I’m In

The Taboo Yardies Documentary

I recently saw a film by Selena Blake documenting the raping and murdering of same gender loving people in Jamaica, and how the police actually help promote this type terrorism. But the violence goes even further than that/gets deeper than that. Parents are known to abandon their children once they find out they were bullied or violated to avoid talk from the community. Neighbors report to police who they even think might be homosexual to stay on the 'right' list and island officials add to the terrorism by equating same gender love with incest and bestiality. There’re homosexuals themselves who beat up and burn their own, so that their communities don't target them. As difficult as it was to hear testimonies from lesbians who were gang raped by male thugs whose intention is to ‘fix’ these women, as in 'corrective raping', and seeing the scars on their arms from self-inflicted knife wounds as their way of dealing with trauma unresolved; as painful as it was to watch scenes of young and older males being slashed by machetes and burned to death by other Black people simply for being a sexual minority, it was important for me to watch the damn thing and learn.

I found out that Uganda and Jamaica have a lot in common; that the common culprit behind these atrocities is Church indoctrination and the fact that Jamaica didn't get off England's titties until 1962 which answered my question on why this island and not Haiti? Not that my mother's homeland waves rainbow flags like American boys sag their pants. But we don't burn our brothers' and sisters' homes for being themselves. Matterfact, many of our Vodun priests are considered two spirits. We say 'two spirits'. You say bisexual. Most Carib islands have strong anti-SGL sentiments where it's still illegal for a man to love a man and a woman to love a woman, with the exception of St. Lucia where they will arrest you for being a gay man but not a lesbian. It's that type of double dealing that leads to undercover male behavior. It's also a reflection of heterosexism at its best.

...lesbians who were gang raped by male thugs whose intention is to ‘fix’ these women, as in 'corrective raping',...

I also learned that White SGL tourists can go about their business freely as long as they avoid Jamaican ghettoes and that many of them own fancy getaway homes there where they're immune to the terrorism regular Black folk have to deal with on a daily basis. Plus, Jamaica's Black well-to-do SGL's have enough money to look away and not help the ones who can't afford escaping ghetto life and ghetto mindset. And what's ghetto mindset? If you watch it from this perspective, you too will learn that after religious brainwashing, violence is at the root of insanity in Jamaica's poorest hoods. One brethren in the film said if two men get into a car accident, it's a cause for an all out fight with folk circling around them to see who'll win. But I've seen that ish in Cambria Heights and on Utica Ave. I've seen us go for one another's throats on subway trains just 'cause someone brushed by another and then all hell breaks loose which is not necessarily Jamaican, but for some reason distinctively us-- Black folk.

A reminder of when things turned wrong for us in our experience as a people in these Americas helps us understand how terrorism towards us by European and Euro-American hands for so many centuries taught us how to do the same to one another. And the less informed we are, the more likely we perpetuate this legacy of violence, which brings us back to Haiti or rather, Ayiti. We were and continue to be punished for having the audacity to reject the white in the red, white and blue. Hence, our rainbow flag-- the red and blue. Are we starving? Of course. But we'd rather starve than go back to the tittie. Even today, the colonialists are threatening to stop sending monies to us that they originally stole from us for wanting to set up our own elections.

The chaos you hear about and see is mainly in the capital, but they won't tell you that the rest of Ayiti is prosperous and beautiful. Folk in Port-au-Prince burn trees to sell charcoal for cooking. And those horrible stories of women being raped and boys selling their bodies in order to eat are real. But that's not our culture nor our national sport. That's just what happens all over the world where impoverished folk do whatever they have to do to make it. Jamaica's having an identity crisis right now only because there're folk there who want the harassing and killing of homosexuals to be their country's cultural pastime and national sport. If not, every Jamaican you know would be outraged. And some are, but only once they land on foreign soil.

But there's even more to this and the film director exposes it. "Let's talk about it", she says. "Let's have an honest conversation about homosexuality." Because at the core of her film is our hatred for effeminate men and boys. Because you can be a masculine dude who's into other dudes as long as you keep it to yourself. You can be married, have children, attend church and do that thing you do on the side, and it's all good. Just don't let us find out. And if we already suspect, don't mention it. So how does an effeminate bruh push his girly down and up his macho, especially if it means his life? For that matter, how does a transgender even survive in the heart of wickedness, whether it's Jamaica, Uganda or right here in da hood? I don't know about you, but I think it takes big cohones for a dude to walk in a neighborhood not made for his kind with heels and lipstick, head held up high and a box cutter under his wig. Now, that's gangsta!

If I sound like the film had a personal effect on me, it's because it did. I'm guilty of judging ‘the girls’ too and I can't let my readers confuse my being private with being ashamed. THIS ISH IS WRONG ON A PURE HUMAN LEVEL and I'm sharing this with you to help this sista' put the word out. I also wanted my next youth support book to have more depth and I found it in the dark with my notepad and pen scribbling as much sense I could when one writes in the dark. Every book I've written so far is strictly from an observer's perspective. Can't do that this time around. I'm in. And I think by me being in and not just of it will give my book more meaning. Might piss off some folk, but that's what happens when you tell the truth.