Kingston, Jamaica

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

16-year-old Transgender Murdered in Jamaica: Hated to Death

Dwayne Jones, "Gully Queen" - Victim
On July 22, 2013 Dwayne Jones a Trans-gender otherwise known as "GULLY QUEEN" and "Dwayne Gagastar Trensetta" was shot and stabbed to death in the Irwin community, St James. 

According to Iriefm news report, "the 16-year-old was dressed as a female and was dancing with a male, when a woman at the party recognized him and told other patrons that he was not a woman, but a male. One of the men at the party accosted the teen and conducted a search where he discovered that the teen was not a female. A mob then descended on the teen and chopped and stabbed him to death, before dumping his body in bushes along the Orange main road."

Furthermore, the Jamaica-Gleaner reported that, "a number of explosions were heard and the police were summoned. They discovered Jones’ body on the roadway, with multiple stab wounds and a gunshot wound." No arrest has been made.

The brutal killings and public execution of gay, lesbian and trans-gender Jamaicans is a disheartening reality for many who live in the open and shadows. In December 2010, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) called for a thorough investigation of a case in which the body of a reported cross dresser was found with stab wounds in St Andrew. However, the murder remains unsolved due to a lack of interest demonstrated by the investigation team and police authorities due to the victims’ sexuality and lifestyle (gay). 

The lack of respect and protection for the life of gays living in Jamaica demonstrates a systematic and cultural prejudice and hatred for homosexuals and the air they breathe. The government and its leader Prime Minister Portia Simpson continue to disregard the interest, safety and the right to life of gay, lesbian, and trans-gender Jamaicans.

The punitive laws of Jamaica, such as the Offences Against the Person Act (Buggery law) which criminalizes the act of consensual anal sex between gay men, and public demonstration of homosexuality up to 10 years in prison with hard labor, along with the moral concept of normality, empower and motive anti-gay civilians and mobs to attack, beat and kill gays, as well as rape lesbians.

Clearly, over the past years, we have seen the abuse of the rights and dignity of gays living in Jamaica. In January 2011, (J-FLAG) recorded fifty-one incidents of attacks against LGBT including, home invasions, physical assaults and mob attacks.  
In June 2012, members of the Jamaican LGBT community reported that eight gay men had been murdered in the prior three months.
The organization has also emphases the lack of report being made by victims of homophobic attacks due to fear of future attacks or abuses,  especially from the police officers, who often refuse to take or document self-identified gay victims incidents.

When will our gay brothers and sisters be free from bondage and persecution? How much more innocent blood will be shed before the government step in and protect the lives of GAY Jamaicans?

Besides the killing and beating of homosexuals, Jamaica is a violent and dangerous country. We cannot stand by and watch the culprits and anti-gay lynching mobs to get away with murder.  Something needs to be done. Dwayne Jones deserves justice. 

Dwayne Jones, "Gully Queen" - Victim

Dwayne Jones, "Gully Queen" - Victim
Dwayne Jones, "Gully Queen" - Victim

Thursday, July 4, 2013

16 Young Gay Men Evicted by Police In Jamaica: Homelessness Due to Homophobia (VIDEO)

Police monitor as some of the men who were squatting at a house
 on Millsborough Avenue pack their possessions and leave the premises.
 - Gladstone Taylor/ Photographer
 “Police from the St Andrew Central Division evicted 16 self-confessed gay men from an abandoned house in the upscale neighborhood of Millsborough Avenue, Barbican yesterday disclosing that the building will be demolished today. Dressed in gas masks and gloves, the police team — led by Commander Christopher Murdock from the New Kingston Police Post — entered the residence minutes after 5:00 pm and rounded up the men, none of whom seemed to over 30 years old,”  the Jamaica Observer reported.
In addition, one of the homeless gay men that were living on the premises solemnly expressed “we don’t have anywhere to go. Persons want to kill me at home and majority of us will be killed if we return home because they know of our story. We can’t go back home. The reason I left my home, people found out that I am a homosexual. A man attacked me in order to kill me and I had to escape by foot. From that, I have been from one vacant lot to another.” (Translated in English: See the CVM TV News report excerpt below).The same sentiment is one shared by majority of the homeless gay youth.

CVM TV news 7/3/2013 

Over the past several years, young gay and lesbian Jamaicans have been cast out of their homes and communities. While a few who possess a visa have the  option to flee to another country, mainly the United States of America, Canada and United Kingdom for refuge and freedom, unfortunately many are forced to live on the streets, captured homes, gullies and in bushes, especially in Kingston.  According to a J-FLAG employee, “minors between the ages 12 and 17 years who are either self-identified or perceived to be gay or lesbian are cast out of their homes, excommunicated and in numerous cases brutally beaten by family members, strangers or a mob.”

The proliferation of homeless gay men living in the streets of Kingston is startling and in several instances unbearable for those who are repulsed by their presence and their sexuality.  This has been a concern by J-FLAG, the only organization which help to rehabilitate some of these young men. The organization is in desperate need of help and resource to mitigate this problem, but is unable to do so effectively due to the lack of support from the government of Jamaica.

 Without assurance and certainty of a meal or a safe place to rest, shower and sleep, sadly some of the homeless young men are force to roam, loiter and seek unlawful means in order to survive. The media, for example, the Jamaica Observer, in its egregious and often prejudicial interest to publish stories concerning homeless gay youth, have sort to classify  and deem the victims as rowdy, malicious and a great threat to society.

After the allegedly illegal occupancy of a abandon home in Millsborough Avenue in St Andrew by 17 gay men, the editor  for the Observer Karyl Walker stated that the “residents of Millsborough Avenue in St Andrew say their neighborhood has gone to the dogs.” In this instance the word ‘Dogs’ is the equivalent of ‘Gays’. They simply need a roof over their heads.

Jamaican Homeless gay men are ‘rowdy’ because they are slaves and cast outs in their own country. They are classless citizens. Their families rejected and neglected them. Their community and government condemn their sexuality and lifestyle which often resort to national purging of gays through mob attacks, beatings, bullying, eviction, excommunication, persecution and death. Young homeless gay children are reacting to the harsh and homophobic stimuli within the Jamaican society. Rebellion and rowdiness are reactions to the oppression, persecution and affliction they face by Anti-gay (mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, pastors, media, government, church, and neighbors).

Outraged Allies and members of the gay community at home and abroad echoed, “How can we stand by and watch our gay children and brothers fighting to survive in a country that hates them?  Homeless gay youth know nothing but the streets and the will to live another day.  As a civilized nation, I call up the Government of Jamaica, the Office of the Children Registry (OCR), the Children’s Advocate, the Church, and other public and private institutions to help to save our homeless youth/children, who happens to be gay by no choice of their own.

Police monitor as some of the men who were squatting at a house
 on Millsborough Avenue pack their possessions and leave the premises.
 - Gladstone Taylor/ Photographer

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