NO SOLACE IN THE GLASS CLOSET: LGBTQ ACTIVISTS STRUGGLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN JAMAICA By SARAH E. PAGE A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS F OR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2018
2018 Sarah E. Page
To all those who have suffered oppression and s till choose to repair the world
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The list of indivi duals and organizations who have assisted me in bringing this dissertation into existence is extensive. First, I must thank my dissertation supervisor Faye V. Harrison, with whom this journey has been long. The very first time I met her as an undergraduate I was in awe of her presence, her fierce intellect, and her dedication to decolonizing a nthropology. She remains an inspiration to me. Even as I doubted I could reach this milestone, she insisted I could. I would not be here were it not for her. I wish t o thank Leanne Brown for her long commitment to this project, as well. Her course, Crime and Governance in Jamaica led to a summer internship in Montego Bay, and the first observations that would eventually become this research. Her unflagging support of m e has always managed to bolster my spirits. I offer my sincere appreciation to Dr. Abdoulaye Kane for continuing to work with me. He has been present in my graduate education from my first semester of graduate school. Under Dr. pportunity to learn about many more African d iasporas, and to expand my understanding of Afrodescendants worldwide. I am grateful to Maria Sto ilkova for her insights on the anthropology of the s tate as well as anchoring my dissertation committee as its co chair. She has been a patient listener of fears and triumphs, and her compassion and good advice must not go unmentioned. I owe a deep debt to my research consultants and their organizations. One unfortuna te legacy of the discipline of a nthropology is th at it has historically exploited the wisdom of its subjects. It is my fervent hope that I avoid the same fate. I cannot even hope to repay the time, kindness, bravery, or solidarity shown me during my field visits to Kingston. If nothing else, I hope these words honor the struggle of the lesbians, bisexuals, gays, trans and queer folk who shared pieces of their lives with me.
5 This research was made possible by two grants at the University of Florida. Without these important sources of funding provided via The O. Ruth McQuown Scholarship and the University of Florida Graduate School Doctoral Research Travel Award, my fieldwork would never have taken place. I am extraordinarily grateful for these opportunities. Finally, I wish to thank my family and friends f or keeping me afloat during this time. To my parents, Thomas and Elisa Page, I am always grateful for the innumerable modes of support: moral, financial, reading drafts, and always having the spare bedroom ready. I thank my brother Stuart Page for calm tec hnical advice and unwavering encouragement. My thanks to Lucy Kinsley for offering her home as a place to write, and her company when I needed a break in her beautiful hometown of Newport, Rhode Island. I thank many other family members (who cannot all be named my behalf. It is with fondness and gratitude that I remember the camaraderie of Judy Anderson, Camee Maddox Wingfield, Camille Feanny, Lesley Gail Atkinson, Rashale e Mitchell, and Felicia Anonyuo (may she rest in power), for allowing me to sound ideas off and occasionally, to collaborate during our time together as graduate students I am appreciative of the fact that no coffee blights occurred during the time of thi s writing, and that a steady supply was available in many forms to facilitate the late evenings and early mornings of writing needed to complete this project. From budget coffee to arguably the finest: Jamaica Blue Mountain, and homemade to
6 barista made, this life sustaining gift from the ancestors has played a central role in completing the dissertation. Coffee, I could not have done this without. I give my utmost thanks to my partner, Brian Kinsley, for keeping a roof over my head, a well stocked bar (especially on tough days when I needed to decompress), and for his willingness to jump in and solve any problem I presented (even those that did not offer any immediate solutions). Ultimately, though, it was his sense of humor in equalizing perspectiv es during trying parts of this arduous process that made the biggest difference to completing this important milestone.
7 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 10 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 11 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 12 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 1 4 CHAPTER 1 STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE: IS PEACE WITH THE SEXUAL OTHER POSSIBLE IN JAMAICA? ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 16 Jamaica Is Not All Sun, Sand, a nd Sea ................................ ................................ .. 16 Accessing Diffuse Communities ................................ ................................ ............. 18 ................................ .......................... 20 Worldviews Shaping Experiences ................................ ................................ ........... 22 Racial Hierarchies ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 22 Homophobic Scapegoating ................................ ................................ ..................... 23 Genealogical Tracking of a Movement in Jamaica ................................ ................. 24 Summary of Research Questions, Theoretical Framework/Analysis, Methods and Fieldwork Considerations ................................ ................................ ............. 25 Theoretical Frameworks ................................ ................................ ......................... 26 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 30 Getting Situated: Entry Points ................................ ................................ ................. 31 ................................ ................................ ...... 35 ................................ ................................ ... 42 Hegemony and the Glass Closet ................................ ................................ ............ 43 Historically Negotiated Identities ................................ ................................ ............. 45 Affective Politics: Perpetual Grieving and Fict ive Kin ................................ .............. 46 Structure of the Study ................................ ................................ ............................. 47 The Big Shift: Building Constituencies where Consensus is Not ............................ 49 2 METHODS AND THEORY TO UNPACK THE CULTURAL LOGIC OF PUBLIC AND STATE WORLDVIEWS ................................ ................................ .................. 52 Life in the Field ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 52 Postcolonial Sexualities ................................ ................................ .......................... 52 Local, Indigenous Sexual Identities ................................ ................................ ........ 53 Transnational Sexual Identities ................................ ................................ ............... 55 Bridging the Sexuality Gap: Simultaneously Local and Global ............................... 56 Framing Sexual Difference in Context: Queer Theory ................................ ............ 60 Queering Human Rights Discourse ................................ ................................ ........ 64
8 Beyond the Law: Sexuality and the State ................................ ............................... 65 Sexual Habitus ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 68 Methodological Framework ................................ ................................ ..................... 69 Approaching Lived Realities: Personal Lives ................................ .......................... 69 Extended Case Study Method ................................ ................................ ................ 73 Queering Reflexivity and the Interventional Approach ................................ ............ 75 Accessing Communities Hiding in Plain Sight: Methods ................................ ......... 77 Sampling ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 77 Data Collection Methods ................................ ................................ ......................... 78 3 ORGANIZA TIONAL HALF LIFE: THE FRAUGHT LANDSCAPE OF LGBTQ ORGANIZING ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 82 Financial Vulnerability ................................ ................................ ............................. 82 Structural Adjustment Policies: Adjustin g to Austerity and Adversity ...................... 84 Outcasts Among the Marginalized: Making Safe Spaces and a Seat at the Table ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 89 Missed Opportunitie s: J FLAG Drops the Ball ................................ ........................ 91 The Good, the Bad, and the Moderately Helpful ................................ ..................... 93 Flows of Support: Bottom Up ................................ ................................ .................. 94 Economic Marginalization: Lesbians, Bisexuals, Trans, and Queer People Pushed to the Margin of the Marginalized ................................ ........................... 95 Outcomes of the Scarcity Interpretati on ................................ ................................ .. 96 4 SEXUALITY AND THE STATE: INTERSECTIONS OF THE STATE AND PUBLIC CULTURE WITH LGBTQ IDENTITY ................................ ........................ 99 Landmark Cases ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 99 Theoretical Perspectives on the Vulnerability of LGBTQ Bodies .......................... 100 Crises of the State and Implications for Queered Bodies ................................ ...... 100 Public Culture and the State ................................ ................................ ................. 102 Habitus and the State ................................ ................................ ........................... 102 Nationalism and the St ate ................................ ................................ ..................... 103 Differentially Situated Subjects ................................ ................................ ............. 104 2009 Sexual Offences Act ................................ ................................ .................... 107 Tomlinson v TVJ, CVM, and PBCJ ................................ ................................ ....... 108 Linguistic and Conceptual Hurdles ................................ ................................ ....... 111 Jaghai v. the Sodomy Code ................................ ................................ .................. 113 Interpreting Sexuality through the State ................................ ................................ 114 Bain v. University of the West Indies ................................ ................................ .... 115 2014 Parliamentary Review of Sexual Offences Act ................................ ............. 116 5 ALWAYS LOOKING OVER YOUR SHOULDER: HYPERVIGILENCE AND OTHER STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVAL ................................ .............................. 120 Everyday Wounds ................................ ................................ ................................ 120 Contested Public Space ................................ ................................ ........................ 120
9 Organizing in Plain Sight ................................ ................................ ....................... 121 Homelessness ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 123 Double Life ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 124 Living under Threat ................................ ................................ ............................... 124 Personal Encounters ................................ ................................ ...................... 125 Moments of Victory ................................ ................................ ............................... 130 6 MINORITIES ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 136 Constructions of Otherness ................................ ................................ .................. 136 Race in Structural Inequality ................................ ................................ ................. 139 Social Class ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 140 Colorism ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 141 Collision Course: Class and Colorism in LGBTQ Context ................................ ..... 142 Gay on Gay Violence vs. Homophobia ................................ ................................ 1 43 Global Index on Legal Recognition of Homosexual Orientation ............................ 144 Gay Ec onomics ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 145 The Role of Infectious Disease in Reducing Labor Market Participation .............. 148 Gay Blackness: The Double Burden of Being Bo th Black and Gay ...................... 148 Surviving Being Gay and HIV+ ................................ ................................ ............. 151 Black Lesbians: On Being (Mostly) Invisible ................................ ......................... 152 Black and Trans ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 155 Blackness in Sex Work: Replication of Racism/Colorism vis a vis Sex Norms ..... 156 Black Trans Femininity ................................ ................................ .......................... 158 Moving Forward? ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 160 7 THROUGH THE SOCIAL MEDIA LOOKING GLASS: ESCALATING TENSIONS AND VIOLENCE POST FIELDWORK ................................ ............... 163 Queer Optics ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 163 Substantive Connections ................................ ................................ ...................... 163 Violence Since Leaving the Field ................................ ................................ .......... 166 Implications of Strategies Employed Thus Far ................................ ...................... 167 Recommendations for Future Strategies and Addressing Lacunas ...................... 168 Communities in Exile ................................ ................................ ............................ 170 Looking Forward: Dismantling Political Homophobia ................................ ............ 171 REFERENCES LIST ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 173 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 187
10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Self identified sexual orientation of research participants ................................ ... 81
11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 5 1 Flyer for Roots of PRIDE event (I mage courtesy of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica) ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 132 5 2 NADA display table ( Image courtesy of Jalna Broderick) ................................ 133 5 3 Collaborat ive art project ( Image courtesy of Jalna Broderick) .......................... 133 5 4 QCJ display table ( Image courtesy of Jalna Broderick) ................................ .... 134 5 5 Safe spa ce infographic ( Image courtesy of Jalna Broderick) ............................ 134 5 6 The organizers ( Image courtesy of Jalna Broderick) ................................ ........ 135
12 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ARV Anti retroviral C AUSE Churches Action Uniting Society for Emancipation CVM Community Television Systems Limited F.A.S.T. Families Against State Terrorism GDP Gross Domestic Product HIV/HIV+ Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ HIV positive IACHR Inter American Commission on Human Rights ICCPR International Convention on Civil and Political Rights ICI Informal commercial importer JASL Jamaica AIDS Support for Life J FLAG Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals, and Gays (the oldest and most established LGBTQ organization i n Jamaica) JLP Jamaica Labour Party LB Lesbian and bisexual women LGBTQ Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer MSM Men who have sex with men NADA National Anti discrimination Alliance PBCJ Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica PNP National Party PSA Public service announcement QCJ Quality of Citizenship Jamaica SAPs Structural Adjustment Policies SO((U))L HQ The founders keep the origin of the acronym secret, but it is a queer friendly arts collaborative and safe meeting space. STI Sexually transmitted infection
13 TVJ Television Jamaica UNDP United Nations Development Program USAID United States Agency for International Development UTECH University of Technology WfW Women for Women WHO World Health Organization
14 Abstract o f Dissert ation P resented t o t he G raduate S chool of t he Un iversity o f Flo rida in Partial Fulfillmen t o f the Requirements for the Degree o f Do ctor of Philosophy NO SOLACE I N T HE GLASS CL OSET : LGBT Q ACTIVIS TS STRUGGLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN JAMAICA By Sarah E Page May 2018 Chair: Faye V. Harrison Cochair : Maria M. Stoilkova Ma jor: Anthropology Homophob ia in Ja maica g oes beyond mere sentiment t o permeate t he very fabric of J amaican so ciety with su bstantia l effe cts for: popular culture the st ate, t he economy and re ligious practices. Overarchingly this phenomenon ca n be s ummarized as a preoccupation with n onnormative se xuality as observed in in teractions with st raight Jamaican s, in me dia and music Some of my re sea rch consultants identify t his heteronormative id eolog ies and p ractices resulting in LGBTQ so cial exclusion a nd t heir hypervisibility in so ciety The potential co st for transgressing h omophobic zone s of exclusion is high a s evidenced in t he tragic murders of Brian Williamson co-founder of Jamaica Fo rum for Lesbian s, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) and HI V/AIDS activist in 2004 and Steve Ha rvey another co-founde r of J -FLAG w ho w as abducted a nd murdered in 2005. The loss of these LGBTQ advocates was a significant blow to gayrights organizing in Jamaica. Since then, dozens of homophobic attacks have resulted in injuries and deaths. Despite the ri sks involved however, a v ital activist community works to co unter popular anti-homosexual values and in crease
15 minority population. I liaised with organizations serving various segments of the LGBTQ population. These ranged from established and rather institutionalized groups, to grassroots startups formed to support nonnormative identities marginalized within the larger community. I encountered these organizations utilizing a variety of different strategies, some, of course, more successful than others. Each face unique chall enges, but many similarities also emerge upon comparison. Collectively, a shared project to make their work more visible to the public is motivated by hopes of both normalizing nonnormative sexuality as well as to promote public accountability in cases of misconduct or violence. destroy the core of Jamaican identity, this is unlikely to be the case. These perceptions do belie the folk belief that homophobia is a cultural value, raising the stakes for activists seeking to counter its effects. Ultimately, it should be evident that a freer society is more stable, a benefit to all citizens. It is toward this goal that the activists with whom I work are striving.
16 CHAPTER 1 STRUGGLE TO SURVIV E: IS PEACE WITH THE SEXUAL OTHER POSSIBLE IN JAMAICA? Jamaica Is Not All Sun, Sand, and Sea A s small island nation of just under three million largely Afro descended people (STATIN Jamaica 2017) Jamaica is culturally distinctive and has had a profound ef fect upon the world via reggae music, the Afrocentric religious traditions of RastafarI, its creolized cuisine, and its worl d class athletes and is one of only two major islands completely surrounded by the Car ibbean Sea. indigenous, African, European, East, and South Asian cultures (with more recent arrivals from the Middle East) has arisen out of the cataclysm of the col onial project. Jamaica is a relatively new postcolonial nation, independent from the United Kingdom since 1962. Like many former colonies its historically export driven economy struggles to compete on a global scale. As a small island economy dependent upon imports and a limited number of exports, Jamaica is susceptible to external economic fluctuations as well as natural disasters. It also bears a disproportionately high public debt, approximately 120% of GDP (World Bank 2017 ), incurred through multiple attempts to stabilize the economy via International Monetary Fund and World Bank loans since the 1970s Added to this are an incredibly stagnant rate of economic growth of 1.44% in 2017, representing an improvement from 1.5% in 2010 (World Bank 2017), an d high rates of unemployment, over 12% for the ge neral population, and an average of 25.45 % for young people 20 26 years old in 2017 (STATIN Jamaica 2017).
17 The formal Jamaican economy lacks diversification. Although current measures seek to make Jamaica m ore favorable for entrepreneurship and new industries the current productive economic sectors remain: agriculture, manufacturing, transport, tourism, mining, and utilities (STATIN Jamaica 2017). tropical climate and ple ntif ul beaches, t ourism is arguably the most important domestic source of revenue over the last 40 years comprising GDP (CIA 2017). This ties it for remittances, sent to Jamaica from abroad, making up about 15% of GDP (CIA 2017) Tourism, which relies heavily on services, is the single largest employment sector (directly and indirectly), at 24% (WTTC). Tourism is also highly flexible: it is seasonal, affected by hurricanes, as well as market trends in the consumption of tourism. Thus, employment in the tourism sector can be unpredictable, especially for entry level jobs. Such unpredictability amounts to financial insecurity for households dependent upon income from work in the tourism sector. Tourists often remark on the relaxing laid back atmosphere they experience on their vacations, which in Jamaican Creole, is called irie It hardly seems possible, then, that Jamaica is also a place where poverty and violence mark the lives of many of its residents, particularly its most vuln erable citizens including lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Jamaicans. But, in 2008, Prime Minister Bruce (the statement which helped to name th is dissertation) it was unmistakable that the Jamaican state had a clear stake in barring equity for its sexual minority population (Sakur 2008).
18 Accessing Diffuse Communities Historically, Jamaicans were much more community oriented, especially in rural s ettings. But as the economy shifted away from agrarian production and the population became urbanized and proletarianized during the 20 th century, communal approaches popu lous city, at just under 700,000 residents (STATIN Jamaica 2017) Like many ot her capital cities in Latin America and the Caribbean it has urban primacy Kingston is four to five times larger than the next largest city, Montego Bay (STATIN Jamaica 2017) The city was the logical place in which to conduct my fieldwork for several reasons. During my first visit to Jamaica, my work was primarily conducted in Montego Bay. In that time, it became clear to me that there were several logistical challenges workin g outside the capital city. To access the organizations serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer population, I needed to be in Kingston because most choose to base their operations there I accessed my vulnerable target community first th rough the activist organizations serving them. Although I attempted to schedule meetings with key gatekeepers at these organizations ahead of time by email, I found I had the best success setting up meetings by either calling a day or two in advance of a d esired meeting time, or by simply showing up and hoping to be accommodated. Kingston is desirable as a location for LGBTQ folk for many reasons. The largest city is a lure because it offers greater anonymity over the often stifling closeness of small town s or even small cities where everyone (or at least everyone in a small social wider group of like minded people. Kingston also offers many more options in the dating pool. It offers, too, the chance of a clean start away from the rules and eyes of extended
19 family members. Anonymity is a priceless commodity for sexually minorities. In many cases, gay folk who want to move to Kingston imagine life there as free d of the restric tions to which their small(er) towns subject them. Anonymity is al so important in other ways. In my work, social media sites are important sites of field research for LGBTQ communities hiding in plain sight Treating social media platforms as bona fide fie ldsites is a relatively recent turn in anthropology, and a contested practice (Boellstorff 2008; Bonilla and Rosa 2015). However, in this project, s ocial media provide a vetted, filtered means for LGBTQ organizations to directly access their target audienc e and sometimes this translates into various kinds of action, as well With QCJ, for example, we could design quick, anonymous surveys to begin to collect baseline data about the lesbian and bisexual population and their experiences with harassment and se xual violence. Restricted or invitation only social media pages are an excellent mode to convey sensitive information, as with the specific locations of LGBTQ parties, activist events, Pride Parades (beginning in 2015). These measures help to ensure the ge neral public is unaware of the specific locations in which such events will be held, to minimize premeditated acts of aggression. Anonymity has been a driving force in activism until very recently. At the start of this project, all activists used professio nal pseudonyms. Even now, many of my interlocutors, especially those newly coming out, use pseudonyms. Most organization founders and activists with titled positions have transitioned to using their given names, which is a new trend in LGBTQ organizing. Th ere is an ongoing social project to suppress LGBTQ identities in Jamaica. First emergent in the 1990s, during the worst economic conditions since 1962, homophobia
20 became palpable in churches, popular music, political rhetoric, and outbreaks of violence aga inst m embers of the LGBTQ community. Once it was n o longer a taboo topic, hatred of sexual minorities helped to solidify a distinctive core of Jamaican values in opposition to intrusive globalizing forces while simultaneously supporting cohesion across seg ments of political constituencies which otherwise would have very divergent interests: namely, to bind together the interests of elites and the very poor in opposition to the perceived threat of homosexuality Pove rty and violence compromise more than just the citizenship of LGBTQ Jamaicans. Indeed, the occurrence of high homicide rates, the HIV epidemic, lack of access to water and electricity in impoverished inner city communities, high rates of childhood malnutri tion and domestic violence are just a few examples of the social problems facing the Jamaican people. These represent human rights challenges which must be addressed. Human rights are a core concern of this project. It is true that overall, violence in Jam aica is very high: since 2005, the homicide rate hovers between 1300 1700 homicide rate remains in the top five globally (OASC 2017). Other rates of violence remain high, too. F or example, in 2011, 833 incidents of rape were reported to of 16) (USDoS 2012:16). J FLAG (Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals and Gays) reported 68 incidences of confirmed murders of LGBTQ persons in 2011 (USDoS 2012:21). Collecting numbers of
21 violen t acts is a limiting constrain t, that is, it is reduces the overarching problem of homophobia to violent acts, as well as to focus modes of intervention from organizations to merely tabulating cases of violence. Unfortunately, however this is the basis of intervention and baseline ra tes of violence against LGBTQ individuals must be established to counter claims by the Jamaican government that the status of sexual minorities is improving (USDoS 2012:21). There are competing discourses vying for primacy regarding human rights (further d iscussed in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 ) In discussions with normative Jamaicans, many bristled at the very idea of human rights. Some see the concept as an imperialist scheme bent on destroying Jamaican values, especially connected with the idea that sexual arguments that the LGBTQ movement is an imperialist project intending to erode Jamaican morality. Others see such deep structural problems in Jamaica that human rights are tangenti al to first dealing with those larger issues. This amounts to a struggle between politics of representation versus a politi cs of distribution of resources, or economic rights as a discussion of poverty Within the LGBTQ community, activists are careful to frame their argumentation for rights within a human rights context. They seek to refute popular arguments that the envision their work as addressing the effects stemming from compromised citizenship as well as addressing the social structures that create the conditions of compromised citizenship.
