Disturbed by Xnews Story on Drag Queen and Gay Cop

Several weeks after the Jamaica Observer and Television Stations carried a story on a drag queen in Clarendon and the subsequent radio call in show hosted by Ragashanti where it was said “she” phoned in The Xnews tabloid now has joined the frey.

With a full photograph on its front page (hidden for this post) they had the headline “Male Cross Dresser Barby says, ‘Cops a Blow up mi phone’” on December 3, 2009. The paper of course reinforcing the impression that police officers have been calling her in secret for hookups. Why now Xnews and why also carry the gay cop story nearly a year after his ordeal? In the radio interview where Barby was said to have phoned in, Barby did say that some of the cops from the police station at the time had been calling her but the host Dr. Kingsley Ragashanti dismissed her claims as spurious and that she was implicating the officers at the station at the time.

So why is the Xnews reviving this now, Is there a link here or is the Xnews saying that since there maybe more gay cops by the implication of the Barby story that they should also leave Jamaica via the asylum route? I am also very disturbed that another full photo of the drag queen was shown in full garb knowing the possible implications to her person. Doesn’t she have a right to dress how she feels without fear or incitement guided by a third party such as what the Xnews is now doing?

Why were pictures of other alleged drag queens (see above) shown in the story as well? They were not a part of the original ordeal. Where is the journalistic responsibility or am I asking the wrong paper this as the Xnews has been known for its “trash” element.

Jason McFarlane, Programs Manager from JFLAG was quoted in the story as well, “To my knowledge He is OK, he has not received any threats and I have spoken to him a couple of times and no threats, thankfully.”

“I don’t think they are going to start going door to door looking for him maybe if they saw him dressed as a man then there would be a problem.”

I am a bit puzzled at those remarks as well if they are so as quoted by the paper, they sound and strikes on naivety on the part of gay culture in real terms and a misunderstanding of what actually occurs on the roads in regards to drag culture or cross dressing in Jamaica. “Barby” is not the first and won’t be the last publicly identified cross dresser and some transvestites may be indeed transgendered identified individuals psychologically in my estimation. Other cross dressers before have been murdered chief among them was the ever so popular “Browning” who was stabbed allegedly by a “client” who she was negotiating a sexual transaction with some 6 years ago. The case to my knowledge was thrown out of court due to lack of evidence.

Meanwhile the Xnews again quoted Jason McFarlane on the asylum issue with the cop who was vilified after a newspaper interview. “Yes asylum was granted his case has gone through but maybe I shouldn’t say that just yet. He has applied and he has a good case particularly because of the media exposure he got, he is currently living and working in the UK, ……………. I last spoke to him three weeks ago and he was quite happy to be safe in a country where is rights are protected. I don’t know what sort of job he is employed in because it was just a quick check in I did with him but I know that he is happy.”
Probably too much information was given here and the comments seem too “by the way” to be believed. Maybe this may also be a way for the Xnews to say well all of us as gays should run away and leave Jamaica via the asylum route.

All this has left a bitter taste in my mouth. Weh unu feel?

Recent contact directly with Barbie by phone and some of my sources has revealed that she is livid in a sense, as she feels her conversations with key persons from JFLAG offices were leaked to the XNEWS, even if this is not true the country’s only official GLBT rights organization cannot be seen as untrustworthy to the community that it serves. Just by the type of newspaper the Xnews is perceived to be a quote or statement present in its content it may be viewed at negative towards whatever the subject matter is at hand.

The impact of this story has led to a noticeable decrease in movement by some of the captioned queens and Barby herself as a precautionary measure as normal weekend social gatherings at regular spots were visibly empty this weekend.

How can we fix this issue for the time being …… I really don’t know.


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.

2 thoughts on “Disturbed by Xnews Story on Drag Queen and Gay Cop”

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