Examples of Incidences of Anti-Gay verbal and physical abuse

1).Male abused after neighbours accused him of being homosexual and HIV+, beaten by members of the community.

2).30 year old male accused of being a cross-dresser and too effeminate. Set upon by family members and citizens in St. Mary, relocated to Montego Bay without basic necessities

3).Lesbian roommates (not intimately involved) picketed at their home in St Catherine by neighbours and threatened, forced to leave by tenants of the address.

4).Lesbian couple threatened and stoned in St. Catherine, daughter of one of the clients abused at school, suffered emotional trauma. Alleged “don” from outside the area set to be leading the charge against the victims.

5).22 year old male accused of being gay chased from rented premises, St Ann. The Police were contacted with no response, it was said that they the police knew that “Batty boys were living there,” the landlord was uncooperative.

6).Male in St. Mary chased out of his Family home, told not to return

7).Male allegedly caught in bushes with other male, lost his job as boss heard the story, beaten and abused by mob who attacked them

8).Police Officer suffering discrimination on the job and threats to his life, face to face and by phone from other officers in the force

9).Male tricked by another male pretending to be gay, upon being discovered threats to his life from community residents and other males in the area

10).3 males attacked in their home in Manchester, 2 escaped one still missing, presumed dead, had to relocate, severe injuries to arms, back and face, chops to several parts of the body of one member

11).Male couple’s home in St. Ann gasoline poured in preparation for house to be lit, threatened by landlord and residents in the area, given ultimatum to leave

12).Male chased on streets and attacked by a group of males known for terrorizing alleged gay men, chopped on the left buttocks, police refuse to take report, tried to find refuge in a hotel complex but was thrown onto the streets to a mob, he escaped

14).Male couple in Manchester forced to move as male residents invade their property demanding of female partners, asking why they don’t have any girls around. Ultimatum served on them to leave the area

15).Male forced to remove from family home as he is believed to be gay, even though he has been living there all his life, the residents were tolerant at first but since the public debate has been raging they have become tense.

16) Female couple held at gunpoint and their car taken and raped by four men who took turns on the femme of the couple, the butch partner escaped as she told her would be rapists she was infected with an STD

17) Another female couple attacked at home by 2 gunmen and raped.

Reflections of Incidents past – JAMAICA, ISLAND OF HATE — Its Leading Gay Activist Speaks:

JAMAICA, ISLAND OF HATE — Its Leading Gay Activist Speaks:

“Jamaica is not a safe environment for gay people to survive in, either physically, emotionally, or psychologically,” says Gareth Williams, the 29-year-old former leader of the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG), the country’s LGBT group. “The climate here is very, very hostile to gay people. We have been hunted and beaten and killed because of who we are,” Williams added. “Families turn against their own members because of sexual orientation.”
Williams spoke to Gay City News from Montreal, where he had gone last week to receive the International Award for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights given jointly every year by Human Rights Watch and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. Rebecca Schleifer of Human Rights Watch’s HIV/AIDS program said that Williams was given the award because, “Against enormous odds and at great risk to his own physical safety, Williams has been a courageous campaigner against human rights violations targeting lesbians, gay men, and HIV-positive Jamaicans.”

“Williams” is the gay activist’s organizational pseudonym, necessitated by the fact that his predecessor as J-FLAG’s leader, Brian Williamson (above), was brutally murdered in his home at the age of 59 in June, 2004 by anti-gay thugs, who mutilated his body with multiple stab wounds.

A Human Rights Watch researcher witnessed a joyous crowd that gathered outside Williamson‘s house to celebrate the murder. A smiling man called out, “Battyman he get killed!” (“Battyman” and “batty-bwoy” are Jamaican patois for “faggot”.) Many others celebrated Williamson’s murder, laughing and calling out, “let’s get them one at a time,” “that’s what you get for sin,” “let’s kill all of them.” Some sang “Boom bye bye,” a line from a popular Jamaican song about killing and burning gay men that was made a hit by reggae singer Buju Banton. The lyrics from Banton’s song (in patois) are:

“Boom bye bye / Inna batty bwoy head / Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man /Dem haffi dead / Send fi di matic an / Di Uzi instead / Shoot dem no come if we shot dem / Guy come near we / Then his skin must peel / Burn him up bad like an old tire wheel.”

Translated into standard English, those lyrics read:
“Boom bye bye / In a queer’s head / Rude boys don’t promote no queer men / They have to die / Send for the automatic and / The Uzi instead / Shoot them, don’t come if we shot them / If a man comes near me / Then his skin must peel / Burn him up badly, like you would burn an old tire wheel.”