22 Worldviews Shaping Experiences The experience of LGBTQ individuals in Jamaica can be summarized as multifold kinds of vulnerability. It emanates from almost every aspect of Jamaican social life. While there are big structural, global forces working to create macro social conditions, there are particularities of Jamaican social life that reinforce the vulnerabilities experienced by sexu al minorities. One of the most important of these is the deeply conservative, Judeo Christian moral outlook of the vast majority of normative Jamaicans. It is widely, and often proudly, proclaimed by such individuals that Jamaica has more churches per capi ta than anywhere else on Earth a largely unsubstantiated there are competing value systems The outcome is that there are both religious and moral explanations for why homosexuality is bad, and these are used as justification for mistreatment of LGBTQ persons. Racial Hierarchies for sexual mi norities. Today, approximately 95 percent of Jamaicans have African ancestry, and there is a high degree of miscegenation with other groups (CIA 2017). Here, the hierarchy can be described as colorism: racism based on a spectrum of color based privilege. I t differs from the hypodescent system in the United States ( see Page 2015 ), in that there are more color categories and a few more modes of transcending the stratum into which one is born. It differs also from the system in Brazil, in that it has fewer col or categories, although the effects of Jamaican color system are much closer to those in Brazil. Like all racial caste
23 hierarchy determines their access to privilege and resources. Here, as in Brazil and the United States, Black ness is nearly synonymous with underclass. R acial caste systems have deep implications for romantic relationships, sexual access, sexual violence, marriage practices, and kinship ( Alexander 1997, Burdick 1998, Goldstein 2003) Thes e tensions and their impacts for non heterosexual people are e xplored later in this writin g. Particularly for individuals who are both Black and LGBTQ, the re is much potenti al for further marginalization (a core concern in Chapter 6 ) In this dissertation, I have chosen not to capitalize referents for whiteness as a conscious effort to decenter it in relation to Black ness and Brown ness as historically devalued racial categories. Homophobic Scapegoating Increasingly, since the mid 1990s discrimination and v iolence against LGBTQ Jamaicans has been taking place. T hese incidents set against the backdrop of already high rates of violence, punctuate this milieu because they are entirely different kind of occurrences. The difference lies in the systematic targeti ng of sexual minorities. This work does not seek to dismiss Jamaican homophobia as merely a cultural problem, but instead to situate it within specific historical processes and contemporary motivations that reinforce its perpetuation. It can be expected that in other contexts with similar history and ongoing incentives, that homophobia prevails under such conditions, and indeed, it does (Alexander 1997 Puar 2007 Tomlinson 2017 ). The project of nation building in postcolonial contexts necessarily exclude s certain categories of people to create an exclusive sense of belonging (Anderson 1993 ). During the colonial project, the excluded category of people, were, of course, Black In
24 postcolonial Jamaica, where Black ness has been subsumed into the heart of nat ional identity, the enemy of the nation has become the sexual minority. Genealogical Tracking of a Movement in Jamaica Another goal of this research is to trace the origin and evolution of this burgeoning movement. To date, the work within this movement ha s been sporadic, experiencing many setbacks. Although an interlocking set of limitations have constrained their efficacy, a fragile coalition of LGBTQ activists is emerging in response to the shared oppression of homophobia. By tracing the limitations fac ed by this fledgling coalition, I have been able to plot out the initial trajectory of the movement for LGBTQ human rights in Jamaica. Through my observations and conversations with activists in Kingston, it is evident that a stronger, united, and integrat ed movement will be the most successful in achieving the goals of this burgeoning coalition, which include: decriminalizing same sex intercourse between consenting male partners, providing legal anti discrimination protections in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and better access to legal redress within the constabulary and court systems for victims of anti LGBTQ hate crimes. While it has been difficult for LGBTQ activists to engage issues of human rights (addressed later in Chapter 1 and in Chapter 2) i n part due to push back from antigay groups, the movement is becoming more impactful. There are now more LGBTQ organizations in Jamaica than ever before. There is a great sense of resolve to meet the needs of marginalized groups within the sexual minority population. And, there is now also more urgency to cope with increased violence and other LGBTQ humanitarian crises (such as homeless queer youth living in storm drains).
25 It is therefore my aim to situate Jamaican homophobia within the historical and pol itical conditions which begat it, while identifying the incentives to its perpetuation and the struggle of the activists working to combat its most deleterious effects on sexual minorities. Even as mainstream Jamaicans assert homophobia as a cultural value sexual minorities are scapegoated for many reasons other than a conservative value system : most importantly because mutual hatred of queer Jamaicans unites the political interests of the poor and elites, stabilizing the Jamaican state. Thus, homophobia i n Jamaica is of a specifically political nature ( see Boellstorff 2004 ). Summary of R esearch Questions The oretical Framework/Analysis, Methods and Fieldwork Considerations The Emergence of Political Homophobia in Indonesia: anthropological attention to the public face of emotion and the heterosexist gendering of national belonging [which] can contribute to a better understanding ion of culture, but the working out of cultural logics of inequality and exclusi on to their horrific but compre hensible conclusion (2004: 482). My work takes up this charge, and goes beyond it to understand how sexually minoritized people are working to co unter fic conclusions homegrown activism and realize positive social change In Ja maica, queer grassroots group s and NGOs are organizing within the context of a homophobic society that incentivizes their continued exclusion It is therefore necessary for me to unpack the systemic nature of this exclusion as well as to evidence their work in combatting it ghting violence deployed as a means for
26 controlling who can make This le a d s me to ask a set of interrelated questions which I detail below Research Questions To analyze the complex of beliefs practices, and activism sur rounding political homophobia in Jamaica, it was necessary for me to ask several questions. The questions guiding this project are concerned with the conditions of the emergence of the movement for the human rights of sexual minorities. Specifically, why i s the movement occurring? Invoking a network approach, what is the context of the movement? Why is scapegoating of LGBTQ persons taking place? Following Harrison (1997a), what kinds of consciousness es are developing among this minoritized population in res ponse to their oppression and subsequent resistance to it? Theoretical Frameworks Given the complexity of analyzing the structure and mechanics of political homophobia, no single framework is sufficient to apply to the situation in Jamaica. Therefore, I dr aw upon the work of several scholars in concert with one another to reveal the subtleties present in my research. Situated in various aspects of feminist and queer theory, as well as moral panic theory, and political economic theory t hese scholars interro gate belonging and moral panic in postcolonial nation building projects, how scales of local and global interpenetrate paradigms of same sex intimacy, and the role LGBTQ activism plays in disrupting hegemonic structures. M. Jacqui Alexander notio n of heteropatriarchal recolonization is integral to conceptualizing state violence against racialized sexual minorities in postcolonial contexts reformation of heteropatriarchy demonstrates postcolonial nation formation a s predicated on exclu sion of nonnormative sexualities (1997). Engagement
27 Caribbean making it an appropriate analog ue regarding laws prohibiting same sex intercourse. Thus, it can be said that like the Bahamas, the Jamaican state has also sought to reorder itself as an essentially heteropatriarchial nation which retains the colonial gender hierarchy Rather than shrugg ing off the ideologues of col onization, the (in)visible subject of imperial law has not been entirely replaced, through law and within the political economy (1997:97). By retaining and even expanding on imperial laws, the heteropatriarchal state is cemented. Any identities which defy heteropatriarchial norms, to include lesbians and gay men, Alexander heter osexualized state (1997:97). But, ongoing ac these groups cease making demands upon the state, they make it more possible for the state to solidify noncitizenship status, to continue to make citizenship masculine, and to continue to make women irrelevant to the project of nation building (1997:97). Thus, struggle against heteropatriarchial hegemony must continue. Analyses of moral panic are highly rele vant to understanding state and popular reactions to LGBTQ act ivism. They also serve to open other aspects of Gramscian hegemony for analysis. Two of the earliest social theorists to engage the concept of moral panic are Stuart Hall et al. ( 1978) and Stanley Cohen (1972) Hall at al. and Cohen uncover the nexus of st ate power and social power moral rejection of devils ( Hall et al. 1978) Sharing much in common with Hannah Arendt
28 analysis of totalitarian state power, read together, these analyses shed light on the consolidation of power over scapegoate d segments of the population, as has happened to sexual minorities in Jamaica. More recently, David Murray Janet Irvine, and Gilbert Herdt have specifically applied the moral panic concept to sexual minorities. Their analyses emphasize the social componen t of hegemonic exclusion of LGBTQ citizens which shares much in Murray works intensively with the notion of moral panic underwritten by a shadowy, peripheralized threat posed by homosexuality capable of collaps ing normative society (2009) Irvine engages the concept of revulsion and the role it plays in fueling homophobic moral panic: a kind of righteous disgust toward homosexual sex practices (2009). For Herdt, cultural anger is the engine which powers homophob ic moral panic (2009). Hatred of the sexualized Other not only socially stigmatizes queer people, it dehumanizes them, so that normative society can then justify discrimination and violence against them (Herdt 2009). In the work of Herdt, Irvine, and Murra y, these cultural expressions of hegemony serve to ideologically segregate sexual minorities. By combining the three perspectives of consolidation of state power ( brought forth through the work s of Arendt, Hall, et al., and Cohen ), alongside the social heg emony perspective (as presented by Murray, Irvine and Herdt ) I uncover p o werful sources of marginalization for queer Jamaicans which are rooted in both state and social power (1993) no tion of habitus itself influenced by Gramscian hegemony. Thus, the s ocial
29 ideologies which Otherize queer folk, in tandem with the social practices reinforcing their continued exclusion comprise the habitus of political homophobia. Analyses of the tension s present in local/global interactions are also highly relevant in postcolonial, creolized contexts. In my project, the conflict between local and global is most present in LGBTQ h uman rights discourse. Conservatives argue that pressure from the internatio nal human rights community for the Jamaican government to acknowledge the plight of sexual minorities is compromising national sovereignty. Latoya Lazarus (2011) traces the beginning of this culture war to 2004 In that year, Human Rights Watch issued the report Hated to Death (discussed in Chapter 2 ), making explicit the kinds of violence and the failure of the Jamaican state to protect sexual minorities (Lazarus 2011). Lazarus points to the fact that Jamaica is a voluntarily signatory to the 1948 Universa l Declaration of Human Rights, and had previously been a signatory to the Optional Protocol of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (2011). But, because Jamaica did not have a fundamental charter guaranteeing basic rights until 2011 ( which, even after revision, does not specifically guarantee legal protection for sexual minorities), LGBTQ activist organizations were all but compelled to use an international di scourse of human rights to make claims of human rights abuse prior to 2011 T hus, international rights discourse was invoked long before domestic claims of human rights abuses could even be articulated domestically within Jamaica. For these reasons, m y analysis does primarily engage notions of international human rights discours e, alongside the frameworks that LGBTQ activist organizations are developing on the ground But, I also acknowledge another framework presented by Kathleen Jones (2015) that specifically invokes a basis for q ueer human rights as
30 adapted from Hannah Arendt interlocutors, I believe it offers a unique perspective and an interesting supplement to the theorizations of human rights these activists are working to develop in Jamaica. Methods In carrying out my study, I gathered data via interviews, direct observation, and partic ipant observation. I relied on the extended case study method advocated by Karen Sykes (2014) and Mich ael Burawoy (1998). Although the extended case study method emerged out of grounded theory the extended case study method arose out of the Structuralist Manchester School in England (Tavory and Timmermans 2009) Essentially, the exten ded case study method utilizes observation of phenomena to discern structure so it is influenced by British Structuralism The extended case study method differs from gr ounded theory in that it is deductive, using theory during both the observational and analytical portions of research, what Tavory and Timmermans identify as analysis, seeking to derive theory from observational data (Burawoy 1998) (Tavory and Timmermans 2009 ) An additional difference of the extended case study method lies its analysis of conflict, particularly postcolonial contexts (Sykes 2014). The extended case study method is therefore a valuable tool to analyze the social conflict around the exclusion o f LGBTQ Jamaicans precisely because it uses this phenomenon to discern the structure of political homophobia. Through participant observation, I have been able to immerse myself in the struggle of the activist community. This experiential aspect has allowe d me to accurately assess the extent of the structural exclusion of sexual minorities, the stakes for the community involved in
31 activism, and the kinds of action required to move toward conflict resolution and greater inclusion of LGBTQ citizens in Jamaica n society. Getting Situated: Entry Points My first visit to Jamaica was in 2006, a year after Steve Harvey, a co founder of J FLAG (the oldest LGBTQ organization) was murdered. I was participating in baseline data collection on Improved Governance and Ci tizen Security with a group of students from University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus and the University of Florida. Community, Montego Bay. My group was in the latter. We conducted one on one interviews and focus groups aiming to survey how grassroots community based organizations were filling the gap left by the retraction of the state in response to social service cutbacks required to meet guidelines for structural adj ustment policies. We set up very clear expectations that the interviews were to be focused on the various kinds of outreach their organizations were focused upon. The unexpected outcome of these interviews was that for every one of the 30 days I spent work ing on this project, I heard the interviewees speak at some length about how much they hated gay people. They would often justify such diatribes by an obligation to explain to me, an outsider, and they about: not being gay. I found this paradigm odd and worthy of further inquiry because I had never encountered homophobia of that intensity before. I often wonder how these interviewees saw me. As an unmarried woman, did they think they were offering me ro mantic advice in helping offering this kind of guidance was also an expression of the very rigid gender norms that subject women to patriarchal domination. But, as a then closeted b isexual woman, I was
32 terrified they somehow knew my secret, and were offering me warnings to not break the gendered rules. It was clear that transgressing these unwritten rules could result in verbal abuse, physical violence, or worse the people whom I had interviewed had been very clear about the kinds of mob attacks on gay men, for example. While I encountered at least a sense that the normative Jamaican rationalization e forces, I quickly discovered that was not the case. Once I discovered the existence of J FLAG, for example, that had been working on furthering the human rights of sexual minorities on the island since 1998, I knew I wanted to investigate the problem of homophobia as resisted by local organizations. I also knew that I wanted to diverge from a substantial literature that strictly dealt with medicalized interventions on gay men via public health concerns for HIV and AIDS. I was much more interested in acces sing the lived realities of people coping with the oppression of homophobia. I visited Jamaica again in 2007 and 2009 to identify key stakeholders and to attempt to liaise with as many of them as possible. During these visits, I sought to access both stat e and non state actors. I made contacts with several ally organizations, as well, which was helpful to designing this project. Once I arrived in Jamaica for dissertation fieldwork in 2012, however, things did not work quite as well as they had on previous visits. Several of my contacts in the organizations I had earmarked had left their positions, speaking to the high degree of uncertainty and risk surrounding this kind of work in Jamaica. One difficulty that presented itself rather quickly was the resist ance of J director, Dane Lewis, to allow me to access much of the organization or to assist with
33 any upcoming projects they had planned. This was peculiar given that I had met with him many times previously on visits to the field. I met with Dane ev ery month for the first four months, and could not get much more than a lukewarm progress report. Frustrated, I started to search for other organizations serving the LGBTQ community. I met a very young activist who called herself Cupid working with the Nat ional Anti Discrimination Alliance (NADA), who was also getting connected with a brand new startup organization, Quality of Citizenship Jamaica (QCJ). Although my working relationship with Cupid would eventually be short lived, this was the break I needed. Cupid and her girlfriend ended up leaving QCJ after a conflict at the second group meeting, never to return. While I had contact with her for a couple more weeks after the argument she had founder Jalna, she soon distanced herself from me. O nce I accessed QCJ, the second half of my fieldwork was much more satisfying. I was able to assist the fledgling group with some basic data collection, advise them on drafting grant applications, and to participate in planning and executing several communi ty outreach events. And, with affiliation with an organization, I began to be introduced to many other activists whom I would not have otherwise met, some with quite a bit of longevity working on issues of LGBTQ human rights. Through my time working with QCJ as an advocate as well as a researcher, I began to become very aware that the rigid gender hierarchy at work in Jamaica had implications for marginalizing lesbian and bisexual women, too. It was evident that there was a double burden to being both fema le and sexually minoritized. Our initial efforts to collect data were focused on quantifying and qualifying some of the modes by which that marginalization takes place.
34 With QCJ being a startup group, they did not have a designated meeting space. Instead, like a lot of other small organizations with whom I met, they gathered most often in public spaces like restaurants and hotel lobbies. Later, they met in one offered my home to these meetings, too. They also met with other organizations, as when they planned events for International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) and to commemorate the life of Brian Williamson. For some of those meetings, we met on the U WI campus. On another occasion, I traveled with QCJ to meet with Portmore. We had to rent a car for that trip, which was wonderful because we got to spend a lot more time discussing strategy bef ore and after the meeting, instead of our usual parting of ways right after our regular meetings. These meetings were typically closed, with the designated meeting place only sent out to regularly participating members. E ven events to which we garnered wi der participation, security concerns were paramount. So even when the event venue was decided weeks in advance, we did not advertise even within the community the specific location until shortly before. We also arranged travel for those events that might o therwise have been difficult for attendees to reach, to ensure their safety as well as a good turnout. Most of the arrangements for meetings took place via social media, which allowed us to target the specific audiences and potential members we wanted to i nclude. In these meetings, modes of better accessing lesbian and bisexual women via social media (mostly Facebook) were discussed. It had been observed by Angeline and
35 Jalna at QCJ that lesbian and bisexual women were harder to reach, largely due to the mu ltiple ways in which they are marginalized by society and within the LGBTQ community. When QCJ wanted to implement small surveys, they found it was difficult to find respondents, so they wanted to strategize ways to increase participation while using some new advertising functions Facebook offered. Some of the meetings were event planning and brainstorming sessions for activities and outreach to better include lesbian and bisexual women, as well. Defining the LGBTQ populati on as a community is somewhat problematic as they are highly factionalized as well as quite diffuse. In most cases, this term is used either by my interlocutors or by myself i n attempting to describe the conditions of a shared plight, but i s not yet a unif ied alliance. In other words, our use of the term is aspirational, as it is general recognized by us to be a goal and an important strategy to achieving greater inclusion in Jamaican society. There is tension in balancing a politics of recognition versus a politics of equality Security comprises many considerations, including: protecting the identity of individuals who wish to keep their identity and/or sexuality anonymous organizing events so that details such as location and attendees are not made public, and the use of extensive security measures at organizational offices, as J FLAG and JASL did (keeping doors locked, only using gay friendly services for transportation and courier, visits by appointment only, for example). These secrecy and security concerns are leveraged against tactics which increase visibility of the population and the activists themselves: Pride events, activists using their given names, advertising the services and missions of
36 the organizations on billboards, and appearing in on television and video on social media, to name a few. The activists believe that by being out Jamaican society, they remove the power of being forcibly outed in the media. Th ey naturally want the work of their organizations known. They want to advertise the outreach their organizations offer to better serve the LGBTQ community. But, these modes of publicity also increase vulnerability, at least over the short term. Communitie s typically have gathering spaces. In Jamaica, however, physical gathering spaces for LGBTQ activism and social events alike are extremely challenging to locate because they are frequently moved to protect the safety of attendees. These locations are also kept secret. Often, because so many of the organizations with whom I have worked are very grassroots startups, they have no resources to physically rent space they do not have other options. Instead, they opt to meet in public locations in New Kingston lik e restaurants, hotel lobbies, and shopping centers. So, while there is risk involved in meeting in public, and possibly encountering trouble with disapproving eavesdroppers, the grassroots activists must hide in plain sight. The exception was the old J FLA G and JASL building, a house converted into offices and meeting spaces located in Trafalgar Park. Any meetings where invitations were extended to other LGBTQ organizations and stakeholders were held there. Additionally, with the various kinds of outreach s ervices supplied to homeless sexual minorities, this location and its grounds became a daytime gathering space for lower class Black gay and trans people, which did not go unnoticed by neighbors in the surrounding properties. Furthermore, others were makin g observations about the types of people frequenting the grounds of the J FLAG/JASL offices. On a couple of occasions, cab drivers who supposedly came
37 from vetted, safe agencies commented ( while transporting me from the site to my home ) about whether I was aware that there were lots of gays on site, cautioning me to be careful about spending time in the company of gay folk. It was evident that they feared some sort of contagion, and that they were very uncomfortable being near to the presence of people of n onnormative sexuality. They were clearly curious what business a white woman from farin might have with gay men. Additionally, it was made clear to me that there was growing discontent among the leadership of the organizations, particularly J FLAG a nd JASL that the modes of socializing of homeless gay and transwomen and, even their very presence were looked down upon and regarded a security risk. It was evident that racial and class bias on the part of these leaders was clouding their decision making. J FLAG and JASL rented the building from an elderly couple who, in addition to wanting to retire from the real estate business, also eventually succumbed to the disapproval and growing complaints of the neighbors. The landlords did not renew the lease for th e upcoming 2013 lease term, and gave the organizations notice to vacate the property. Once J FLAG and JASL moved their respective locations to new sites, the feeling of disconnectedness deepened. I interviewed and collaborated with members a few organiza tions apart from J FLAG and JASL. These organizations included: Quality of Citizenship Jamaica (QCJ), home base (although they lacked a physical address), Colour Pink, an organization an organization to support transgender people, National Anti Discrimination Alliance, an organization addressing the lack of legal protections for anti discr imination on the basis
38 of sex, sexuality, religion, or disability, Women for Women, a lesbian and bisexual based LGBTQ support organization for college students, and SO((U))L HQ, an LGBTQ fri endly arts collaborative. New Kingston is arguably the most gay friendly part of Kingston, and it is the commercial, financial and entertainment center of town and one of the most affluent nonresidential areas. Gay and trans sex workers work in these are as in the evenings, close to where their patrons work. It makes sense, the middle class and upper middle class individuals who work in finance, upper management in corporations like Digicel, GraceKennedy, Lasco, or in media like Television Jamaica, Jamaica Gleaner and Jamaica Observer newspapers, have more disposable income and tend to socialize in establishments nearby to their jobs since they have limited, albeit reliable off hours. Consumption of sexual services provided by gay and trans sex workers tend s to take place in New Kingston. But, it should be noted that most sex workers do not reside there, they commute to work in this area nightly. Although this population was not my main focus, since I primarily connected with the activist groups, I paid atte ntion to the struggles of this very vulnerable population within the LGBTQ community. Many of these sex workers stay in downtown areas geographically in the central and south central areas of the city, typically impoverished. inner city neighborhoods affi liated with communities are referred to as garrison communities, see Gray 2004 and Harrison 2008) In the earlier phase of my fieldwork, stories in the Jamaican Gleaner and Ja maica Observer newspapers identified squat houses where homeless youth were
39 camped out mostly in middle class areas I noticed many homeless sex workers and gay and trans teens stayed in unoccupied homes in wealthy neighborhoods, sometimes with verbal per mission of the landowner. I came to know these youth by locating them in my own uptown neighborhood of Millsborough, where they were living in the house an on the grounds of a home within walking distance of my apartment. However, during my fieldwork, poli ce crackdowns resulted in the ejection of most of the people squatting in these homes. When I was packing up to return to the United States, I carried bags of clothing and household items I hoped would be helpful to these vulnerable teens. Some transgender cried. It was incredibly humbling to witness their deep appreciation for my cast off clothes. After their eviction, with virtually no other options, many of these homeless youth e nded up in a variety of temporary shelters, including a number taking refuge in storm drains. It deeply upsets me to know that these beautiful, creative, and energetic gay and trans teens are living in even more tenuous conditions. Every time a tropical st orm descends on Jamaica, I worry for their safety they live where the water goes after the rains fall. During my time in Kingston, I observed that there are three groups of sexually minoritized people most likely to experience overt discrimination: gay me n, lesbian normative society, for several different reasons. Immediately visible on encounter, they are singled out for verbal abuse and threats consistently. Gender nonc onforming lesbians, especially those that appear more masculine are also likely to experience a lot of verbal abuse. Corrective rape, a more hidden form of violence, is inflicted on l esbian
40 and bisexual women However, most visible and best documented is h omophobia and violence toward gay men. Epithets often heard refer ring to gay men include : battyman chi chi man and fish For lesbians, the most common pejorative was sodomite Derogatory terms for trans women frequently were the same as for gay men the a verage Jamaican does not distinguish between gay and trans identity. Normative Jamaicans use a high degree of visual scrutiny to search for evidence of gender nonconformity among the people with whom they interact or see in their daily activities. I beca me aware of this phenomenon during my very first visit to Jamaica in 2006. Unprompted, both women and men felt the need to explain to me that because I came from farin (foreign), I needed to understand how to identify gay men. This was often happening with in the interview context when I was helping to collect baseline data for the USAID project, which seemed highly unusual to me. At the time, I was told that gay men could be identified by having both ears pierced, wearing tight pants, and perhaps bleaching of the face. These identifiers are no longer strictly relevant to gay men, in part because they have been adopted as fashion attributes more widely outside the gay male population, thanks in part to the vastly popular dancehall artist Vybz Kartel, known fo r his unconventional style and his criminal record (he is now in prison for murder). More durable methods of identifying gay men, involve spotting men behaving in effeminate or flamboyant ways. Overall, normative Jamaicans are cued into very subtle aspect s of gender presentation and performance that Americans, for example, would not ordinarily see. Carrying any one of these characteristics is cause for further scrutiny in the eyes of the average Jamaican. Now it should be noted that there is a rather tight feedback loop
41 between fashion trends among LGBTQ folk and those trends becoming identifiable by normative Jamaicans, not unlike a cat and mouse game. This makes sense: sexually minoritized people need subtle ways of signaling one another in public without being detected. Once those trends are readily recognizable by mainstream folks, they necessarily need to change to fly under the radar. Bisexual women and men do escape leveraging a certain amount of sexual privilege to protect themselves. Normative Jamaicans do not distinguish bisexual men from gay men. Bisexual women are almost completely invisible to mainstream Jamaican society. One instance in which I witnessed the identification process at work in a public setting was late in my fieldwork experience. I was close to wrapping up a meeting with QCJ in our usual spot, a popular jerk restaurant in New Kingston on a warm evening in late May. We liked to frequent this spot because we could usually find semi private space and were not usually bothered. The restaurant has a labyrinthine configuration of mostly roofless outdoor rooms of different sizes. We found if we lowered our voices, we could discuss almost any topic we ne eded to, even those of a more explicitly sexual nature. The members would go their separate ways at the close of the meeting, but Angeline and Jalna and a couple of others would usually linger with me until my ride came for me, a protective gesture that al ways worried me just a bit. They were just as concerned for my safety as I was for theirs. We joked and talked as we stood in the darkness, headlights of parking cars occasionally flashing over us. As a man and woman leaving the restaurant passed us they l ooked at us, a bit longer than normal. sodomite
42 thing to me was that her demeanor was not threatening. She was using the term as an identifier, and not in a hostile way. Shocked, I sta red at my companions for their are a bunch ah sodomites did feel much more vulnerable. Anonymity vs. Visib Regarding here is very clearly tension around the desire to protect safety, and how to operationalize the protection. Following the murders of J FLAG co founders Steve Harvey and Brian Williamson (both of whom we re publicly out) over 12 years ago, activists went into hiding, albeit hiding in plain sight. This recent move to come out of hiding is a political claim on public space. It is a marked departure from the policy of secrecy which dominated when I first lear ned about the plight of LGBTQ people in Jamaica in 2006. The reality is that there is really one degree of separation between normative people and LGBTQ people: everyone knows at least one person who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or queer. Maurice Tomli nson, a Jamaican from Maurice and many other activists is that the glass closet is only as powerful as the consent given to remain inside it. But, the freedom t hat comes with leaving the glass closet also makes activists vulnerable. They know that they are agreeing to be the vanguard to push Jamaica to be more inclusive by being out and working toward this change. Where once they were faceless voices critiquing t he actions of the state and actors in public culture, these activists being out humanizes them. It gives the Jamaican public a potentially different way of viewing LGBTQ people not as enemies of the state, but as citizens working to
43 make the state work for more of its people. Further, this calculated risk forces the hand of accountability, should some unfortunate event take place, there is much more likely to be a domestic and foreign call to hold the Jamaican state responsible. Despite this turn toward gre ater transparency in the activist community, the risk may outweigh the potential benefit. Several activists, including Maurice, have had to flee the island. Similarly, Javed Jaghai retracted his Supreme Court lawsuit after death threats not only toward him self, but his family. Hegemony and the Glass Closet LGBTQ expression to capture the invisible social forces segregating sexual minorities while at the same time rendering them highly visible and vulnerable. I first had contact with this term via activists. coming out of activists, and media campaigns calling for tolerance amid a climate of disapproval and violence to ward sexual minorities. This step toward public acknowledgement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer citizens is largely viewed as taboo and transgressive. Hypervisibility is a threat and tool used to reinforce the social boundaries of the gla ss closet. Generally, any activism on the part of the sexual minority community is regarded as threatening, pushing an agenda, or aggressively flaunting nonnormative sexuality. Of course, this is itself a manifestation of homophobia. In conversations with straight conservatives, I have encountered such sentiment to be a launchpad for homophobic diatribes. In these conversations, it became clear to me that there are defined conceptual boundaries for Jamaican sexual norms. Sometimes, without realizing, I wou ld use a word in these kinds of exchanges that would kick off a homophobic rant.
