More and more I realize just how skewed my perceptions about homophobia were and just how schizophrenic the Jamaican society and culture is, thankfully I now know the truth. Jamaica is extremely, almost psychotically homophobic and violent. The abruptness and randomness of its application, as well as the extreme dichotomist culture, is what is most dangerous about Jamaica’s homophobia.
Violence toward homosexuals, as we see it, is simply the tip of the iceberg to what deep seated disgust really exists for same gender loving persons. Each time I interact with the garrison, I am reminded of exactly how serious this is. Murder, stealing and rape to a lesser extent, as well as engaging in other criminal actvities are blatantly lauded and even expected as a rite of passage for so many of our youth falling beneath the social and advancement opportunities radar, replaced by an acceptance and acclimatization to desperation, poverty, passion, and living for the moment, where the ‘ego’ becomes the most valuable possession. For others who have the envied benefit of access to social advancement…criminal activity is expected but very clandestine. However you swing it, we are certainly NOT the wholesome christian society upholding good on any genuine level that many would like to paint us as and despite having so many churches per square foot or an active ‘hate-marching’ set of christians.
The incident at UTECH is not new, as a matter of fact, almost common place for many gay people who in order to survive have simply developed apt skills to avoid persecution/retribution. One of which, is using what they would consider a public bathroom as private convenience. Sometimes the whistle gets blown, but most times, not. The whistle got blown at one of Jamaica’s manufacturing spaces for future leaders and innovators, who will in a few years be responsible setting social policy, populating our country with values and children, the more ‘educated’, on top of that the abuse was further perpetuated by an agent whose job is to protect.
Knowing that Jamaica’s homophobia is pervasive mostly among the ‘uneducated’ Jamaicans, yet this incident happened at The University of Technology is a bud that needs to be nipped deeply and neatly…as a matter of fact, that entire plant needs to be ripped out, roots and all. We cannot afford to send the message to the latent and powerful homophobic masses who respected the space and relation between homosexuality, education and affluence, that it is ok to hurt someone because of their personal adult consensual sexual decisions and relations. Security guards have lost their jobs, but that is not enough, it is perhaps the most dangerous result, as once again…it is the poor under-educated minimum wager that feels the bite of the gay vampires, and this will only foster more resentment and encourage more violent reactions.
I still contend, sue the security company, sue the university, sue the guards involved, make an example out of this, or else we are reinforcing deadly negative behaviours.