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11 September 2009

Comments

Corey

BOYCOTT! Or SOMETHING! But WHAT?

Saadiq

Where are the Jamaican track team fan boyz? They come out in every post about track and field boasting about how great the JA track team is ... and never ever ever have any comment on the nonstop homophobic murders on the island.

Ravenback

I refuse to go to a country that condones an atmosphere of extreme violence against gay men. Jamaica is definitely on that list. People may enjoy looking at naked pics and XXX videos of well-endowed Jamaican men, but they would probably slit your throat in a second if they thought you were coming on to them in a gay way. I know that may be painting a group of people with a broad negative brush, but the point is that you don't know what you may get from a homophobic society. Gay men have been beaten by crowds of people in plain view of police. That type of mob violence is very contagious in Jamaica. I was so glad to hear that gay organizations in Los Angeles forced Buju Banton to cancel a scheduled concert tour in America. Don't patronize a country just because the men there make your penis hard. There is so much more at stake than sexual gratification.

Kobe

(People may enjoy looking at naked pics and XXX videos of well-endowed Jamaican men, but they would probably slit your throat in a second if they thought you were coming on to them in a gay way. )

I totally agree with you. I love the beauty of the island, its music and its food but will not romanticize or fetishize the men there. Especially like some of the American and Caribbean readers of this blog have fetishized Jamaican men and that track team.

I've visted several times some years ago. And last year had to fly down there for work briefly. But i won't be going any time soon on my own dime. All the Terry McMillan sistahs and DL wannabe brothas can spend there coin down there, not me.

DW Jazzlover

Boycott everythin Jamacain,men included.Buju Banton, even with shows being cancelled at lots of other venues, is still scheduled to play at The Troacdero in Philly September 12th.Jamaican Dave Productions presents
“Rasta Got Soul” Tour
Homophobia has got to go!
Website here: http://www.thetroc.com/

Brandon

>>Where are the Jamaican track team fan boyz? They come out in every post about track and field boasting about how great the JA track team is<<

Oh don't worry, the fan boyz will come back when Usain or Asafa race again. They can't be bothered to think about or comment on the homophobic butchery happening on their precious island. It's only about the well endowed island bwoyz and the track teams.

mjolnir202

Well, I am Jamaican by birth and certainly not making any excuses for the medieval brand of homophobia we so proudly excercise.

Something about this doesn't sound right to me though. That note just rings phony. At one hand, the murderer is stealing his cell phone and wallet as a cover, then writing a note to indicate that the reason for the murder is homophobia. Huh?! Why am I thinking trade gone wrong?

The note seems to be an attempt throw the police off since in Jamaica being gay is enough, for many, to warrant and excuse your death. But, in this case, the victim is a powerful white man with links to the UK and powerful individuals. They won't be able to sweep this one under the rug.

It gets on my last nerve too the way that some Jamaicans try and rationalize the murderous homophobia on the island, but as we have seen on this site, many black Americans twist themselves into pretzels trying to excuse black homophobia too.

I can understand that many Jamaicans have a more nuanced view of this since I know people who go to Jamaica all the time and attend hot gay parties under the sun and moonlight with hundreds of attendees. Yes, you read that right, there is a very thriving gay life in Jamaica. The problem is many of those people don't take into account that the only thing protecting them (somewhat) is their money and social standing.Sometimes, as this story shows, it's not enough.

What many Americans don't understand about Jamaica is that it is an EXTREMELY class based society. Since many Jamaicans absorb this world view growing up, it can blind them to the inequity around them. I truly think some of these people never give a moment's thought to the overwhelming number of poor gay Jamaicans without money, or social standing while they're parting away with the upper class and well-to-do expatriates at home visiting.

Queeribbean Beat

Thanks for this, Rod. I've just finished wading through a lot the online coverage. It's a story that grows more complex by the hour. Here's my take: http://gspottt.wordpress.com/queeribbean-beat/

GRANT

"...But as we have seen on this site, many black Americans twist themselves into pretzels trying to excuse black homophobia too."

Yes, you are right, many black Americans do excuse homophobia. But many/most black GAY Americans do not. Especially on this blog. And that's the biggest difference between comparing this story to hate crimes and homophobic murders that happen in the U.S. We don't ignore them. Many of us want them to stop, speak out, we want justice, we agitate and are actually working on solving the problem.

Actually, correction. Some/many black gay Americans are indifferent about their gay rights. But only a very few of us would ever excuse and rationalize homophobic violence. And even fewer would do it here.

But there does seem to be a disconnect between many Caribbean readers and the realities of LGBTs in their homelands. Maybe it is class, maybe many that read this blog are middle class or better off. But very few Jamaicans, Bahamians, Trinis, etc EVER discuss or comment on the barbaric homophobia in their countries. Most are quite willing to boast about the track teams, tho, or the men's endowments.

I do applaud you for speaking out, and do not want "you" to answer for everyone. I agree with you that this sounds like trade gone wrong. I imagine the Jamaican media will not publicly discuss the gay or homophobic angle.

