Questions about human sexuality (Letter to the Gleaner Editor 08.09.09)

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Subsequent to reading Peta-Ann Baker’s and Dr Heather Little-White’s articles (see those articles posted below on this blog) in your Sunday edition on the South African athlete, Caster Semenya, and the phenome-non of persons described as intersex, I did a bit of Internet search and came away asking several questions.

If from India and Pakistan to the Dominican Republic to Europe and the United States, there is evidence of persons being born with physical and hormonal characteristics which do not easily classify them singularly as male or female, then on what basis do so many of us speak definitively and often with arrogance about other people’s sexual attractions and proclivities?

Clearly, in many instances, neither human physiology nor hormonal balance is a straight, down the middle male or female phenomenon.
Judgemental attitude

I am in no position to suggest that Semenya is dubious about her sexuality and it may well be true that many practising homosexuals do not have the physical ambiguities of persons classified as intersex. But who are we to say that even where persons do have ‘normal’ physical characteristics that they may not be ‘internally wired’ to find attractions ‘outside the norm’?
Seems to me we do well to pull back from our arrogant, judgemental attitude and let people be.

I am, etc.,
J.P. Phillips
Kingston

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Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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