Young and Gay: Jamaica’s Gully Queens (Full Length)


Jamaica is a homophobic society We grew up to dislike homosexuals. We grew up to hate homosexuality. Jamaica’s history of homophobia
is by no means a secret. With cultural and religious conservatism rife, being out and proud isn’t exactly an option. While some of the Jamaicans’ attitudes toward homosexuality are be slowly evolving, last year actually saw an increase in homophobic and transphobic violence. With attacks often taking place in broad daylight, and shared across social media. We traveled to the capital city of Kingston to explore the reality of being gay in a country known for its LGBT intolerance. Though homosexuality is technically not illegal here, the presence of Jamaica’s colonial era buggery law, which criminalizes anal sex, can land you a ten year prison sentence with hard labor. In central Kingston, there is now a community of trans and gay youth living in a storm drain or as the locals call it, a gully. Prominent LGBT activist Maurice Tomlinson offered to introduce us to the kids living in the gully at a protest he was organizing to raise awareness about their situation. – Have they adopted that term? – It’s always got “queen” in it somewhere (laughter) Unlike many LGBT people in Jamaica, the Gully Queens weren’t trying to blend in or hide their sexuality for fear of being attacked. They actually seem to be the most visible gay community, because they didn’t have a place to hide. And by stepping out of the gully in this protest, was in itself an obvious act of defiance. It hadn’t been five minutes, before officials came out to try and work out what we were doing. – But why are people having to live in the gully in the first place? – Well, I mean, I find that kind of hard to believe, because we’ve had them sort of just standing and sort of just here and we’ve had people driving past shouting “batty man” and everything like that. Regardless of your sexuality, you could be a criminal, that’s not what I’m saying, but one of the reasons they’re living in a sewer is that they feel like they can’t be visible because they’re gonna get attacked. – You don’t believe that? – What do you feel like you’ve achieved today? – Yeah. – (laughs) Unlike what many believed, it was always the gully kids weren’t there out of choice, living under an almost constant threat of random attacks. We wanted to figure out what Jamaica’s government were doing to protect its own LGBT youth. Prime minister Portia Simpson-Miller hit headlines in the run-up to the 2010 election by making controversial statements in favor of gay rights during her campaign. She also pledged to review the ancient buggery law, the first head of government ever to do so in Jamaica’s history. Simpson-Miller: No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. But already well into her third year in office, nothing more has been said or done, leaving Jamaica’s already voiceless LGBT community at odds against her. – Portia Simpson-Miller once said that she was going to review the buggery law. A lot of people are saying that she hasn’t done that. The buggery law, it seems to be, applicable mainly just to people who are gay. – Well it’s legal. Well I’m not saying that if the buggery law changed there would be anal sex in the streets, that’s not what I’m saying. (laughs) Then why can’t it be overturned? Some of the young LGBT kids, I feel that they’re living in the gullies because they have nowhere to go because finding work is almost impossible because of discrimination against them. – Yes, we’ve been spending time with them. After speaking with a PNP, it didn’t seem that the government thought that protecting its LGBT citizens was much of a priority, shifting the blame instead onto the parents. But if the buggery law was to be overturned, this position may be forced to change. Maurice Tomlinson had been driven out of Jamaica, following an onslaught of death threats, after his same sex marriage. He returned to Kingston to front a pre-trial to attempt to overturn the buggery law. I’m waiting for Maurice on our way to the Supreme Court to try and overturn the buggery law. There is a disconnect between the Rich Queens, like Maurice himself, and the kids living in the sewers. So what I want to know from Maurice is, what is overturning this law gonna do for the people living in those conditions, ’cause I don’t even see if overturning it’s gonna change their situation at all. – What’s the pre-trial entail? What are you sort of going up to the judge today to do? We were out in the gullies last night, they’re of the opinion of once they want the buggery law to be changed, they feel that if it is overturned it’s not gonna change their situation a lot. We’re waiting for Maurice, he’s inside, he’s fighting for LGBT Jamaicans The main opponents are the JCHS, the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society a powerful team of evangelical organizations fueled and powered by Jamaica’s overwhemingly Christian population With the pre-trial over, and no immediate resolution, Maurice headed to the airport, having to leave Jamaice once again for fear for his safety. Back at the gully, Daggering’s boyfriend Andre offered to show us what life is like living under the streets of Jamaica. So how many people are living here at the moment? This is where you cook stuff? – Do you all sleep together, like all…?
