‘They know I am gay and they don’t care’
Stalking Facebook as I usually do, I saw a pic of an old friend George Stewart, in a fabulous mall in Amsterdam. Its been a year since he made that heart thumping step on a plane, heading for the glory land or heaven called Amsterdam. George applied for asylum, to escape the madness that is a homophobic Jamaica. The truth is, I once took the impact of the madness for granted, not truly allowing myself to understand the cavernous and dynamic madness that is homophobia in Jamaica much less the impact it has on the lives of people…and not just gay people, but parents, teaches, students, vendors, politicians, etc.
Quite a few of my friends have decided to give up Jamaica’s ghost, looking at their pictures it seems as though they are happy, smiles are broad and wide, doing the things they have always wanted to do, living the life they want to live…and no one really cares that they are gay. I can only imagine how liberating it is, to not have who you love, or have sex with become the thing that defines the other 99% of who you are, that has the potential to crash and burn your career or academic dreams, if you slip and your gayness falls out. To go to church and explore your spirituality as you are, without the impression that something is very wrong with you and your ‘nastiness’, which is the cause of a demonic possession that no holy water or prayer can truly flush out.
Many gay Jamaicans use asylum as a way to escape the madness, the initial experience is a difficult one, and so many miss the Jamaica they love that are parts of them, and perhaps think about that big clock in Halfway tree or passing by an edifice that was part of their growing up, sharing in Jamaica’s success in sports and music, bursting at the seams to speak proudly of a home that they are unfortunately not welcomed.
If this freedom actually exists in reality and not just fairy tale dreams, then why aren’t other gay Jamaicans seeking asylum, why cant gay rights activism be about getting drones of gays out of situations that endanger not only their physical but also spiritual, mental and emotional well being. It cannot be healthy to have so much despair around something that is so natural to those experiencing it.
Live and let live…heaven is everywhere, why should we stay in hell.