That was twenty-nine years ago. We made a commitment then to monitor our own prejudices and biases regarding gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. We've been intentional about building our awareness. And the reality is we still have a long way to go.
Shirley then employs a model called "Dialogue with Difference" for exploring this prejudice by presenting a transcript of a discussion about sexual orientation with a gay African American colleague, the Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington. That transcript comprises the middle section of the book, and it is revealing in many ways. This particular technique is based on the societal construct of dominance and subordination, but it turns that relationship on its head by permitting the subordinated group member in the dialogue to have the opportunity and authority to decide the focus of the discussion.
I was skeptical about this type of presentation but found myself drawn into the discussion and learning a lot about the issue and, like Shirley, my own preconceptions and prejudices.
This is the first of a series of books on prejudice by Shirley, collectively entitled The Dance of Difference. If you want a break from traditional fluffy summer beach reading, it is well worth your time.
Conscious choice The question is whether people make a conscious choice to be homosexuals. After all, why would someone willingly choose a path that is fraught with hate? That view ought to be weighed against how you exist in this setting for which the rest of the world defines you. "It is already a confusing time for many persons searching to define their sexuality," Anderson-Fletcher said, adding that she hopes readers will understand her journey as a heterosexual woman, see themselves in her, see that she was also at one point indifferent to gays, but has learnt to understand them. One would conclude that her views are unorthodox for a Jamaican.
also read the first chapter
also now see the uploaded interview on TVJ's Profile with Ian Boyne aired the 20th November 2011