Sunday, July 5, 2009

Yaa Battyman? No. Aawuo!

Here in Jamaica, I can never get tired of being asked that question. In America, at least on my college campus, it is a politically incorrect one, as is the question which usually follows an affirmative response, "so, are you a top or a bottom?" But Jamaicans haven't cultivated enough sensitivity to LGBTQ people to know what is appropriate, so I will gi dem a blai.

I speak very confidently about Jamaica's misguided approach to "the homosexual problem," and apparently, non-queer Jamaicans aren't very vocal about the necessity for our culture to respect and even appreciate variances of human sexuality, which materialize between consensual adults. Every time I open my loud mouth someone asks, "so which one are you?" And I smile. The answer shouldn't matter, but it does. Ef mi a difen batiman den mi a mos wan. If I was straight, then I could just laugh and say, "Mi straight man, si mi bups ya!" Aawuo, yu kuda neva bi... And then, nothing changes.

The prejudice wiggles, then firmly roots itself into their psyche again. There I thought she was listening to me. She, for I would never engage a Jamaican man in such a conversation. Still, my week was a success, because I helped three Jamaicans think on a perspective different from any they ever imagined. Gays are people. Different, but not abnormal. They are our doctors, our sisters and brothers, our children, our sick, our homeless and our friends.


  1. A bly!

    I didn't know it was universal!

  2. Haha, apparently!

    Thanks for stopping by A.F.

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