Sad to hear of this.
Who knew that the day of April 12, 2016 approximately 2am will not be the same for one of the oldest queens in the business, the legendary ‘U-Girl’ who was in the hospital with gunshot wounds to the right side and back she sustained after an encounter with man aboard a car. We never expected to hear she would be dead as she made her transition on early Monday morning at the Kingston Public Hospital, KPH, especially after the good spirits she was in when persons spoke to her on Saturday night after surgery days prior while recovering.
A leggy drag diva who like many other girls (gurlz) had to turn it sometimes by pounding the pavement as educational opportunities were not there and every now and again displacement challenges forced her to try her hand at anything, including a short lived vending business; a story that can be told for so many of the other near forty displaced, homeless or unemployable friends who are forced to eek out an edgy existence including commercial sex work. She was a true survivor; U-Girl was on the streets in the business district on the time in question where she hung out for years from the days of the now closed Club Entourage formerly on Haughton Avenue operated by the late Brian Williamson, the risks with that are well known, a car with an alleged doctor on board and who allegedly had threatened some time before to shoot persons up after another queen was alleged to have stolen a phone from him; something went amiss and shots were heard sending the other persons gathered to scamper for refuge, it is not quite clear what was the subject of the short exchange as the others were said to be away from the car and Miss U-Girl was closer to the vehicle apparently in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The challenges from within and externally towards commercial sex workers (male and female), homeless msm/transgender and their friends are numerous and I have lost count. With the recent relocation of some of the persons to the old lands of the demolished Millsborough Avenue mansion and reliance on pounding the pavement in New Kingston has had and is still having clashes in the business district; since the shooting unconfirmed strange events have been happening such as men asking for certain personalities from the group which have myself and others wondering what is this that seems to be festering?
Close friends here and abroad are worried whether the population members can return to certain parts of New Kingston but the actions of some of the group or other persons who are miscreants, commit atrocities but the homeless guys are the ones who get the blame every time which also makes this prickly for the populations day or night. Apart from a few involved in some snack selling most if not all of them are involved in some kind of commercial sex work which makes matters worse both from a police standpoint who are forced to carry out patrols, detentions and arrests (too numerous to be listed here). A clash with men allegedly coming from a party nearby at Club Escape (yet again) a week ago proves that the business/entertainment district is heating up again while persons are said to be using the previously occupied Shoemaker Gully as a sex spot as they have no where else to go for an easy engagement with clients. What is also still disturbing to some but not surprising to me as to the push to keep the incident under raps where allegedly persons have been told not to raise the matter, however persons have ignored such calls and have been loud on the passing of their friend.
It is not the first time there have been shootings, near misses, rescues by good Samaritans (prior to the negative press over the years that has seen sympathy or support wither away) but the populations simply wonder all around.
U-Girl was a former multiple entrant in the possibly now defunct dancehall queen hosted by another legend Macey Antibellum Grey and she placed third and as a runner up in previous competitions. She was also known for her ability to walk in very high pumps long before red bottoms became fashionable and her wigs would fall behind her back similarly to former Shalamar’s lead “Real Love” singer Jody Watley which is what I think made her name or be tagged as U-Girl in her drag aesthetic as lanky model looking lanky type.
Also the Red Rat old dancehall “Hey U Girl” (inna de tight up skirt) anthemic hit which I regularly included in my playlists when I was one of the resident DJ at Entourage was a favourite of hers; she also performed to that song and others at parties such as the annual back to school events; she would wear very short skirts with stockings or knee high bobby socks and a small girl knapsack on her back adding to the look of a school girl/grown woman combo with her trademark dark eyed makeup. Hence the name ‘U-Girl’ got stuck.
She also would have a twirl to some queen tracks I spun although she was more a dancehall fan and was a fixture from the days of Club Entourage that also operated in New Kingston long before the homeless issues spiraled out of control and was a challenge then in the mid to late nineties; Uncle Brian Williamson had major headaches clearing the gates on Haughton Avenue especially on Friday nights and Saturday mornings after the club ended as the populations gathered and dished before dispersing after some pressure to leave. She also participated in the short lived interventions by persons like the late Howard Daly who tried a more artsy driven personality development sessions but those came to an end as other alternatives came by way of some of the participants, so some interest waned.
Rest in peace sister.
It was only a couple days ago another report of the challenges that can come with commercial sex work or exposed populations; a dissatisfied customer reacted violently to a male commercial sex worker in Montego Bay; even as discussions abound on making a sort of red light district in Negril as evidenced on Power 106FM on Thursday April 14 in a series of interviews by Cliff Hughes host on his ‘Online’ talkshow live from Negril on the day in question.
Sadly similarly to previous matters they do not get the investigative attention they deserve pursuant to getting closure and better yet the truth and justice.
Peace & tolerance