Jamaica is such a Beautiful Place
“It’s mostly known for its soulful music, sandy beaches, and it’s clear skies; who wouldn’t want to live there? People believe that Jamaica is one big beach, and everyone lives near it. In reality, its not. Jamaica seems to be a dream destination for many, but if you are openly gay, this may not be the place for you. No one knows what it’s like to be gay and live in jamaica. On several occasions, i’ve witnessed the harsh treatment of this group of people. They are treated like trash, and like they are worth nothing . People living in gullys (sewages) and children being kicked out their home for liking the same sex. This is the reality for people of the LGBTQ commnity in Jamaica. As much as I love my land, something must give. Unfortunately, laws from the colonial era are still in place, making life difficult for LGBTQ Jamaicans.
Life can be full of daily struggles and disappointment for the people of the LGBTQ community; especially while living in Jamaica. Jamaica has a bad reputation for homophobia, and is known for its high level of violent crimes directed toward people of the LGBTQ community. This small island on the Caribbean has become notorious not only for its anti-gay laws, but for all the murders that its homophobia has brought. In many magazines and catalogs, Jamaica has been described by some human rights groups as the most homophobic country in the world because of this. After all these years, the same question remains; how are people of the LGBTQ community affected by Jamaica’s homophobic ways; both now and in the colonial period?
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There has been many different factors contributing to the hatred toward the LGBTQ community in Jamaica; politically, economically and,socially. People are only aware of the intense homophobia in Jamaica through the media and documentaries, but people don’t look at this history surrounding it. Homophobia in Jamaica didn’t just happen overnight; it was developed over time, by the media and their former rulers. Technically, it’s not illegal to be gay in Jamaica. However, the laws against the Offences Against The Person Act (1861), bans any kind of same-sex sexual activity or physical intimacy between men. Section 61, titled “Unnatural Offences”; being any sexual act other than normal intercourse. Under this act and the Buggery Act of 1533, the punishment was the death penalty or life in prison (Electronic Irish Statute Book). Since Jamaica won its independence in 1962 from England, they haven’t taken the appropriate steps to respect and ensure the rights of individuals to equality and non-discrimination regardless of their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.
While British law had previously been a negative influence on LGBT rights in the colonies, it seems that the laws has been dampened and reversed over time. Until this day, no laws have been repealed to protect this group of people.”