incorporating queer Bahamians into the National Development Plan. The event was opened to questions from the audience following the Prime Minister’s presentation on the plan.

In part, Thompson asked on Tuesday: “Considering your administration is one of the queerest administrations in Bahamian history - because there are a bunch of queer people that work within the administration - the question is how are you going to take care of queer Bahamians?”

The question triggered others in the room to also voice their views about the community. In response, Mr Davis said he was speaking about Bahamians and that is the way he views all.

Yesterday, Thompson not only stood by the question but insisted any national development plan should take care of the LGBTQ+ community.

Thompson said: “It’s not just the blueprint for change – it’s the national development plan…It needs to include LGBTQ+ plus people. I would say that in order for the document itself to be inclusive of LGBT plus people or marginalised groups, you need to have people represented in that grouping who are working on the national development plan. They have to be open members, not closeted members.

“You need to include LGBTQ+ people in the planning stages. Even if they’re not LGBT plus, if they’ve worked on projects or their work specialises in that area they understand this area well.”

Thompson said the reaction the question garnered was intended to make people feel uncomfortable.

“I get those reactions every day, so I’m kind of desensitised to it. Its emotionally exhausting, let me be frank, but after a while you get used to it because that’s how you know they’re homophobic. They do stuff like that because they want you to shut up and one thing I’m not about to do is shut up. That’s not what I’m here to do. I’m here to speak up,” Thompson told The Tribune.

“It’s their reaction. They feel uncomfortable and my whole aim is to make them uncomfortable because I’ve been uncomfortable my entire existence in The Bahamas.”

As for the comment that the Davis administration was one if the “queerest” in Bahamian history, Thompson said: “Queer people know and that’s all that matters. They know who I’m talking about. They know what I mean and that’s who it’s for – it was for my community. My community knows that exactly what I said was true and if anybody else wants to disprove my point then they’re welcome to.”

For its part, Equality Bahamas said in a statement yesterday there are no one-size-fits-all solutions, and the general approach is “lazy, ineffective, and results in inequity”.

“Equality Bahamas has consistently called for feminist policymaking, centering people in situations of vulnerability,” the statement said. “The prime minister said the focus is on ‘all Bahamians’, but it is not possible to meet all needs without recognising different identities and different circumstances, which directly impact needs and ability to access (and) to use available resources and services.

“There must be specific consideration of women and girls, LGBTQI+ people, people with disabilities, people experiencing poverty, elderly people, and other marginalised groups. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, and the general approach is lazy, ineffective, and results in inequity.”

One woman, in reaction to Thompson’s question on Tuesday night argued queer people are treated like everyone else but the “government is not responsible for your choice”.

The organisation also responded in relation to this.

“The comment made after that question, by the person in the audience, is evidence of the need for a different approach to governance. That person was enraged by the very idea that we are not all the same and therefore have different needs, and her behaviour is evidence that hostility toward marginalised groups exists, that people would prefer for us to be invisible, and that not including us in consultation and not naming us in a national development plan is gives people permission to be disrespectful, hateful, and violent toward people who are not like them,” Equality Bahamas said.

“We cannot assume that we all see each other and treat each other with respect. We do not, and we need our representatives and those engaged in policymaking to commit themselves to the promotion and expansion of our access to human rights. Nothing will work for all of us until we centre those at the highest risk, with the greatest vulnerability, and with the burden of helping themselves while being invisible or palatable for everyone else.”

Comments

LastManStanding 2 years ago

Please tell America to come pick y'all up. We dont want the groomer shit in our country.

joeblow 2 years ago

... truth is the best way we can help them is to increase funding for mental illness!

ScubaSteve 2 years ago

Being gay or lesbian is NOT as result of mental illness. It's literally NO different from being born with red hair or blonde hair. Some of us are born with red hair others with blonde hair, of which you have no control over it. Same with being gay or lesbian, you are born that way and have no control over it.

joeblow 2 years ago

... nonsense! Genes determine the expression of physical features (hair, skin etc), choice and self control (or the lack of it) determines sexual expression. If people have no control over how they express themselves sexually, then incest, pedophilia and bestiality should not be taboo or criminal!