44 Through experiencing this phenomenon repeatedly, I began to discern the linguistic boundaries of the glass closet. I found one to be particularly telling: normative Jamaicans dislike the idea that sexual minorities should be entitled to the same consideration regarding the law and civil society as they themselves. But, instead of perceiving equal consideration before the law, person s of As expected, this situates LGBTQ individuals in a very precarious position socially. Any measures taken to bring oneself with highly unpopular views, and making oneself highly vulnerable to verbal abuse, if not worse. It became evident to me that the daily struggle for survival by sexually minoritized people in a homophobic society requires a complex linguistic calcu lus geared around the balance of self preservation and identity politics. This is of course, in addition to a myriad of other maneuvers performed in everyday life: logistical, geographic, class, race, legal, safety and so on. It requires a deftness to keep different aspects of life compartmentalized, and if the boundaries among the compartments are breached, can ha ve quite dire consequences. It The reverberating theme in this writing is of the heretofore durability of the trope of the glass closet. In it, I explore the multifaceted ways in which it operates, is reinforced, and its weaknesses. Ultimately, it is my hope that these weaknesses will be exploited and used to dismantle the glass closet. Like all aspects of cultu re, the glass closet is bound to change. Its boundaries are already altered via the efforts of the activists with whom I have liaised. But, where
45 boundaries are challenged in a hegemonic setting, pushback is inevitable. This is the historical moment in whi ch we find ourselves, one in which conflict over the future role of sexual minorities is taking place. There are many who wish to turn back the clock to a time they imagine was less permissive of nonnormative sexuality. However, as I discuss later, the gla ss closet phenomenon has only come into existence rather recently. Several examples show that even forty years ago, sexual identity was more flexible and negotiated than it is now (Silvera 2006). Transnational cultural features, like television evangelists helped to galvanize the social boundaries around the glass closet, at a time when rigid gender norms were harnessed to consolidate the power of a disparate majority. There are internal and external forces maintaining the bounds of the glass closet. Its d oor presently stands ajar because of the efforts of LGBTQ activists. That it is not slammed shut again remains the primary source of struggle for sexually minoritized folk. Historically Negotiated Identities Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer id entities have not always been the focus of such public scrutiny in Jamaica. Indeed, the scapegoating that is happening now has only been a project of the nation state over the last 25 years. Before that, such focus on sexuality would have been an assault o n the norms of social respectability. The history of same sex relationships in Jamaica is unclear. There do not seem to be localized terminologies for same sex relationships in Jamaican history. What is more apparent, however, is that there was the possib ility for negotiated identities. Canadian novelist Makeda Silvera (2008) explains that before 1962 (Jamaican independence) in Jamaican villages, people always knew women and men who were that way because they had same sex
46 relationships. The norms of polite society demanded that neighbors did not pry overly of community interdependence, and you might not know when you need to call in a favor from a neighbor, it would be short sighted to publicly embarrass them. Thus, Silvera notes several instances where specifically women had same sex relationships, even while married to men, and folks in town might whisper a bit, but noth ing further. Affective Politics: Perpetual Grieving and Fictive Kin The politics of exclusion cut LGBTQ individuals from their birth families, from e ven more important. Cross generational connections within the community stand in for lost familial relations. Community elders (not that there are many) convey wisdom, much the same way parents or grandparents do. These vital support networks buoy the comm unity, so when elders die, their loss is acutely felt. When Steve Harvey and Brian Williamson were murdered, so much pain was left in the aftermath murders sensationalized, and the sexual minorit y community vilified, but community elders, leaders who are still thought of as parents to the movement, were lost. The loss of their knowledge, their momentum, and courage was a setback for Jamaican LGBTQ activism. Even more than a decade later, Harvey an d Williamson are still mourned and honored by the community. Each year, on their birthdays, they are remembered with events in their names, and candles lit in their memories. Observing the reverence with which these martyred activists are commemorated mad e evident to me the long lasting effects violence, and threat s of it have upon queered communities. Violence not only attenuates participation in activism, but it also
47 is palpable as a collective burden. In moments, this burden is unbearable. When I would ask my interlocutors about their experiences with violence, their body language would change: they would crumple. They often expressed feelings of being trapped on an island where the average Jamaican wanted to hurt or kill them. For most, escaping to exil e would be unattainable. They grieved for themselves even as they worked to make Jamaica safer something they did not expect to see within their own lifetimes. Finally, s urvivorship, and the guilt it often accumulates, too are perpetually present in LGBTQ activism. Among some of the first generation of activists, the co founders of J FLAG, like Mark Clifford, I encountered feelings of guilt in having survived to a see a new generation of LGBTQ activists. In some ways, Mark seemed wistful for the boldness o f the very earliest days of the movement. But, when I asked him about Harvey and Williamson, I he indicated that what happened to them could have happened to himself. He regretted the ways in which he, and other gay Jamaicans, had been forced into hiding o ut of self preservation. He also expressed concern for the new trend toward greater visibility that activists like Maurice Tomlinson were taking. At the same time, he still seemed hopeful. In speaking with Mark, I concluded that the other burden of surviv orship is the obligation to carry forward the light of those who have been lost, and to keep working to make Jamaica safer for its vulnerable LGBTQ citizens. Structure of the Study In each of the analysis chapters of this writing, I have identified outcome s of homophobia. These problems are tied to many different aspects of Jamaican social life. And, while these problems affect LGBTQ people most acutely, they underscore issues affecting other vulnerable segments of the population, as well.
48 Chapter 2 address es the role intersectionality and marginalization play in creating multiple modes via which LGBTQ identities are marginalized. Overlapping categories reveal the concomitant effects of racial categorization, gender norms, and governmentality as they converg e with varying degrees of peripheralization for sexual minorities. These multiple layers of vulnerability I argue, result in a hyper marginalization for sexual minorities. I detail the role financial hurdles play in creating social vulnerability, as well as the implications of resource scarcity in Chapter 3 Competition over resources perceived to be scarce has resulted in infighting, effectively preventing intergroup collaboration and over the longer term, preventing the creation of a coalition able to un ite resources and people to effect social change. In Chapter 4 I describe the ways in which the state participates in the ongoing peripheralization of LGBTQ people via retention of antiquated law, and other institutionalized ways of marginalizing sexual m insistence that the state has no stake in perpetuating the mistreatment of sexual minorities and violence against them, there is substantial evidence to the contrary. Chapter 5 highlights the specter of violence as it looms over the whole of Jamaican society. Its effects are long ranging. Violence impacts communities in multiple ways: inflicting trauma and loss, depriving community of leadership, forcing exile and leaving further gaps. For LGBTQ Jamaicans, these ef fects of trauma have an even deeper effect, given the small population size and being targets of particular kinds of violence.
49 Chapter 6 measures social exclusion and its effects. What I have found is that the very little social space in civil society mea ns that substantial changes in public culture will have to take place for the social stigma against LGBTQ folks to lessen and for them to be conceptually included as citizens. These may prove to be the most difficult aspects of social change to tackle, and are expected to take the longest to achieve. By connecting with the ideological origins of homophobia in Jamaica, I have been able to define the cultural logics that underwrite its existence. Through tracing how homophobia is operationalized as a tool for constituency building, I have identified an incentive for its perpetuation. This approach is an application of a political economic analysis to homophobia. I was inspired to utilize this approach by the work of Faye Harrison, who has used political econom ic analysis in her work on social movements and race (1997, 1997a, 2005, 2008) What is most useful about this approach is that the social conditions that sustain deleterious aspects of social hierarchies are made visible. Moreover, the durable aspects tha t reinforce the oppression of homophobia can be analyzed in such a way that they can be compared in other contexts in global perspective providing useful data for researchers and activists working to combat politically reinforced homophobia in those locati ons. The Big Shift: Building Constituencies where Consensus is Not After independence, and with the Jamaican economy entering a period of fluctuation, eventually requiring outside intervention via the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, major s ocial shifts begin to take place. Beginning in the late 1970s and through the 1980s, Jamaica faced a dramatic middle class exodus from the island. Typically, the middle class socially and economically stabilizes a society But
50 in the near absence of the mi ddle class, two party parliamentary democracy struggled to create functional constituencies out of those who remained: the elites, and the very poor. Ordinarily, these groups have little in common regarding economy and politics. A shorthand way t o forge a commonality among such disparate interests is via scapegoating of a common enemy. History is rife with these examples: antisemitism in immigrant sentiment in Europe following the 2008 global recessio n (Henkel 2012). Creating an Othered population on which to blame social ills then works to build consensus and to create cohesion where otherwise there could not be any. When I presented this thesis to my activist research consultants, they agreed with my assessment, although this is not a commonly circulating idea among them. In Jamaica, this Othered population is, of course, sexually minoritized people. Hatred against them builds throughout the late 1980s and 1990s. In the early 2000s, it explodes which the 2004 Human Rights Watch report Hated to Death captures Thereafter, Jamaican national identity is reshaped through the state and public culture, in opposition to a homosexual Other, in several distinct and overt ways. It soon becomes very clear that be ing a sexual minority and Jamaican national identity are now fundamentally at odds with one another. Through an analysis of political economy and public culture, this research identifies the roots of Jamaican homophobia and the strategies used by local act ivists to dismantle it. Tracing the complex of beliefs and behaviors underwriting Jamaican homophobia as well as its practices, through the collision of hierarchies of race, class,
51 economy, gender, sexuality, and the state, this research aims to inform th is and other contexts in which scapegoating a segment of the population on the basis of sexua l orientation is utilized to create consensus within the polity Not the least of these is to solidify a common basis for political constituency among t he very poo r and the elite who under any other circumstances, would have interests so divergent so as to be unable to relate to one another. My work seeks to identify the multiple layers of discrimination meant to segregate LGBTQ individuals from the whole of Jamaica n society but also the work and lives of the activists working to dismantle it
52 CHAPTER 2 METHOD S AND THEORY TO UNPACK THE CULTURAL LOGIC OF PUBLIC AND STATE WORLDVIEWS Life in the Field Accessing and r esearching and a sexually stigmatized community hid ing in plain sight requires a deft understanding of the cultural logics and tactics of reinforcing the glass closet. As such, I as the researcher needed to be able to move between disparate groups and demonstrate knowledge and sensitivity for the challenge s they face daily I quickly developed a mindfulness of the pervasive feeling of vulnerability resulting from perpetual vigilance. I accomplished this by honing my praxis through my theoretical lens. It was logical to rely on queer theory to unpack complex ities of sexuality and gender while still attending to other embodied aspects of identity such as race and social class to make my analysis. Situating myself in queer reflexive discours e allowed me to connect with burgeoning movement for LGBTQ i nclusion in ways both meaningful and personal It was also important for me as a researcher to understand how both local and global aspects of nonnormative sexual identity intersect in Jamaica. Attitudes among normative Jamaicans often frame homosexuality and human rights as a foreign infiltration, an unwanted cons equence of globalization. Conversely, a mong Jamaican LGBTQ activists, there is a trend to acknowledge historical evidence of same sex expressions within the region. Postcolonial S exualities The f irst portion of this chapter is concerned with theoretical approaches to postcolonial sexualities. Like the reactions of transnational versus local interpretations
53 of Jamaican LGBTQ sexual expression mentioned later a nalysts of postcolonial same sex sexua li ties in the postcolonial global South diverge around the effects of globalization on local and transnational sexual identity (Babb 2003). Some place greater emphasis on local, indigenous identities. Other s emphasize transnational, Wester nized, sexual ide ntities Drawing on both perspectives, I situate myself in a hybridized approach, which I detail below. Sexual difference is more fraught in postcolonial contexts than in the Global North Competing discourses of sexuality and sex norms emerge out of the c rucibles of these complex milieus. Although these discourses identified below have a historical origin, their potency has not diminished over time. If anything, the durability of tropes of sexual difference have increased and prolonged the vulnerability of sexual minorities. A core orientation of this research is a human rights approach to LGBTQ As such, I advocate queering human rights concepts, which requires reinterpreting seminal human rights theories beyond the scope the original the orists intended. This demonstrates the inclusivity and flexibility of queer theory to remain rooted in in these perspectives while applying them to new contexts of marginalization. norm s of sexual difference in the following section. Local, I ndigenous S exual I dentities The analysts on this side of the debate acknowledge the importance of indigenous sexual identities. While they are cognizant of the intrusion globalization represents, th ey resist this intrusion in favor of older, localized expressions of same sex sexuality. These localized contexts, then, are the primary stage upon which such identities are enacted.
54 sex sexuality among Afr o descendants is showcased. She investigates Afro Surinamese same sex sexuality mati globa lizing trends that might elide the specificities of the mati relationship between women as a variation of a lesbian relationship (2006:225). Indeed, Wekker seeks to re various binaries that modernity While she does not the es globalization is, in part, due to the association of globalizing trends with the colonial power of the Netherlands. Indeed, there is debate and disbe lief in Dutch discourse that same sex mati relationship s persist Mati r elationships endure the influx of globalized lesbian identities arriving in Suriname via the Netherlands. In his introduction to Tropics of Desire the specificity of jected by writers and artists in Latino America Such a distinction also Others same sex sexualities, Quiroga acknowledges (2000). It is the bustling urban centers in Latin America, sites that themselves attempt to replicate Europe or America (2000). This does not necessarily extend out to Latin American same sex sexual identities, h we must not essentialize identity; rather we should privilege the network of relationships that will allow subjects to
55 construct Thus, Quiroga favors a particularly Latin American sensibility in understanding same sex sexual identities. Transnational S exual I dentities S everal theorists seek to privilege transnational, Western same sex sexual identities. They acknowledge the homogenizing capacity of the almost irresistible novelty of these emergent transnational same sex sexualities. These theorists admit the possibility that in digenous conceptions of same sex sexuality may become casualties in this trend toward sexual globalization. new sexual identities mean a loss of certain traditional cultural comforts while of fering new possibilities to those who adopt them, and activists in non Western countries will consciously dra give way to the new. Additionally, the loss of traditional sexual sensibil ities is, to Altman, a primary motivator for activists to consciously and strategically deploy traditional sexual identities in political ways. The focus of this turn, they argue, is that sexuality should learn from globalization (Povinelli and Chauncy 1999). But, they also suggest that globalization studies can learn from sexuality studies, too especially when it comes to problems of scale (Povinelli and Chauncy 1999). The i ssue of scale for Povinelli and Chauncy is that the impersonal meta level of flows and transnational interaction have little connection to (P ovinelli and Chauncy 1999:445). vention on the intersection of sexuality and globalization is
56 therefore not wholehearted: they have identified a gap. This gap is addressed particularly well by the work of anthropologists discussed below. Bridging the Sexuality Gap: S imultaneously Local a nd G lobal A few analysts seek to bridge the divide between indigenous and transnational, globalized conceptions of same sex sexuality. Resistant to the loss of indigenous same sex sexual identities, they assert the agency of their interlocutors. Rather tha n an all or nothing proposition, these analysts offer the potential for postcolonial same sex sexual identities to choose how and how much their identities are globalized. h Managua is, in part, a critique of the globalizing, homogenizing tendency eroding localized expression s of same sex sexual identities. At the same time, she acknowledges the neoliberal trend that opened a conceptual and political space in Nicaragua following the end of the Sandinista government, making globalized gay and lesbian identities more accessible. needed opportunities to expand sexual expression and sexual ri benefited some far more than others a (2003:319). Babb calls attention to one glaring gap produced by this shift: the differential between Nicaraguan gay men and lesbia ns (2003). She urges future work in this area of scholarship to attend to the differences in access, participation, and experiences in wider society of gays and lesbians (Babb 2003). The gender component is not dissolved simply by same sex sexual identity, Babb contends, as society at large holds different norms for same sex loving women and men.
57 Tom Boellstorff (2005) makes a clear linguistic distinction that the Indonesian terms gay and lesbi should not be confused with the English terms gay and lesbian. Boellstorff argues that gay and lesbi are strictly Indonesian sensibilities and identities (2005). The effects of globalization, Boellstorff contends, can be understood through the tw een emic two elements are held in productive tension without the expectation that they w This term also conjures up a concept borrowed from Diasporic cultural expressions: dubbing and sampling techniques in music like hip hop and Jamaican Dancehall. In this case, the two elements are, of course, globalized sexual identities and Indonesian sexual identities. The tension, then, is the resistance that gay and lesbi Indonesians maintain to preserve their own indigenous understanding and roles that these same sex sexualities play in Indonesian culture. Martin Manalansan (2003) is one who has taken seriously the gap earlier Global Diva s is to present an ethnographic case study of how processes of globalization and transnationalism are negotiated through the processes of identity formation and everyday life of Filipino gay immigrants in New York City (2003:9) Thus, transnational gay F i shows his research consultants as agents moving between the complexities of lives that Richard Parker locates his work at the inters ection of local and global (1999). His
58 and experienced and the global processes that increasingly impinge on local contexts and m Despite the action of these global processes, Parker demonstrates that they are not totalizing far from it. Instead, there exists a spectrum of multiple same sex sexual identities (Parker 1999). regard to the collision of transnational identities with localized ones (2001:1061). Puar reveals that the homogenizing tendencies of globalized sexual identities necessitated on to Puar 2001). met Georgia and Afifa who proudly identified not only themselves as queer, but their arts collaborative, as well. Lisa Rofel observes the emergence of large numbers of large numbers of young gay Chinese struggling with nonnormative identity (1999). This emergence signals to identifies is political: young gay Chinese are coming out and aligning themselves with a globalized gay identity, in contrast to an older generation of individuals who do not identify as gay, but engage in same sex sexuality. This political shift is possible, Rofel generational groups of research consultants elucidate this generational gap around same sex sexual identity.
59 While younger gay interviewees discussed com ing out and increased political participation, older participants identified with filial obligations to parents, explaining coming out as unnecessary (Rofel 1999). Rofel demonstrates that traditional notions of family, the fundamental unit of Chinese socie ty, are at odds with new transcultural expressions of gay identity highly Western and individually oriented. Mark Padilla situates gay Dominican culture as quite integrated into transnational gay identity, and he points out that the larger Dominican societ y is very transnational in orientation, as well (2007). According to Padilla, the globalization of gay as it unfolds in the Dominican Republic should not be understood as a process that leads to the inevitable erasure of traditional identities and practice s, but as one that incorporates, reworks, and commodifies particular constructions of sexuality vis vis global capitalism (2007:103). same sex sexuality in the Dominican Republic. Like Babb, Padilla explains that men who engage in same sex intercourse as the active partner are not automatically considered gay, and often also engage in intercourse with women. Thus, the useful distinction to make in this context (Padilla 2007:214). Richard Parker locates his work at the intersection of local and global (1999). His s are lived and experienced and the global processes that increasingly impinge on local contexts Despite the action of these global processes, Parker demonstrates that they are not totalizing far from it. Instead, there exists a spe ctrum of multiple same sex sexual identities (Parker 1999).
