“One morning, at about two o’clock my friend was at a dance in the community. He was enjoying himself and dancing when suddenly there was a gunshot and a bullet hit my friend in the back of his head. He turned around – and they shoot him in his face three more times. He fell and they shoot him as he lay on the ground. They then announced that I was next. Hearing that, I run from the community and have been moving from house to house trying to avoid homelessness…”
It makes it hard to embrace a culture whose first resolution to societal differences is violence. Folks always took Caribbean Homophobia for an old wives tale. But I kid you not, this shyt is real. I can almost understand why my brother left his gay cousin to the mercy of his attackers. To even associate with gay men or women is in and of itself an unofficial crime. often times those perceived in the company of homosexuals fall victim to the same fates. If you aren’t clear on the fate of a gay man or lesbian living in present-day Jamaica, then you should read the following : http://www.asylumlaw.org/docs/sexualminorities/worldpolicyinstitute_americas_LGBTrights.pdf
What’s so ironic is that the above graphic was originally intended to depict the diversity of this Island I once called home. But after doing some keyword searches on my old high school and neighboring schools I found that the lesbian traits I so staunchly exhibit are not exactly welcomed in my hometown or even my old high school. It is almost a paradox that a culture known for it’s racial diversity would be such a huge proponent for anti-gay violence. I’d call it homophobia but that wouldn’t be doing it justice. So now here I sit with conflicting emotions. Self hate swirling around in my mind because as a Jamaican I should definitely not be engaging in sexual intercourse with individuals of the same sex. Am I supposed to hate who I am? Hate my own sexuality? Or am I supposed to renounce my own culture and background? The place I called home for 13 years is no longer a haven for me and being so blatantly gay, It would be remiss for me to make any attempts at moving back there.
Sweethearts you have not known hardship until you’ve experienced what it’s like to grow up Gay in Jamaica. I was gay before I even knew such a term existed and this smirk spreads across my face as I read the article on on homosexuality in High School (High school Girls Gone Gay!!). I was a practicing Lesbian in Queens High School before the word or subject was ever broached in the Gleaner. They talk about us like we’re infestations like we’re the bane of mankind. How can a country so “diverse” uphold such a brazen disregard for human rights? “Out of many one people” does not actually guarantee equal rights to the many does it? Are we actually One People? or does the fine print exclude gays and lesbians?
So I won’t be going back unless it’s for a death in the family. I’m boycotting Jamaica.