Jamaica is known for many reasons; one of which is the country that is extremely homophobic and their intolerance level for gay people is at its highest. It is always “bun a batty boy or bun a sadamite.” I personally find it awfully offensive and hurtful when I hear those words from another individual and I am not being bias. I believe that I was born gay— to some extent. From a tender age I was always attracted to the same sex. I use to go over to my pastor’s granddaughter house to ‘play’ and she would always be coming on to me and even though I was young (eight years old) I found it very comforting and I reciprocated the gestures that I was receiving, mind you I had no clue as to what it is that I was doing and it felt awesome. I wasn’t even question about being there so often, because it was me being at play.
I grew up in church (Pentecostal) and I was always taught that being gay is wrong and is an abomination to God, therefore I have always pushed the feeling of being attracted to the same sex away, besides I didn’t understand what those feelings meant. Liking boys was the norm and I delve into that norm, hoping to feel normal. But even though I was trying to feel ‘normal’ by talking to boys, I felt no form of attraction towards boys, there was simply no chemistry. Also I was more confused than anything because my parents would say “not until you are forty (40)” when a boy would come to the gate, trying to talk to me. Therefore I was scared to even talk to boys. Girls could come over and it would be OK, because it’s considered ‘OK’.
I started dating my first girlfriend at eighteen (18) and it felt like the real me and to me it felt like the norm. Of course I couldn’t tell my parents about it; hence I hid it or was in the closet as what some people call it. My step dad found a letter that I hid and immediately told my mother about it and lets just say it didn’t go down well. I was told that God did not make Adam and Steve and its wrong. It didn’t change my feelings and I didn’t stop seeing her, however it was done in the closet and I would deny it to my parents as well. She couldn’t drop me off at the gate and she was no longer allowed to come to the house.
It was quite easy for me to be out in public with another female, because it was more tolerable. I however did not do anything to offend anyone and I lived by “It’s my life and I live how I want to, however I won’t push it in anyone’s face.”
For the most part being in Jamaica and being gay is rough because persons will get mobbed and to some extent I was scared. I hated walking on the road with my partner especially when she dresses a little less feminine. It was evident that we were together and men would make sly remarks about us wanting a ‘cocky’ instead of tongue in our ‘pussies’. There was no major harassment, however I could not be the real me because it was looked down upon and I was scared of being mobbed. When my partner and I go out, whether to the supermarket or just to have a meal all eyes are on us and you can just see person’s minds turning. We have never really encountered any major issues and that is solely based on us being in the closet. That ‘code of living’ seems to work while living in Jamaica and it makes it easier for us to get around.
Being in another country other than Jamaica has granted me the privilege of being me, it is much easier for me to go about my business and not be judged or looked down upon. It felt so good to be able to walk out in public and hold my partner’s hands and even sneak a kiss or two. No one cares. I still don’t push anything in anyone’s face.
I believe it’s our life and we live it how we deemed it fit. Jamaica, I believe will never accept homosexuality and that in itself is OK; because its just our culture and religion.
Anyone should be able to live their life how they want to and be who they want to without being scared of society. Bottom line, if you are gay and living in Jamaica, you have to live in a closet.