July 23, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Jamaican LGBT advocates condemn murder of cross-dressing teenager
Montigo Bay, Jamaica, gay news, Washington Blade

A street in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Photo by D. Ramey Logan via Wikimedia Commons)

Jamaican LGBT rights advocates have expressed outrage over the reported murder of a cross-dressing teenager near the resort city of Montego Bay.

The radio station Irie FM reported the 17-year-old was dancing with a man at a party on July 21 while dressed as a woman when someone realized the teen was cross-dressing. A second man reportedly discovered the teenager was actually male.

Irie FM said a group of party-goers stabbed the 17-year-old to death either late on July 21 or early Monday morning before dumping the teen’s body in bushes on the side of a road.

The Jamaica-Gleaner reported earlier today that police officers found the teen, whom they identified as Dwayne Jones, with what it described as “multiple stab wounds and a gunshot wound.”

“We send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the teenager who was slain,” the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG,) a Jamaican LGBT rights group, said in a statement it issued on Tuesday. “We call for a thorough investigation into the murder of the teenager in Montego Bay and hope that the family and loved ones of the slained teen will find the justice they deserve.”

Jones’ murder comes against the backdrop of pervasive anti-LGBT violence in the Caribbean nation.

A J-FLAG report said the organization knows of at least 30 gay men who have been murdered in Jamaica between 1997 and 2004.

A man stabbed J-FLAG co-founder Brian Williamson to death inside his home in Kingston, the country’s capital in 2004. Former J-FLAG executive director Gareth Henry sought asylum in Canada in 2008 after he received death threats.

Authorities found honorary British consul John Terry strangled to death inside his home near Montego Bay in 2009. They found a note left next to his body that referred to him as “batty boy,” a derogatory term used against gay men in Jamaica.

Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican lawyer with the group AIDS-Free World who fled his homeland in 2012 after he received death threats after local media reported he had married a Canadian man, told the Washington Blade from his home in upstate New York that there have been nine reported anti-gay murders on the island so far this year. He added there has been a 400 percent increase in the number of reported attacks against LGBT Jamaicans since 2009.

Tomlinson said this spike in the number of reported incidents could be the result of the work advocates have done to document human rights abuses against LGBT Jamaicans.

The Jamaica Supreme Court last month heard a lawsuit that challenges the island’s anti-sodomy law under which those who are convicted face up to 10 years in prison with hard labor.

“The rhetoric is getting much more toxic,” Tomlinson said, noting brutal attacks against gay Jamaicans has become more common. He said they are no longer confined to just Kingston and a handful of other areas. “We’re not sure if the increase in attacks is a function of that or the reporting.”

The State Department, Amnesty International and other groups have criticized the Jamaican government for not doing enough to curb anti-LGBT violence in the country.

AIDS-Free world has challenged Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in D.C. It has also asked the group that is housed within the Organization for American States to formally respond to the ongoing persecution that homeless men who have sex with men and other vulnerable groups of gay Jamaicans face.

Tomlinson’s group also plans to ask the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to formally condemn discrimination and violence against LGBT Jamaicans.

The Organization of American States, of which Jamaica is a member, last month adopted an anti-discrimination resolution that includes sexual orientation and gender identity and expression during its annual meeting that took place in Guatemala. Jamaica declined to accept the protocol’s LGBT-specific recommendations.

Tomlinson, who appeared on the National Public Radio program “Tell Me More” with Michel Martin on Monday to discuss the documentary “The Abominable Crime” that examines anti-LGBT violence in Jamaica, told the Blade the government has been “absolutely silent” on the issue.

Former J-FLAG staffer Nico Tyndale’s cousin was murdered in Jamaica earlier this year because his assailants thought he was gay.

Tyndale told the Blade earlier on Tuesday that many people continue argue the country is not homophobic – and gay Jamaicans are actually “the ones killing ourselves.”

“We can’t even be who we are,” Tyndale said. “Being who we are only leads to a mob and a slaughter.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

33 Comments
  • Brian Oliver Mclaren

    yes we Do Not like gays homos ..they r disgusting and will be taken out if the fontinue to be forthfoming and brazen with their stupid cross dressiny..keep it in your bedroom..nasty..

