A global support network for the LGBTIQ+ community

January 2, 2018

Jermaine

I am a gay man living in Jamaica and this is my story. Jamaica has been where I have lived for the past twenty-four years. It has been a life of many adjustments, this is mainly due to the discriminative nature of growing up in this vastly homophobic Caribbean.

It was from I would say age six that I got a sense that I was not the ideal boy that others were, and in Jamaica this is not something that people are afraid to make clear. This was something done unapologetically by both adults and children alike. It was clear that I was more effeminate than seemed to be required. I can remember a birthday party when I was about seven and attending the primary school where I danced and won a book. My dancing however was filled with gyrating which didn’t reflect the typical male.

To me I felt nothing wrong with how I behaved but students especially boys were always there to make sure I know how “different” I was. The name calling was the most intense especially from boys. I do wear makeup which is something I love and to me not even intensely but this is a constant source that garners me hate comments.

Overall from my experiences growing up based on what I have and seen others go through. I had to constantly keep checking myself as I don't want my gayness to cost me the ultimate price which is my life. I constantly live in fear of this threat and even feel on edge whenever I see a group of men. For this reason, I don't visit my rural family home as I have been threatened by the men that live in the area.

I think I am a good citizen I work and pay my taxes. However, the constant fear I live in makes it impossible to be contented living here. I just want to be somewhere that legally protects me and I don't have to be in constant fear of being attacked.

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