Gregory who lived alone near a series of other tenements nearby (mostly captured or squatted properties) got involved in a near three month feud with another man over a simple decision he (Greg) made not to purchase items the man was trying to sell; the man is suspected by many of stealing the items elsewhere then taking them to get rid of them via rapid sales at cheaper prices. Gregory was approached to supposedly patronise the effort to which he disagreed as he said he was broke (to which the man tried to force a credit line or ‘trust’ and pay later) and that Greg also suspected the items such as shoes and such were stolen goods or goods gained via extortion in the market district in leu of non cash payments.
The man was furious effectively lambasting Greg as a traitor as he was not supporting the effort and also labeling Greg as a ‘’battyman” not only as a way to embarrass him publicly; a tool used by arguing men but he also really accused Greg as having no woman as his partner and that other persons in the area were whispering the same perception as a rumour. Apparently Greg’s refusal is also seen as him being a possible ‘informer’ or ‘informant’ for wrong doing, a label that make life a living hell or death threats by accusers to such persons in a ghetto scenario. Things got physical in February of this year when the same man and another visited Greg in an attempt to get him to buy items they were selling and to which Greg refused yet still; that was when the men got violent and claimed he was a ‘fish’ yet again and he had to “leave the place” and other threatening language.
A fight occurred but thankfully Greg who was described to me as physically agile was able to defend himself but he did not take kindly to the exchange lightly after which he effectively went missing. It turns out he was slowly removing his personal items but by night to another location he claimed he identified to live in; but he made no contact with anyone and also carried out his occasional vending business haphazardly so as to avoid the men in case they launched some search of some kind after not seeing him around as before.
It was after some time that concerns were raised and an alarm by a home based restaurant based operator who expressed her curiosity for Greg’s whereabouts as he would normally patronise her establishment for breakfast mostly or lunch and or dinner purchases occasionally. Word spread across the community and the abandoned one bedroom board house but found nothing much to bear; the flat has since been occupied by a friend of the restaurant operator who managed to get the remaining larger items to Greg afterwards.
Greg resurfaced in more ways than one via his friend who had called the GLBTQ Jamaica hotline in April as listed on the blog and since that Greg has opened a Facebook profile as he never had one before. He has been crashing with that friend as he figures our whether the new location he had identified and mentioned above. This one had a positive outcome and at least we did not end up with Greg missing indefinitely or worse yet, dead!
It is important though that friends or relatives if possible be made aware of our surroundings so just in case reports, searches or just be secure in the knowledge of where people are so as to avoid worry or panic thinking persons are missing. An attempt has been made to enroll Greg into the MSM series of workshops ongoing with GLBTQ Jamaica’s involvement and is slated to end in September of this year and includes an educational grant to include basic transportation costs for successful applicants who identify skills training or subjects tenable at reputable schools. He sounds interested and I guess with some encouragement he can come onboard.
Peace & tolerance