– No – So the water comes out these holes and comes down this thing here? So this water’s coming through, and there’s cockroaches and people are cooking Do a lot of people get sick down here? It’s not like a sewer like some people make it out to be. So what’s it like living down here? What do most of the people do down here for a living? Is than mainly the trans girls doing the sex work? They do as well? And is it a lot of the customers thinking that the trans girls are women? And what happens when they find out that they’re not women? And is it just gay kids, bisexual kids, transexual kids that are living down here? Do you think that the vast majority of young kids that are gay in Jamaica are living away from home? Like on the streets? Is the reason why there’s different families in the gullies because the kids coming down here just feel that they’ve been separated from their family so they kind of want to create their own one? Do you have any brothers or sisters, gay brothers or sisters? Given the isolation felt by many after being disowned by their own family members, the gully has created its own family units. Friends become mothers, daughters, fathers, and brothers This is the line they wash their laundry on, where they hang their panties up. – So is this the delicates then?
– Yeah, this side here.
– (laughs) That’s yours? (points off camera) What’s happening up here? And what are they getting ready for? Do you mean like sex work? – Heyyy! There she is! She’s done that before When did you start calling yourself Rihanna? Which Rihanna video is your favorite? What would you do if Rihanna came down to the gully? Well, there’s gonna be a bit of jealousy because you’re the Rihanna of the gully and she kind of, come on your turf Is the water clean? Oh, so it’s from a fire hydrant? And is there any sort of bathroom drama, down here? That’s just clean water. Are you like, premium real estate here Andre? “That cake is not too sweet,” she said! (laughs) (laughs) She’s never had it? (laughs) Is she just bitter then? It’s pretty amazing down here. I didn’t realize how deep it went. So all the way down there by the main road, and you’ve got this gully bit which is behind businesses, so you’ve got a bank up there and just a car park. It’s pretty close knit, and it’s quite interesting to see why people live here and you can kind of understand why they do, because it offers a bit of seclusion that you wouldn’t get sleeping on the streets. Feeling pretty smug about that (grunts) Do you need a hand Andre? No, you don’t need a hand. Despite a relatively peaceful afternoon in the gully, it’s still impossible to say that it’s exactly a safe haven for these kids. Especially when a lot of the people here are used to solving day-to-day problems with violence since that’s what they’re constantly exposed to out here on the streets Kevin was an example of this. It’s difficult to say what police would do to stop violence in the gully, considering their track record with the community thus far. Police launched a crack down against who they are unruly gay men The men fled on the approach of the police team, but slowly returned to see some of their belongings going up in smoke. They were heard criticizing the police and calling for urgent assistance. But it’s not just the most visible of Jamaica’s gay community that feel defenseless from homophobic abuse. I went to speak with Angeline Jackson, who runs Jamaica’s only organization to deal specifically with the abuse against lesbian, bisexual, and trans women. After hearing Angeline’s story, I was nervous about meeting up with Daggering in downtown Kingston given what had been in the news recently about a crowd mobbing a gay man in the streets of May Pen. In spite of this, Daggering invited us to go shopping with her before her impending birthday celebrations that night. As Daggering prepared for tonight’s party, it wasn’t clear if Jamaica was quite ready for the Gully Queens to be out and proud on the streets particularly after hearing about what happened to trans teen Dwayne Jones, otherwise known as the “Gully Queen” who was beaten, stabbed, and shot on the streets of Montego Bay after attending a party dressed in women’s clothing Dwayne’s friend Khloe, who was with him on the night he was killed, has also taken refuge in the gully. After Dwayne’s family initially refused to collect or bury their own child, Jamaica’s only visible gay rights organization, JFLAG, stepped in and offered to help. We spoke with Dane Lewis, head of JFLAG, in order to understand how things were ever going to change for Jamaica’s targeted gay youth. Our social support initiative basically is our response to the issues of homophobia, persons being displaced, being injured because of homophobia often times because of mental anguish people are have to go through, mental abuse Sometimes it also includes counseling Our data shows that there’s only a 17% level of tolerance among the society, just in terms of how people relate to LGBT people The crossdressers and the drag queens have helped and they play their own role in terms of advocacy So it requires all of us to play our own role, thought leaders to speak up against injustice It requires church leaders to speak up, it requires our Parliamentarians to speak up The Gully Queens were by no means shying away on the sidelines and Daggering’s birthday party was proof of that. It’s your big day, don’t be nervous I can pray I haven’t prayed in a long time, but I want to bless the cake, I want to bless Daggering, and I want to bless everyone here and every LGBT Jamaican and hope for a better life… so, amen. Should we cut the cake? (Everyone) 1… 2… 3… (cheering) We have the mother, and her daughters are all here, so it’s a massive celebration, as you can hear We want their storytelling So, the police have just come down and made their presence known So, it’s kind of just like a show of force. It looks like the queens have won this one. (laughs) This is better than my birthday With homophobic violence still such a prevalent part of Jamaican culture, and the buggery law looking likely to remain a long staying fixture of Jamaican law, things aren’t looking great for its LGBT community Though the party down at Kingston’s gully is allowed a proud show of defiance, the reality of what the Gully Queens and other gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Jamaicans will wake up to the morning after remains as bleak as ever.