(Banju Banton [left] is currently on a U.S. tour. A mass demonstration to protest Banton’s appearance at San Diego, California’s House of Blues was called for Wednesday, October 4, by a coalition of San Diego gay groups. Banton appearances at clubs in Hollywood and San Francisco to promote his new album were cancelled after protests by gay organizations. In an interview with Billboard magazine last week, Banton responded to gay protests with two words: “Fuck them!”)

Another Jamaican gay leader and prominent AIDS activist, Steve Harvey – “Brian was the only out gay person in Jamaica who had the courage to put his face on television — I was very close to him,” Williams says with sorrow audible in his baritone voice. “His murder was really a traumatic loss for our community. After his death I was motivated even more, and so when J-FLAG asked me to serve as its lead advocate I didn’t hesitate, and took on the challenge. I just won’t allow society to trample over us.”

Another Jamaican gay leader and prominent AIDS activist, Steve Harvey
(at left in photo, right), (white Shirt)
was murdered on the eve of World AIDS Day last November 30. For a decade, Harvey had directed the outreach program of Jamaica AIDS Support targeting gays and lesbians and sex workers. A gang of at least four armed assailants invaded Harvey’s home, and demanded of Harvey and his two housemates if they were gay — Harvey said yes, the others denied it. The thugs then bound and gagged Harvey and bundled him into a car. Steve Harvey was later found a few miles from his home, dead from bullet wounds to his back and head.
“Steve’s murder was a personal blow for me,” says Williams. ‘We were very close–we grew up together, and we even used to share an apartment. He has left a huge void in my life. We always feel hurt when a gay person is killed, but when it’s your buddy, your friend whom you talked to every day…” Williams’ voice trails off, before he resumes:
“There have been many other murders of gay men and lesbians whose lives have been taken because of their sexual orientation. Just two weeks after Brian’s killing, a young gay man named Victor Jarrett was killed in Montego Bay in a murder instigated by three police officers. I was there. The police had arrested Jarrett and were beating him in the street. A large crowd gathered, and yelled, “Hand the battyman over to us and we’ll finish him off!”

“I was standing only 80 meters away watching this, and I felt so helpless. The police handed the young man over to the crowd, and stood around laughing as the crowd beat him to death. If I’d opened my mouth, I would have been killed too, so I did and said nothing. When I got home, I called the police three times to report the murder — they simply hung up on me each time. I’m still living with the horrible memory of that day,” Williams says softly.
Williams relates other homophobic killings, one that happened “just three weeks after Steve Harvey was murdered last year. A young man named Nokia Cowan was chased by an angry mob who said he was gay — the chased him into the harbor, where he drowned. And just this summer, in June, two lesbians, Candice Williams and Phoebe Myrie, were knifed to death, and their bodies were found dumped in a shallow septic pit behind a home they shared in Bull Bay.” A Jamaican newspaper said a “lesbian DVD” had been found near the bodies.
The police, says Williams, “never qualify the anti-gay violence and murders as hate crimes, they always find a way to say it was not gay-related. But there is no question that these crimes are motivated by homophobia. Often, as in the case of the two lesbians, even when the police have a suspect and know who did the killings, they don’t really push the investigations.”

“If a gay man is set upon and chased down the middle of a town, the people in the town are laughing and joining in, including everybody — young, old, both male and female, once a gay man is being beaten they bond together to do this. And if the person being assaulted goes to the police, they slam the door in their face, and the gay person is forced to look elsewhere for refuge.”
Incidents of anti-gay violence like this, Williams reports, “happen on a daily basis, but the police turn a blind eye to it. I’ve had police officers turning up at my house, calling me ‘battyman’ and saying that I’ll be murdered like Brian and Steve. In February, after a gay man was killed, there was a gang of police outside my house saying the same thing would happen to me.”
Williams and J-FLAG provide material care and support for victims of homophobic violence, help document their cases and take them through the hostile justice system. J-FLAG also organizes parties to help break the social isolation of gay people, but has to take extraordinary precautions to prevent these social gatherings from being attacked. “We usually have a once a week party,” Williams says, “but always in remote areas, and not under overtly gay auspices — they’re not publicized except by word of mouth. Some people are willing to take the risk of coming, because they are so desperate for social interaction. We have over 2,500 people with whom we have constant contact — and, we have a strong female community.”
Homosexuality is illegal in Jamaica, and the so-called sodomy laws carry a penalty of 10-15 years in prison. But, says Williams, “even though it’s hard to convict under these laws, just being hauled into court and humiliated is enough to destroy people’s lives. For example, earlier this year 2 young men were arrested and charged with ‘buggery.’ The judge set their bail at $100,000 each. The somewhat older man of the couple managed eventually to make bail, but he lost his job, had to move, and later died of a brain tumor that may have been brought on or aggravated by the beatings he received in prison. The younger of the two, an 18-year-old boy, spent three months in jail and was beaten every single day! [DUNCAN PLEASE ITAL every single day] Although we eventually got the case thrown out of court, the younger boy has been rejected by his family, has nowhere to live, and survives by going from place to place where he can get refuge for a night or two. The destruction from being dragged into court, even if there is no conviction, is as great as prison would be.”
J-FLAG, says Williams, “is in desperate need of funds. As it is, most of what we want to do to benefit the community we can’t do because we don’t have the money. Our needs are great.” Another urgent need is for expert help in modernizing, updating, and expanding the group’s website, “and gay-friendly computer experts are pretty scarce in Jamaica,” he adds with a laugh.
If you want to help J-FLAG, e-mail the organization at jflagoffice@gmail.com or admin@jflag.org. Financial contributions may be mailed to:
J-FLAG, P.O. Box 1152, Kingston 8, Jamaica, West Indies.

