My name is Anthony, I’m 27 years of age and i live in Jamaica which is in the Caribbean. I just want to share with you what living as a Gay is like in Jamaica.
I am gay and my life has been turned up side down all because I’m gay, i found out that i was gay when i was about 14 years old when i was living with my Grand mother in the country. It wasn’t a feeling that i welcome as i have spend years fighting it as I thought that this was just a phase that i was going through and I would get over it. I was in high school at the time and these feelings was growing stronger each day.
I had a cousin that was also having these feelings, so whenever he would come over to the house we would explore these feelings together. As times went by i started meeting guys, not for sex but to try and understand more about the feelings that I have been having.
One day my uncle came home and told my Grand mother and some of his friends in the community that I was a Gay, When i was coming home from school that day I would pass someone and called to them and they would just not answer and when i pass I could hear them talking and say “battyman fi dead”.
I thought to myself that they could not be talking about me as no one knew I was gay as I was not out. I didn’t bother going home same time as i was so worried what is happening at my house. I went home about 6pm that night and my grandmother called me and asked me if i was gay as she heard that i was. i never answer her as i really didn’t know what to do. The following night my uncle came by and he said he heard that i was in Manchester and how I’m battyman and how he is going to murder me. i was in my bed and I heard everything.
My grand mother called me and i went to her in her room and that was where my uncle held me and started beating me. I manage to escape from his hand and ran out the door. That was the night everything took a turn for the worst as I ran away and ended up being raped as I didn’t understood much about these feelings that I have. I ran away from home, dropped out of school, and now I have not gotten a good Education. When i got raped i just wanted to kill myself as It was hard for me as I was alone and had no one to turn to, so i dealt with it on my own.
I pushed it aside and pretended as if it didn’t happened. All those years growing up i just don’t talk about it as I have convinced myself that it never happened and it was only a dream that i had and that’s how i made it this far.
I was now on the street, so i went to a church and i met a man who had an cousin that was very old and could not do much for him self and wanted to have some one around him to help him out, so he took me in and I was ok but not for long when the man who introduce me to his cousin started coming on to me, I was uncomfortable but I didn’t say anything as I had a roof over my head.
I also got a Job at an Restaurant and worked for some extra money of my own. But the cousin me to leave the job as when the restaurant closes on weekend I was coming home too late.
By this time I met another young guy that was gay like myself and I have met his family. I told them that I couldn’t quit my job as I would have no form of income and i could be asked at anytime to leave, so i chose to keep restaurant my job and I was asked to leave the old man’s house.
So I left and Richard, my gay friend, took me in and we started messing around as I liked him a lot as he was in my age group and he didn’t force his self on me like the others. I moved in with him and was there at his apartment until he went away and left me there. But his bother liked me wanted to get involved with me and i would not have it and he started fighting against me to have me kicked out of his brother’s house.
I got a Job on a Farm that would allow me to live in on the farm, so this job was prefect for me so I took it and left the house. For a long time in my life i was feeling comfortable and at home as I had my own space and no one to come onto me and ask for sexual favours.
When Richard came back he called me and sent a group of boys to beat me for nothing. He said they just wanted to have some fun. I was beaten up and I managed to escape them and ran home, this was when i closed the world out.
i have been struggling ever since as persons have been making sure that no matter where i go and live some one would make sure that some one in the community knows I’m gay.
Right now I live with another boyfriend about his family and other people have been talking about gun shot for us and how they will burn us. My boyfriend and I have taken a lot from the community which we live in and this is a community that is in the Ghetto.
We are fearful of our lives as we have been threatened and you can’t report this to the police here as they will do nothing about it but call a crowd down on you. So my boyfriend is turning to any international help we can get to live a much comfortable life in a place that is accepting to our life style as we are so much in love with each other and just want to be together freely and comfortable.
Please we are asking for any form of help in making our lives safer. I was here feeling all depressed, bored and tired of everything when i signed on to my yahoo messenger to see if a few friends of mine were online to cheer me up.
i signed on about 15 minutes after you replied to my first message. I must tell you how excited I was. Thanks a lot for taking the time out to read my email and respond to it.
Richard that’s not all of my story, and my story is just one of the many gays that are living here in Jamaica that have been having it hard because their family members found out about their life style and kicked them out.
Some end up in the hospital and the police here do nothing about those brutal attacks against us. Instead they themselves join in to beat us. Over the pass three (3) years I have been to four (4) close friends’ funerals that have died by the hands of heterosexuals. I have seven (7) personal Friends that are like myself that have been beaten and had to run away from their homes leaving family and everything they work so hard to achieve, to start over their lives somewhere else in fear.
I live my life in fear every day just like so many other homosexuals here in Jamaica. To tell you the truth it hurts me deeply to see us being treated like this by our brothers and sisters as we are one. It hurts me greatly when we have other homosexuals pretending to be heterosexuals and setting on us homosexuals to be beaten and killed just to save and cover their identity.
I had a guy that i was involved with, that I loved, who set up his heterosexuals friends to beat me, so i can identify with that greatly.
I had to run leaving all furniture, appliances, clothes shoes and stuff behind me and I’m here trying to start over as I’m not working and its hard to get a job here in Jamaica when you have not finish or completed your high school education.
I live each day by faith and trust in the good Lord to see me through each day. Sometimes I would want something at the shop and I would not get out of the house to get it as the guys inside my housing scheme would throw bottles at me and call me all sort of names from (“Fish, Fag and battyboy”) and then you would hear them say “bullet, bullet”.
Now this at times made me very afraid and scared as i don’t know which one of those time these guys will take it too far and hurt me. God knows i have been through enough hurt for my own sexuality. We suffer at the hands of heterosexual because of our own sexuality, its not about them, we don’t take our sexuality to them but yet we are beaten and killed over it. I cried at times and i asked God why, but never seems to get an answer.
Thank you are taking the time out to read my email and to respond. You can post my letter on your site, but I would want to keep my Identity safe, so you can use the name Anthony.
Again I Thank you for reading, responding and now getting my story out there so others will step up and start talking about their story.
Yours Truly Anthony