100 thoughts on “Young and Gay: Jamaica’s Gully Queens (Full Length)

  1. How ridiculous other people are how about mind your business theres no reason why people living the way the want effects anyone but the person living the way they want to is soooo" crazy to me' looks like people are upset at the fact these people aren't afraid to be themselves so it seems there jealous of them being them sad

  2. The violence is wrong !! but if you come to caribbean donโ€™t be gay & if u in jamaica do yo gay shit inside ur damn house cuz no body wants to fucking see openly gay lesbian transgender ppl outside itโ€™s disgusting and thatโ€™s how we in the caribbean think itโ€™s wrong itโ€™s not america ๐Ÿ™„

  3. "WTF is a scat chariot race? The bottoms (be them men or women) set up in doggystyle positions on all fours parallel to each other. The tops then mount the bottoms. Thus you have the two couples facing the same direction, side by side. The tops then lean in and kiss." – The more you know! I would have called this a foursome, but maybe I'm just old fashioned. P.S., If I were in a room with three hot trannies, I would be totally down for that!

    "Felchingย is a sexual practice involving the act of orally sucking semen out of the vagina or anus of one's partner." – Strange, I just call that eating some creampie! P.S., Everybody loves pie right, so who is up for some tasty pie?

  4. Alot drink the tranny T,,,or sometimes they call it just tea……the tranny scene is exploding, all the models in the usa are trannies. Some have surgery as children such as cheek implants and hairline lowering. Most cosmetic trendy review channels are trannys. If you study hip bones you can spot them. Our children need to know these things.

  5. I AM VERY SHOCKED BY THIS. WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST LIVE ? WE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO SHINE BRITE NO MATTER WHERE WE LIVE.

  6. WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS AT THE END OF THE DAY AND WE SHOULD ALL BE TREATED AS SUCH ! EQUAL !

  7. no offense but i cant help noticing countries that are a non white majority have the biggest problem with gays, why is that, maybe if we answer that it could help. No way I am ever visiting jamaica until laws change there

  8. LOL as a Jamaican… currently living in J.A.still, that Police Comissioner man… is a LIAR. He knows damn well most of those men are not there by choice

  9. the legend bob marley said : MAN TO MAN ITS SO UNJUST ….. welcome to jamdown.. too much battyman een deh.. but despite that, they have such great culture and music and ppl with knowledge and wizdom… greetings to jamica from morocco Africa mother land. Bless

  10. Jesus still loves them and wants to save them and if they come with an open heart Jesus will transform them I guarantee, Jesus saves!

  11. Beating someone to a point to literally take their life is just unacceptable and should be anywhere. Like seriously people. Have some sympathy

  12. Live and let live ๐Ÿ’ฏlet people live how they want to be why does it bother you ?does it really hurt u? what a boring world this would be if everybody was the fukn same

  13. Homosexuality is a demonic spirit. Do I agree? No but i also don't judge. I've had my own experiences. Do what you wanna do. I don't agree but I love you anyway

  14. Honestly why does someone elseโ€™s sexuality even affect someone elseโ€™s life?? Who cares?! Everyone deserves loves!!

  15. I could say something insensitive here, but why not troll you by making you wonder what my sarcastic comments would be instead?

  16. After I left Jamaica I look on straight or gay we are all the same but there is one thing I always ask is a man having sex with a man is a batty man so the straight men that sex their lady in the batty what are they BATTY MAN TO. Homosexuality been around before Christ and itโ€™s still here so itโ€™s not going anywhere. You say what they are doing is on godly but taken their lives are a bigger sin.

  17. Jamaica is already totally decultuaralized, lacks Infrastructure, international economics, etc. Why try and normalize homosexuality as if a major conundrum this nation faces. Im Jamaican and homosexuality, transgenderism is a mental disorder, these people should be receiving pyschological evaluation and assistance rather than pampering them like their lifestyle is innate. How will homosexuality be conducive to the forthcoming of this society? It needs productive values to operate on a functioning level.