Bruce Golding Blasted for Homophobic Remarks

Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding is being blasted at home and in London for remarks he made about gays and lesbians during an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Golding condemned Britain and other Commonwealth countries for criticizing the treatment of gays in the Caribbean nation.
”Jamaica is not going to allow values to be imposed on it from outside,” he said during the interview. Golding is in London on an official visit to the UK.

Asked if he would ever appoint an openly gay person to his cabinet the Prime Minister bristled, saying “never”. Golding told the BBC that he has the right to make that decision and to form a Cabinet that represents the Jamaican people.
Golding has been a staunch supporter of maintaining Jamaica’s sodomy law.
Gay sex is illegal in Jamaica, punishable by ten years in jail, with the possibility of hard labor.
Jason McFarlane, a spokesman for Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), said Golding’s remarks were likely to incite more violence against gays in the country.
The situation for gays in the Caribbean nation has been of concern to other Commonwealth countries and international human rights groups for several years following a number of violent attacks.
Jamaica has been described as having the worst record of any country in the New World in its treatment of gays and lesbians.
One of the most recent attacks occurred on January 29 when a group of men approached a house where four males lived in the central Jamaican town of Mandeville, and demanded that they leave the community because they were gay, according to Jamaican human rights activists who spoke with the victims.
Later that evening, a mob returned and surrounded the house. The four men inside called the police when they saw the crowd gathering. The mob started to attack the house, shouting and throwing bottles.

Those in the house called police again and were told that the police were on the way. Approximately half an hour later, 15-20 men broke down the door and began beating and slashing the inhabitants.
Human Rights Watch, quoting local activists said that police did not arrive until a half hour after the mob had broken into the house – 90 minutes after the men first called for help.
One of the victims managed to flee with the mob pursuing. A Jamaican newspaper reported that blood was found at the mouth of a nearby pit, suggesting he had fallen inside or may have been killed nearby.
The police escorted the three other victims away from the scene; two of them were taken to the hospital. One of the men had his left ear severed, his arm broken in two places, and his spine reportedly damaged.
There have been no arrests.
The attack echoes another incident in the same town on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007 when approximately 100 men gathered outside a church where 150 people were attending the funeral of a gay man.

According to mourners, the crowd broke the windows with bottles and shouted, “We want no battyman [gay] funeral here. Leave or else we’re going to kill you. We don’t want no battyman buried here in Mandeville.”
Several mourners inside the church called the police to request protection. After half an hour, three police officers arrived.
Human Rights Watch said that instead of protecting the mourners, police socialized with the mob, laughing along at the situation.
A highway patrol car subsequently arrived, and one of the highway patrol officers reportedly told the churchgoers, “It’s full time this needs to happen. Enough of you guys.”
The highway patrol officers then drove off. The remaining officers at the scene refused to intervene when the mob threatened the mourners with sticks, stones, and batons as they tried to leave the service. Only when several gay men among the mourners took knives from their cars for self-defense did police reportedly take action by firing their guns into the air. Officers stopped gay men from leaving and searched their vehicles, but did not restrain or detain members of the mob, Human Rights Watch said.
More than 30 gay men are believed to have been murdered since 1997 J-FLAG says. In most of the cases the killers have never been brought to trial.
Arrests, however have been made in several cases which received international attention.
In 2004 Brian Williamson, Jamaica’s leading LGBT civil rights advocate was brutally murdered. He had been stabbed at least 70 times in the neck. A 25 year old man is currently serving a life sentence for the murder.

