Americas

Politician: Plan to exile trans Bahamians was a joke

Leslie Miller, Bahamian member of parliament (Photo is from a YouTube clip in which Miller speaks positively about beating a girlfriend and denies that he is joking.) To hear the clip, click on the image.

Leslie Miller, Bahamian member of parliament (Photo is from a YouTube clip in which Miller speaks positively about beating a girlfriend and denies that he is joking.) To hear the clip, click on the image.

A Bahamian member of parliament says he was only joking when he proposed sending every trans Bahamian into exile on a trans-only island.

That proposal, published May 3, shocked members of the Bahamas’ transgender community. The outrageous suggestion from MP Leslie Miller is an example of the stigma that trans people face in the Bahamas, said Alexus D’Marco of Bahamas Transgender Intersex United (BTIU).

As reported May 3 by Tribune242.com, Miller had suggested:

“Just give them some place where they could go and (be) safe,” Mr Miller said. “Everybody make a contribution (to) put them on a nice island and just play with each other for the rest of their lives if that’s what they want to do.

“Because they ain’t going to make babies. So soon they’ll die. You got to be able to produce to have the next generation so that will be the last generation of them.

“I will be the first one to make a contribution to them. I’ll give them $1,000 right now. Build them a nice beautiful setting on a nice cay and say this is Eden right there and they go right there. To us it would be Sodom and Gomorrah, but to them it would be Eden. Put them in Eden with beautiful flowers and beautify the place. This has got to stop. When is enough, enough, man?”

But now, contacted by the Nassau Guardian, Miller said, “I actually said that in jest when I spoke to the writer” from the Tribune.

Alexus D'Marco, spokesperson for Bahamas Transgender Intersex United (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Alexus D’Marco, spokesperson for Bahamas Transgender Intersex United (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

D’Marco said that, regardless of whether Miller was joking or not, the Bahamas government should condemn his “callous,” “gross” and “unacceptable” comments, and make clear that such remarks do not represent an official position.

D’Marco said Miller’s comments caused a “wave of fear” in the LGBT community. As restitution for his joke, Miller should donate the pledged $1,000 to an LGBT safe house, D’Marco said.

Miller made his comments in the wake of a press conference last week at which Bahamas Transgender Intersex United (BTIU) launched a campaign for equal rights.

D’Marco said many dozens of trans and intersex Bahamians suffer from widespread social stigma that makes them victims of discrimination in jobs, schools and elsewhere in society.

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