  18. To anyone who has felt like this/experienced this I have something to say:

    You are beautiful. You are brave. You are strong. You are unique. Be you and donโ€™t let anyone make you feel wrong for being a human being. Most of all, you are loved by the community! ๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค

  19. The reporter is looking a little to comfortable there, especially in that batty boy party๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  20. I'm not LGBTQ but I don't judge them they are human 2. I don't understand how some ppl can be so mean and judgemental.

  21. Colonialism was bad, yet so many African countries choose to keep certain laws of it to justify it with "culture" The irony!

  22. It really got me mad when he said that it's a choice they made their choice to do that no every single lgbq person knows this that it is not a choice you are either born with it or something had happened to you for you to be gay or lesbian or bisexual or trans that is not a choice it is never been a choice and every single person thinks that it is a choice when it is obviously not people need to understand that being gay or lesbian or trans is not a choice and that's what Society needs to realize I'm getting sick and tired of seeing videos like this I'm getting tired of seeing kids even teenagers getting beat up just because they're gay or lesbian or trans are you serious there are more things that we could worry about then the gays are trans or lesbians so please can anybody make a video supporting the lgbtq supporters because I'm sick and tired of it it disgust me and I hate people that stink about that๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  23. God, Iโ€™m happy to be accepted for who I am. Wish the best for these people โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

  24. 4:25 โ€œTheir sexual orientation, that is their choiceโ€

    People really donโ€™t care about science, do they? ๐Ÿ˜‚

  25. Not only Jamaica the US isn't any different ha ha ha ha, We Dutch are the most tolerant country in the world when it comes to LGBTI rights.

  26. I do not understand where the hatred of homosexuality comes from, who cares who someone else loves or sleeps with.

  27. Regardless of whatever, THEY NEED PRAYERS FROM GOD OF THE BIBLE in order to receive the Holy Spirit!!!! they are being tormented by evil spirit demons!!!! PEOPLE GO TO THE ALTAR IN YOUR CHURCH, PLACE THEIR NAMES AND PICTURES ON THE ALTAR AND PRAY FOR THEM!!!!!

  28. Jamaica is the most hypocritical country ever! They are not only the most homophobic, but have most church per capita, yet, have a huge underground bisexual community (mostly married men) and adultery is a norn in the heterosexual community. So live and let live. People need to learn not judge. Only god can judge……

  29. gay way its fake life don t sell ur boby for money its devil rule if they are boy stay true man stay a man

  30. This is SICK AND SAD AND MISLEADING. … They need to find these ppl help in the hospital where they belong… They are sexual confused and need some medical help…..

    Batty bwoy fi die…..
    ~Buju Banton

  31. Yes Homophobia is wrong but a mental case is nothing to be proud of either instead of seeking help you make them proud of it, how!!

  32. I read that up to 43% of black males have strong homo leanings… compared to 8% in whites. WTF? I reckon it explains the massive homoeroticism in โ€˜Gangsta Rapโ€™.

  33. This is soo sad there are just human beings not monsters the police should be ashamed and that man accusing them of being criminals and they wont want to grass and get abused, i love them and that reporter

  34. Faggots ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ”ซ rott fuCC ๐Ÿ–•๐Ÿฟ all tranny's ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ”ซ ๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ˜ˆ batty boy fi dead gun$hot fi batty boy ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ”ซ ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡น+๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ

  35. Then why be out and loud keep it to yourself. Straight people don't go above and beyond to be loud and parade they are heterosexual. Sexuality is personal keep it to yourself

  36. You all need The Torah(Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) no animal sacrifice in Torah needed as Jesus was the last sacrifice needed. Leviticus 17, 18, 19 and sorcery is the cause Deuteronomy 18:9-14. then study Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and Acts, Romans(Romans 10;9-10. The weed is thing need prayers. Forgive them love them and pray for them not make them feel terrible. Then study the whole Bible. sociology asks Why. Do not Judge them . Luke 8:26-39. Pray Psalm 146 and Psalm 68 and Numbers 10:35. We love you gays and Lesbians Jesus too.

  37. Honestly why do people have to be killed just over their sexual orientation? When I grow up I want to help the LGBT community. For hundreds maybe thousands of years there's been 2 people of the same sex together (back in the Roman or Greek times 2 people of the same sex would/could have a relationship). It doesn't matter about a person's sexual orientation they're still human beings they have the same blood and they grow in a woman's stomach.

  38. Why can't y'all gay men just be normal men? I mean y'all were born a male anyway.๐Ÿคท๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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