So on Saturday last January 8th a report that a man had to beat a hasty retreat in the downtown Kingston area after a cruising attempt went wrong as the intended target turned out to be not as he anticipated was true I have since gathered that a small mob was hastily put together by the man (the target of the cruiser) from the nearby rural municipal bus park as there are major works being done in that section of downtown Kingston with the new bus park being hastily put together beyond the old park. The downtown area like most other urban centers is a haven for “catching something” for a quickie or some outdoor action for the more daring MSMs around. Sadly many of these cruisers are not your average gays who frequent gay parties, clubs, interested, exposed or involved in advocacy typed activities or issues hence the actions go unnoticed or grossly underreported as incidents as the persons involved simply move on.
Between Sunday afternoon and up to last evening some of the guys were sufficiently upset at the news of this near miss in downtown that they decided to link all the known cruisers across the downtown and uptown regions and those they could identify to alert them to be cautious, I was quite pleased by this action towards preservation of self showing us that there can be on the ground networking outside of us worrying about persons putting themselves at risk. It is the heightened sense of awareness of their surroundings that was the reason where a recently murdered cross dresser in Kingston ignored when warned by the more experienced heads in the business, bearing in mind this set of cruisers are of a different identity as they operate in stealth and are not easily identifiable as gay as they bear no characteristics of the stereotypes to those of their cross dressing counterparts, for sure some formal work however is needed to engage this mostly invisible group that is not to say other gay and bisexual men do not employ cruising especially given our starchy homo negative environment towards open displays of same sex affection. This particular group of cruisers though that I write of are the more daring and brazen ones who go to the weirdest of spots for hookups and are not into other ways of same sex attracted social behaviours.
The population to my surprise consists of not only MSMs mostly from the lower socio economic levels as is widely assumed but also professionals who prefer a mobile way of “working” for a hookup. Somehow the classes do meet sometimes in a commercial sexual transaction set up, that could probably explain the reasons why the homeless MSMs do indeed garner “business” from not just others at their social standing but way above. There are some who literally park their vehicles and do enter the “fieldwork” as the others on foot do. One particular mobile individual I am personally familiar with says he prefers cruising than engaging someone in any long introductions or fancy fake chat as a way to impress someone before bedding them. He is just out for fun he would park at a safe distance and space and then work his layout he maps in his head or anywhere is leads to. His success rate is fair he concludes as but he complains he wants to see more “new faces” which suggest repetitive sexual contact with the same targets as they all work within or cross territories. One thing is a common thread amongst those persons I was able to talk to they all suggest there are new faces around who are more open and bold in their approach.
This group is also not to be confused with persons who practice exhibitionism or open masturbation in public spaces.
Maybe there is some hypocrisy to this on one hand seeing that some persons of an uptown persuasion (in mind but not physical address) are very selective about who they knowingly socialize with I assume peers and the intelligencia who on the face of it seem quite far removed from such decadence yet on the other hand they engage in cruising activities outside their comfort zone albeit the danger and the thrills are usually driving factors for a cruiser coupled with the satisfaction of making the hookup that successful in the middle of danger. That could also explain the reasons why so many high profile cases of gay and bisexual Jamaicans of prominence are found dead in the threshold of their own homes. The issues overlap and one post won’t be enough to cover all of it but the Downlow Lifestyles tab as this post is tagged to can begin to help us to unearth some of those concerns.
Certainly this is just touching the surface and we must also realize that not all the information can be shared via the posts on such matters.
Peace and tolerance