60 Framing Sexual Difference in Context : Queer Theory Sexual difference exists in a matrix of heteronormativity which casts any ume of The History of Sexuality is a seminal treatise reinterpreting Victorian conceptual shifts toward establishing Western sexual norms regulating sexual practices and identity (1990). This is particularly helpful in understanding the theoretical origins of Victorian codification of sex norms into law. In the Anglophone Caribbean, many of these laws, such as those prohibiting sodomy, have been preserved, which continues to marginalize gay men. Foucault also discusses the Victorian treatment of homosexuali ty as an aberration (1990). Since Foucault is also concerned with discursive flows, he proposes that the discourse structuring homosexuality as unnatural contains within it the possibility of a counternarrative that upholds homosexuality as part of a natur al spectrum of sexual behavior (1990). Victorian sexual norms that Foucault identifies as central to discourse of abnormal sexuality are alive and well in Jamaica. Rebecca Schleifer, author of the groundbreaking Human Rights Watch Report Hated to Death no against same British Victorian era, and remains on the books to this day, virtually unchanged (2004). It criminalizes male homosexual sex, even that which is con sensual between adults. The Offences against the Person Act also minoritizes homosexuals, it is the primary justification for continued legal and social discrimination against them. There are two charges that may be applied to men caught in the act by poli ce. The felony charge is or two men, or a man and an animal and is punishable by imprisonment and hard labor
61 for up to ten years (2004). Schleifer points out that the les is a misdemeanor that involves any sex act between men that does not include anal sex (2004). According to Schleifer, these charges can be applied in either public or private locations (2004). These laws do not address lesbian s, however. While not criminalized, lesbians face discrimination, albeit usually less than gay men typically experience. individuals on ill defined charges including suspicion of buggery or gross indece (2004: 22) [emphasis mine]. Further, police are not required to present a warrant to arrest individuals caught loitering between the hours of 7 PM and 6 AM, if the arresting about to be committed (Schleifer 2004: 22). Additionally, Schleifer reveals that believable accounts from citizens can also be employed to make arrests without warrants (2004). Convictions on buggery charges are rare, Schleifer observes. As one of Schleif court (2004: 23). Thus, there is much fear for gay men to be outed in this way. Newspapers also publish these public records, Schleifer points out, including the names of the men charged, which humiliates and is potentially dangerous for them. sex sex are of Victorian British origin. However, Schleifer stresses that in 2000, the UK and its territories abolished these laws when it became signatory t o the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (2004). According to Schleifer, this law did not apply to the Commonwealth, and Jamaica did not alter its prohibition on same sex sex.
62 Law i s a site of conflict for gay rights. White and Gerke claim that Jamaica sex sex justifies discrimination (and worse) by the state (2004: 156). Further negative public sentiment often stems from an unders tanding, or mo re to the point, misunderstanding of addresses part of the problem. Certainly, this action will be necessary to t he rights struggle. B ut given the pressure put on Jamaica ernment by international human rights organizations as well as human rights bodies legal reform remains a fraught if potentially productive part of social change toward a more inclusive Jamaica for its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and inte rsex citizens. It should be noted that Jamaica is but one of at least 76 countries worldwide that criminalize same sex intercourse and partnerships (Colin, et al 2016). Some countries carry harsher penalties: Belize and Trinidad, for example, ban sexual mi norities from even entering their respective borders (Tomlinson 2017). Six Caribbean countrie s Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; and Guyana carry a penalty of ten years or more for a conviction of same sex activity between men (Toml inson 2017). This places Jamaica among this category of criminalization. So, it could be considered that anti gay sentiment is maintained at least in part, as a Caribbean cultural value. Those societies feeling the most pressure from other globalizing for ces in the region often cite this explanation as justification for further persecution of sexual minorities. The struggle of LGBTQ activists is situated amid a culture war or a moral pa nic, a dangerous place, indeed.
63 Following Foucault, in The Epistemology of the Closet Eve Sedgewick approaches social constructions of homosexuality in both historical and discursive perspectives (2008). Like Foucault, Sedgewick identifies the latter part of the 19 th century as the origin of the concept of homosexuality, whi ch she asserts is put into use before heterosexuality becomes commonly used (2008). Added to this are experiential components which greatly enhance these explanations beyond the theoretical realm. nce This phenomenon is common among my research consultants where e lisions about nonnormative sexual identity are frequently made to aid in hiding LGBTQ identity. 990) discussion homosexuality is as much a performance as expressing it. Indeed, in conversations with my interlocutors about hiding their same sex romantic lives from family me mbers, friends, and workmates, remaining closeted requires an extensive amount of mental labor, and a constant worry about presenting (feigned) hetero authenticity clear evidence of the challenges of the performance of the closet to which Sedgewick (2008) alludes. Junxi Qian, st udying gay men in China, a context like Jamaica in which sexual minorities are stigmatized writes homosexual identity is imbricated in discourses of heterosexuality, it seems not surprising to discover that public sex culture has been constrained and constituted, across different places and social contexts, by the regulatory power of normal/normative heterosexuality (2014). As in Jamaica, h omosexuality and ge nder nonconformity are simultaneously taboo and highly visible as
64 sub verting expected social norms, and these can be thought about as essential characteristics of the glass closet the regulatory power of heteronormativity to constrain LGBTQ identities Queering Human Rights Discourse Kathleen Jones (2015) r einterpret s Hann ah Arendt ( 1951:67 ) (1951:297) through a queer lens in her analysis of a Minneapolis based Jewish writings Jones admits that this is, at first blus h counterintuitive, given aversion to politics of gender and sexuality (Jones 2015). However, Jones goes on to demonstrate how the Hannah Arendt Lesbian Peace Patrol (HALPP) came to organize under an Arendtian conceptual umbrella (2015). HALPP sought to organize itself around emphasis on the responsibility of minoritized people to become aware of their oppression and to work against it: essentially a call to action Jones (2015) This stance transf orms minoritized people into political actors, imbuing them with greater agency (Jones 2015) The potential consequences for taking such a stance, Jones explains, can be quite high but must embraced by the conscious pariah, including exclusion and exile (2 015). My research consultants may not be familiar with Arendtian theory of rights; however, they have very much operationalized these same concepts. The activists with particu larly with regard to conscious resistance and acceptance of political consequences in the struggle for state and public recognition of their human rights. And, although Arendt herself might have been uncomfortable with queer, minoritized people
65 situating t hemselves in her conception of rights, I think she would agree that this is an apropos use of her ideas. Beyond the Law: Sexuality and the S tate The relationship of the state to reproduction is naturalized, and the heterosexuality/reproduction dyad is p resumed the foundation for the state. Because this relationship has been naturalized for centuries, its processes of exclusion are nearly invisible. It is therefore necessary to make visible these often overlooked, naturalized practices to understand why h omosexuality is such a threat to the national identity of the state. Tom Boellstorff argues that in the Indonesian context, the Otherness of gay and lesbi Indonesians implies failure of the nation (2005: 195). Indonesian gays and lesbians, Boellstorff cont Thus, difference is constitu tive and threatening to the nation simultaneously. In Gender Trouble Judith Butler (1990) maintains that cultural and ideological process of naturalization of the binary of gender, excluding other sexual possibilities as outside nature. Butler gives a goo d example of this when she discussed how Sexual identity, therefore, is reduced solely to sexual acts ones that are prone to contamination David Evans focuses on the interaction of the state and t he market and their effects upo n sexualities, particularly non of civil, political and social rights machineries is employed to define degrees of citizenship or, to be more precise, the non citizenship of those manifestly outwith the
66 absolute reified standards of the moral community Different classifications or qualities of citizenship is disruptive to social cohesion, according to Evans. These ruptures serve to further segregate citizens and non cit izens. This is precisely the social mechanism at work in Jamaica, with very similar outcomes. ima te the pro gays and the anti gays exist symbiotically, helping to fashion each othe Thus, struggle is inherent to identity formation. Plummer envisions such conflict in a U.S. context, one that has more discursive space in which these debates take place. In the Jamaican context, however, public discursive space is far more constricted. Guillermo discussion of compromised citizenship and access to democratic apparatuses. This also accurately captures cu rrent social conditions in Jamaica. Poverty, then, is another powerful factor in the maintenance of Jamaican heteronationalism. Crises of the state create opportunities to consolidate state power. Moral panic, originally theorized in the 1970s by Stanley C ohen (1972) and Stuart Hall et al (1978) has its roots in sociology of crime. C ohen (1972) maintains that c onsolidation of power (1951) concept of Stuart Hall, et al. (1978) describe folk devils as emerging under social becom[ing] the bearers of all our social anxieties, but we can turn against
67 him the full wrath of our indignation (Hall et al. 1978:161). In Jamaica, of course, the folk devils are sexual m inorities and their con tinued persecution marks an essentially permanent kind of moral panic. Jack Young, departing a bit from Cohen, suggests the concept of p rotracted permanent moral panics (2010). While he fails to connect this concept to the consolid ation of state power, the implications of permanent moral panic certainly denote pariah status. Gilbert Herdt has dedicated an edited volume to sex and moral panics, with an eye toward their effects for minoritized people, including queer folk (2009). Herd t contends that such panics are inherently destructive to communities, and likens them to natural disasters (2009). Some of the most destructive effects, however, are those that compromise citizenship (Herdt 2009). Cultural anger accompanies these panics, and media representations fuel fiery moral condemnation (Herdt 2009). Panics themselves ostracism and social exclusion The outcomes of social discipline, however, may be of the greatest concern: sexual panics may generate the creation of monstrous enemies sexual scapegoats. This reproductive rights, exposing fault lines of structural violence (e.g., racism, poverty, ho moph obia, etc.) (Herdt 2009:3). Janice volume, and she, too, highlights her estimation, the normative population seeks to stig matize the sex practices of the scapegoated population, dredging up feelings of contagion, threat, and revulsion (2009). As the panic progresses, it becomes more socially acceptable to publicly decry very
68 specific kinds of practices, such as sex acts (Irvi ne 2009). Thus, it becomes appropriate for conservative preachers to describe in detail, for example, the moral depravity of those practices which define sexual otherness (Irvine 2009). While I am familiar I was mentally unprepared, for how far this phenomenon had progressed in Jamaica in my absence. On a Sunday, only a few days after my arrival in Kingston to begin fieldwork, I tuned into a p rogram hosted by Dr. Wayne West. H e explicitly descr ibed certain practices of anal sex in painful detail on a program aired afternoon when anyone, inclu ding children could be exposed to such raunchy descriptions. These were clearly intended to disgust and horrify audiences, galvanizing them against the evil s of homosexual sex. Thus, the role of affect in fueling moral/sex panics must not be discounted, according to Irvine. Sexual H abitus The combined effect of Jamaican mediascapes and ideoscapes on shaping individual and societal constructions of lesbians, g ays and all sexuals is a social field otion of habitus (1993) to understand how this social field is constructed and maintained. Habitus is reinforced in the social field, according to Bourdieu, through two means: a and social infrastructure and underpinning them (1993: 72). Thus, the ideologies and practices reinforcing the construct of the glass closet I mentioned earlier o perate by precisely the means that Jamaica, the glass closet is a way to limit full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals.
69 During fieldw ork, I sought to highlight the lived experiences of sexual minorities coping with the restrictions imposed by the social norms of the glass closet. At the sa me time, it was important to my project to chronicle the burgeoning social movement working to comb at the institutionalized forms of discrimination and violence perpetuating the most damaging practices of the glass closet. It was imperative for me to understand the activists who participated in my research as individuals, and on deeper personal levels, as the nature of the study is simultaneously personal and political. Methodological Framework In this latter portion of this C hapter 2 I detail the methods I used during fieldwork. I begin with the theoretical underpinnings of my approach These include engaging both professional and personal lives of research consultants as well as the value of the extended case study method. Then, I go on to explain the specifics of my data collection methods and sampling techniques. A pproach ing Lived Realities: Persona l Lives To access the lived realities of those enduring the strictures of the glass closet, I needed to know my research consultants in their personal lives as well as via their activism. verlapping core concepts with which it should be possible to frame more subtle research questions in order that feelings emotions memories, biographies and connections do not remain afterthoughts but can be built into original research questions (2007 :5 ). It became important to me to engage finer grained understandings of LGBTQ life in Jamaica that go beyond merely medicalizing the population to explicate deeper questions of the experiential aspects of queer Jamaican life. In studies emphasizing lived aspe cts of this goal can be
70 recogniz[ing] not only the importance of cultural and personal memory, bu t also of Because life beyond activism is important I made sure to attend to fluctuations in the personal lives of my research consultants. I listened to their hopes, fears, and life goals. I did my best to comfort the anguish of broken hear ts, or the difficulties of navigating a small romantic scene where nearly everyone in it has a high degree of sexual history with one another. Naturally, this degree of interpersonal intimacy quickly transforms such relationships, and research contacts bec ame friends, as budding rapport began to develop. Becoming immersed in the everyday lives of particularly lesbian and bi women helped me to deepen my understanding of the ways in which they are multiply minoritized, and to recognize the profound effects of the rigid sex/gender system has on the lives queer Jamaicans. By becoming engaged in the lives of my interlocutors, I was compelled to confront my own closeted sexual identity. I had to come out whilst in the field. In acknowledging my subject position as a bi woman (albeit a very privileged white North American one), I felt the connection among the lives of my research consultants and myself in a personal way I also felt the weight of obligation to support their efforts in an ethical and nuanced manner and to spotlight some of the hidden processes that heighten the vulnerability even within the LGBTQ community. Thus, it was vital to me to become involved in the activism of my interlocutors. As a participant observer among LGBTQ human rights activists, it followed that I should become involved in organizing activities myself. Becoming an activist researcher was
71 not entered into lightly, but instead is a core methodological orientation within this research project It originates out of both ethical obligati on and necessity: it seems only right that I should use my privilege as a white North American bi woman researcher to support the efforts of sexually minoritized activists in a fraught Southern context. Gaining access to my target community involved failed starts with J FLAG and NADA, although ultimately these failures proved to be learning experiences that offered the opportunity to explore the ongoing challenges of sexual identity based activism in Jamaica. Lisa Duggan identifies the evolution of queer m ovements as highly variable in her now While she uses queer as an umbrella term to refer to sexually minoritized people, she acknowledges that struggles for different segments within the population have bee n quite varied (Duggan 1992). Lesbians, for example, were peripheralized in the earliest part of the movement and continue to face very different challenges related to being both female and same sex loving (Duggan 1992). This closely mirrors the lag in inc lusion that Jamaican lesbians are currently experiencing. Intersections of race, and class, too, are highly relevant in structuring relations within the sexually minoritized population: they are, as Duggan shows, more likely to be relevant, with the sexual ity component lagging behind (1992). This also closely echoes the ways in which privilege confers protection and status, even within the marginalized LGBTQ population in Jamaica. But, in advocating for queer as an inclusive term, Duggan does not question t he elision of differences and struggle that can be subsume d within such an umbrella term.
72 Thus, the variability, high rates of attrition, and inter group struggle I witnessed are common in growing LGBTQ social movements, according to Duggan. Important a mon g the concerns I have identified earlier is the high level of inter group competition Moving between groups with often prickly interactions with one another, I saw my role as an activist researcher to be one to promote supportive, collaborative relationsh ips among organizations. Toward this end, I was proud to help four LGBTQ groups: QCJ, PRIDE in Action, NADA, and SO((U))L HQ to collaboratively sponsor an event for IDAHOT and to remember the life of Brian Williamson. While a very successful collaboration, it was clear that this was not the norm for such a gathering Further, the somewhat peripheralized status of these groups served to equalize relations among them. Had a more prominent group, such as J FLAG been involved, it would have undoubtedly hijacked the spotlight from smaller, less established groups. Moving among these groups required a balance of managing my outsider and partial insider roles as both researcher and activist It was a crucial mission within this research project to get at the of persecuted groups which Faye Harrison identifies as ing the vulnerability of minoritized populations (1997a:90). As an observing participant bearing some marked differences between myself and my research consultants, it was imperative that I spend much more time listening and contextualizing the identities, issues, and problems they face, which required taking in detailed litanies of complaint s and slights, along with new ways in which queer youth were reinventing themselves, or sympathizing with fears and stresses not only related to being gay, but also financial vulnerabilities, as well.
73 Additionally, it was important to access allies and adv ersaries outside the LGBTQ community. This sometimes meant utilizing other aspects of my identity to gain access to these individuals and groups, and enduring perspectives with which I did not agree. But, this was a largely productive endeavor, because it led me to make unexpected connections I might not otherwise have made. For example, I attended Shaare Shalom Synagogue in Kingston during my fieldwork. As the only synagogue on the island, it was interesting to connect with a very different minority popula tion from my target group of queer Jamaicans although a minority in numbers only, as many congregants were affluent and prominent in Kingston society. To my surprise, I found many allies among them, including Dr. Karen Carpenter, a psychologist specializi ng in sexuality Dr. Carpenter ha s a longstanding professional relationship with Laura Garcia, a trans woman and the founder But, I also encountered other congregants who were equally unsupportive. One o lder male congregant became verbally combative upon my mere mention of human rights. I endured his diatribe railing against human rights as Western imperialism the shortest amount of time I could manage before clumsily excusing myself. I did approach the r abbi (an ally) about the incident afterwards, which he found amusing, as he frequently disagreed with this man about many other social issues. Extended Case Study Method Following Gluckman and the Manchester School Karen Sykes (2014) argues that the exten ded case study method is particularly applicable to postcolonial contexts. This method is very useful where people are joined together by conflic t within a shared social system (Sykes 2014). Sykes is firm on the notion that i n conflict, people use sound re asoning in their decision making ; and this method renders visible both the
74 conflict and the reasoning people use in attempt to resolve it (2014). This encapsulates a situational analysis, as it begins with conflict and moves toward resolution. With the ext ended case study method, cross scalar analysis of individual cases allow s for extrapolation to larger societ y. T hese latter two features (conflict as a starting point and the extrapolation of individual cases to the societal level ) are ostensibly the most relevant to my research. Th e extended case study method is an appropriate framework to utilize as it is relevant to postcolonial Jamaica, in a setting of conflict around the plight of sexually nonnormative Jamaicans within a homophobic mainstream society Michael Burawoy (1998) makes a strong argument for utilizing the extended case study method in post colonial contexts. The strength of this method, he contends, is that Black metropolis and periphery, capital and labor, to discover multiple processes, interests and identities (Burawoy 1998: 6 ). Thus, the extended case study method is apropos in circumstances in which hierarchical vulnerability is at work. Furthermore, Burawoy insists upon reflexivity in the application of the extended case study method (1998). Burawoy feels that discursiveness and intersubjectivity necessarily follow from reflexivity and are integral to the multiple and simultaneous interactions of participant [ s ] and observer knowledge and social situation, situation and its field of location, folk theory and academic theory (1998:14) Rather than shy away from the notion that such interactions are problematic, Burawoy views i nterventions in reflex ive science as virtuous, and necessary (1998 ) This framework with its emphasis on conflict in postcolonial contexts, has permitted me to analyze the conflict present around nonnormative sexual identity amid
75 homophobia in Jamaica. I grapple with the reasoning motiva ting LGBTQ supporters as well as that of their opponents. Following Gluckman, Burawoy and Sykes, I extrapolate the cases consulted for this research to the wider activist community and normative Jamaican society. T he extended case study method is integral to this work by render ing visible the multiple processes by which homophobia is motivated and operates. Reflexivity, too, is woven throughout my analysis to acknowledge differences in identity, knowledge, and experience. Finally, given my position ality as both researcher and activist, an interventional approach is central to my methodology. I embrace notion that an interventional approach is virtuous. Queering Reflexivity and the Interventional Approach To engage a discourse of reflexivity and its praxis, I must first define its usage Reflexivity, is of course, burdened by multiple meanings and interpretations (Mc Donald 2013, Cassel, et al 2009, Cunliffe 2003). Queer reflexivity, rooted in feminist practices of reflexivity, is particularly concer ned with self reflexive practices in which the researcher acknowledges the impact their own social positioning has upon research consultants, and ultimately the products of the research itself (Mc Donald 2013, Veroff and DiStefano 200 2 ). Furthermore, metho dologies of feminist reflexivity emphasize attending to power differentials between researchers and interlocutors ; while at the same time, contextualizing those interactions within a cultural milieu or society at large (Mc Donald 2013, Carrington 2008, Rod riguez 2010, Weiner Levy 2009). At the core of self reflexivity is the practi c social location, which includes Each ficatio (Twine 2000:15), we simultaneously belong to racial, gender, sexual orientation, or cla ss categories, and this
76 exemplifies the concept of intersectionality. Intersectionality has grown beyond Kimberle original explication ( 1991 ) of th e marginalization of Black women via the intersection of race and gender to acknowledge other social locations prone to discrimination such as sexual orientation soc ial class, or physical disability Adding the concept of self reflexivity to intersection ality allows for m obilizing the premise that belonging to multipl y disadvantaged categories exposes the various ways in which discrimination disproportionately affects people belonging to them. Reflexive i ntersectionality then, is an orientation in praxis : a call to action (Jones 2010). Jones suggests an embodied approach to such praxis one that is rhizomatic in structure and conjures up a network imbued with lifeforce (2010). Such systems must be nurtured and maintained for their continued existence to b e ensured. Following Mc Donald (2013) and Jones (2010), I add a queer lens to self reflexive intersectional analysis. According to Mc Donald (2013), t his is a crucial layer of examination because it :90 ) notion that within systems o f oppression some narratives are more authentic than others those that align with the Disrupting a hierarchical approach is relevant to LGBTQ interlocutors given the shifting nature of the categories which may not be embodied (Mc Donald 2013). Queer reflexivity holds the possibility of engaging those categories which may not be immediately visible, or are ephemeral, thus the queer reflexive researcher may capture categories otherwise lost to an only embodied, hierarchi cal approach (Mc Donald 2013 ). Drawing on queer, reflexive practices may also yield finer grained analyse s of power dynamics which are fluid, constantly ch anging, and often invisible (Mc Donald 2013). One distinct benefit of using queer, reflexive methods is that it can capture the wa ys in
77 which concealment or disclosure of those less visible aspects of identity and social positioning affect the research process, as well as shift over th e duration of a project, for Mc Donald (2013). A final argument for harnessing queer reflexive analys is has had a developmental trajectory prior to initiating research, and may change over the durat ion of the research process (Mc Donald 2013). One example from my own fieldwork comes from one of my last meeting s w ith Stacy Ann Jarrett, former Executive Director of JASL. In the latter portion of my fieldwork, Stacy left her post at JASL, very suddenly. She refused to go into much detail about her sudden departure, even when pressed. At the same time, she stopped ide ntifying herself as a lesbian, reconciled with her estranged mother, and found a male partner. She revealed to me that she was expecting a baby at this meeting, as well. Her abandonment of the LGBTQ community; however, I must accept her rebranding herself as a newly straight woman, whatever her motivation to make this transition might be. Rather than identify her as a defector, queer reflexivity gives me the intellectual flex considering the stifling social conditions for LGBTQ people in Jamaica. Accessing Communities Hiding in Plain Sight : Methods Sampling Relying on earlier contacts made in pre vious research trips, I accessed research consultants through existing LGBTQ grassroots groups and NGOs. I primarily connected with new research participants via referral of previous contacts, otherwise known as the snowball method. This method was determi ned to be the safest and most
78 ethical means to access members and allies of a highly marginalized population of people. My sample for this project consisted of 60 research participants with whom I consistently liaised over the duration of my fieldwork (see Table 2 1) While most of these are activists who identify with the LGBTQ community, a few are allies supporting Of the 60 38 of my research participants identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. My research consul tants range in age from 18 70 altho ugh most them are under 35. T he activist community is overwhelmingly youthful Twelve non governmental and/or grassroots organizations participated in this research, nine of which are LGBTQ affiliated organizations. Da ta Collection Methods My data collection methods relied upon i nterviews, participant observation, direct observation, and some light surveys After establishing a connection with new research consultants, they would often recommend I speak with other commu nity members or allies, point me in the direction of particular resources, or connect me with social media groups and events. Most interviews took an unstructured format. I needed to be flexible to connect with my research consultants, and structured inte rviews created distance between my research consultants and myself. Interviews typically began with a few open ended questions from me, and just allowing the interviewee to talk freely. Rarely this meant interviews took wild tangents, but for the most part this technique was very successful. I learned early on that it was imperative that my racial and class privilege not alienate me from my research consultants. Thus, allowing interviewees the agency to talk about topics that were impo rtant to them, as well as one that were timely gave me access to
79 much more information than if I alone determined the interview agenda and I learned about events in real time Further, this method helped me to gain the trust of my research participants. Rather than position m yself as an expert, I leveraged my outsider status to encourage participants to share their lived realities with me, someone who genuinely wanted to understand their circumstances I convey ed my care and concern for my research consultants in these intervi ews in part by sharing the stakes with them. Participant observation for me was grounded in activist work often in the context of a supportive role in organizational meetings. It was important to me to demonstrate my commitment to the overall project of g reater inclusivity in Jamaican society while avoiding any sort of leadership role which might be construed as pushing an agenda. In other words, my goal was not to direct the course of events, but to support these organizations in achieving their own outco mes. I also spent a fair bit of time engaging social media frequented by activists and the LGBTQ population. Social media proved to be a crucial way to access the wider community served by activist organizations, as well as to gauge the perceptions, concer ns, and interests of the sexual minority population. Later, as I built deeper connections with my interlocutors, this included spending time with them socially, as well Direct observation s were made on a daily basis, by paying attention to conversations current events, media representation, and public opinion, to name a few. Within the LGBTQ community, direct observations were made via social media, as well. In many circumstances, these observations required me to withhold my own perspective on the matt er, as to identify myself as anything but impartial social scientist would have
80 stymied further conversation, or was necessary to protect the anonymity of research consultants. S urvey questions were the final method I used. I contributed to social media su rveys collaboratively produced with QCJ. These surveys were distributed using SurveyMonkey online via social media (primarily Facebook) to lesbian and bisexual resident social scientist, I was asked to review th e surveys before they were deployed, and offered refinement/additional approval, the surveys were made available to voluntary, anonymous respondents, allowing QCJ to tabulat e the findings. These surveys, to our knowledge, are among the first quantitative and qualitative data collection attempts of solely the lesbian and bisexual population of Jamaican women.
