Sunday | August 28, 2011 The Gleaner published a piece entitled
Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter
The Reverend Michelle Smith, 43, had been flirtatious with females ever since her introduction to lesbianism at age nine, a lifestyle that she says left a void in her life.
“I was in dead-end relationships and I would just go through the motions at times. I was an introvert, no one knew what was going on inside of me and I would just put on a mask as though I was happy. But while I was hurting inside, I would just lash out at people because I was very angry about different things,” she confessed in an interview with The Sunday Gleaner yesterday.
But after 26 years of this “unacceptable lifestyle”, she renounced her homosexuality and is now on a mission, using the gospel to convert persons in the gay community.
Smith, who is a Jamaican living in Trinidad, found comfort in lesbianism, which she thought was her only hope, since she was living in a family which had nothing positive to offer.
She grew up in Greenwich Town, Kingston, with her father and siblings, but the tender touch of a mother was missing in her life.
“I came from a dysfunctional family where at the age of nine, I was molested by an older girl … . That was my introduction to lesbianism. My dad had a nightclub which was like a whore house. He couldn’t read, so when he sent me to school, I wouldn’t go. I would be around with friends,” she said.
Her life at that age was characterised by degrading activities that literally destroyed her childhood. It never stopped there. It ripped into her teenage years in the form of more vicious molestation and rape, this time from the male of the species.
“At the age of 13, I was molested by an older man, and at the age of 19, I was raped by my sister’s husband. So my life completely spiralled out of control and I just got more into it because, at that time, I didn’t like men anymore and I thought that all men were the same. I got more into lesbianism because it was not painful,” she explained.
She said with the absence of her mother in her life to nurture her, she found it easier to interact with females, hence she became a full-fledged butch lesbian (the ‘male’ partner in a lesbian relationship).
Dressed like a man, down to the haircut, is how she described her lesbian days. Quite the opposite of the long-haired, make-up wearing woman in skin-fitting jeans and hoop earrings who chatted with The Sunday Gleaner.
“I thought I was a man trapped in a woman’s body. I had penis envy. I wanted to take the hormone shots so that I could change, but thank God I didn’t do it … ,” she said.
Phallic envy was just one thing she had to deal with. Another was the stumbling block that the lifestyle presented. No one wanted to employ her.
She turned to drugs for a livelihood.
“Of course, living in that environment, I couldn’t read, so I got street smart and I got involved in drug smuggling. I started to smuggle drugs all over the world and I started to make a lot of money. But even though I was doing that, there was a void inside of me. There was an emptiness, and I would try to fill it with sex and money.”
A lesbian blogger has responded with a poignant post on The Rantings of a Lesbian Christian site the author wrote:
As a normal person growing up, I had my own struggles and had to go through the process of finding myself, everyone goes through that. The outcomes and the particular struggles are unique to the individual.
I didn’t have anyone around me to ‘influence’ my being a lesbian, or anyone who ‘promoted’ the ‘lesbian lifestyle’ to me. Oh contrary to that, if influence was what made someone straight or gay then I would have been straight, I only saw heterosexuality around me, and this ‘lifestyle’ was ‘promoted’ to me.
I have always felt that difference within me that almost all gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons will tell you they felt, for me it was from a very early age. No I didn’t feel like I was a man trapped in a woman’s body (that is, in my opinion more of a transgender issue). I did recognise that I was attracted to females not just on a friendship level but also physically and sexually. I was never introduced to lesbianism. I am not a scientist so I cannot say there is a gay gene, I can only say that from as early as I can remember I had these feelings and close to the end of high school I learnt the name that described my feelings.
My sexual assault didn’t make me a lesbian either. I knew I was a lesbian long before that happened but it is part of my history. I was sexually assaulted because I am a lesbian, yes it happens and there are real people who suffer from violence toward them because of their orientation.
The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is part of society, and the same things that affect the larger society in general also affects us.
There are also heterosexual persons who live a life contrary to that which is natural to them, those persons are lost and those are persons who need help.
I am loved by God as the lesbian I am. No I am not perfect and God’s still working on me.
It is a shame that stories like these are not publicized and that persons like myself cannot appear on television to put a voice and face to the good happening right here, the upright people how are as regular as any heterosexual person and who many of you talk to everyday.
No one should be subjected to accepting another person’s beliefs and no one should be forced to change. I believe persons who have unwanted sexual attractions should be able to get help, but I also believe that persons who do not believe that they need change, should be free to express that and have public places that cater to families and adults who want to know and see that there are positive, spiritual, responsible, and God-fearing Christians in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.
I am happy that Rev. Michelle Smith was able to leave a ‘lifestyle’ that was ‘demonic’ and “unacceptable” to her. No one should remain in such a situation if it is against their nature.