Gay cruiser suffers broken arm after tussle

As we continue to look at homophobic incidents covering the LGBT spectrum with particular interest in the active gay cruising communities this time a more masculine brother had an altercation some two weeks ago in downtown Kingston after he was accused of being a battyman by a group of thugs who wash cars on an open lot. The victim in this case is a known cruiser to the community and has been doing this kind of expression for some time, he is also personally known to me. My concerns became apparent recently when at a party where he attended his left arm was in a sling and was bandaged at some points with plaster of paris over the fingers. I inquired as to what had happened and he proceeded to explain.

I took his word for it and have no reason to doubt him, he said that one of the men had recalled an older altercation some years ago when a section of downtown in the west Kingston region was an active hunting ground for hook ups and partnered masturbation sessions for a quick release. He was apparently caught while trying to get the attention of a man who was urinating by a post just infront the active spot. The man who caught him at the time recognized him as he passed by raised an alarm at the time but he made good his escape the man turned out to be one of the washers who saw him and made the alarm as he walked passed them on that faithful afternoon around 2pm they launched their attack inflicting some blows but due to his physical built he was able to manoeuvre around them, being four men with one joining later in the struggle however it was when he was tripped he said that he landed on his arm with all the weight of his own body plus two others almost in a football/rugby typed tackle also landed on him that caused his arm to break, he said they inflicted blows then but he fought out of  it and rose again to take them on. It was an unsuspecting taxi driver who came by apparently to have his car washed that caused a distraction so he could move away slowly from the scene, the thugs pointed him out to the taxi driver as a battyman but in disbelief probably due to the masculine presentation of our victim here he didn’t buy the story and concluded it may have been something else. Thankfully it ended as it did and he says he won’t be taking the matter to the police when I asked him.

Maybe if it weren’t for the previous incident that long time ago this would not have happened I am assuming and he would have been assumed straight as our profiling standards and as was proven by the reaction of the taxi driver, another clear indication yet that effeminate behaviour in public by men is the main marker used to determine a gay person and subsequent phobic responses.

The active cruising community has been having serious fallouts as of late especially since the Tivoli Incursion and a section of town that was a long time pick up and make out spot I might dare say has been transformed into a parking lot and with the rolling out of the trains in recent months that section has also been physically changed leading to the men having to find other spots. It seems however there are psychological issues associated with these radical changes as their behaviour patterns seem to be causing some unneeded attention.

See this previous post: Lewd conduct Some Cruising Challenges ……….

Sadly this part of the MSM population that also includes homeless brothers and commercial sex workers does not get the scrutiny they deserve as there are no sustained outreach programs for them save and except if they are in trouble and call JFLAG they maybe get some assistance if it falls on the right ears or if some others like myself who understand the street in a small way other than that they are out in the cold. It was also some weeks ago than an exhibitionist was chased by a mob for openly masturbating in public (after a downpour) allegedly whilst staring at a man urinating at a light post in Kingston. Certainly we all want to get release of have our kicks but to go to such lengths to get them requires some more in-depth psychological analysis perhaps to help us understand the reasons for a need for outdoor sexual activity, this is in no way to suggest the men are mentally challenged or have any such issues.

Sadly too they do not probably get to read blogs such as this or access to online LGBT discourse as this hence highlighting them.

The discussion goes on.

Peace and tolerance

H

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Homeless MSM/CSWs in New Kingston rescued by taxi driver

In the early hours of August 7 around 2am the streets of Kingston were still alive as members of the public and patrons were still making their way home from the Independence Day Grand Gala celebrations at the National Stadium while other persons carried out their celebrations at popular night spots, clubs and bars in the business district and the hip strip. Many persons walked from the Stadium to central locations to find transportation to get home while others just gallivanted the time away until they were ready to disperse. Such was a group of men who were apparently walking to Half Way Tree but took the shortcut through New Kingston via the top end of the business district that of Trafalgar Road. The general area is already known to be a commercial nightspot for the would be individual seeking sexual favours from commercial sex workers mostly female but that night the men were in for a shock when they came across a group of cross dressers who were apparently openly soliciting business as the men passed.