81 Table 2 1. Self identified sexual orientation of r esearch p articipants Organization LGBTQ Straight Total JFLAG 4 0 4 JASL 3 0 3 AIDS Free World 1 0 1 FAST 0 1 1 Code Pink 2 0 2 PRIDE in Action 6 0 6 NADA 6 0 6 WfW 6 0 6 QCJ 3 1 4 SO((U))L HQ 2 0 2 1 0 1 Jamaicans for Justice 0 1 1 University Contacts 1 7 8 Unaffiliated 4 11 15 Total 39 21 60
82 CHAPTER 3 ORGANIZATIONAL HALF LIFE: THE FRAUGHT LANDSCAPE OF LGBTQ ORGANIZING Financial Vulnerability A long history of structural adjustment policies (SAPs) and debt servicing has l eft Jamaica financially vulnerable. Nearly a half century of outside financial interventions have necessitated innovations like micro entrepreneurialism, such benefits have been outweighed by overwhelmingly negative effects of increased poverty, particularly among earliest era of SAPs in the 1970s and 1980s, however the gap between the poor and the classes above them has not significantly improved in the ensuing decades. These effects are measurable primarily in indices of health and education, as well as rising costs in basic necessities (Harrison 1997). Soon after its independence from Gre at Britain in 1962, Jamaica was subjected to SAPs beginning in the late 1970s, and it continues to be plagued by the poverty they than the exception, and its effects have undermined the very fabric of Jamaican society, structure, manifest in a staggeringly high murder rate, widespread unemployment, shifts in the gendered division of labor, hi gh infant/maternal mortality rates, high childhood malnutrition rates, high rates of new HIV infections, as well as a paucity of basic social services (Bernal 1984, Harrison 1997, Thomas 2004). These internal pressures have weakened social cohesion in Jama ica, resulting in divisiveness.
83 Neoliberalism is characterized by variability. Thus, when neoliberalism flows through sovereignty and state power, especially in small states, it injects this variability into these institutions, creating political, economi c and social instability. Instability is inherently destructive in each of these spheres of influence. Neoliberal reform was especially detrimental to civil society through erosion of social services. The effects were multifold: elimination of social servi ces left a void to be eventually filled in part by grassroots groups and NGOs (Page 2015); but, the prolonged financially vulnerable. In other words, neoliberalized t hinking trickled into middle class and elite Jamaican consciousness. The outcome skews approaches to human rights issues along class lines. Consequently, there is virtually no funneling of public funds into support for LGBTQ issues. I have observed that th ere is more outreach by minority activist groups into governmental agencies than vice versa. The funding that LGBTQ groups rely upon comes primarily from international donors, and is never guaranteed. Access to continuous funding depends on successful gran t applications, in most cases. Grant funding is dependent upon successful grant writing -requiring a skillset that less educated activists typically lack. There is a clearly delineated boundary here, one that effectively blocks financial access to activist s of poorer backgrounds. This institutional skills problem is not one immediately visible to grassroots activists. Instead, it is often interpreted as a resource scarcity problem. Bitter competition amongst LGBTQ organizations for financial resources is t he result. This is a highly unfortunate outcome for several reasons. One, there is more potential funding
84 available than is utilized by these groups (for several reasons). Two, the competition stifles new organizations from participation in activism and fr om growing beyond the grassroots phase. Three, it routinizes existing organizations that made it beyond the exclusion of entire segments of the LGBTQ population. Four, it isolates those segments experiencing differential access further, making them even more vulnerable and difficult to reach. Thus, the organizational landscape is a pressure cooker, largely due to limited access to funds and the great deal of human rights n eeds beyond those of the LGBTQ population. As a result, there exists a great deal of competition within and among LGBTQ activist groups for those limited resources, leading to tension, mistrust, and non cooperation. The outcome is a disunited patchwork of NGOs and grassroots groups with diverse and minimally effective outreach and advocacy. In C hapter 3, I identify the groups with whom I had contact, their outreach activities, and how I interacted with them. al history with SAPs over the last 45 years. Connecting with the human tolls of neoliberal reform is essential to understanding the ongoing marginalization inflicted upon lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer Jamaicans. Here, I also engage this history to contextualize the vulnerabilities it creates, the boundaries it maintains, and the hardships it imposes for sexual minorities. Structural Adjustment Policies: Adjusting to Austerity and Adversity The SAP story is almost always reiterated in social anal yses of Jamaica, and with good reason: neoliberal economic reform exacerbated every existing fault in the
85 Export economies like those of most former colonies are ill suited to structural adjustment. Their reliance upon just a few sources of revenue is part of the very reason such restructuring is frequently unsuccessful -they lack the diversity needed to ride out fluctuations in global markets. re primarily agricultural. Historic connections with its former colonizer, Great Britain, ensured market demand for most of the agricultural products Jamaica produced prior to implementation of SAPs. With the onslaught of economic reform programs, Jamaica was compelled to open its markets globally to compete with the economies of much larger producers, some supplying subsidies to farmers. This unequal advantage of more powerful agricultural producers doomed small Jamaican farms. As these farms shuttered, im ports of cheaper, subsidized foods were needed to meet domestic food demands. At the same time, the population rapidly urbanized, and agricultural jobs were no longer competitive. Cities like Kingston and Montego Bay ballooned with migrants seeking work. T heir infrastructures were unprepared to accommodate such rapid increases in population. Inexpensive housing was at a premium. Shantytowns began to spring up as migrants built the homes they desperately needed, without any basic services or central planning Nevertheless, they But, with the majority of the pioneering hospitality companies being owned offshore, the bu lk of profits were hemorrhaging overseas. Poor Jamaicans with little education filled the ranks of the service jobs needed to make hotels run smoothly. The vast amounts of
86 start up capital needed to invest in tourism were an effective barrier to all but th e elite. Upper class, wealthy, landed, and connected Jamaicans were the only of their countrymen who could engage this new industry beyond the entry level. Wealth continued to flow out of the hands of poor Black Jamaicans and up the social hierarchy. In ma ny ways, the development of the tourism industry mirrored the plantation system, sometimes even exploiting and fetishizing it for economic gain. Thus, tourism development in the Caribbean can be identified as neocolonial. Austerity measures were implemente d shortly thereafter. In an attempt to curb future debt service and boost exports, currency devaluation was deployed. With the small number of exports, currency devaluation imposed a severe hardship. Imports of necessary products were slashed, just as dome stic producers of same were going out of business. The squeeze was nearly unbearable for the poor. Inflation quickly escaped control and interest rates skyrocketed. With economic instability came social upheaval. The newly established democracy quickly be came dominated by wealthy, privileged families. They leveraged their power against the people. A rapid and marked drop in inequality occurred between 1958 and 1968: the poorest 40 percent of Jamaicans saw their incomes decrease from 7.2 to 5.4 percent (Ber nal 1984: 7). At the same time, income per capita also saw a dramatic drop of 30 percent from J$32 to J25 (In constant 1958 dollars) (Bernal 1978:7; NPA 1978:6). Violent citizen protests accompanied the sharp downturn as class struggle ensued (Harrison (20 08) Bernal 1984). During this period the two party parliamentary political system became highly contentious, as well. Post independence, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) dominated for
87 a decade from 1962 1972 on a platform of attracting passive international investment via certain incentive programs, such as tax breaks (Bernal 1978: 7). When this model did not realize the financial growth that was intended, the Michael Manley he JLP succumbed to corruption. Amid rising violence, the PNP won in a landslide in 1972, due to its emphasis on redistributive economics, appealing as a balm for growing disparity ernal 1984). Just eight years later, in 1980, under Edward Seaga, the JLP seized power back from the PNP, amid crisis that the PNP had led Jamaica into dreaded socialism. The floundering economy through the flood of imports, to stem capital divestiture to offshore locations (primarily by middle class and wealthy Jamaicans), and to fund state initiatives intended to increase support to bolster the poor (Harrison 1997). Those pro grams were ended soon after Seaga took office, and widespread layoffs and job cutbacks compounded income shortfalls across middle class and poor households (Thomas 2004). Black entrepreneurship in the formal economy floundered during this time as well (Th omas 2004). Being that Jamaicans are resourceful Caribbean people, enter the rise of the informal economy: with limited access to the formal economy, but rising need to survive, Jamaicans turned to other ways to make ends meet. Seeking to quash socialism in the Western Hemisphere, the United States engaged in covert operations (in Jamaica as well as elsewhere in Latin America) designed to topple these movements. During the Manley years, Jamaica sought guidance and support from Cuba regarding
88 implementation of social programs aimed at redistribution (Bernal 1984). However, after 1980, the JLP government quickly severed all diplomatic ties to Cuba, and curried connecti Ronald Reagan administration via the Caribbean Basin Initiat ive (Harrison 1997). Unofficially, the JLP government followed as well as ganja (Thomas 2004). Yet despite the crackdown, demand in the United States for this illicit commodity fueled a lucrative trade, with routes directly through the Caribbean. Dons and posses in Jamaica exploited their supply and distribution chains amassing wealth, but also wreaking devastating effects. Violence proliferated along these chains, and trade in arms along with narcotics was visited upon the countries engaged in this trade network, including Jamaica (Harrison 1989, Harrison 1990) So, the stakes for engaging in this trade were very high indeed: high profits leveraged alongside high risks. The poor, of course, shouldered the burden of the greatest risk, with disastrous effect. Extrajudicial killings by police, skewed gender ratios in communities with high participation in trafficking due to murder and incarceration, and deteriorating relati onship of the state to those communities are lasting outcomes disproportionately experienced by these garrisons. Other manifestations of informal economy include unregulated entrepreneurism. A wide array of informal businesses ranging from cook shops, chil d care, tailors, hairdressers, and informal commercial importers (ICIs), the latter Gina Ulys se has written upon extensively (2007). These unregulated businesses tend to proliferate in re also frequently
89 utilized by middle class people in times of increased economic fluctuation. Middle class side hustles include marketing of higher end products and services: boutique t shirts, courier/delivery services, cosmetics, car rental, and trendin g food products (organic juices, farm to table, etc ). The consumers of these products and services tend to be middle class peers as well as wealthier clients. The flexible nature of these activities means that they can be incorporated into the off hours o f a normal working day: the demand especially for services peaks in off working hours and weekends. The last component of restructuring, and perhaps the most germane, is cuts in get, the most impactful were deep cuts in social services. The retraction of the state (of which I have written about elsewhere) reshapes its relationship with citizens (Page 2015). Outcasts A mong the M arginalized: Making S afe S paces and a S eat at the T a ble As the financial hardships bore down on the urban poor, the pressure became unbearable. There were few opportunities to safely vent frustration about economic and political hardship. With stakes high for survival, any threats to it would be met with im mediate and fierce opposition. Citizen protests, sometimes violent, were one of the few modes of resistance of government oppression poor urban Jamaicans had (Harrison 2008) (Gray 2004). In almost every way, the interests of the poor were divergent from t hose of the middle class and elites. Most political constituencies struggled to gain consensus from such disparate interests. The lived realities of elites and the poor simply could not be bridged without some pervasive commonality, a reshaped set of share d values. Enter the televangelists in the early 1980s promoting conservative values alongside fiscal freedom: offered as an antidote to the moral and fiscal panic pervading
90 Jamaican social life. The ubiquity of television access made these values equall y accessible to poor and wealthy alike. For elites, there was appeal in restoring a sense of moral order they felt had been lost. For the poor, this view offered an alternate explanation of how society had become so unbalanced. The shift in social blame wa s diverted from them and onto a new kind of badman: the sexual minority. Mutual hatred of gay men helped to forge cohesion across class lines and added an additional dimension to Jamaican national identity. Scapegoating of an even more vulnerable group c reated the possibility of a common enemy to unify the disparate interests of wealthy and poor Jamaicans, otherwise living in opposing realities. This practice was also harnessed within the political system for a similar purpose. In 1998, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals and Gays (J FLAG) emerged out of a need to provide support to the sexually outcasted, with an aim toward human rights. It is the first and oldest such organization on the island. J FLAG set out to be an inclusive group of the wide ra nge of sexuality and gender expression present in Jamaica. Due to its longevity as well as its prominence, J FLAG has gained recognition as the leader of the movement for LGBTQ inclusion. Founded by a dozen mostly middle class, professional lesbians and ga y men, the organization could tap into a deep set of intellectual resources. Early on, however, there was an understanding that the mission of the group must also be inclusive and serve poor sexual minorities, as well. Long before his death in 2004, Steve Harvey, for example, would risk arrest to distribute condoms to male sex workers in New Kingston. But even as the organization sought to serve the interests of poorer gays, its leadership did not reflect the same inclusivity.
91 Other manifestations of a lac k of inclusivity also became apparent over time. By the beginning of the very earliest iterations of this project, for example, J FLAG had mostly gay male beneficiaries indicat ed the group might not be meeting the needs of a diverse, if threatened, population of lesbians, trans, queer and intersex people. Also, J FLAG was entirely staffed by a new generation of activists. The original cofounders had all transitioned out of activ ism: two were murdered, some had migrated after receiving threats and, some founded new organizations to address concerns that had come to the fore. That other groups should spring into existence to meet a growing need should not be a surprise, then. But, where there was an opportunity to foster a vibrant panoply of related groups under its umbrella, J FLAG missed that opportunity. Instead, its approach was quite the opposite. Missed O pportunities: J FLAG D rops the B all My observations have repeatedly show n members of the LGBTQ community to express frustration with J FLAG, feeling that the organization does not serve them, and is failing in its mission to advocate for and support the LGBTQ community. I have also experienced J nce as well. Despite repeated meetings with the director, I was unable to establish a meaningful connection. Much of the criticism from the LGBTQ community was much more visible after an incident of violence at a university in Kingston, sparking new respon ses and action from previously unengaged individuals. An unfortunate incident of note was the beating of a reportedly gay University of Technology (UTECH) student by campus security guards on November 1, 2012. The
92 incident was filmed by an onlooker and po sted to social media. The activist community as well as many in the LGBTQ population were shaken by yet another infliction of violence. After the incident, J FLAG and Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) organized a town hall style meeting, and invited a f ew affiliated organizations and members of the LGBTQ community to attend. But, as it turned out, the incident was tangential to the issue that had become acute more than two months prior with the closing of the joint J FLAG/JASL homeless shelter. Many attendees were frustrated when they tried to bring up the beating of the young UTECH student and were redirected back to the topic of the reestablishment of a new shelter an because it categorizes individuals solely on the basis of sexual activity without considering their own identities I was also surprised that it was not at least addressed as a supplemental issue for discussion. It seemed that J FLAG and JASL were refusing to respond to the issue appropriately as far as the wider activist community was concerned. This vignette justifies the feelings of dissatisfaction LGBTQ groups outside J FLAG and JASL. As anyone who plans community events knows, getting a critical mass of activists together in person is challenging. This rare chance to process the trauma, fear, and anger rippling through the LGBTQ population in this group setting was a gr oss miscalculation on the part of both host organizations. The feeling of bait and switch just added to the perception that J FLAG was quickly falling out of touch with the communities they reportedly serve. This is ironic, of course, since they had a
93 comm unity based outreach on the table for discussion. However, with little attempt to address the issue of greatest concern, the effect gave the impression of J callous disregard for anything but its own agenda. During my last stint of fieldwork, I witn essed a dramatic confrontation between two members of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica (QCJ): Cupid and Jalna. It should be organization, the National Anti Discrimination Ass ociation (NADA) as well. Cupid was very young at the time (younger than 21) and both ambitious and impatient. She was president in a conversation long after the incident, Cupid was never suspected of taking the funds. Nevertheless, she unceremoniously cut ties with NADA immediately. her. Rather than take Jalna aside after the meeting to discuss the iss ue privately, Cupid felt her honor had been threatened and she and her girlfriend stormed out. Given that these meetings took place in public at an outdoor eatery, the noisy nature of the disagreement was quite visible to patrons around us. Later, Cupid to ld me she was be able to remain in contact with her going forward, but she was suspicious that I remained cooperative with QCJ and eventually accused me of spying on he r, suggesting that I was turning over the content of our conversations to Angeline and The G ood, the B ad, and the M oderately H elpful J FLAG does periodically give small grants to start up g rassroots LGBTQ groups, but it is not a sustained kind of support. Each grant is smaller than $500 US, but does
94 require an application. Typically, only those organizations with the greatest potential for future institutional capacity are invit ed to apply. For QCJ and Colour Pink for example, the J FLAG grant application was their first application, respectively. Both organizations received this grant and went on to pursue other funding opportunities. However, there was not sustained mentorship for grant wr iting. Often, in conversations with members of both organizations, I would offer suggestions and help do legwork to scout funding opportunities to assist them locate new international donors. Grant writing is a time consuming practice, and one that often c an feel akin to flying blind. Both groups expressed a great deal of trepidation and anxiety about grant writing. They often felt the time invested in grant writing could be better spent elsewhere, especially considering their small number of volunteer memb ers. When they approached J FLAG for assistance in completing grant applications, neither received assistance. Some other groups (who declined to be identified) allege that when they approached J FLAG for help with grant applications, they were turned away only to discover later that J FLAG was granted the award their organization was seeking. This does not immediately signal misconduct, but it does suggest that competition among J FLAG and newer LGBTQ organizations is taking place. Many international dono rs are looking for institutional capacity and accountability something that grassroots groups lack. This automatically disqualifies them from consideration from many kinds of funding. This remains an aspect important to the longevity of nascent activist g roups. Flows of S upport: B ottom U p Ironically, state agencies are among the immediate beneficiaries of the work LGBTQ organizations do. Police sensitivity trainings, for example, are one way that an
95 investment in time and expertise are made by LGBTQ organi zations in the state. While this work is very important in terms of better relations between constabularies and the populations they serve, it is an expensive and potentially unsustainable practice over the long term without reliable funding. Such traini ngs are purely voluntary: the organizations offer them, and the police constabulary decide to agree to receive the training. There is no mandate or requirement for any such training at present. Preliminary findings suggest that trained police officers resp ond more humanely in their dealings with the LGBTQ population, and suggest that trained personnel tend to positively impact their colleagues in this way, as well. Clearly the benefits outweigh their associated costs. So, it stands that in the foreseeable future, the continued investment of NGO and grassroots groups will be made in governmental agencies. It seems unlikely that the state will in, turn invest in programs that benefit the LGBTQ population. The flow of investment moves from the bottom up. Econo mic Marginalization: L esbians, B isexuals, T rans, and Q ueer P eople P ushed to the M argin of the M arginalized The action of J FLAG taking center stage as primary point of contact and main utilizer of donor funding for LGBTQ activism, and its emphasis on gay m en to the exclusion of other sexual minorities (whether intentional or not), has resulted in deeper marginalization of lesbians, bisexuals, trans, and queer people. While creating a need for grassroots activism to reach these underserved groups, it has s imultaneously made successful organizational management all but impossible. By pushing organizations like (who seek empowerment of trans women), or QCJ (supporting lesbian and bisexual women), to
96 the periphery has undermin ed them further. J FLAG does strategically include them by inviting them to large annual events, but this contact is sporadic and conspicuous, often in the context of international donor events. Whether this is intended to create the appearance of cohesion and inclusion to outsiders is unclear, however, the lack of sustained, everyday forms of support (not just monetary), gives the activists in these marginalized groups the feeling of insincerity on the part of J FLAG. Outcomes of the S carcity I nterpretati on Many factors contribute to the erroneous conclusion that resources are in critically short supply. This matrix is comprised by institutional, as well as practical hurdles. These are discussed in detail below. Widespread economic deprivation caused by th e pervasive effects of SAPs has altered approaches to social problem solving. Resources are more difficult to access, which can result in de facto scarcity. Prolonged exposure to survival conditions also alters how resources are accessed and allocated. T here exists an institutional skills gap and/or an organizational growth gap which functionally bars access particularly to international funds sources. This may point to differences in Northern organizational practices at odds with Southern organizational challenges. There is also a demonstrated lack of knowledge potential funding opportunities. Grassroots groups, especially, may benefit from informative sessions about additional funding sources to pursue. A lack of mentorship opportunities for new grassroo ts groups may prevent them from growing and specializing their organizations. Inter and intragroup competition has a damaging effect. It is counterintuitive that among a small population of sexually minorities, that such deep factionalism would be occurri ng. It is unfortunate that J FLAG has resisted the opportunity to truly collaborate
97 and nurture new groups seeking to support LGBTQ Jamaicans. There are some exceptions documented here, but the overall effect is that there is minimal intergroup cooperation With a coalition nonexistent, a critical organizing component missing. These challenges add up to a divided, instead of united, alliance of LGBTQ groups. Strong collaboration among them could offer the possibility for sharing resources, paring down redun dancies to cut expenses, and most importantly, to present a powerful opposition to anti gay sentiment. Additionally, the long term effects of economic restructuring have distanced government from social responsibility to protect the most vulnerable citizen s. Neoliberalized thinking has pervaded these institutions, providing an ideological basis for the lacuna in protections. The overall economic conditions have rendered the government unable to afford the provisioning of safeguards for LGBTQ citizens, and n ecessitated the proliferation of grassroots and NGOs to meet social needs for protection of rights. Largely unsupported, with no guarantee of even the most basic rights, the organizations seeking to help sexual minorities exist in a peripheralized wild Wes t marked by instability and cults of personality. With few existing lines of support dependent upon outside donorship, and limited technical skills, significant barriers to organizational longevity for new startups remain. The groups able to surmount such barriers have come to dominate the sphere of LGBTQ activism, to the exclusion of smaller, younger ones that may better serve the groups they represent. The ability to weather structural challenges, rather than institutional capacity to serve the needs of a diverse population of sexual minorities, then, has become a primary determiner in those
98 groups that become routinized into the role of community ambassadors. Ultimately, the that those people at the margins of the marginalized have little opportunity to overcome the obstacles before them and to have a fair chance at greater inclusion within the LGBTQ community, and eventually, in Jamaican society.
