Going back home means going to my hairdresser, and that means hearing way more gossip than the average human being should have to endure.
Somehow, despite the alleged homophobic nature of this country the topic of gays happens to be everyone’s favourite. Everyone has an opinion; everyone has a story. Out of the heated discussion liberally sprinkled with choice Jamaican cusswords, I was intrigued enough by a few salient observations to comment on them here.
The realization gradually dawned on me that there was quite a bit of hypocrisy associated with homosexuality in Jamaica, in more ways than one. So far I’ve identified three main types: the hypocritical homophobe, the hypocritical homosexual and the hypocritical homophiliac/gay rights supporter.
The Hypocritical Homophobe
They inhabit the ghettos and small communities where homosexuals are killed on sight . . . unless they have money. If a strange man should walk into their neighbourhood with a little too much hip-swing and hand movement he is immediately the target of every “badman” in the area, and they will not rest until he has departed, from the community or from life entirely. Yet they attend parties thrown by the rich homosexual businessman with the house on the hill whose private life is public knowledge (as in everyone in the community know seh im a live wid im man). They go to the parties, drink, dance and palaver, and the next day sit outside their shops and talk bout ‘ow “b****man fi dead”. These hypocrites are trying to have their cake and eat it too. No. Make up your damn minds.
The Hypocritical Homosexual
Basically prostitutes. They run down every and any prominent homosexual with money trying to get some of that cash flow by whatever means necessary. Including sexual favours. I don’t know if they actually claim to be gay, but they certainly have no problem flaunting that lifestyle if it means they get to live in the big house on the hill with the man they grew up hearing their father/uncle/brothers cussing about. They’re usually young, impressionable and stupid, but very, very eager to make a quick buck.
*This group does not include young men who, for whatever reason, are forced into illicit sexual relationships with older men.
The Hypocritical Gay Rights Supporter
These are the ones who argue vociferously with their friends about the rights of the homosexual to marriage and the backwardness of our country in responding to assaults on human beings but who sit idly by during conversations about the disgustingness of homosexuality and how much they should burn in hell. I’m talking about myself, obviously. And any other person in Jamaica who says they’re all for equality but who stand up in parties and dance to certain Buju Banton songs (you know the ones I’m talking about).
It’s hard, and probably dangerous, but we are the ones who are going to have to make a difference if we want a difference to be made. If we just shut up when we’re confronted with homophobia, if we pass up opportunities to change minds, who else is going to step up to the job?
But Paradise (a.k.a. one of several seats of homophobia) probably isn’t the best place to start mouthing off about the unfairness of homophobia and ‘why can’t we all just get along’.