They did not take kindly to this and proceeded to chase the cross dressed “ladies of the night” along an avenue where the kind taxi driver was reclined on his front seat after completing several trips earlier so he decided to rest a bit. According to the driver who my main source another taxi driver made contact with on my behalf, I managed to interview him where he said he saw the “ladies” first walking briskly with about five men in pursuit towards his parked vehicle at first he thought it was just friends idling or at worst sex deal going sour and the “ladies” were trying to leave but the walk soon became an all out chase with the men hurling small rocks at them and using the regular curse words at the “divas” who were both wearing tight fitted jeans and high heels with handbags. He started his engine as he wanted to avoid being in the way of any stones hitting his vehicle when he noticed the men stopped and huddled together, he said he realised that something else was about to go down so he beckoned to the “ladies” to enter quickly and they did, he then sped off taking them to the main Oxford Road where he allowed them to disembark. This assistance did not go down well with the men who had initially gave chase as while he was driving away he overheard them protesting bitterly that the taxis in the area were in support of battyman business.

I have since learnt that another set of cross dressers and other MSM who congregate at a spot nearby were also the subject of attempted abuses from passers-by. The taxi driver who I spoke to said the other drivers were discussing the issue over their short wave radios with some saying the men are to die and the usual homophobic rhetoric while others were pondering why are the men putting themselves in danger? He continued by saying that he gave them a stern warning while they exited the vehicle and that he wouldn’t do that again for them and they should find some other activity to occupy their time. The driver who is known to me explained that he has no problem with gay men overall but some of the guys are to open with it and that is why they get into problems “dem too much man, dem nuh noh seh a Jamaica dis? dem lucky seh mi did deh deh” (they are too open and flirt their actions in public, this is Jamaica and there are consequences) he said.
“Dem tank me yu see bossy” (they thanked me you see sir) he continued they fixed themselves on the back seat of the car en route in their escape and retouched their makeup. He started laughing when he saw them doing this, “dem a real oman to rass” he said laughing.
They took another cab some minutes after and he left for another location as he didn’t want the men to possibly turn up recognising his car since he hadn’t driven far from the original location of the chase.

Sadly this is another outcome as a consequence of the lack of proper interventions to steer gay men at risk from trouble and helping them to focus their energies into some other productive area. There is word of funds being raised by Sunshine Cathedral in Miami to build some shelter of sorts but it is not yet known when that will materialise. Among the group of men of course who gather at the various spots in and around Kingston are homeless MSM but it is hard to estimate how many are there now as they are now linking with other men who are allegedly involved in other illegal activities from which they obtain some financial rewards.

This is the third such typed incident on or just after Independence, last year a group of men were chased along Swallowfield Road as they walked passed a group of men who congregated at a wall. Apparently the mannerisms of the passers-by aroused suspicions that they were gay and stones were thrown at the men. They eventually made good their escape not before one of the men fell while he was running away and suffered several blows from his attackers. The year prior in 2008 there was a skirmish in Half Way Tree which died down quickly as police were already patrolling the area and stopped it.

Something has to be done seriously for this group within the LGBT community; there are just too many instances like this dotting our history without any meaningful alternatives or preventative measures. Other concerned persons and myself have tried to speak to those in the group we know personally but we realise that this is not nearly enough as there are other underlined issued that require professional interventions in my estimation.

Thankfully this driver was there and decided to assist normally this kind of action would have been unheard of or probably he would have joined in the throng and maimed the “ladies of the night”
UNCONFIRMED reports suggest that another incident involving a taxi driver of a certain association in New Kingston some weeks ago involving a motorist who was reportedly on a cell phone by a traffic light where the light had changed to green, the motorist apparently did not move upon the signal change and the taxi driver became boisterous, the motorist allegedly responded in a tone suggesting his car was expensive and bought by his man, the taximan did not take kindly to the remarks and allegedly pulled his firearm where the motorist was shot with eyewitnesses allegedly cheering on the shooter. I have since learnt that the motorist is alive but in critical condition and the taximan has since been questioned by the cops under the now defunct state of emergency, no further word since. As we say in Jamaica if it doesn’t go like that well it’s probably close.