99 CHAPTER 4 SEXUALITY AN D THE STATE: INTERSECTIONS OF THE STATE AND PUBLIC CULTURE WITH LGBTQ IDENTITY Landmark Cases As evidenced through two landmark cases and Parliamentary review of laws tar geting sexual minorities, C hapter 4 engages the s LGBTQ population. Additionally, public culture intersects this discussion through the below. What emerges from reading these examples together is an overall misunderstanding of sexual minorities, in part due to intentional blind spots in policy, law, and best practices. What also becomes cl ear is that the outlook of the s tate is softer than that of public culture, an unexpected outcome of this research. This is largely due to institutional indifference of s tate officials, the benefit to which is twofold: a less defined stance is beneficial for re election of individual members of Parliament (a classically political strategy), and at least the ill usion of s tate benevolence towa rd the LGBTQ population leaves the possibility for inclusion, as well as continued justification for foreign aid, and avoidance of further criticism in the international arena for sexuality based human rights violations. Of the branches of government, poli ce have shown the most anti gay bias, although many great strides have been made recently in th e form of sensitivity training. Public culture, on the other hand, is a much more polarized and volatile realm. Media frequently distort current events, display anti LGBTQ political cartoons, and display a distinct reporting bias against sexual minorities (and some media outlets are worse than others in doing so). Indeed, there exists a problematic feedback loop
100 between the producers of media and consumers of medi a products: to sell copies and advertising, the media must meet public demand for such representation of anti LGBTQ bias. This, in turn, results in a certain amount of legitimation for the continuation of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, tran sgender, and queer Jamaicans. There exists, then, a certain amount of tension between public culture and the s tate. This tension is particularly present in the Tomlinson case, but is also present in the Bain case discussed later in C hapter 4 For now, pub lic culture remains the more dynamic and focused venue for the continued marginalization of nonnormative sexuality and gender expression. Theoretical Perspectives on the Vulnerability of LGBTQ Bodies One critical intervention of the anthropology of the sta te, then, is to trace observable state effects to invisible processes, and then to expose the invisible practices of the state, its methods of discipline and surveillance (Nagengast 1994; Foucault 1991; Aretxaga 2003; Linke 2006). An example from my own re search project, I illustrate that homophobia is a political symptom, not just an expression of longstanding cultural bias. Toward this end, I seek to illuminate how these processes emerge out of particular political conditions and conjunctures, historical trajectories and experiences, for example. Crises of the State and Implications for Queered Bodies point into the an important feature in the anthropological study of the state: that the forms of governance utilized by states are prone to violence and instability. The crises Nagengast interrogates include: warfare, genocide, and violence (including symbolic violence)
101 (1994). These crises are ruptures in the social fabric, and their costs are high: loss of life, human rights violations, social exclusion, and economic exclusion, to name a few. sponsored violence is the co ncept of structural violence (Harrison 1997, 2005; Farmer 2003). Faye V. Harrison (1997) defines structural violence as the symbolic, psychological, and physical assaults against human subjectivities, physical bodies, and sociocultural integrity that emana te from situations and institutions structured in social, political, and economic dominance (457). Structural violence, then, includes the overt violence that occurs during crises of the state, but it also allows us to get at the hidden ways in which stat es and institutions subjugate vulnerable communities and persons. In what can be considered part of structural violence, Nagengast also highlights intimate, corporeal experiences of state violence that are often expressed in sexual contexts, such as in her example of inmate rapes by guards in Turkish prisons a tool of discipline (1994). Such violence is not intended to kill, Nagengast argues, but difference, as wel maintenance of social norms for persons in those categories and de legitima Uli Linke (2006) and Begoa Aretxaga (2003) both e ngage aspects of intimate, sexual penetrations of the state into the bodies the dis cipline (2006:205). Furthermore, Linke argues that the dangerous flip side of the
102 violence. Like Nagengast (1994), Linke cites examples of sexual violence in prisons an d during war (2006). Aretxaga highligh ts regimes of violence asserting the binary of This state is imagined to b e masculine (2003), an argument also made by Jacqui Alexander (1997), and Jasbir Puar violent con trol of the body of the nation by the state body Public C ulture and the State A growing body of literature deals with the interaction of publi c culture with the life of the s tate, another area of focus within the anthropology of the state (Nav aro Yashin 2002; Aretxaga 2003). Arjun Appadurai and Carol Breckenridge originally theorized public culture as a field of interaction amongst state and non state actors as a site of contestation, debate, and cultural production (1988). I use the concept of public culture to access the space(s) in which the life of publics and the life of the state interact and are a product of specific historical trajectories, as evidenced in public preoccupation with homosexuality in the Anglophone Caribbean (Alexander 199 7; Silvera 2008; Murray 2009). Examples of such arena(s) include: media, public discourse, and popular culture (Hall 1997; Murray 2009); nationalism (Anderson 2006), and social conventions/norms (White & Gerke 2007; Whitehead 1986; Chevannes 2001; Lewis 20 03; Reddock 2004). Habitus and the State to understand how the social field is constructed and maintained, as well as its role in the life of the state. Habitus is
103 reinforced in the social field, according to practices and social infrastructure and them ( practices at work within the stat e. Habitus is particularly useful to understand how consensus is built around (and about) particular categories of people, specifically, ense values (Gramsci 1988). Through consensus building hegemonic public discourse, the social field becomes normalized, accep ted, and unquestioned: a common sense ground that is taken for granted (Gramsci 1988). Nationalism and the State oft cited treatise on nationalism is essential to understanding how ideologies can unite vastly different segments of a stratified society, This potential for unificati on that crosscuts social stratification is perhaps the most identity is grounded in the conditions and beliefs that are foundational to the state, namely the construction of t he state as heterosexualized and masculine (Alexander 1997; Linke 2006; Puar 2007; Murray 2009). Identities that resist or transgress these presumed norms pose a threat to the integrity of national identity (Alexander 1997; Peterson 1999). These threatenin g identities are thus situated outside, or even in opposition to normalized, mainstream hegemonic values and social mores (Alexander 1997; Peterson 1999; Linke 2006; Boellstorff 2005; Puar 2007). The outcomes of this struggle of the nation state for hegemo nic control of national identity as expressed in
104 tension in public culture and attacks upon identities that do not conform to the ideals of the national imaginary are discussed in more detail in the following section. Differentially Situated Subjects Ethno graphic research offers useful insight into the experiences of the state for differentially situated, embodied subjects; as well as their responses to the limitations and excesses of sovereignty. This sovereignty is expressed in a variety of contexts inclu ding but not limited to: global social, economic and political restructuring; widening gaps in global disparity; neoliberalism; and globalization (Ong 2006). Expressions and excesses of sovereignty in these contexts have profound effects for those subjecte d to them: these state and state like effects are identifiable in: the crises of the state mentioned previously (Nagengast 1994); in the ways that habitus (Bourdieu 1993) and common sense values (Gramsci 1988) are used to establish and maintain consensus a bout categories of differentially situated subjects; and in constructions of national identity that exclude differentially situated subjects (Alexander 1997; Peterson 1999). An established corpus of work attests to the effects of neoliberalism, globalizat ion, and the related effects of structural adjustment policies (SAPs) with consequences for national and economic sovereignty the brunt of which has been borne by women, esp ecially poor, racialized women (Alexander 1997; Harrison 1991, 1997, 2005, 2008; Sa fa 1995; Deere, et al. 1990; Freeman 2000; Slocum 2006; Thomas 2004; Ulysse 2007). While women in the global South have been disproportionately affected by neoliberalism, globalization, SAPs and the accompanying weakening of state power (complicated by a l oss of social services once furnished by the state), they have also resisted these in a variety of ways, as discussed below.
105 Rights based social movements emerge in response to deleterious experiences of state effects, as well as the habitus and common sen se values of the state I have outlined above. Many of these rights based social movements are gendered and racialized: they are a product of the peripheralization women and racial or ethnic minorities experience. Given my focus in Latin America and the Car ibbean, most of the examples I reference come from within the region, emphasizing the collaborative work of women activists and community leaders seeking to ameliorate the oppressive consequences of neoliberalism, globalization, SAPs and the retraction of the state (Harrison 1997, 2008; Slocum 2006; Ulysse 2007; Bolles 1996, 1996(a), 1997; Ford Smith 1997). These studies highlight the necessity, creativity, and resourcefulness of these activists despite the odds stacked against them. My work with Jamaican l esbians, gays and all sexuals (themselves differentially situated and embodied subjects) is informed by theorists situating ho mosexuality in relation to the s tate. Essentially, they locat e homosexuality as outside the s tate: non reproductive sex is a threa t to the nation (Alexander 1997; Peterson 1999; B oellstorff 2005). As such, the s tate is naturalized as inherently heteronormative, relegating homosexuality as aberrant, dangerous, and against nature (Alexander 1997; Peterson 1999; Boellstorff 2005; Butler work is crucial to my inquiry into Jamaican homophobia. Her obse rvation of the necessity of non normative identity to normative national identity captures exac tly the the nation is Similarly, Jacqui Alexander emphasizes that the Bahamian nation state is founded upon male heterosexual hegemony, and that in the criminalization of homosexual ity,
106 because within homosexuality inheres the power to dissolve the reproductive sex is a threat to the state. Alexander also explains why in Trinidad and Tobago and the marked b y the state as non (1994:6). Those marked bod ies, Alexander consequently they a profound threat to the very surv ival of the nation (1994:6). It is the project of nation building in this era of post independence and international economic intervention, she contends, that has heightened the exclusion of the sexual Other. Neoliberal globalization, Alexander maintains, col racialized colonial pattern of poverty, private ownership and lack of access to resources (1994:15). For Tom Boellstorff, the Otherness of gay and lesbi Indonesians implies failure of the nat thr eatened by non reproductive sex (1999:45). This consequently criminalizes non reproductive sex (Peterson 1999). Heterosexist practice is natu ralized, and gendered but also potentially a site of resistance for these very reasons (Peterson 1999:55). Varying degrees of non citizenship create ruptures in a community (Evans 1993). These ruptures serve to further segregate citizens and non citizens, but can be bridged, by rights based organizing, for example. Like the collaborative activism mentioned in association with rights based social movements above, it is my goal to demonstrate the similar ways in which sexuality based organizing is utilized by Jamaican human rights activists. Members of the coalition of human rights o rganizations with whom I have
107 engaged here acknowledge the contributions of these earlier iterations of gender, sex, and race based activism in Latin America and the Caribbean. The se organizations simultaneously create a sense of community while working to increase citizenship and social participation in society at large. Ethnographic research is a capable tool to document the experiences and responses of differentially situated sub jects and informing frameworks to address the structural conditions result ing in their situated Otherness (Harrison 2008:237) It s hould also be democratized and made available to these subjects, who are our interlocutors and co collaborators. In their ha nds, this research can be utilized in legitimating claims, accessing greater rights, and deepening the networks in which this work takes place. 2009 Sexual Offences Act In 2009, Jamaica sought to review laws concerning the criminalization of incest and rap e. The outcome was that The Incest (Punishment) Act was repealed (Jamaica Parliament 2009). The Offences against the Person Act of 1864 was revised to add provisions for rape and to create a Sex Offender Registry (Jamaica Parliament 2009). The punishment f or knowingly committing incest has been increased to life imprisonment, and female as well as male offenders can now be found guilty of incest (Hanna 2009). Marital rape is now punishable, but only if the husband and wife are separated (Jamaica Parliament 2009). But, rape is defined as a crime that a man commits against a woman (Hanna 2009). This therefore leaves out the possibility that men can be raped (as well as women raped by a woman) an unfortunate omission that particularly leaves victims of same s ex rape vulnerable and unprotected. The 2009 revision was generally regarded as a disappointment in the activist and LGBTQ communities. The failure of the Parliament to protect vulnerable sexual
108 minorities was not unexpected, but since there was considera ble debate in creating the law, as well as in public culture, it cannot be said to be merely an oversight. Instead, it probably represents a calculated move to solidify the status quo. Tomlinson v TVJ, CVM, and PBCJ Fast forward four years: I sit in the sm allest courtroom of the Supreme Court of Jamaica, Courtroom Nine, on a narrow bench against the back wall. The room is hushed and cool, yet airless and tense. I am squeezed in between an activist friend and a bored reporter for TVJ. All are present to hea r Day Two of the Supreme Court hearing of Maurice Tomlinson, activist and head of the group AIDS Free World, whose public service announcement (PSA) promoting tolerance for LGBTQ citizens had been Corpo ration of Jamaica (PBCJ), Community Television Systems Limited/Videomax Limited/Mediamix Limited (CVM) and Television Jamaica (TVJ). According to a press release from AIDS Free World May 28, 2013, the PSA does not violate any ru les for content, yet was den ied being aired. The thirty one second PSA, produced by AIDS organization based in Toronto), features Tomlinson and Yvonne McCalla Sobers (of garden, and she embraces him (AIDS (AIDS Free World 2012). human rights as a gay ma Free World 2012). why you are gay, but as a Jamaican, I respect you and I love you. And love is enough for all of us Free World 2012). They embrace again, the logo appears for AIDS Free World, and the PSA is over (AIDS Free World 2012).
109 n the recent expansion of the Constitution to protect right to voice an opposing view, resulting in a de facto rule of the status quo. Per AIDS Free World, Tomlins J Charter of Rights and Fundamental Freedoms My environs are surreal: in the courtroom, counsel for TVJ pronounces that nd that the sovereignty of the state is in jeopardy. Beside me, the bored TVJ reporter texts a friend and updates her Facebook status. She is overdressed for court in spike heels and a mini skirt that resembles a second skin, seemingly missing the irony as the attorney for her employer lays out the argument the argument that is the crux of this research that neither the Jamaican state nor its people are prepared to accept the LGBTQ segment of its populace. Of course, I think to myself, of course TVJ would send the most disinterested reporter to witness these proceedings, as it virtually guarantees incomplete and biased reporting. The courtroom is starkly different from those back home in the United States The panel of judges wear beautifully embroidered ro bes bearing the national colors. Counsellors, too, wear robes, though plain. The courtroom feels colonial and British. Many of the older spectators genuflect toward the dais upon entering and leaving the courtroom. Tradition weighs heavily and awkwardly in this bastion of the state. In his opening statement, Lea d Counsel Lord Anthony Gifford discusses censorshi p in terms of barring access to the airwaves only those opinions management disagrees with is an inherent breach of free speech. He makes comparisons to the
110 articles in the U.S. Constitution protecting free speech and the freedom of press with Jamaican understanding of the roles of the press and media. Gifford asserts that it is in as mainstream ones. The justices interrupt Counsel Gifford to ask if there is a difference between print and broadcast media. They also raise the question that has been heavily latent from the cial rights for a small minority? The level of tension and frustration in the room briefly peaks. Angeline elbows me, and I return her jab. We ca nnot believe our ears. Counsel Gifford counters by insisting that any denial of rights of free speech must be j ustified with sound, verifiable reasons. Counsel for TVJ, Georgia Gibson Henlin, asserted that the content of the PSA suffered no harm, there is no need for constitutiona l redress, Gibson Henlin argues. Indeed, while the Charter makes no exclusive protection on the basis of sexual orient the state has an obligation to promote universal respect for, and observance (Charter 13:1 2011). Additionally, Gibson Henlin notes that there is no protection for expressions that are either illegal or promote violence. As court was adjourned for the day, questions about private ownership and intellectual property percolated in m y mind: to whom do the airwaves belong? Can limits of editorial privilege? Given that there were only about six seats available to
111 observers, I felt gu ilty taking up a sea t on a following day when there were so many other activists who wished to be present for subsequent days and had not yet had the opportunity I opted to follow th e case via news and blogs just as others interested in the outcome were doing. As it turned o ut, the proceedings lasted only two more days, after which the justices announced their decision would be made soon. Soon turned out to be five and a half months later, when the three justices published their ruling, which includes their summaries of the comments upon them. The justices also interpret the scope and intention of the Charter, which was twenty years in the making. Each of the justices makes statements on portions of the ruling, but curiously, there is no synthetic closing statement in which the full implications of their decision are derived. Toward a clearer understanding of the importance of this landmark case, I have done so below. Per Justice Sykes, to succeed, Tomlinson needs to demonstrate the following: 1. h e has sufficient standing to bring this claim, that is, he must show that a Charter right has been, is being or is likely to be infringed in relation to him; 2. the act he wishes to do or has done is protected by the Charter, that is, the conduct must be within one or more of the provisions of the Charter; 3. the defendants are bound by the right(s) claimed; 4. 5. there are no other adequate means of redress (Supreme Court 2013:45). Linguistic an d C onceptual H urdles In the proceedings, debate took place in which counsel for Tomlinson argued that ortion of Jamaican
112 airwaves presents a difficult challenge, as private corporate policy differs significantly from issues of public concern -the goal of private corporations is chiefly to generate profit for shareholders. Gibson Henlin argued that although a Jamaican national, Tomlinson does not reside in Jamaica full time, and so is not a legitimate claimant. She asserted, too, that he is merely a pawn of overseas financiers wishing to push their own agenda. It is of note that this is a legal interpretatio n of a folk perspective -that pressure from the outside world seeks to fundamentally change Jamaican culture and force Jamaica to accept its LGBTQ citizens. Because the Charter is a completely new document in Jamaica, there is considerable reliance in this case upon precedents from other legal contexts, namely South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States. In his summative remarks, Justice Sykes ultimately determines that Tomlinson does not prevail, and the media houses are not obligated to air his P SA. He goes on to note that Tomlinson has not been prevented from presenting his views, indeed Tomlinson has been given the opportunity to address the public via talk shows and interview programs (Supreme Court 2013). It is worth mentioning here that the f ormat of talk/interview programs and PSAs is very different, with opposing views juxtaposed in interview programs. So, while access to the public itself has not been denied, the quality of that access has been attenuated. While the Supreme Court decided ag ainst Tomlinson -the s tate did not order the media houses to air the PSA, they did make certain provisions in his favor. Chief among expenses. Although PBCJ is a state owned broa dcaster, it is subject to strict provisions
113 prohibiting paid advertising, which the P SA is evidently classified. A nother important outcome of this case is the determination that fundamental rights apply horizontally, as stated by Sykes (Supreme Court 2013: 80). What this means is that the type of case that Tomlinson brought before the Supreme Court is allowable under the Charter -it is a precedent setting case. It is therefore p ossible to sue the s tate or a private party for violations of Freedom of Speech. This follows the South African and U.S. examples raised in the case. Jaghai v. the Sodomy Code p rivacy. Jaghai was evicted from his home by his landlord for being gay, a conclusion that Jaghai asserts was reached only via a breach of his privacy is hinged on the illegality of enforcing the law behind closed bedroom doors betwe en consenting adults. Court within a few months. This was not the outcome, however. In the ens uing months, Jaghai endured nearly continuous delays and numerous threats. When violence was threatened on his family members during this difficult time, Jaghai felt he could no longer justify pursuing the court case. On August 31, 2014, he announced his w ithdrawal of his case from consideration by the Supreme Court. At that time, his counsel believed the case would not be heard until at least mid 2015, if not later. During this time Jaghai also experienced emotional trauma in the illness and death of
114 his sister, Jodi. Even despite a successful social media campaign to raise funds for treatment over the summer, Jodi passed away on October 5, 2014. Interpreting Sexuality through the State e instrument throu gh which the s image. Instead, like an antique looking glass, its backing has clouded and partially conceals understanding. Nevertheless, there is much we can learn from thes e two cases. The Tomlinson case, apart from being the first c ase of its kind, is noteworthy in its goal of addressing incomplete LGBTQ citizenship from within a legal appeals process. In his case, citizenship is both necessary and questioned. That Tomlinso n is a Jamaican national is not directly interrogated, although his Jamaicanness is clearly suspect. This suspicion is palpable in Ms. Gibson (Supreme Court 2013). She asserts that because he resides outside Jamaica, he is n ot a legitimate claimant. Further, Gibson Henlin argues that Tomlinson is a mere pawn of outside financial backers wishing to promote an agenda (Supreme Court 2013). It is noted that this represents a legal expression of the argument in defense of homophob ia that I have encountered in many forms before: the outside world is pressuring Jamaican government and culture to tolerate sexual minorities. While Tomlinson does reside outside Jamaica, spending most of his time in Toronto, his departure was under dure ss, rather than voluntary. Tomlinson fled Jamaica amid threats against his life as an out gay man. Not surprising ly, the Supreme Court document ignores this fact Tomlinson is still very much connected to Jamaica his family friends, and activist network c ause him to frequently visit every few months.