Oh and I do want to point out that white gay blogs such as Queerty, Towleroad and Sullivan are all over this story. Funny, all the other stories Rod has reported about gay black Jamaicans being attacked, killed, beaten and maimed ... almost never make their blogs.

Tilis

Ok I'll be blunt. This is about money and power. Well heeled older gay guys go to poor countries to weild their power over poor probally straight guys. Sorry but this guy asked for it maybe he thought he was untouchable as previously only black guys were murdered I never heard him compalin in public about homophobia or speak out for jflag. Or condem the murder of brian or Steven. He comes across as a selfish colonist with no interest in Jamaica just black cocks and money. Obviously those days are over.

alicia banks

i have boycotted jamaica for decades and i wish others would too

shame!!!!

http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/reggae.htm

nahtans

As a caribbean national I have often spoken out about homophobia in the caribbean and Jamaica in particular. And I support the Jamaican athletes. I dont get that supporting greta performances by track and field athletes somehow means that you are ignoring the problems in a country. I do not live in Jamaica but I have been there several times and I have friends there and yes things are not as bad for the middle and upper classes ( but isnt that the case everywhere).

I think unlike Tilis above that even if he was a moneyed man trolling for poor Jamaican dick he did not deserve to be murdered.

Jamaica is far more than just a homophobic society. And has alot of other problems too. But I agree that something must be done about the current state of affairs as it relates to SGL people.

Kevin Perez

Tilis must think all gays are White, as he makes them out to be some none-existent oppressor. Funny thing is most LGBT people who get murdered over there are Jamaican. So yeah Tilis, take your pathetic "blame Whitey" BS and take it else where. Oppression from European colonalism doesn't rationalize or justify this BS and I wouldn't be surprised if the likes of you are interested in big Black cocks but nothing anything pertaining to LGBT or gay rights.

Colin, TTAVP

Back with a different voice:

First of all, in my observation, in the Caribbean many of the really violent murders of gay people are committed by non-gay-identified men with whom they've had some sexual engagement, often across class differences. (In the US, you call it "gay panic".) The gauge of whether there's a sexual motive is usually the severity of the violence.

And actually, GRANT, while what you say about Rod's coverage is true for other places in the African diaspora, the sentinel White queer blogs HAVE covered much of the violence in Jamaica Rod's written on here, perhaps even more obsessively. It's always a pretty easy story for them -- Shock: primitive homophobia in our part of the world! What distinguishes Rod's coverage is not volume but that he tends to get the balance more right than they do.

And that's the point I think mjolnir202 is making. Many outsiders don't understand the complexity of the violence (Jamaica is a very violent place, and THEN there's homophobia) or of the extent of queer space in Jamaica, and they try to reduce the country to this undifferentiated homophobic mess and argue with us when we say it's not that simple. As nahtans puts it, "Jamaica is far more than just a homophobic society." The rhetoric I've seen folks use on blogs about Jamaica is flat out racist, and when White folks engage that way about Black homophobia, African Americans do push back. (Important!! Complicating the analysis doesn't get us out of the need to take action.)

As for the barbaric homophobia in the Bahamas and Trinidad, well we'd be a lot noisier if it were that bad, but we do speak out, and our situations are more comparable to the US, where anti-gay violence is not a small thing, and its victims too often immigrants.

You did call it right however, GRANT, on the Jamaican media's coverage/up. And the police who were only too eager to leak juicy stuff about notes and such to the press have also backpedalled and the official word late yesterday was that they'd ruled out homophobia.

I'd be skeptical, but it's quite possible that the gay murder stories in this case were triggered not by any evidence but simply by Terry's sexuality, which there's some innuendo may have been a bit predatory or at the very least have some of the problematics that are part of a lot of this violence.

I don't believe I'm talking about a dead human being this way... But let me end by saying that THIS is the issue where Caribbean gay men's silence and defensiveness drive ME crazy: our refusal to name the inequality and predatory dynamics that play a role in a lot of this violence.

This may have nothing to do with Terry himself -- he may have been a saint -- but the murder does raise the issue. It doesn't mean, nahtans, that the predators deserve to die. But interrupting the accepted state of things -- where it's okay for gay men with privilege (regardless to race) to have transactional sex with men with less power without regard for their humanity -- can help save lives and prevent all the collateral damage that these murders inflict on our ability to build healthy communities.

Tilis

Kevin all I'm saying is that if he had the best interest of gay jamaicans on his mind he could have done more positive things in 30 years. He knows the queen ffs he could have lobbied to decriminalise gay sex.

Marc

My travel agency, and now semi-major tourism company has refused for 14 years to book anyone for any reason to Jamaica, precisely because of this violent culture. Agents are instructed to advise any client of the violence, and convince couples, weddings, groups, companies to go elsewhere, almost always successfully, since we all know someone, family, relative or friend who is gay.We're just one company and there are thousands.

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