A third-year student of a tertiary level institution was forced to flee the dorm and the school recently, after a tape on which he allegedly confessed his homosexuality was released around the campus via bluetoothtechnology.
THE STAR was informed that the student, Pedro Lee*, who was doing a guidance-counselling course, was tricked into revealing his secret lifestyle by another student who pretended to be gay and secured the trust and confidence of the young man.
The tape, which made its rounds on the campus in late November into early December, was about 30 minutes long and involved the student sharing deep secrets and fantasies with the boy he thought was his new-found friend.
One student of the institution told THE STAR that Lee was a popular student, who was involved in several extra-curricular activities. She said, “He was involved in a lot of things, basically all the religious clubs”. Lee lived on campus, where he also participated in many activities.
On the tape, the conversation suggests that Lee and the student had made previous plans to meet at a hotel, and Lee expressed his disappointment that the student did not turn up. The student also asked Lee how those around him would react if they knew he was gay, to which he responded that many would be shocked and upset.
Lee also declares the things he would do to the student if they ever had the chance to be alone, saying he would lick him “from the toes straight up”. The student also coerced Lee into sharing the names of those he found attractive.
Obviously convinced that the student was someone to be trusted, Lee revealed that he had a crush on his roommate, but admitted that he could not make a move as his roommate “is not into those type of things.”
Further into the conversation things got a bit more graphic.
Students of the institution told THE STAR that Lee, after realising that his secret was out, fled the hall and also stopped attending his classes and failed to show up for his exams. On his Facebook page, he is seen wearing church attire and appears to be quite interested in Christianity.
The letter writing campaign undertaken by Atty at Law Maurice Tomlinson hinted to this days before in the Jamaica Observer.
JFLAG received information that on December 7, 2010, a gay tertiary student was savagely beaten by his colleagues after being recorded in an intimate conversation with a classmate posing as gay. This latest attack follows the brutal hacking to death of a cross-dresser in Half-Way-Tree on December 3, 2010.
The point has repeatedly been made that this pattern of virulent intolerance and homophobia has dire consequences for the country’s fight against HIV and AIDS by driving gays underground, away from effective HIV prevention, treatment, care and support interventions. Many gay Jamaicans refrain from going to pharmacies to buy condoms and lubricants for fear of being “outed”, and yet, even the Pope has conceded that condoms are essential in the fight against HIV. The Jamaican government also admitted at the United Nations Universal Periodic Review Session on November 8, 2010 that it recognises that such attacks as described above heighten the vulnerability of LGBT Jamaicans.
In response to this continued intolerance and homophobia, civil society groups produced an anti-intolerance and anti-homophobia public service announcement (PSA) which aired on the major television and radio stations. The PSA features noted local personages, including the former army chaplain, a human rights defender and a former Miss Jamaica World. The PSA’s message is simple: intolerance and homophobia spread HIV and while tolerance does not mean acceptance, it does mean respecting human rights. Will the Jamaican government endorse this message by publicly condemning the attacks and repealing the buggery law which fosters them?
Montego Bay, St James
Peace and tolerance