It's not right
If you're gay in Jamaica
You get beat down on sight
(sung to the tune of Bob Marley's 'One Love')
TRELAWNY, JAMAICA - A cross-dreser was set upon and severely beaten by a mob in Falmouth's Water Square yesterday morning.
Police who were called to the scene had to fire warning shots to disperse the stone-throwing, stick-wielding mob, which succeeded in tearing off the man's black-and-white form-fitting blouse and jet black wig.
According to eyewitnesses, the man was spotted at approximately 8:30 am in the town centre apparently waiting for transportation. He was wearing heavy make-up, high-heeled shoes, a long pair of shiny earrings, a black leather jacket over a snug black-and-white blouse, a tight-fitting pair of jeans, a black wig, a pair of sunglasses and a handbag slung over his broad shoulders.
It was not clear yesterday how the alarm was first raised. However, the Observer was told that the assault began as soon as someone in the busy square shouted that the person was actually a man wearing female attire.
The news of the man's presence in the community spread rapidly and in a matter of minutes scores of angry residents converged on the scene and began to rain blows all over the cross-dresser's body with sticks, stones and whatever weapon they could find. "Where is the police station at?" the frightened man screamed.
During the melee, the wig the man was wearing fell off and wads of newspaper stuffed in a brasserie to lift the man's chest dislodged, while a cosmetic kit containing lipsticks of varying colours was thrown from a bag he was carrying, much to the amusement of the large crowd who stood watching.
"B***y boy fe dead," persons among the mob shouted. The sentiments were echoed by the rest of the riled-up crowd.
"Falmouth no pet no b***y boy. We no want none a them bout here," one woman yelled.
After the mob dispersed, the victim was whisked off in a police service vehicle, much to the disapproval of the crowd who rushed upon the vehicle demanding the man's release. "If you ever did see him. Him dress hotter than you and me," one young girl was overheard telling her friend.
"Nu worry man, we gi him a proper [beating]," one man said proudly.
The man was admitted to a hospital. However, a police spokesman said last night that a group of people, who wanted to beat the man on his release, were waiting outside the hospital, which, he said, could delay his release from the health facility.
Yesterday's beating was the second such in a month in western Jamaica.
In the previous incident, several men alleged to be homosexuals were chased, beaten and stabbed, resulting in one of them being hospitalised, during the Supreme Ventures carnival on Gloucester Avenue, Montego Bay. The men were said to have gone onto the stage and gyrated on each other, angering the patrons.
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident in Jamaica these days.
When is someone in the Jamaican government gonna step up to the plate and state the obvious? It's not okay to beat down or kill your fellow citizens simply because you ASSUME they are gay, don't like who they sleep with if they are, or look better in a dress and heels than you do. It's also bull feces to hide behind religion to justify your naked bigotry.
Until Prime Minister Portia Simpson or someone in the Jamaican government makes that simple declaration, I propose that GLBT people worldwide initiate an immediate economic boycott of Jamaica.
Maybe hitting them in the wallet will get them to stop the madness.
The sad part is that Jamaica is one of my top ten places in the world that I would love to visit. But since they're beating and killing GLBT people on the streets and probably aren't taking the time to ascertain whether they're tourists or locals, I'm not going to the most homophobic place on Earth.
As of today I refuse to spend any more of my hard earned dollars on potential Jamaican vacations, Jamaican products, Red Stripe or Jamaican rums until they come to their senses. If I'm on a cruise and the ship stops in a Jamaican port I'm not going ashore to support the local economy.
If Jamaicans will not make room for my GLBT brothers and sisters to live peacably in their homeland and continue to viciously attack them and kill them, then why should my dollars support their naked bigotry and hatred?
Thank you Bishop Noel Jones. You and your cohorts in the Jamaican Anglican church have the blood of the Jamaican GLBT community on your hands for not only fostering the climate of hatred, but lobbying the Jamaican parliament to keep the anti-gay laws in place that are one of the root causes of the violence.