Insensitive parents & Displaced MSMs

Many Jamaican adolescent gay men are the victims of displacement and or ostracism by family members and others when they are found to be gay. A most recent case that came to my attention is that of a 23 year old male who frequents his family home and stops in to supervise his other siblings. According to him in a recent conversation his mother demanded he leave the home as she told him she found out about his lifestyle after years of rumours and suspicions of his orientation. She told him that she doesn’t intend to share even utensils with him thus he cannot stay in the home. Suprisingly his father is much more understanding in this case as usually fathers are much more angered by their son’s homosexual lifestyle. The difficulty with stories like this one is that many of the displaced males are usually in their teens and who find themselves in difficult situations to eek out an existence for themselves, they are taken advantage of by other gay men who prey on their weakened positions and often use them for sexual favours.

It is an admission that many in the GLBT community don’t really want to discuss directly and sad to say there are very little social intervention strategies that can capture these young men and women who fall through the cracks. Lesbians tend to fear off better as there support systems are usually emotionally connected and they tend to be nurturing thus outcomes yield more positive results. Another reason also could be that lesbianism is tolerated much more than male homosexuality so the girls can “survive”.

Other accounts speak of parents checking emails of teens while they may have left the computer, browsing text messages of cell phones without the victims knowledge, scrutinizing phone calls and listening in on conversations. There was an incident several years ago where a father allegedly handed his gay son to students at his school to be beaten but was rescued by compassionate ancillary staff who took several blows to shield him and called for police intervention.

Jamaica Observer article 19/02/04: Father encourages students to maul ‘gay’ son
“According to students and teachers at the school, the boy’s father apparently found pictures of nude men in the boy’s school bag.
Infuriated, he turned up at the school yesterday with the pictures and encouraged the mob to turn on his son. As students began to maul his son, the man is reported to have driven away.”

I don’t know where to begin as to how to address this issue, why cant we just be tolerant and try to understand the issue of homosexuality before cursing it?


Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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