I love you! Those are three powerful, provocative, delight and disruptive words; words a yard man loves to tell to his woman or his mother or his children; when they are children. But if I as a man say those words publicly to another man in Jamaica, some people get very uncomfortable. Why?
I told a brethren I loved him recently and overheard a man standing some distance away declare not too softly 'a wha kinda man dat a tell man say him love man? mi nuh trust dem man deh yu know? Mi a bad man and mi nuh love man, and mi nuh love nuh man who love man'.
How come women can verbally and physically love each other and men somehow aren't allowed to?
Women can call their girlfriends 'girlfriends' and tell them that they love them without their femininity or sexual orientation being brought into question, but for men it's a different situation.
As a man, you can say you rate a man or you respect a man, but somehow the rules of street talk and dancehall-speak don't allow a man express love for another man. Nuh care how yu waan fi qualify it, some not too bright people who're probably living in a knowledge vacuum tend to get 'dark and ignorant' when a man say him love another man. Even when it's clear that when you say you love this man you're talking about the attachment and affection you feel for the person who's your son or brother or father or friend, some of our Jamaican people just don't want to hear a man verbalising love for another man.
Well mi nuh care who want misconstrue my words. This is upfront talking so I sorry fi anybody who take it the wrong way. There are some men who I love, yeah man, and mi nuh fraid fi speak it to them and to the universe. I love my women; mother, spouse, sisters, sister-friends, etc. But I also have many men who have and continue to play important roles in my life. And mi love dem; so a wha? Mi love my bredda dem and me love my old man (who's really a younger hotter man than me) and I love my sons. I also love my man-friend dem.
I'm spending the next few days with two of the men that I love most in the world, my brothers Aston and Ian, and I'm having the time of my life. We enjoy each other's company so much, that it's not uncommon for anyone of us to hug another and say 'I love you, man!' we usually laugh and remind ourselves that if certain bad man pon certain ends witness such expressions of affection, they may chant lyrical fire pon dat and even threaten gunshot.
The sad irony is that plenty of the bad man dem, like the one to whom I referred earlier are hypocrites who publicly parade machismo, declare intolerance for the expression brotherly love between men, while they privately practise 'otherly' love to each other, like the three of them who we read 'bout in the Monday edition of the STAR!
I'm spending the next few days with two of the men that I love most in the world, my brothers Aston and Ian, and I'm having the time of my life.