115 Bain v. University of the West Indies Dr. Brendan Bain, a physician and professor whose research on HIV/AIDS among Caribbean MSM, was terminated from the University of the West Indies following his support fo r a nti gay legislation in Belize Many of his arguments run contrary to global HIV/AIDS policy and scientific research, and his recommendations inflected with anti gay bias. Shortly after his termination from UWI, the U nited States funded program that spo nsored his research withdrew funding, in an unrelated coincidence. Bain filed a lawsuit against UWI for wrongful termination, and UWI countersued on grounds that with the funding gone, there was no professorship to which Bain could be reinstated. Bain test ified in 2010, sex intercourse. His argument maintains that these laws help protect against the spread of HIV/AIDS in the MSM community and general population. This flies in the face of conventi onal interventions and years of data accumulated by the UN, USAID, DFID, and many other NGOs working globally to ameliorate the spread of HIV/AIDS. Bain had served as the director of the Regional Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean HIV Training Network (CH ART) prior to his dismissal. CHART receives support from many U.S. and international sources, including the Clinton Foundation, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, UNDP, USAID, The World Bank, and the WHO, among others. On September 26, 2014, t h e Supreme Court ordered UWI to reinstate Bain pending the hearing of his case on January 12, 2015. This was interpreted by LGBTQ activists as ominous, amidst fears the Supreme Court was about to support Bain. On January 12, 2015, the court upheld the Univ rel eased from paid leave. Bain sought legal damages from the University incurred by his
11 6 termination. expression was breached, and on August 1 2017, the former ruling was overturned. UWI must now pay legal damages to Bain in the amount of JM$ 4.27 million (Mundle 2017). 2014 Parliamentary Review of Sexual Offences Act The 2014 Parliamentary Review deliberated two considerations. The first quest ioned that there exists n o provision for 16 and under to consent to a sex partner the same age The second argues e xpungement for convictions under Section 10 There was no consideration given to debate the Sodomy Law. Maurice Tomlinson (76 Crimes Blog) ra ised several concerns. T he first suggests that the anti sodomy portions of the law fail to prevent new cases of HIV Tomlinson contends that k eeping the law on the books encourages homophobia and closeted MSM sex making health interventions to prevent STI s much more difficult. Third, Tomlinson asserts, that t he law is impossible to enforce he law punishes vaginal rape far more harshly ( with life im prisonment) than anal rape ( with a 10 year max imum sentence ) punishment for anal rape could further stigmatize gay male victims. Jaevion Nelson, LGBTQ activist, cites a collaborative case compiled with t he help of several activist groups in t he Jamaica Gleaner. Nelson highlights concerns that the 2014 law unjustly stigmatizes the sexual minority community. According to Nelson, t he definition of intercou r se needs to be revised to include oral, vaginal and anal penetration by either a penis or an object (Nelson quotes a recent study by UWI scholar
117 Boxill indicating 86% of Jamaicans wish to see the penalty made the same for both anal and vaginal rape) Nelson goes on to point out that t his definition should be aligned with the 2009 Child Pornography (Prevention) Act He argues that it should extend the definition of rape to include non consensual oral and anal penetration as well as several other considerations. There should be a clause for n on consensual vag inal penetration he contends. A ll marital rape exceptions should be removed, according to Nelson. T he language within the Act should be made to be gender neutral to be more inclusive. Perhaps contentiously, Nelson advocates for d ecriminalizing prostitutio n which has been successful in some other jurisdictions. Nelson suggests that the law does not protect older adults, and suggests p rovisions for elderly victims of sexual assault Finally, Nelson asserts that p rovisions for a spouse to be induced to testi fy in cases of child sexual abuse are necessary to improve child welfare. Review of the Act by a joint committee is ongoing, however, the committee has issued no statement of progress one year after th e inquiry was initiated. S ome of the recommendations fr om QCJ, JASL, J FLAG, Caribbean DAWN and WMW Jamaica and compiled by attorney Tenesha Myrie are quite practical, ( such as to streamline and use the same language across all pertinent legislation ) and will likely be realized. Some of the more provocative r ecommendations, such as abolishing the prohibitions on sex between men and those against prostitution, are unlikely to be altered in any way. But, as the rather clandestine machinations of legal review take place behind closed doors, public pushback about the review has been outspoken, visible, and dramatic.
118 Renewed public interest in dramatic forms of gay bashing, and anti gay fear unverified Observer report of a male review of the Offences against the Person Act. This is c ertainly no coincidence. On June 29, 2014, 25,000 Jamaicans gathered in Half Way Tree in Kingston to protest the committee review of the Offences Against the Person Act (Merevick 2014; Surtees 2014). The event was organized by Jamaica CAUSE (Churches Acti on Uniting Society for Emancipation) (Merevick 2014). Drawing heavily on social understandings of rally (as quoted by Merevick 2014) told the throngs gathered Our emanci pation means standing up for strong families, our emancipation means standing against the homosexuality agenda, emancipation for us means standing up against th e repealing of the buggery law. This is certainly one of the single largest anti LGBTQ demonstr ations to date. The sheer numbers of participants, combined with an emergent financially backed anti gay lobby seeks to prevent legal and political action to grant full citizenship to lesbian and gay Jamaicans. This is of grave concern to Tomlinson and oth er activists at QCJ, J FLAG, JASL, and other groups. What is palpable in these examples is the throb of moral panic reaching a threshold. Homosexuality is fiercely upheld as a spectral threat to national identity, or even the solvency of society itself. Th Like Barbados, national identity and normative media discourse in Jamaica is
119 a national b ody imagined to be heterosexual and masculine, which is perceived to be under attack from outside a nd inside forces The defense of the homophobia as culture stance clearly illustrates the internally and externally contested nature of what makes up Jamaican public culture. Outside pressure to curb homophobic dancehall performances or to promote the safety and well being of Jamaican lesbians, gays, and all sexuals continues to increase social tension heightening normative sexuality in public culture. The unsubstantiated accounts of gays enacting violence a gainst citizens reinforces the supposed spectral threat of homosexuality.
120 CHAPTER 5 ALWAYS LOOKING OVER YOUR SHOULDER: HYPERVIGILENCE AND OTHER STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVAL Everyday Wounds The everyday wounds and threats of homophobia make for a stressful and scary day to day existence of LGBTQ Jamaicans. C hapter 5 incorporates the many kinds of violence and fear that sexual minorities endure. Moreover, it shows them to persist, and even take back some aspects of territorial and public space. Some of the commo n themes that emerge from these individual experiences are double lives; fear of being discovered; loss of family, home, or job; threats of harm; difficulty or avoidance of healthcare (even for symptoms of HIV), and the ever present burden of life lived un der scrutiny and self guardednes s. Drawing on these themes, C hapter 5 explores some of the personal accounts of discrimination, hurt, and loss experienced -the human toll of homophobia. Contested P ublic S pace Social privilege plays a significant role in t he amount of safety and privacy to which an individual has access, regardless of sexual orientation. That said, the consequences for LGBTQ Jamaicans for transgressing social norms can be quite dear. By extension, the most privileged sections of the city ar e also the most tolerant of Kingston are regarded as safer zones by the activist community, and by those outside, as bastions of nastiness because there is typically less scr utiny for sexual minorities there. Within this zone of exception, drag queens gather in parking lots to strut, and sometimes harass supermarket patrons. Male sex workers catering to male clientele
121 can be seen along busy intersections after dark. Activists gather, hidden in plain sight, at hotels and restaurants to strategize and handle organizational business. There are even house parties held at the homes of wealthier gays and lesbians with almost exclusively LGBTQ guest lists. These are not new occurrence s, either. This holding pattern has been in place for decades, a terse standoff between sexual minorities seeking greater inclusion and normative Jamaicans largely refusing to accept them. The public displays of the drag queens in shopping mall parking lot s can be read as a kind of territorial activism. By visibly occupying public space, they are provocatively performing a type of activism. Their mere presence invites commentary from passersby, to which they baudily respond, sometimes jeering and taunting t hose who insult their hair, clothes, or shoes -the performance of femininity that normative Jamaicans frequently find so threatening. While the participants on both sides appear to be engaged in rather heated interaction, the entire scene is rather comedic Verbal sparring is raised to an art form in Jamaica, not unlike many locatio ns in the Black Atlantic. Yet, drag queens are inverting the power dynamic and mocking those who threaten violence in a playful, proud way, in public space. The cheeky playfulnes s, so much a part of both Jamaican verbal sparring AND drag culture, then, is used as a tool by drag queens to demonstrate how fierce and rooted they are. In making themselves unflinchingly visible, they are taking back public space and attempting to domin ate these encounters. Organizing in Plain Sight Most o f the organizations with whom I ha ve liaised are grassroots groups without regular support, office space, or facilities. To hold meetings, or reach out to target groups, gathering in public places is ne cessary. Restaurants, libraries, hotel lobbies, college campuses, and bars are commonly used. Any group of LGBTQ individuals of
122 more than three are likely to draw the attention of passersby. Most often, this amounts to stares and negative comments of outsi ders. In response, activist group members typically modulate their behavior in an attempt to be less conspicuous. They lower their voices, try not to dress in noticeable ways, and even meet in shifts to avoid drawing attention. But, because the Jamaican an ti gay gaze is so subtly tuned, most observers are still aware of what is going on. Grassroots activists must be able to tolerate a certain amount of discomfort to facilitate face to face meetings, in most cases. The few groups with offices are not spared s crutiny either. JFLAG and JASL struggled to keep their locations secret. Even so, their addresses end up getting published. People living in the vicinity are aware of the influx of sexual minorities in their midst, and express displeasure verbally as we ll as in letters to newspaper editors. In some ways, having a physical location is a vulnerability requiring security systems, locked gates, and only two local taxi companies were approved to come onto the premises. Even despite precautions, safety is not guaranteed. As a visitor, my presence represented a vulnerability. Even though I departed in the taxi called for me by the JFLAG receptionist, I was rudely questioned by the driver at I should be know that they used to mill around all over this When he tried to press me for more information about my business there, I si mply said I meet with human rights organizations, and that I was on official business. I took the the drivers they call in future.
123 On another occasion, I met with lesbi an activists in a popular New Kingston outdoor restaurant, and the meeting lapsed past nightfall When I called my preferred driver to pick me up, he was busy, sending a colleague instead. I was unhappy about the substitution, and a bit fired up from my pr oductive meeting. I said goodbye to the activists, and got into the car. Immediately, the driver started making unsolicited comments about gays -much to my dismay. Fearing an uncomfortable ride home, I went on the offensive and immediately challenged his n egative views. A spirited debate was held on the way back, but I could not wait for the ride to be over. As soon as I reached home, I called my regular driver, and asked him not to send his colleague for me again -for which he profusely apologized. I suspe ct that my regular driver knew what I was up to in my research, but he was thankfully a very tolerant and kind person. Homelessness Homelessness is an ongoing struggle, particularly for LGBTQ you th. As illustrate s below, homelessness is a serious and pressing issue among sexually minoritized Jamaicans. Creating a safe house for displaced and homeless presents a few significant challenges, chief among them the safety of the inhabitants and staff. In the wake of this gap, there exists no s ufficient safety net. Abandoned buildings, vacant houses, gullies (open sewers and storm overflow is another option, which makes it difficult to get a fix on the exact number of homeless gays, lesbians, bisexuals a nd transgender youth who are displaced. wherein a teen is discovered by family members to be gay, or suspected to be, and is kicked out of the family home because their sexual identity is deemed to be
124 unacceptable. Without any means of support, many turn to sex work to sustain themselves. Forced to leave school, homeless teens are unlikely to return or finish secondary education. Dou ble Life Among gay men, the down low is a very common phenomenon, to the point that it is clich. However the down low is practiced by every sexual minority segment. When one conceals their sexual and gender identity from family, friends, and coworkers, a double life is in action. This is a very common occurrence, even among individuals in the activist community. What is most damaging about down low life is that it creates conditions in which sexually transmitted infections (STIs) proliferate. In these ar rangements is a total breakdown of communication and informed consent between sexual partners. So, in the down low male scenario, the male partner has unprotected sex with at least one female partner in a socially sanctioned relationship, while also having unprotected sex secretly with multiple male partners outside the home. The sex with men is unprotected because carrying condoms by male partners would likely arouse suspicion from the female population of men who have sex with men ( MSM ) HIV and STI infection rates continue to climb. Living under Threat A life lived under scrutiny is a life lived under threat: of outing, of loss, of enduring hardship and pain. Sexual orientation insults ( battyman fi dead, fish get fry ) are frequently heard, and developing a thick skin in public is a necessity. While most such occurrences are mere nuisances, there are moments where insults escalate into something more dangerous. Violence, and the threat of it is also commonp lace. The
125 sp ecter of physical violence and sexual assault is a burden borne by LGBTQ Jamaicans daily. Acid attacks, beatings, stonings, and murders are a part of the shared consciousness of the sexual minority experience. Similarly, sex workers frequently have been affected by violence. Sex workers are often dehumanized by johns, and worse, at high risk for becoming victims of violent crime. Weariness and burnout from constant vigilance are a common occurrence. Many times, they are expressed as a desire to migrate. Burnout is also a significant threat to effective activism. The heavy burden of existing as a hated person in society must be carefully managed by activists. the form of death, or outmigration. Premature death from violence and illness, as well as the voluntary exile of many members of the community leaves behind vacancies that are difficult to fill, particularly when a senior gay or lesbian is lost. The result is a pop Personal E ncounters Angeline Angeline is a survivor of sexual assault. She and another young woman were kidnapped at gunpoint. During the attack, she was digitally penetrated, and taunted by her attackers w ith comments about how she was no t really a lesbian anymore -now that she had been with men. This cruel and destructive type of attack is known as corrective rape. It is commonly believed that women are lesbians because they h ave not yet had sex with men. It is yet another way to brutalize lesbians into silence. When Angeline tried to report the assault, she found that what happened to her was not only not incredibly difficult to report (she had to out herself repeatedly to pol ice personnel who
126 clumsily handled her case), but the actual assault was not considered illegal. Digital penetration was not (and still is not) considered to be a provision of the Offences Against the Person Act. Angeline, seeing the ways in which women we re left out of the LGBTQ advocacy landscape, went on to co found QCJ. She is quickly becoming a global spokesperson for the struggles in Jamaica. She frequently travels in her advocacy work, and was recently recognized by name by President Obama for her ef forts during his 2015 visit to Jamaica. Jude I met Jude at the Roots of Pride event in which QCJ participated, in collaboration with several other LGBTQ organiza tions (discussed later in C hapter 5 ). She is extremely quiet and shy. She is very butch, even d own to her name, by which she chose to be known. She has a special needs son who was born when she was very to raise their son. He outed Jude in court. The court remove custody. She had no visitation rights for 3 years, until he reached 14 years old, when he her, Jude was anticipating regaining custody of her son i Because she and I fell out of contact after returning from the field, I do not know if this reunion took place. Maurice Here is a brief personal history of Maurice Tomlinson, the activist working with AIDS Free World, and at the center of the two landmark legal cases discussed in Chapter 4 In 1999, Maurice felt compelled through familial and social pressure to get
127 married to a woman who knew he was gay. During his four year marriage, they had a son together. Eventually, though, Maurice fo und he really could no t stop feeling attraction to men, and he and his wife divorced, although they remain on good terms and he co parent s their son long distance. After starting his working career as a flight attendant, Maurice became an attorney (traine d in Italy at University of Turin) and a human rights advocate. In 2009, Maurice became a legal advisor to AIDS Free World for marginalized groups like LGBTQ citizens. For two years, while also a lecturer at University of Technology Maurice collected vict im reports of human rights violations to challenge the portions of the Offences Against the Person Act prohibiting sex between men. To accomplish this, Maurice filed a case with the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in 2011 In 2011, Mauri ce married his husband. Without his permission, his wedding photos were published in the press and he began to receive threats. His husband resided in Toronto at the time, so Tom linson left Jamaica to prevent threats against his own life from being carried out. He did not wis h to break his contract at UTECH however. His solution was to commute between Toronto and Kingston three days per week until the term finished. Following the completion of his teaching contract, Maurice chose a life in exile rather tha frequent brief visits to Jamaica and other Caribbean islands with prohibitions against LGBTQ persons. Because Maurice resides outside Jamaica, he exists in a transnational space. Apart from participa ting in advocacy in Jamaica and his adoptive country, Canada, he is
128 active in Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, and Uganda. While he does deploy a certain amount of globalized sexual minority rhetoric, he is very much a Jamaican. He longs to live in th e land of his birth, albeit a Jamaica that welcomes her LGBTQ citizens with open arms. In public lectures, he often recalls an earlier time in Jamaica when there was greater tolerance for nonnormative sexuality. (This mirrors Silvera 2009.) Because Maurice is a cultural insider, he cannot be said to be imposing a transnational gay agenda upon Jamaica from the outside. Jalna Jalna is not a feminine woman. She prefers to dress butch. She has predominantly Indian and European ancestry, and has a very light com plexion, so she is instantly noticeable. She is a very direct, plain speaking person. These characteristics are at odds with Jamaican middle class norms for female behavior. At one point, Jalna struggled to conform to these norms, but she was miserable. Sh e constantly constrained herself, but always felt at risk of her true self becoming known. After holding a job in a popular retail big box store, Jalna allowed herself to relax a bit, and not long after, she and another gay employee who occasionally wore n ail polish to work found themselves unemployed. Jalna searched for a different job, and went on many interviews. She claims that her skills and knowledge ought to have more than qualified her, yet she was turned down repeatedly. Because she refused to wear dresses, and behave in traditionally feminine ways, Jalna feels she was discriminated against, with little recourse. Eventually, she abandoned he r search and dedicated herself to activism as a co founder of QCJ.
129 Jermaine Jermaine is a mid twenties transge nder activist and the founder of the Colour Kingston Waterfront downtown because of her gender expression and sexual activity with men. Jermaine became a sex worker to survive. She slept in abandoned lots and empty buildings, moving through different areas of the city to meet clients. She was trafficked to other parishes on several occasions. Jermaine confessed how frightened, desperate, and worthless she felt during this time. She contracted HIV. Her break came when a woman offered to help Jermaine attend school. At first, Jermaine only attended because she wanted a stipend, but she soon found she was excelling, and got good grades. She never got the chance to thank her benefact or, but this opportunity activist, seeking to reach out to others in her former circumstances, to lift them up and allow them to reclaim a sense of worthiness while accessin g edu cation and job training to escape rely ing on sex work. Laura Laura is one of the few fully transitioned transgender research con sultants with whom I liaised To accomplish this, Laura was forced to seek therapy for gender dysphoria. Jamaican medical experts -doctors, and psychologists, still regard transgendered individuals as diseased/disordered. Laura endured much scrutiny as she sought the medical interventions she needed to become a whole person. Laura is a web coder by trade. She works from hom e so that she can be self employed and not be subjected to scrutiny in the workplace. She participates in activism, both online and in real ti provides support
130 and advocacy to transgender Jamaicans. But, Laura is becoming mo re reclusive. She battles depression, and she wants desperately to leave Jamaica. She is intensely creative. She is a dreamer. In her spare time, she writes. She also invents new ways to use her skills as a web coder, including designing social media apps to support community policing and to empower LGBTQ citizens with a function to document and report instances of discr imination and violence. Georgia and Afifa Georgia is an activist and artist. So is Afifa. They both identify as queer. They choose this id entification because they feel that labels serve to divide nonnormative Jamaicans. Together, they have created an alternative, welcoming space north of Kingston, SO((U))L HQ, which is part art studio, vegan kitchen, and commune. It is a queer friendly gat Media Collective. Afifa is a practicing Rastafarian, from a feminist, queer vantage point. is part icularly remarkable because Rastafari generally maintains a very anti gay perspective. Many Rasta dancehall performers, for example, are well known for their homophobic lyrics. Afifa sees her spiritual life as a way of deeply owning her Jamaican identity a nd maintaining pride in her African ancestry, and for those reasons, is worth Moments of Victory The last six weeks of my fieldwork stay were focused on assisting with organizing and executing a Pride event with some smaller LGBTQ activist organizations. The planning and staging of the event were remarkably fruitful, helping to establish a closer
131 working relationship between QCJ, NADA (National Anti Discrimination Alliance), and Pride in Action, along with SO (( U )) L HQ (a queer friendly art collaborative.) All of these grassroots groups are actively working toward LGBTQ inclusion and to fill a perceived gap in action oriented activism. The event was originally conceived as an International Day Ag ainst Homophobia event, but quickly shifted into a Pride celebration due to some planning hurdles as well of the LGBTQ community. Considering that homophobia frequently op erates at the level of rhetoric in Jamaica, a consensus was quickly reached by the four organizations that focusing on the positives of the community would be more productive as the community building exercise they envisione d for the event What was chose n instead was June 9 th the anniversary of the death of Brian Williamson, whose life was dedicated to LGBTQ activism. While it might sound rather the date has significance to the Jamaican LGBTQ struggle, it made sense to solidify this date as a tragic but important milestone. Because so many LGBTQ youth are out of as a method to educate a nd reinvigorate interest from young folk. We encountered some difficulties, of course. It was difficult to locate a space for the event. Eventually, SO (( U )) L HQ graciously offered their space, which was ideal except for the Stony Hill location, which made it difficult for some to reach. This was mitigated by renting a car and shuttling attendees from a meeting point in Half Way
132 documentary about the life and murder of David Kato, an LGBTQ activist from Uganda. Figure 5 1 is a flyer created for the event: Figu re 5 1. Flyer for Roots of PRIDE e vent (Image courtesy of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica) The film was followed by a discussion. Prior to the film, attendees could v isit with each other. Refreshments were available before dusk when two performance a group of theatrical members of NADA ( Figure 5 2) After the film and discussion, attendees wrote messages of hope on fabric leaves which were to be incorporated on the rainbow tree that was cooperatively painted by some of the more artistic participants ( Figure 5 3) QCJ displayed membership
133 informa tion and offered LGBTQ books for on site perusal ( Figure 5 4). Other kinds of information about consent a nd safe spaces were posted ( Figure 5 5). To close the for the c hallenges to come. After the event, the proud organizers posed for a group photo with the Jamaican flag and the rainbow flag, side by side ( Figure 5 6). T he photos from the event, taken by QCJ documentarian and co convener Jalna, are used with her permiss i on here. Figure 5 2. NADA display t able ( Image courtesy of Jalna Broderick) Figure 5 3. Collaborative art p roject ( Image courtesy of Jalna Broderick)
134 Figure 5 4. QCJ display t able ( Image courtesy of Jalna Broderick) Figure 5 5 Safe space i nfographic ( Image courtesy of Jalna Broderick)
135 Figure 5 6. The o rganizers ( Image courtesy of Jalna Broderick)
136 CHAPTER 6 QUEER BLACK Constructions of Otherness Race, class, color, and gender power ful social forces that are palpable in so many other facets of Jamaican culture, are very much at work in sexual politics as well. e is also present in class system, manifest in privilege conferred upon the lighter skinned and the financially privileged. Gender is highly structured, males are on top, women beneath them. There are, of course, numerous examples of exceptions (Harrison 1997, Safa 1995 Ulysse 2007 ). When applied to those on the LGBTQ spectrum, the normative gender hierarchy is curiously reproduced: gay men, followed by lesbians, and trans and participation in activism and greater institutionalization of gay male organizations also contributes to this bias. As will be unpacked below, these crosscutting social forces converge in the Uptown/Downtown phen omenon (Thomas 2004, Ulysse 2007 ). While geographic terms originally, they have e volved to much greater social significance. Uptown is, generally, synonymous with privilege, Brown ness, conservative morality, and social order. Downtown is associated with poverty, ghettoize d Black ness, wanton sexuality, loose morals ( slackness ), and lawl essness. Together, these diver gent sets of mor es comprise the value There is a voyeuristic and privi leged trope of consumerism in which Whit e and Brown Uptowners make use of Downtown Black bodies for work, for sex, and for entertainment so common that it is clich in Jamaica (Thomas 2004). Black parties
137 downtown, Dancehall music, and its provocative dances are re adily recognizable examples of w hite/ Brown privileged consumption of Black culture. Privil ege insulates from insecurity, violence, and to some ex tent, the worst abuses of intolerance. But, in a few notable exceptions, the tables have been turned, and Downtown violence has been meted out against Uptown victims. Within the LGBTQ population, such encounters have made headlines when violence against we althy Uptowners has occurred. These biases are also very present in LGBTQ organizing, so that poor, Black and gay youth are ostracized, and ultimately underserved by activist groups. Essentially, this leaves them out of outreach campaigns as well as part icipation in organizational decision making. Thus, the schisms creating vulnerability for marginalized portions of the population further peripheralize young queer, Black Jamaicans. One outcome of ostracism is a growing homeless population of LGBTQ youth, many who now reside in the gullies, or sewer systems of Kingston. They are known as Gully Queens, or Scary Queens (a pejorative applied to them by privileged outsiders). They exist in a liminal space socially, which heightens their fragile position at the margins of society. Liminality has a long history of study in anthropology which can In such circumstances a temporary reprieve from the ordin ary social norms may take place. One example of this phenomenon I have observed is brief social tolerance for men cross dressing in Jamaican Carnival parades. Or, liminality can indicate a dangerous, threatening kind of un belonging, which structures socia l hierarchies (Douglas 1966). It is this second categorization, which I
138 have observed most often, that constitutes a repulsion based on moral judgements, and is the threshold to moral panic as well permanent outsider status (Douglas 1966, Irvine 2009). Bec ause they are so visibly different, and very poor, even activist groups like J FLAG have sought to distance themselves from substantive engagement of these gay and trans youth and their dangerous liminal un belonging Yet, they are most in need of positi ve intervention. L esbians and bisexual women like the women of QCJ, have also struggled to maintain an activist base due to the strictures of these race/gender systems. They have historically evaded the kinds of discrimination faced by gay men, which cont ributes to their invisibility. However, they are more likely to experience certain patterns of violence, such as corrective rape, which are no less damaging. And, as with global patterns of sexual violence worldwide, such assaults are underreported, for ma ny reasons. population. Beyond the effects that reinforce vulnerability of the minoritized population, there is evidence to suggest that homophobia has many economic costs associated with it. These include hurdles in education and the business world for lesbians and gays, permanently limiting their participation in these arenas. Seropositivity still plays a role in the Othering of those affected by it within the LGBTQ community. While greater tolerance now exists, the most vulnerable among them still experience the highest rates of infection, in conjunction with their higher rates of participation in sex work (and thus, resultant of occupational exposure and not sexual orientation). Se xual minorities are subject to the same stressors, if not more acutely felt with regard to STIs. Thus, the burden is magnified.
