Sunday, March 20, 2005

Next SASOD Discussion - Sunday 3 April, 2005

The SASOD discussion on Sunday 20 March focussed on challenges facing persons who are against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. This was part of the discussion on Self Esteem and Sexuality which will continue on Sunday 3 April, 2005 at the same venue.

The meeting indicated that SASOD was needed. It will be a challenge to do outreach to persons who are like minded and everyone agreed that SASOD should also include some group support /counselling type activities, as well as be an activist organisation working against homophobia.

The ground rules of confidentiality were restated, and persons spoke of feeling comfortable to discuss personal issues.
Persons spoke of homophobia on the UG Campus, and of confronting the people who taunt persons they perceive as gay or lesbian. They recognised that there needs to be a space to further discuss issues

The group agreed that a more structured discussions will be held on Sunday 3 April, 2005 at 4pm at Help & Shelter.
Meanwhile, UG students would look into hosting a forum at UG on the rights of sexual minorities.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Self Esteem and Sexuality discussion

The next SASOD Discussion will be held on Sunday 20 March, 2005 at Help & Shelter on Home Stretch Avenue at 4pm.

The topic for discussion is Self Esteem and Sexuality. The purpose is to explore the ways in which people's self esteem determine their expression of their sexuality. We plan to explore the ways in which our self esteem is determined, and how persons with a strong sense of self then deal with their sexuality. The discussion will involve topics about infidelity, promiscuity and building strong relationships.

All persons who support the eradication of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation are invited to attend.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Report on Spirituality and Sexuality discussion

The SASOD discussion on Spirituality and Sexuality was a forum for aninteresting exchange on views of religion, spirituality and sexuality.
The first challenge was to make the discussion a safe one, and the group started by a grounding meditation, followed by a series of introductionsand a discussion on what the ground rules should be.These ground rules are :-
* participation is voluntary, people will talk when they feel like
* one person speaks at a time
* confidentiality
* respect others's opinion and try to deal with the idea rather than the person
* no side talk
* no prejudices - against persons in or out of the room
* Cell phones turned off, no pictures to be taken
* the ground rules can be reviewed from time to time
The following points were raised :-
* spirituality is about the connection of the spirit and the greater universe
* religion provides the path to spirituality
* religious texts can be misinterpreted, and have been misinterpreted
* some were suspicious of secular humanism ( ) as a creed
* some accepted that they will 'sin' and give repentance
* One person was adamant that homosexuals were responsible for the spread of HIV/AIDS, and for other ills in the society. He felt that homosexuals should turn to the word of God and find a way out from the deviant lifestyle.
* There was strong objection that now heterosexual population in the Caribbean was more at risk from HIV/AIDS and that there was a danger to ignore heterosexual sex as a dangerous.
* Persons said that there were homosexual people who did not indulge in anal sex, or other risky behaviour and that it is not good to stereotype a group.
* The response of the group was that individual persons could find peace with their version of God, and that individual people choose their partners for sex. Every adult has a choice when they consent to any sexual activity.
There was loud discussion on these points, sometimes very emotional,looking at hypocrisy and how in history, homosexuals were sometimesaccepted in society until the 18th Century.
The majority of the group acknowledged that they had reconciled theirsexuality with their spiritual and religious beliefs in one way oranother, some said that they acknowledged that having consensual sex would not be considered a sin (the Hindu person noted that the notion of sin in Hinduism is different from the Judaic religions)should not be a sin when there were other things which were worse.Concern was expressed at the level of internal homophobia which some gayand lesbian people would go through as a result of religious based hatred. This group had people who identified as Bahai, Christian andHindu.The next session will be on Sexuality and Self-Esteem and the venue will be announced later.
In Evaluation, the group felt that the there was good discussion and that persons felt comfortable to disclose or speak personally.