A young man from western Jamaica has found himself in hot water as he was duped by a caller who posed as a gay interested party who quizzed him on his personal life. The young man who is 17 years old and lived alone at the time in Western rural Jamaica was already having a warm time of sorts in his community as he was suspected of being gay before by other community and family members. He was the subject of an attack as recent as February where he and three other young men suffered verbal and attempted physical abuse from a group of men in the town’s centre where he hails.
A female friend according to him who was aware of his sexuality seems to have been the orchestrator of the call following up on the most recent incident as mentioned above. He was at a wake and was said to be “under Juice” or dazed from having consumed liquor as is customary at such events, he received the call from an unlisted or private number which from memory he said the call lasted almost over half an hour, the male caller in a romantically and friendly fashion quizzed him for the time about his partners he had and how long he was involved in gay sex and other personal questions. The victim viewed it as unimportant and just another curious romantic interest as he says there have been others in and around the parish who make advances to him from time to time.
However red flags were raised when on the following day after the wake and the incident he was met by the so called female friend who asked if he got a call from a man asking him about his boyfriend etc., the girl proceeded to show the very cellular instrument that was used to conduct the prank along with his number and time of dialing and the relevant code used to make the call appear private on his receiving instrument, since that revelation he has been receiving the cold shoulder from residents in the area and was at one point confronted by a set of persons at a shop nearby but it didn’t result in anything physical. However for his own safety he reached out for help and interventions came from a representative from a new organization, The Underlined Response who saw to it he was extracted from the area leaving what’s left of his personal belongings in the cul-de-sac housing strip where other low income persons reside. He has been living and struggling alone since the passing of his mother for some time now but by virtue of her strong community leadership when she was alive he has been allowed to stay there by all indications. Some members of the community are incensed by the actions of the crank caller while others as expected want him out of the area. The caller himself was allegedly said to be overheard telling other community members of the prank and that the boi a Battyboi. Other details held as per request.
He wants to return home but by virtue of his continued communications with friends in and around the area that doesn’t seem as a sensible option at this time, his family by now has learnt of the incident and he is scared that his older siblings may not take kindly to this. With the closure of the MSM homeless project at Jamaica AIDS Support for Life he is left to stay here and there for now and the tight economic crunch that’s affecting all concerned help is limited both in time and kind. My short interview revealed he is a very bright young man worried about his future and wants to continue from this negative episode.
So the obvious lack of proper interventions to guide young gay men especially those in far rural areas bereft of a proper network in place to reach them has led to this I feel clearly if only there was some guidance here he could have avoided something like this from occurring many GLBTQ people outside of Kingston feel left out of the loop in as far as meetings and social events are concerned, during my time at a previous GLBTQ organization there was an active group in Trelawny who wanted to engage the organization this however was not vigorously entertained.
As to the fate of this young man who has a future ahead of him is unclear at this time the limited pool of resources and assistance is drying up fast as he is housed at a private home. Help if you can please, financially or temporary shelter if possible, other sources contacted already have their hands full with other persons who are in other kinds of problems.
The Underlined Response and I are working towards a possible solution.
Peace and tolerance