I hesitated before writing my gut response to the ‘Dinner, Drinks & Drag…dahling!’ article in the Cayman Compass of Friday, 29 Nov. 2019. My hesitation was due to a concern that instead of future principled action, there would instead be the typical accusation of homophobia.
I find it hard to harmonise the mental cacophony created by the idea of a gala featuring ‘drag’ as a fundraiser for the Cayman AIDS Foundation. Maybe ‘drag’ could merely be a form of eccentric entertainment, but my cause for concern is that in the present Caymanian social context, ‘drag’ serves to promote the normalisation of sexuality-without-boundaries in an already oversexed culture – all of it in the face of acceleration of STDs, including HIV infections. To highlight my concern, I include objective data for your consideration, most of which are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
– “Despite the recent increases among women, men who have sex with men saw the highest share of primary and secondary syphilis cases in 2018.” (usnews.com)
– “While anyone who has sex can get an STD, sexually active gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) are at greater risk. In addition to having higher rates of syphilis, more than half of all new HIV infections occur among MSM.” (CDC).
– “Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are the population most affected by HIV in the United States. In 2017, adult and adolescent gay and bisexual men made up 70% (27,000) of the 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas.” (CDC)
Not sufficiently disturbing to merit a serious re-think? Then consider the following:
“While sexually transmitted diseases…affect individuals of all ages, STDs take a particularly heavy toll on young people. CDC estimates that youth ages 15-24 make up just over one-quarter of the sexually active population, but account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections that occur in the United States each year.” (CDC)
A gala featuring ‘drag’ is an irreconcilable juxtaposition of ideals.
Pastor M. Alson Ebanks