If the local gay party scene isn’t dead, it is certainly having its version of a near death experience. That is not to say that events have not been taking place, indeed there have been occurrences with some regularity. The problem is that; on the odd Saturday Night when one does not have a lyme to attend, the prospect of staying in and watching CNN or BBC World News seems infinitely sexier than straying to one of these events. Yet the real issue is not about the quality of the events on offer but rather the absence of familiarity.
Since May, major party houses We Welcome Fierceness and Halo have announced diplomatically that they will be suspending their offerings for the year. This was swiftly followed by the unfortunate, albeit expected withdrawal of the Red Door Team. To further complicate matters, whilst Alter Ego is a premium brand, its “premiumness” is derived from the fact that their events are not regularly scheduled programming. Further, they bring creativity and conceptual genius to the table that is not easily replicated week after week. The effect, therefore, is that an abyss has opened up and despite the valiant attempts of the Coture Elements Kru and the other up and coming promoters they lack the capacity to bridge it! This may be due to the fact that they simply lack the depth of a fan base or mass appeal.
Yet since neither Halo nor Red Door has that broad based fan base, then the something familiar that we are missing is We Welcome Fierceness and to some extent a reputable venue. The truth is that, in spite of the comic like blunders of We Welcome Fierceness theirs is the marquee that everyone irrespective of their supposed class and social grouping can find commonality with. The evidence of this may be judged by the lens of celebrity status. If a celebrity is one which is known by their first name to everyone on sight then the one true celebrity local to this community is the lead for We Welcome Fierceness.
However, let us argue that the rubric of celebrity is too fickle a bar to establish that the party scene is missing We Welcome Fierceness. History will show that irrespective of the location and the existence of alternative events, that party house pulls a crowd in excess of 200 persons. Those figures illustrate stable support and importantly brand recognition. In addition, with this Party house out of the way this was the year to prove that they were not necessary or important; instead we have been left with boredom.
Yet deeper questions remain to be answered. For example how comes, Trinidad with its 15- 25 years imprisonment for the crime of Buggery has a fully bubbling gay scene? Or worse, how comes Guyana has managed to organize for the past 6 years a Gay Film Festival when one act of consensual buggery can land a person in jail for life. In fact, how Barbados came to be seen as a bastion of tolerance for gay kind when their treatment of consensual homosexual sex legislatively is on par with that of murderers i.e. life imprisonment. Notably, in none of these states is there such a thing as consensual gay sex, much like Jamaica where the treatment is comparatively light at 10 years. The answer to that may lie in the absence of a comfortable and safe venue like Temple Mount!
statistics contributed by Maurice Tomlinson