One week after sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye captured this country’s first ever gold medal by a female athlete at the Commonwealth Games, a photograph of her and her partner in a compromising position has been leaked online as part of an apparent smear campaign.
The photograph was taken from the private Instagram account of Chelsea Renee Ahye. The username on that account is mrskinglee10.6.
Ahye goes by the username kinglee10.6 and her Instagram account is also set to private.
The photo with the couple appeared to be released online as part of ongoing tensions following a High Court ruling last week which ruled aspects of T&T’s buggery laws unconstitutional.
Last Thursday, High Court judge Devindra Rampersad ruled that Section 13 and 16 of this country’s Sexual Offences Act, which makes buggery and serious indecency between two consenting adults illegal, was unconstitutional.
Rampersad’s ruling was in response to a constitutional motion filed by Trinidad-born gay rights activist Jason Jones. Although Rampersad found that the laws were irrational and illegal, they remain on the statute books, pending a hearing in July.
Conservatives opposed to gay rights and LGBTQI activists clashed outside the Hall of Justice following the decision and there was some violence between religious groups and the activists.
The photograph with Ahye sparked an homophobic debate online, with some people fully supporting Ahye’s right to live her life as she saw fit and others decrying it.
The T&T Guardian contacted Ahye’s manager Afeisha Wright for a comment on the situation yesterday evening.
Wright said although Ahye is a very private person she has never really kept anything from the public.
“Michelle has always had her accounts Facebook, Instagram, she has never kept anything from the public, so it is only now that people who are now getting to know the household name Michelle-Lee Ahye are seeing who she is,” Wright said.
“She has also been a very private person, so even though that is the situation she would not have a comment based on what’s going on here in Trinidad right now,” Wright added.
Wright was asked if the photos were being released now maliciously.
“The minute you put things out in the media it is left for their (the public’s) interpretation, so that is why I know in this particular matter she prefers not to have any say or should not be targeted in that regard where that is concerned,” Wright said.
Wright said Ahye, who is currently in Texas after her Commonwealth success, is focused on her athletics with the prestigious Diamond League series scheduled to start soon.
The T&T Guardian also contacted Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO) executive director Colin Robinson for a comment on the issue. However, Robinson declined to comment saying as far as he is concerned it was a non-story.
Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Joel Julien)