16 December 2005

Full text of retort (See below)

I agree that a homophobic killing is not always clear cut, especially living in a country like Jamaica. Jamaicans generally already have a glaring disrespect, mistrust and disregard for each other and would seek to minimise, eliminate even, any one group who would be seeking what they may perceive as "special" or "more" rights and privileges, be it defined by class, economics or sexual orientation.

I personally have no clear evidence other than hear say as to the real reasons Steve Harvey was taken away and killed. I can't answer why Brian Williamson was stabbed so many times. Frankly the way we in Jamaica kill and who we kill ( children, grandmas, pregnant women) again, doesn't make them special in how they were murdered and maybe not even why. We are a people who are generally self-loathing, suppressed, who already feel limited by economics, shadism etc - you just have to drive around and observe and speak to people - you just have to listen to the news. We're not a nation with a healthy psyche right now babe.

We don't even flinch anymore when we hear a dead woman was dug out of her grave, cut up and left in the sun to dry. We are not surprised anymore when we see pictures of children with bullet wounds to the head, back and arms. That's the context in which we live and here we are gays and lesbians asking for acceptance, tolerance and certain legal rights to be extended to us. That's like expecting a self-hating, man or woman beating lover to have the ability to love you, when they don't even love themselves.

And God knows it is a misconception that lesbians middleclass or not, have a "rarified space to socialise" seemingly making us more safe than the guys. You've got to be kidding me. You need to meet more lesbians and get to know them. Yes the hatred against gay men is more amplified and media played than that for lesbians, and I believe that is partly based on the perception that a woman is generally weak anyway and in only need of a strong man and a good f*ck to set her straight.

The kind of backlash against lesbians outside of the many unreported rapes, beatings, psychological trauma at the hands of mothers, relatives, and so called friends tend to be more covert - like being fired as I was a couple of years ago because they found out I was gay and thought I was trying to gayify the project I was working on. And I could tell you many stories and line you up with a truckload of lesbians with theirs.

I have to add too that, we all know that middle class gay men also have somewhat of a rarified safe space in this country - why because Jamaica in general tends to insulate, protect people of status, academia, artistic excellence and wealth - especially if they don't go below the Half Way Tree clock as we would say. And we all could name at least 5.

So no Philip, I ain't glib about a thing. I too want the repeal of the sodomy laws and any discriminatory ones too. But I'd rather the political agendas be based on fact (steve Harvey was shot) that fiction (Steve Harvey was found with his throat cut). I'd rather it be fought not only with the focus on the struggle(the laws that don't protect us, the societal machinery that doesn't support us) but also with stories of our successes ( the men and women living well, loving long, partying hard, things being done). Political activism is not only about people within organizations doing what they do best, but also about the many others outside of the organizations who have chosen to live and love regardless.

And I'd like to answer that question - who murdered Steve Harvey? That's easy. Jamaica killed Steve Harvey. Gay, bisexual and straight Jamaica. Hypocritical and sexually oppressed Jamaica. The most churches per square mile in the world Jamaica. The most bars per square mile in the Caribbean Jamaica. The murder capital of the west Jamaica. The fifty percent of all murders go unsolved Jamaica. That's who and what killed Steve Harvey.


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