This post comes on the strength of a report of a man and subsequent social media attention and debate in the long standing problematic Portmore St Catherine, though a middle class suburb the repeated instances of nosy neighbours, home invasions or something close to it and displaced impacted individuals. The man in his forties was known to have high traffic of lovers and one night stands which landed him in some trouble, so much so that the landlord served a notice to quit; prior to the notice’s expiration in March of this year the man was met with much anger by other men living nearby who after the departure of a man early one Sunday morning in Waterford, St Catherine, as he may have thought early departures or late night entries would help, some five men were up in arms hurling the usual anti homosexual sentiments, ‘battyman fi dead’ and so on and that he should leave the area as they were aware he was given notice. Apparently the mobbing was an attempt to pre-empt the document’s date.
A near similar matter occurred in Harbour View in August of last year but it was more two female neighbours on each side of the target who kept making snide remarks every now and again and so on, until the landlord was also told of the man’s supposed shenanigans; the landlord more forward –thinking-like was not perturbed by the rumour mongering and was said to have told the women as long as the man had no boys and was not disturbing the neighbourhood with noise and did not owe rent he was fine with his tenant, much to the annoyance of the nosy women; the man still lived at the house until sometime this year where he relocated. I am ambivalent on the competing issues, years gone by I would have been a little timid in terms of men coming to my home(s) for an overnighter with persons knowing or perceiving my sexual orientation; but the power I have in my threshold is as important as well. To supposedly curtail my visitors to please others who are going out of their way to pry into others’ affairs seems rather ridiculous though. So long as there is this deep seated homo-negativity we’ll have to put up with this continued nonsense although some slow sensibility is creeping in.
Class or mid to upscale residencies are not immune, my own experience in the late nineties to 2000s at Gore Terrace Flats told me that, despite the professional class of residents the prying was as fierce as a mid to lower income strata area, housing scheme or squatter settlement. The moment a car door closes, curtains move, shadows pass windows or home phones ring as the ‘village lawyer’ dishes who arrived and who they arrived with. Only to be surprised by the same blatant loud responses laced with homophobic themes and even threats. A townhouse drama at the centrally located seemingly quiet Ivy Green Mews is one such example, the police had to be called in some years ago to quell a matter simmering to become something way bigger; all because the male occupant was accused of having too much male traffic.
People should be free to move within the confines of their homes and in fact we are legally free to do so, even in a rented circumstances as the rent act I gather covers such areas of coveted space and so on; not even a landlord can enter your flat to evict one or seize items left inside without a court order and a bailiff, after having conducted an inventory of the items in lieu of monies owed. Some in the thread on Facebook discussing this particular case though young in years claim they are tired of living things down, I guess due to social media usage and exposure to lifestyles of others elsewhere persons have dreams of utopia but a recent transgender murder in New York which has been making the rounds seems to have sedated the fantasy that foreign is better or at least in certain parts.
Another case was referenced though unconfirmed that occurred in East Kingston in 2015 in the middle class seaside area of Duncaster, the short lived residency of a man came to an end as he was given an ultimatum by men who lived nearby, unemployed, ganja smoking and who were suspected as trouble makers in the community fingered in a series of house break ins. In a supposed attempt to project strength or bravado the men who have been occasionally uttering snide remarks and disguised threats made it known they want no ‘battyman’ near to them. So in a bid to avoid any further confrontation the man took evasive action and relocated. Then came a shocker in the same thread when a wakeup call to all concerned (and rightfully so) was shared in the form of a story of a successful asylum seeker for some four years was the subject of a homophobic attack in New York, that intervention brought a more sedated set of comments which mostly reflected that ‘foreign’ is not a bed or roses so leaving Jamaica may only help one only just; while others dismissed the incident as a one off matter which may be few and far in between. However the lovers’ traffic matter was reintroduced and some comments reflected that in NY one would be free to take home who they desire but such comments was denied profusely by other overseas Jamaicans who say one has to be careful in some parts just the same, suggesting all is not as pristine as we think.
In conclusion one has to be cautious in all things but probably more so with lovers and friends visiting versus privacy versus too inquisitive neighbours or others, and what that can lead to if one is not vigilant of their surroundings. Some would say for a peaceful life one should cower but life goes on and we cannot let others decide our socialization pattern(s); for others to take the time to stop what they are doing to see what you are doing is just amazing to me yet still.
Until next time, mi luv unu
Peace & tolerance