In December 2005 Lenford “Steve” Harvey who ran Jamaica AIDS Support for Life was killed.
Harvey was shot to death on the eve of World AIDS Day. (story) His organization provided support to gay men and sex workers. Four men were arrested almost a year later.
In 2006 the bodies of two women believed to have been in a lesbian relationship were found dumped in a septic pit behind a home they shared. The killers of Candice Williams and Phoebe Myrie have not been caught.
Students at University of the West Indies in Kingston rioted last year as police attempted to protect a gay student and escort him from the campus. The incident began when the student was chased across the campus by another student who claimed the gay man had attempted to proposition him in a washroom.
The same year a young man plunged to his death off a pier in Kingston after reportedly being chased through the streets by a mob yelling homophobic epithets.
In February, 2007 three men in “tight jeans” and wearing what some witnesses described as makeup were cornered by a mob of 2000 in a drugstore. There were yells of “kill them” along with gay slurs and demands the three be sent out “to face justice”. Police had to fire teargas into the crowd to rescue the three.
Reggae, or Jamaican dancehall music, is blamed for fueling homophobia. Reggae star BujuBanton’s hit song Boom Boom Bye Bye which threatens gay men with a “gunshot in ah head”.

For Other stories go to: http://www.365gay.com/

Example of a Homophobic Incident

this young male was chased from his neighbourhood of his birth and then later to be attacked on the streets of New Kingston (Jamaica’s Premiere Business district) by a group of bike riding thugs.
The police were not helpful when he tried to make a report at the station.

Testimonial – Police Harassment of MSM Support Group Members

Police Harassment of MSM Support Group Members

Documented by Robert Carr, PhD, DipSW, MSW

In September of 2001, a group of 12 members of Jamaica AIDS Support’s Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Community (GLABCOM) intervention had just left a safer sex and behaviour change support meeting at about 10pm. As they headed home from the meeting on foot, the group noticed a police car drive past them, stop, turn around, and drive past them again and stop. Three policemen got out of the car. About half of the group became suspicious of the policemen’s behaviour and turned back to walk another way. One of the policemen then addressed the remaining six members of the group and commanded them to approach him with the phrase “Battyman, come here.” [Editor’s note: Battyman is a derogatory term for a male homosexual; who engages in anal intercourse.]
Some of the men stopped; one member walked on. When this member heard the policeman demand to be told where the group was coming from, and realised that his peers were paralysed with fear, decided to rejoin the group and try to provide some leadership to the group in handling the situation. The men responded to the policeman that they were coming from a meeting. One of the policemen then asked “A which meeting oonu battyman a come from?” The men did not respond out of fear of bringing reprisals and harassment on the GLABCOM meeting.
One of the policemen then told them that none of them were to move because they were all going to jail that night. While he was saying that, one member asked him ‘what for,’ and the policeman responded that they had broken the law already, and there was no need to explain it, while another one was on his radio calling for backup saying that there was a situation on that road and they needed a van. One of the policemen pointed at one of the guys and said that he knew him and that he was always on the street and asked him then and there if he was “a battyman.” The member did not respond. The policeman then asked him for his name; the member gave him a false name. The policeman then responded that he knew that was not his name. The member who had come back to help the situation interjected and argued that the policeman was not in a position to tell the young man he was lying as the policeman did not know his name. The policeman responded by trying to intimidate him into silence in order to prevent him from continuing to intervene in defence of the group members’ rights.
He then said he wanted to talk to the members of the group individually. They started doing this and so the group lost contact with what was being said and asked of whom. Then the member of the group who had turned back to lead the fight for the group’s rights asked if he could make a call to the organisation that had held the meeting to straighten the matter out. The phone booth was clearly visible from where the policemen and the group were. The policeman asked if the member was planning to call more “battymen” because if that was the case they would simply arrest everyone.
The lead member of the group then called Jamaica AIDS Support collect and contacted the then Director of Targeted Interventions, Mr. Michael Johnson. Mr. Johnson came to the scene. One policeman looked at him and announced “a di battyman leader dat.” Mr. Johnson asked the policemen what was the situation because he had gotten a call to say that the police were harassing the group. One of the officers said he was not to use the word “harass” because they were only doing their job. Mr. Johnson again asked what was happening. The policeman then said he recognised Mr. Johnson from his other job at a bank. Mr. Johnson confirmed that he did work at a bank.
The policeman then began referring to Mr. Johnson as “sir,” and offered to take him aside and explain what was happening. He told Mr. Johnson the group was “loitering” and pointed to one particularly effeminate member and said that what he thought that member was doing he thought the whole group was doing and that he cannot support “man with man because God never mek man with man.” He said the only reason he was not arresting the group was because they knew Mr. Johnson. The policeman told Mr. Johnson that what Mr. Johnson needed to do was to talk to the group about being gay, and the fact that being gay is wrong and against the law, and that the next time they were not going to give them a break. Their last comment was to point to the effeminate group member they had singled out and say that they had marked him as the ringleader and a marker of homosexual activities and so anyone he was with they would know was a homosexual and so liable for arrest.