It points out however that New Kingston is certainly becoming crime central with MSM suffering the brunt of attacks on the face of it. Just last Saturday an MSM showed me his arm where he says he was chased and hit by the infamous “biker boys” who frequent the hip strip as he accused of being gay after he was seen talking to another man who they suspect, obviously due to his masculine physique and attitude they didn’t take him on but he was threatened and told that if they see him again it’s going to be worse. The young man in question said he went to a certain lgbt group’s offices to ask for some money for transportation to relocate to another parish, his request was not entertained.

There are several reports of this biker boy group being involved in incidents with MSM in and around New Kingston, they had disappeared for a while following a crack down by the police following complaints from female patrons as well from the clubs they frequent and their abrasive behaviours but since the transfers of the tough cops and the removal of the state of emergency they seem to have resurfaced.

I will continue to try to encourage the guys to discontinue congregating on the thoroughfare where it is becoming too dangerous and to avoid these goons but who can’t hear will feel.

Peace and tolerance

H

Stigma and Discrimination with Jamaican Homosexuals

With special ongoing consultations taking place with various groups and organizations on stigma and discrimination from an HIV/AIDS standpoint many ideas and suggestions have been unearthed and are being looked at to address the issues involved. Such consultations are closed to the public so the contents and findings I am not at liberty to divulge.

In response however it would be good to have an ongoing conversation outside of those all important discussions and to see if there may be other ideas and experiences floating around that may have been left out of the closed meetings. Gays in Jamaica as the world knows are not new to stigma and discrimination usually presented as homophobic violence, ostracism, bias in the delivery of healthcare to persons suspected of being gay, murder and inciteful or hate music and internal community discrimination.

Here are some questions worth pondering:
1. How can we begin to tackle this scourge?
2. Do we need to have the cooperation of governmental arms and civil society?
3. How can we address the internal strife that sometimes beset the LGBT community?
4. Have you ever wondered if you were discriminating without realizing it?
5. Do you agree that specific norms should be adopted in our diverse LGBT communities to control the divisions present?
6. Have you ever been met with discrimination in the public or private health system?
7. Are you at liberty to share your experiences of stigma and discrimination in whatever forms they may have come?
8. Do you think enough is being done by the LGBT organizations, individuals and groups to tackle this problem?
9. What self efficacious activity are you willing to adopt to check yourself against exacting discriminatory actions and attitudes to others?
10. Do you know anyone who has been discriminated because of their HIV/AIDS status?
11. Do you know of any lesbian who has been discriminated?
12. Ever experienced discrimination from law enforcement representatives?

Please answer these publicly on the comments section or if you wish to be discreet send your responses to lgbtevent@gmail.com your answers won’t be published unless where expressed prior consent is granted and you can use an alias or pseudonym in your responses.
The information here will form part of my own study and review on this issue and it may be used as examples in forthcoming discussions on the matter with the relevant agencies involved.

In inter –community discrimination has been of concern to me for a long time as have yet to be tolerant of each other in as far as orientation, class and just basic respect for other human beings. We vilify each other, discriminate each other because of the two Jamaica demarcations that exist in mainstream society. Persons are judged by how they look (gym body in males and beauty and aesthetics in females vs fats as seen on many social network profiles loud messages screaming no fats people) what material possessions they have, where they live (uptown apartments and gated communities vs. ordinary housing) educational background etc.

Not that these do not exist in other societies and cultures but it seems very pronounced in our LGBT experience. We use labels and names to belittle and ascribe negative imagery to persons who we want to insult. Words burrowed from mainstream dancehall culture such as “sketel” which means loose female without any serious goal in life who is usually promiscuous. Effeminate men are shunned in most instances as well and the more metro sexual yet masculine man is the man of choice so as to avoid suspicion of homosexual accusations from onlookers.

All in all we have all these issues to contend with, how do we grow out of this friends?

Please respond.

Be vigilant tolerant out there folks.
Peace
H