    • you are a sad excuse for a human being. you should be ashamed of being so full of hate for your fellow man. the worst thing is you probably call yourself a Christian. Why are the most homophobic countries also the poorest and most religious?

  • I love that idiots like @brianolivermclaren condem themselves do such stupidity

  • Steven Kyle Weller

    I'm opposed to murder!

  • In Jamaica, contrary to what outsiders believe we do not go around beating gays. However when they force their beliefs and in this case behaviours on normal people this sort of thing can happen out of anger.

  • Gays are some of the most violent and jealous people, in Jamaica when you hear of a gay persons death it is, more often than not at the hands of their own love interests. Gays have been parading around in Jamaica brazenly portraying their behaviour which is unacceptable. I do not want to have to explain to my daughter or son why those men or women are behaving in an un-natural way. If you are gay keep it to yourself. All these 'rights' that gays love to talk about aren't rights at all they want to be made exceptions and be allowed to do things no other regular citizen can do. If you say or do anything to offend a gay they're all over it like white on rice, as if they are untouchable. The invasion of these unatural behaviours and tendencies may be ok in other parts of the world but not here in Jamaica where we still belive in the BIBLE.

  • FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING SAVAGE!

  • C'mon, who's the REAL savage here ? ^^^^ be honest.

  • you are biased and incorrect on all levels. Educate yourself you Bigot!

  • Sheldon, they can call Jamaicans ALL they want to, that won't change facts. These people don't want rights, they want CONTROL!! They want to intimidate Jamaicans into homosexuality. Threatening that they won't visit, spend money etc…Tourism is the BIGGEST contributor to the madness in Jamaica right now. They all leave the shores of the usa, europe, canada etc. to come down and take advantage of the poor youths. Don't even take the idiotic comments seriously. They want to come into OUR house and tell us how to live. The gays in Jamaica just want to challenge all citizens of Jamaica. Can we tell England, usa what laws to pass or how to behave? So why do they FEEL they have the power to tell us what to do? The bottom-line is that Jamaica is small and have a high rate of poverty, so they figure it's easy to control our state of mind and our country without any rebuttals. No one kills gays in Jamaica more than Gays!! Since i was a teenager they were allowed to roam the streets freely. If anything the citizens of Jamaica NEED to hold the government responsible for NOT abiding by the law of the land, they have ignored the buggery law for too long, hence the current problem.Why are we even having discussions about whether homosexuality is right or wrong? Do we challenge the other laws of our country? Should a hungry man be sent to prison for 20 years for stealing food? Can you live without sex? YES! can you live without food? No! A hungry poverty stricken man in Jamaica has NO human rights!! "not that he should have the right to steal, but he should have the right to food, which the government don't even care about"…This should be our concern, not to waste time determining who is transgender, bi , homo, blah blah, all those terms were created just to confuse the mind of those they are trying to deceive into accepting the lifestyle. This man violated the laws on the books, violated biblical laws for those who are Christians…AND molested a party-goer. If he wasn't dead, he should be given time in Jail. Portia Simpson is a disgrace to women and family, to be supporting such madness. However, she's doing it for status and for forming ties. Notice all the honorary degrees she's been receiving from the usa ever since she told the people of Jamaica "Gay is the new way forward"…

  • this is horrible!, Jamaica is a very homophobic christian country. I knew a man from Kingston, Jamaica from a school club on campus that promoted cultural diversity and he would act very uncomfortable when he was around me because he found out I was gay! I'm like dude chill, I'm not interested in you, …Ya bastid, mon! *rastafarian accent*

  • I feel sorry for that child next to you since she will learn your stupid values and hypocrisy

  • Is that why you forsaken your father all these years? btw you do have a father you just never met him.

  • Is that why you forsaken your father all these years? btw you do have a father you just never met him.

  • Is that why you forsaken your father all these years? btw you do have a father you just never met him.

