You may encounter many gay or bi-sexual Jamaican men across the Tri-State or in South Florida ... but not at home. Being openly gay on the island is a risky and sometimes fatal proposition. BBC's 1Xtra has broadcast a fascinating documentary on the culture of homophobia in the island paradise. "I have had friends who have been attacked and chopped up like meat in the slaughterhouse, " says Marcus, one young gay Jamaican.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International continues to press for reforms. Activists want sodomy laws repealed and violence curbed. The hostile climate has forced many HIV-positive Jamaicans underground. Health care experts fear hundreds or possibly thousands need medicine and advanced care, but are afraid to seek treatment. But change is an uphill battle "in a climate where popular Jamaican singing artists commonly urge their audiences to kill gay men." The dancehall and reggae culture of advocating violence toward gays was the cover of a Village Voice article last February.