Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gay in Kingston, Jamaica

I spent a few days in Kingston, and what a blast it was! I identified more gay men in Kingston in three days, than all my life in rural Jamaica. I stepped off the bus from my parish, and my mentality changed. I wasn't alone; I knew it. Before long, my vision of urban utopia was jarred when a group of young men spoke loudly, just after passing them, that I am surely a homosexual. I continued on my merry way, as I don't yet have the courage to stare homophobes in their eyes and actively acknowledge their hateful words.

Besides seeing many gay men walk by me in the streets, I spent some quality time with two gay friends of mine. One of them shares an apartment with another gay guy, who had two gay friends over. My friend's boyfriend had also planned to visit. 5 Jamaican gay men sharing the same space. I was too excited! It is different in America, because the experience that gay men have coming to terms with their sexualities is so diverse. Here though, I feel such empathy for my gay brothers, because I am fully aware of what each of us must face each time we leave the comfort of our homes and walk into the public sphere. It was nice to see gay men fraternizing, completely at ease and comfortable with themselves.

The day I returned home, I sat in a mall reading a book when a handsome young man, who I believed was gay, walked by me. I couldn't help but stare. Not long after, I followed in his direction, as I had to head to the bus stop. I walked by him, as he stood near the staircase with two other friends. As I passed, one of them hissed, "gunshot for a boy." I shook my head, mystified. How could a gay man say such ugly words to another? Both of us have to live in the same fucked up world, and perpetuating homo-hatred will do nothing to serve our best interests. I was very tempted to turn around and stare into his eyes this time, but alas, the thought came too late.

I can definitely see myself spending more time in Kingston. It's the most "real" I will ever be in Jamaica. It's the only place i've been able to gain some anonymity. I guess anonymity is an important factor to living without constant fear for the worse.


I came out to my mother last week. It didn't go too well. More on that soon.


  1. I'm sorry it didn't work out too well with your mom. I guess you grew weary of hiding... You certainly have a lot more courage than me! I'm not at that stage yet, and I won't be for a while. I hope your home situation improves. Hang in there.

  2. @ Nik: Only you can know when the time is right. It will come. I have been weary of hiding for a long time! You could say that i've been living two different lives, in America and Jamaica. No more.

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