  • Like I said most gays are prone to violence – case in point Adam & Danny's name calling and persistent use of exclamation marks suggests emotional agitation. They are unable to argue their point with facts and have to resort to name calling. Adam had to resort to the use of profanity and Danny is on the brink.

    Well let me say it again – In JAMAICA wi nuh love man !!!!

  • Oh yes, we are very homophobic!!…luv my country Jamaica to di worl…No batty man!!!

  • All Americans should stop spending money in Jamaca.
    All the LGTB community should come to América. You are Welcome here…

  • I would care but Jamaica is such a poor third world country that it doesn’t surprise me that it’s residents have such uneducated and bigoted mentalities. Do you guys even have textbooks in school let alone a bible lol. The truth is , you guys aren’t Christian’s. You use Christianity as a defense to perpetuate hate. god is love. All you people who spend your lives spewing hate, see where you’ll end up in the after life! HELL!

  • By the way, homophobia is a made up word. You’re not scared. There’s no phobia involved. You’re just sheep, following an antiquated book written by man during archaic times, based on his own bigotry. Learn how to become free thinkers and maybe you will have a chance at succeeding in life!

  • Omar Anthony Davis

    Good points Sheldon…….

  • 'rastafarian accent' LOL, all Jamaicans speak both standard English as well as Jamaican Patois, Yeah maybe we do get uncomfortable around gays because you people are waaay out there on the other end of the spectrum – and i'm not talkin sexually, i'm talking behaviourally your personalities and characteristics are always super animated and exaggerated. That's what makes us uncomfortable – Jamaicans 101.

  • There are a lot of Jamaican trolls on this thread, wow!

  • Enjoy the view as history passes you by, bigot.

  • I love how you're excusing anti-gay hate violence. Your god would be so ashamed.

  • As I read the comments I reaffirm that it is not just Jamaica that has homophobia but the world. Homophobia is homophobia although culture and history sometimes make the manifestations of homophobic beliefs differ from place to place. I wish the young man Dwayne who lost his life had used better judgement since he should know the kind of environment he lives in. That is not to say it is right for it is wrong what they did to him. You have to be mentally disturbed to carry out an act like that. And mob behavior is very psychologically disturbing. Psychologists say 1% of any population is psychopathic or is a sociopath. Therefore in a population of the US that is 3,000,000 people. That is the population of some countries. Boycotting Jamaica may not be good either since we end up hurting people we do not intend to hurt. Not everyone there is homophobic. Boycotting may give us thousands of refugees on Florida's shore. We are already dealing with Cuba and Haiti for decades and the Dominicans who creep through Puerto Rico to enter the US. So boycotting may be good on the one hand and problematic on the other.

  • Would you feel the same way if your loved ones (son and daughter) turn out to be gay? Will you through them to the savages?

  • In a country where the murder rate stood at 1,087 in 2012 equalling to 21 Jamaicans per week, that is 3 Jamaicans murdered each day and this does not take into consideration the nearly 300 killed by the police, the killing of a cross dressing teen is not as significant as some people with their homosexual agenda would want to make it seem. Jamaica has a problem with crime. see it for what it is and not what your selfish minds want it to be. The mother of that teen is mourning a lost, yes, but so is 2 other mothers each day. Jamaica needs to fix the problem of its people having a blatant disregard for the lives of other human beings whether or not that human being is gay, straight, man, woman, young or old. This is not a problem of homophobia, it is just a murder rate much too high…

  • This is a third world, ignorant backwater of a country. They don’t respect human rights. Spend your tourism dollars elsewhere. Their economy will die on the vine. My heart goes out to those LGBTS who have to live in such a primitive, barbaric, and uncivilized culture. These people are subhuman, tragic wastes of skin, space, and oxygen. That is all.

  • They strike again:

    Two Homosexual Men Attacked and Mobbed in Jamaica on August 1, 2013:
    http://youtu.be/20uhlwaMo3w

  • dont understand y u american criticizing JAMAICA and look at wat u guys do to this guy >>>>>> Domonique Newburn < the were is the out rage leave us alone we dont want them there take all of them in your country.

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