LastManStanding 2 years ago

I do not consider homosexuality a mental illness, it is more of a perversion in the same vein as gluttony, fornication, alcoholism, etc. Everyone has their own struggle, some have issues with drink, fornication, greed, anger, pride, and some just happen to be attracted to the same sex for whatever reason.

That being said, transexualism is without a doubt mental illness. You have to be completely insane to want to cut your dick & balls/breasts off. A million surgeries is not going to turn you into the opposite sex. A male transexual is still going to have male pattern baldness no matter how much estrogen he takes. Biology does not lie.

https://twitter.com/TullipR/status/1536…

Read that Twitter thread if you want to find out about the horrifying BS that these people are trying to promote. This is what they are trying to sneak into our country and I will be damned before I let it happen.

mandela 2 years ago

What is gender neutral? I am sure that is not what is written in a person's passport or any legal document, Gender (M) or (F) TICK ONE, NEVER EVER seen (GN)

SP 2 years ago

Gender neutral means "it's" canoe. So any gun can play.

newcitizen 2 years ago

Going to have a tough go of it in this country. Here people still openly call gay people 'sissies'. Bahamians haven't even accepted the L and G in LGBTQ+ and the prejudice is not going anywhere fast. Literally voted against women being equal citizens because their preachers told them it could lead to gays being equal too.

ThisIsOurs 2 years ago

People all over the world call alternative people sissies. Even in the most liberal countries.

I think this movement is going to mess alot of people up. For example, the gentleman says to the PM, "you have the queerest administration in history, when are you going to do something for queer people"? I wonder if he listened to himself. He basically said, queer people have some of the best jobs in this country, why are you not helping us? The fact that queer people have some of the best jobs is acknowledgement, certainly by this administration, that your sexuality has nothing to do with your productivity.

Where I think the movement goes wrong is they give people the expectation that they can someday force legislation that noone should say mean things to you. Its never going to happen. Ever. It doesnt happen in Canada, it doesnt happen in the Netherlands and it doesnt happen in Switzerland. People in those countries just find more passive aggressive means to hate.

I often use biblical references not to bash people over the head but because the bible is probably one of the best philosophy books ever written. It speaks about showing love to men who revile you and despitefully use you, it never once says those people will disappear if you pray hard enough. You cant march enough or attempt to embarrass enough world leaders to make prejudice go away. You gotta get on with what you have to do despite its existence.

joeblow 2 years ago

... there are only two genders objectively verifiable since the dawn of humanity, but 100 different ways people can choose to be confused about that fact!

ScubaSteve 2 years ago

And that is 110% their choice. If it makes them more happy and at peace... then what is the issue?

joeblow 2 years ago

... what people do in the privacy of their homes is one thing, but once they bring something into the public forum, those in that space have a right to comment AND disagree!

ScubaSteve 2 years ago

Wake up folks! Homosexuals are all around you -- in your church, at your kids schools, your co-workers, and yes... they even hold office in your Government. They have always been around since the dawn of Man and will always be around.

Sickened 2 years ago

Absolutely correct. It's just far more open and in your face now because of television and social media. There will always be L's, B's, T's and Q's as there will always be bullies and homophobes. Rules and laws will not change these facts. All should be inclusive and if you don't like any category then just stay away from them as best you can. You don't have to like someone in order to treat them decently.

ThisIsOurs 2 years ago

I think Fred Mitchell is one of the most brilliant persons ever. I enjoy listening to him talk about Bahamain history and putting things in context. I couldnt give two hoots about who he loves and I'm not interested in his social circle. But just like Natino from this story you often hear a deep anger emerge that takes away from his messaging. That anger (in my opinion) most likely stems from decades of horrible mistreatment and from being overlooked even though you're more than qualified. Release it. Concentrate on the good work you have to do.

M0J0 2 years ago

Guess they are not Bahamian because the PM spoke and referenced Bahamians, what more inclusion does one want, or he pose to say even you all sissy batty boi them.

sheeprunner12 2 years ago

The 242 Constitution does not acknowledge LGBTQ+ ppl.

The Constitution refers to "sex". Sex is defined as male or female. Sex is biological, not sociological.

The other social options ( aka gender) are not included in the 242 Constitution.

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