“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” – George Orwell
On a relatively normal day, Madame Commissioner, Nicole Cole lies in bed, thinking about the country’s anti-buggery laws. She sits on two commissions, the Women and Gender Equality Commission and also, the Rights of the Child Commission – but Nicole has always known that her true calling was to set up an Anti-buggery unit in the country. These plans would face hindrance if the buggery laws were to be struck off the books and she could not have that.
She wasn’t too sure how she would do it, but lack of information had never stopped her before. She wondered briefly whether the gender neutrality of Sections 352 and 353, of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act, which criminalizes buggery, would be a hindrance in setting up her unit. Its neutrality meant that anyone who engaged in buggery, even heterosexuals could be charged in the face of the law.
She was a bit conflicted about this because as a champion of the rights of heterosexuals, she wondered whether even this was maybe, something that could be called “hetero-phobic.” Ignoring her cognitive dissonance, she reasoned that even if a few heterosexuals were to be imprisoned once her unit was set up- the fact that Section 351 specifically criminalized any form of intimacy between men who have sex with men MSM- it just might be worth it. In every revolution, she mused; we lose some of our own.
It has been several days now since Nicole realized the depths of hetero-phobia in Guyana. Living in a heteronormative society where anyone belonging to another sexuality is seen as deviant and castigated, she never thought she would see a day when heterosexuals would be under such strong attack by those queer folks. She just didn’t understand it.
She was a commissioner on the Women and Gender Equality Commission, she believed in equality. Yes, true to Orwellian philosophy she believed that some were more equal than others but that’s only because that’s the way God and Rastafari wanted it to be. Hell, she wasn’t that bad. She had even marched with queer men and women in the Guyanese leg of the Life in Leggings movement. She remembered that one Thompson girl asking her whether her marching with queer folks was the equivalent of, “I can’t be racist, I have many black friends,” when it came towards the LGBT community. Nicole had only responded by speaking of her self-proclaimed ‘bonafide-ness.’
Surely, she was ‘tolerant,’ yet those heterophobes were accusing her of discrimination. Since when did telling consenting people they do not deserve the same rights as others, discrimination? Even those liberal loving pansies at the W&GEC were calling her discriminatory in their press release. That one had hurt her. Even though the press release had absolutely no teeth to it, it still had hurt her and she was beginning to think there existed some heterophobic persons on the commission also. How come they didn’t issue a press release against the buggery of children? She wondered. “They would bugger the boys until they lose consciousness,” she said.
It didn’t matter that the number of hetero rapists of children are much, much higher than that of homos. As a scientist, she was not too concerned with facts, because science is about feelings after all. Could it be that they were able to see through her airtight argument that she was not being homophobic but was merely trying to protect children from buggery?
She was a respectable activist for women’s and children’s rights, that was not up for debate, but all of a sudden everyone was calling her a homophobe and she just had to deflect to the protection of children. ‘It was needed,’ she uttered to herself, staring up at her portrait of Haile Selassie.
That Thompson girl is such an upstart, she muttered bitterly. So what if my initial aim was not to bring attention to the buggery (rape) of children and was instead to denounce an entire sexuality? So what if heterosexuals are statistically more likely to rape and abuse children? So what, she expounded, that homosexuality and pedophilia were not the same thing? The fact remains, that that Thompson girl needs to mind her language. It doesn’t really matter Nicole mused that she tried to form dialogue and I only responded with my many hashtags of heterophobia and how evil LGBT persons are, she should have remained respectful always. ‘I am a commissioner after all, a champion of equality. I am bonafide,’ she said puffing her chest.
Nicole was becoming slightly worried, not much though. She had survived threats to her job already. But still, she was worried. That Derwayne Wills boy who wants to be both a journalist and an activist told everyone about what is said in the Constitution about the rights commissions. She knew it well, she had read Article 212H (1) several times before because it stated that a new commission “… be appointed for three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment.”
The fact that it had been more than three years since she was appointed sat heavy on her mind, and since they were victimizing heterosexuals now, she did not see herself being re-appointed to the commissions.
She knew she had people on her side though and she found some comfort in that fact. She was grateful for Joseph Harmon’s pet boy, Darren Wade for coming to her defense and even taking it one step further and claiming religious persecution. Those were the kind of leaders we need in this place. Those who are not afraid to stand up for discriminatory practices and who grab at any opportunity they can to feel victimized. Yes, those were the people who would see her through this tough time, thought Nicole. Even if they were to eventually abandon her, she would survive against all the hetero-phobic attacks she received, because she was and remains ‘Madame Commissioner.’ She was, hashtag bonafide.