139 Race in Structural Inequality Studies of racial politics (Gilroy 1987; Ifekwunigwe 1999; Brown 2005) and structural inequality ( Firmin 2000; Harrison 2008) clarify some of the hidden proces ses of institutionalized racism The study of race is polyvalent, and highly intersectional. It is significant in nearly every context within the study of African Diasporic peoples. Rac e has a lo ng history of intellectual inquiry and critique, as evidenced by Firmin (2000) in The Equality of the Human Races a book clearly ahead of its time (originally publishe d in 1885 ) for its cogent argument against a biological basis for race, identifying inst ead social and structural origins for the disparities between African descendants and whites. Faye V. Harrison has long been concerned with structural inequality (1982, 1997), and in Outsider Within anthropol class based global inequality explains her reworking of this term, which she conceptualizes inequality in the Unit difference and separation Drawing on a genealogy of engaged scholarship associated with the work of Johan Galtung (1990), Gernot Khler (1995) and, in anthropology, the work of Paul Farmer (2003) Harrison characterizes the phenomenon and solidifies her argument for the persistence of global apartheid (2008: 221). The concept is closely associa ted with that of structural violence. Harrison charges anthropology to do more than merely documenting aspects of this apartheid, indicating that the discipline is reality of global apartheid (2008 :237).
140 Social Class Black ness as Othered. Jamaican society frames Uptown values as normative, while Downtown values are structured as degraded and dysfunctional. In reality, both tropes exi st parallel to one another, inherited from colonial norms. Uptown values, tied to privilege, are essentially the descendants of white, British Victorian mores. Downtown values, associated with Black ness, poverty, and instability are still denigrated becaus e Black ness itself is still fraught in postcolonial Jamaica. Deborah Thomas (2004) observes the effects of social class in her fieldsite of Mango Mount. There she found that the differences between Uptown and Downtown to be tied to social values concerned with respectability and wealth Adhering to such values, often through the religious practices of conservative Protestantism, Thomas shows the moral hierarchy can be leveraged by those who are upwardly mobile. This is yet another expression of the reputati on/respectability dyad originally posited by Wilson (1969). The popularity of downtown parties by Mango Mount youth, then, illustrates the willingness of young people to test the boundaries of social confines while still enjoying the privileges of upper cl ass life. Gina Ulysse observes a different aspect of the trope of respectability from the vantage point of a Black Caribbean woman: that Black market women are marginalized by society as low class, uneducated and interrupting the status quo of respectabili ty. However, she demonstrates them to be empowered through the market and making money to attain parallel status to many in the middle class Thus, they participate in the global economy as individual actors
141 Clearly the rigidity of the class system, parti (1969) reputati on/respectability dichotomy plays a profoundly impactful role in structuring the boundaries between Jamaican social classes. However Thomas (2004) and Ulysse (2007 ) reveal instances in which the dyad is sub verted. Like all hierarchies that position individuals largely as a consequence of heredity, the power of the system is never totalized (Comaroff and Comaroff 1991). Colorism Black Jamaic n is Afro descended, (CIA 2017 ) the social hierarchy is distributed along a convergence of skin color and social class, with preference given to lighter skin and wealth. It can be said that vastly different social norms apply to wealthy white and Brown circles, as opposed to mostly poor and Black ones. In Ja maica, Deborah Thomas (2004 ) has characterized this as a fluidity of colorism through occupation, l and ownership, and family ties. It is important to note that the greatest mobility is typi cally afforded to people of mixed ancestry, however. Furthermore, new expressions of entrepreneurship have created new opportunities for climbin g the social ladder (Ulysse 2007 ). Education is also an important factor in social mobility, but access to it is highly differential. John Burdick shows the color hierarchy in Brazil to be most restrictive for Black women (1998) The racial hierarchy affects almost every aspect of their lives, from romantic partners, to limiting employment opportunities, and educati onal opportunities. While some flexibility exists for changing how one is racially perceived in some situations, such modifications likely involve invasive alteration of hair texture through
142 chemical relaxers, or educational attainment (Burdick 1998). Both are costly for poor women, but modification of appearance is most accessible. Collision Course: Class and C olorism in LGBTQ C ontext The previous discussion of class and colorism illustrates how closely these systems overlap. While there are numerous exam ples of conflicts arising out of these systems, here I add the additional system of homophobia for analysis. The following events encapsulate the intersection of class, color, and sexual identity. Ambassador Peter King was found murdered in his Stony Hill, St. Andrew home March 20, 2006. King served as Chairman of the Trade Board and Special Envoy of Jamaica. He also led a double life, of which his wife was unaware It is rumored that he frequently entertained young Black men as overnight guests and sex par tners. He is believed to have also filmed these escapades, with more than 460 videos of sexual content seized by police, although none were admitted to evidence by the court in this case. Pusey, the man convicted of killing and mutilating the body of King, claimed he committed the murder because King had attempted to rape him. While this is a horrific example, it conveys the power privilege carries, even for a gay man. A Brown man, King, by virtue of h is education and occupation, felt entitled to consume s ex with young, poor, Black men. That he filmed many sexual exploits suggests that he felt a certain entitlement to do so. He also kept meticulous logs of all the visitors to his home, including their photos and addresses, which implies he was concerned for safety he ambassador is one reason that his killer was brought to trial and con victed, all within three years, a comparatively brief period for the usually backl ogged Jamaican justice system
143 T he consumption of Black bodies by white/ Brown privileged ones is not a new story in Jamaica, or indeed, anywhere in the Black Atlantic. But, the minoritized position of gay/bisexual men does reveal some critical aspects of their vulnerability in Jamaican s ociety. Even a highly positioned gay man is vulnerable to being outed, or turned on by a jilted sexual partner. Gay on Gay Violence vs. Homophobia n gay violence, as asserted by media sources ? I arg ue that the conditions of homophobia are ultimately responsible. The social sanctions of homophobia caused King to be closeted. It rai sed to protect his identity. The pressur e to appear outwardly straight cause d Pusey to be on the down low. The economic pressures affecting gay youth disproportionately necessitated him to be being outed by King, he retaliated with violence rather than suffer the social consequences. Thus, the threat of exposure and outing, combined with societal expectations for masculinity caused Pusey to violently protect his sexual identity. Violence is one of the few modes of demonstrating masculinity available to poor, Black Jamaican men (Harrison 1997 Whitehead 1986) Harrison, building on Whitehead (1986), explains the ucted in terms of It makes sense, within this context, that Pusey would respond in the brutal manner he did,
144 because he had little other recourse that would not expose him as a gay m an to outsiders and authorities. Global Index on Legal Recognition of Homosexual Orientation Kees Waaldijk believes that all societies go through a similar process of contesting homosexuality and struggling over whether its legalization is warranted (200 9). Globally, Waaldijk asserts that most countries are moving toward legalizing and accepting homosexuality (2009). Only in a small minority is the process reversing (Waaldijk 2009). Decriminalization comes first, per Waaldijk, then the inclusion of sexual orientation in anti discrimination legislation, then partial or complete recognition of LGBTQ marriage/union and family (Waaldijk 2009). This process is reflected in European and U.S. contexts, for example. Waaldijk notes that this is tied into the coloni al legacy of Europeans and the United States because an imperialistic directive to structure social relations in former colonies But, it should be noted that three non European postcolonial countries were the first to include specific provisions protectin g sexual minorities in their constitutional documents: South Africa, Fiji, and Ecuador (Waaldijk 2009:3). Of course, there is often a gap between de jure codifications and the reality of law enforcement and implementation, as discussed in Chapter 4. Legisl ative and legal reform is necessary but insufficient as a sole mode of social change From the process described above, Waaldijk fo und four categories emerged : decriminalization, anti discrimination, partnership recognition, and family recognition (Waald ij k 2009). Drawing on data from already published studies, and anonymous, unfootnoted sources (such as: Amnesty International, Behind the Mask [African LGBTQ media NGO] press reports, etc.). It should be noted that the latter are included but not consider ed conclusive by the author, and actual data from such sources are not
145 represented in the tables. With inputs from 39 countries, Waaldijk asked the following eight questions: 1a: Are homosexual acts between adults legal in criminal law? If so, since whe n? 1b: After decriminalization, are age limits now equal for homosexual and heterosexual acts? If so, since when? 2a: Is sexual orientation discrimination in employment explicitly forbidden in legislation? If so, since when? 2b: Is such discriminatio n in relation to goods/services explicitly forbidden in legislation? If so, since when? 3a: Is there any recognition in law of non registered cohabitation by same sex partners? If so, since when? 3b: Can same sex couples enter into a registered partnersh ip or civil union? If so, since when? 4a: Is joint and/or second parent adoption by same sex partner(s) legally possible? If so, since when? 4b: Can same sex couples get legally married? If so, since when? Jamaica is unfortunately not one of the countrie overview of global same sex recognition. Nevertheless, applying the eight questions to ncluded. By answering the eight questions using knowledge gathered during fieldwork, Jamaica is among the bottom tier countries on the Global Index, unsurprisingly. Gay Economics Homophobia has economic costs. I have preliminarily calculated approximate lo sses to the Jamaican economy. Using a few readily available governmental statistics, and approximate population size ratios, the numbers are simple enough to calculate. Jamaica population is 2,723,246 according to recent census information. The highest est imate of the LGBTQ population is 10%, so that is 272,324 for a maximum population.
146 LGBTQ orkforce size is 1,715,644.98 ( or 63% of the total population). If we multiply the total workforce size by .6, the LGBTQ workforce size is estimated to be 163,394. The segment is used as a maximum possible contribution for LGBTQ population to argue that if the GDP remains static, this ou ght to be the amount they contribute. However, this is not the case, for several reasons discussed later. Homophobia harms the economy in specific ways. It is hard for gay business owners to thrive outside LGBTQ niche. Most of these operate in tourist town s like Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril (and towns between them), and operate shops and restaurants that cater to tourists (but not exclusively gay clientele). In Kingston, the handful of gay business owners own clothing shops or work in the entertainment industry. The costs in lost tourism are difficult to calculate. The international LGBTQ community is very aware of Jamaican homophobia, and gay travelers generally avoid visiting Jamaica. There have been various campaigns to boycott travel to the island as well as its products (such as Boycott Jamaica), with nominal success. The overall costs remain elusive. Homophobia harms the economy and society in terms of lower educational attainment due to harassment and discrimination in school. In addition, as s exual orientation and gender identity emerge in the teen years, a common practice in LGBTQ adolescents, rendering them homeless and forcing them to leave school. Every young person I me t had either experienced the trauma of being kicked out of the family home, was living
147 under the possibility of being kicked out, or had already been threatened with it. Without any chance to finish school, these homeless teens frequently engage in sex wo rk to survive. In either instance, overall lower levels of educational attainment result in potentially measurable outcomes: a lifetime of lower earnings that continue the cycle of poverty and exclusion of sexual minorities. During my fieldwork, police wer e cracking down on the communal squat houses where homeless queer youth lived. Many of these vacant homes were in upscale neighborhoods (like mine), which neighbors disliked. Once evicted, these young people had few options, and many resorted to living in storm drains closer to either New Kingston or downtown. In workplaces, similar kinds of discrimination and employee harassment create hostile work environments. Most successful LGBTQ employees can only find success concealing the ir sexual orientation from coworkers and supervisors. This can be very tricky, as most of my research consultants who work in the formal sector are employed in either retail or service spheres that deal directly with the public (not surprisingly, as these are among the largest employment segments in the economy) and subject to complaints by patrons. Workplace discrimination, compounded by overall lower educational attainment results in lower workforce participation, smaller GDP, and a smaller workforce. Ult imately this means smaller tax income, w ith implications for decreased s tate resources. It should be noted that decreased overall economic productivity, causes a decrease of consumer spending, and an increase in unregulated/informal market activities as we ll as contributing to overall economic instability.
148 The Role of Infectious Disease in Reducing Labor Market P articipation Infectious disease is another important factor in creating vulnerability and reducing formal labor market participation. Illness, no t surprisingly, results in missed days at work, But, in the case of HIV, which can result in long term disability, particularly in cases in which patients have reduced access to healthcare to manage symptoms effectively. Homophobia contributes to incr easing STI & HIV rates in several important ways. First homophobia in the workplace creates a hostile work environment for sexual minorities. Minoritized workers who have experienced workplace discrimination may avoid their jobs, resulting in lost wages/t ime off from work, as well as high attrition from the workforce. Living with HIV and STIs has increased associat ed healthcare costs (personal, s tate and NGO). For very poor persons living with HIV and other STIs, these costs may be prohibitive, and they ma y engage in riskier sexual behavior, increasing risk of infection to sexual partners. Black gay youth, are disproportionately affected by lack of economic opportunity, and therefore experience the most extreme effects of this system. Gay Black ness: The Do uble Burden of Being Both Black and Gay Having already discussed some of the economic factors that peripheralize poor LGBTQ youth, here the overlay of racial identity is further unpacked. The intersection of the racial hierarchy and the sexual hierarchy cr eates unique stresses on this doubly minoritized segment. Even within the sexual minority community, the schisms of gender, race, and class can be felt. Overall, activist community outreach underserves poor, Black gays and lesbians But, it should be note d that a micro hierarchy also exists: gays receive more
149 representation than lesbian and trans women. This reproduces race and gender hierarchies found in wider society. Largely, the reproduction of racial and class schism s within the activism landscape le aves poor, undereducated gays, trans and lesbians out of the decision making process. Similarly, they were frequently excluded from strategic action, and leaves with little to no representation for future outreach. In meetings with stakeholders and ally or ganizations, the few brave representatives for the d owntown LGBTQ population were trivialized and talked over, effectively silencing them. Frequently, I witnessed the application of class bias by middle class LGBTQ activ ists to poor gays and lesbians wher e there frequentl y was also a color differential This was especially visible at J FLAG. Poor gays and lesbians were regarded unruly, badly behaved, gaudy, loud, and drawing the wrong kind of attention -that jeopardizes the safety of the compound. Ultimate ly, at J FLAG, this was packaged as a security risk. In the immediate sense, and is at least partially understandable. J that point was in the Golden Triangle (an Uptown neighborhood), and neighbors of the property did make some complain ts. However, in my observation, this was more a case of internal policing of behavioral norms of respectability and an expression of expectations tied to social class than anything else. It was clear to me that greater value was placed on restrained middl e class expressions of gay identity, in which there was little respect for raucous drag queens. It also became clear that these forms of discrimination against Black sexual minorities mirrored tropes of Black dependence already present in society. The typ es of outreach were generally charitable in orientation, and not geared toward empowerment
150 or making structural changes to mitigate the deeper sources of these vulnerabilities. The actions of grassroots groups focused on making suc h changes came from withi n the d owntown population itself, unsurprisingly. On e example comes from Colour Pink, in which a transwoman, and former sex worker who succeeded in finishing school, sought to provide the same opportunities to other gay and trans sex workers. The color h ierarchy is manifest in other damaging, but observable ways. One practice familiar from other plantation societies, is the notion of Black bodies as hypersexualized. This concept has many expressions I have touched on previously such as the urban art form of dancehall, for example. White u ptown voyeurs freque ntly seek thrills by attending d owntown street parties, as well. A direct legacy of the plantation is the sexual consumption of Black bodies by white bodies. Black bodies are also valued differently i n the color hierarchy. The bodies of Black people are frequently regarded as disposable, unworthy (when it comes to abuses of power, this is highly rel evant), or in need of physical discipline. Police brutality in poor Black communities is common. The bodi es of Black sexual minorities are not spared the reach of physical discipline. If anything, they are subject to greater scrutiny and brutality. the structural hurdles tha t constrain the movement, advancement, and citizenship of Black people. For Black sexual minorities, this effect is magnified. They experience more flagrant forms of discrimination, increasing their marginalization. They are more vulnerable to violence (ph ysical and sexual) as a result, as well.
151 After experiencing violence or sexual assault, Black LGBTQ victims have less institutional access. This means that reporting crime, filing complaints, and getting eff ective protection from police are not guarantee d. Consequently, this engenders a lack of trust of law enforcement on the part of sexual minorities. In some cases, the lack of trust borders on outright fear of the constabulary. It should be said that police response has improved in recent years, in la rge part due to sensitivity training initiated by LGBTQ activist groups. Recently, police have protected LGBTQ victims from their assailants, such as the case of a man pursued by an angry mob in Old Harbour, St. Catherine in 2013; May Pen in 2014; and in H alf Way Tree in K ingston in 2015 Hypervisibility, in which sexual minorities are subject to greater scrutiny, is prevalent. It takes many forms: from a media preoccupation with anti gay news stories, to surveillance in public places, LGBTQ people ultimat ely feel watched, but not seen. The constant negative message they receive from society and its institutions cultivate a y to life as a misfit in a society with rigid gender norms. Homosexuality looms large as a vague threat to the perceived order of gender norms, one that needs to be carefully constrained to prevent its spread. This is that (2009:146). Surviving Being Gay and HIV+ Being seropositive and LGBTQ results in another class of Othering in Jamaica. The people most vulnerable to HIV, Black young sexual minorities, find themselves mul tiply ostracized should they become ill. Jamaicans commonly associate gay men with HIV, even though young women 18 24 have the highest rates of HIV infection. The
152 well as the folk belief that sex with a virgin girl will cure STIs. Gay and down low HIV+ individuals often delay treatment due to fear of discrimination by doctors, nurses, and medical staff. This fear is not unfounded, there exist numerous cases of document ed discrimination. Effective antiretroviral (ARV) treatment also requires excellent nutrition. For the homeless HIV+ population, ARV therapy is out of reach due to cost as well as for the quantity and type of nutrition needed. This is a known problem thro ughout the developing world where both HIV and insufficient nutrition occur together, or are syndemic. The implications for this are profound and life altering, in many cases. Some HIV+ sex workers continue to engage in risky sex for pay even after diagnos is, out of bare necessity. Some HIV+ down low men have unprotected sex with their female sex partners to conceal the fact that they also engage in same sex sex. Black Lesbians: On Being (Mostly) Invisible C hapter 6 has helped to elucidate the ways in whic h Black ness correlates with invisibility in systems of global apartheid. Black women particularly fall into the void of invisibility For Black Jamaican lesbians, this is even more evident, a s they have even less visibility than others on LGBTQ spectrum. There are an incredibly small numbe r of LB (Lesbian and Bisexual) groups. Lesbians are underserved for services and outreach. Historically, J FLAG has with J FLAG, I observed this, along with indifference and a lack of inclusion. As a woman, I found my identity heightened my outsider status when I interacted with members of the organization. It should be noted that the only women I observed on J
153 FLAG staff were nurse s who assist with health interventions like STI treatment and ARV distribution, as well as counselors who help with emotional trauma. Unsurprisingly, these are traditionally female dominated professions. No women were found in decision making capacity at J FLAG. The organization that formerly cooperated closely and shared facilities and some personnel with J FLAG, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), does have a history of female leadership over the last six years. But, its close ties with J FLAG, as well as its focus on Jamaicans living with HIV and AIDS, also diverted focus away from the LB community. The pool of international financial resources that both J FLAG and JASL rely on tend to earmark funds specifically to help gay men, which further skews the types of outreach they can p rovide away from LB as well as t rans women. Because J FLAG and JASL retained blinders about female sexual minorities, a few small organizations specifically targeting them have emerged. The ones with which I worked most closel y, Quality of Citizenship Jamaica (QCJ) and Women for Women, (WfW), face many institutional hurdles. They are disadvantaged by being new on the grassroots organizing scene, for targeting an underserved population, and for competing with older, established organizations that, on paper, claim to attend to the entire LGBTQ population for limited international donor funds. Lesbians have less access to transnational grant funding. QCJ and WfW feel they are ultimately viewed as competition with J FLAG and JASL fo r limited international financial resources. Seeking out new sources of funding is difficult, and new start up groups frequently lack the savvy required to research grants, assemble applications for them, and to establish the formalized allocations usually required by donor groups to
154 receive funds. These hurdles tend to weed out all but the most determined new organizations, functionally limiting the playing field to the most established organizations, serving to institutionalize and privilege them over rec ently established groups seeking to help underserved portions of the populace. Ultimately, this is detrimental because the lack of access to funds and services for neglec ted segments, like the LB and t rans women communities, serves to bar access to the org anizing landscape. The Jamaican gender hierarchy positions lesbians lower than gay men. This is a the profound effect the gender hierarchy has at the societal lev el has implications for gender relations between gay men and lesbians in activism. Lesbians are fetishized by the straight male imaginary. This contributes to their Othering in several substantial ways. One is that they are viewed as a pool of potential se as a challenge to be overcome. Another is that the dark side of this perceived challenge is punitive: to make lesbians submit to sex with men, resulting in the phenomenon of corrective rape. Corrective rape is a common, but only recently identified phenomenon among lesbian an d bisexual women It is also an underreported f orm of violence. The practice is an extension of paternalistic thinking. Essentially, it stems from bel ieving that same A resultant folk belief is that lesbians will convert to straight women after having sex with men, even that which is unwanted. The outcome, of course, is trauma inflic ted
155 on lesbian women, another outcome of their Othering. Since discrimination is still pervasive in Jamaican institutions, reporting corrective rape is always a fraught process. Some women are successful at pressing charges through the constabulary and leg al system. Others are harassed when they approach police to record an account of corrective rape. Sensitivity training of police forces has been successful in mitigating such outcomes, but much work on this front remains to be done. Black and T rans As invi sible as l esbians have been in activism, t ransgender identities are even more so. Partly this is due to a lack of understanding of t rans identity. Trans identity can be understood as having a liminal quality in societies where sex/gender binaries are empha sized. Historically, anthropology has highlighted the dangers of liminal states, most notably studies of life cycle milestones Sexual liminalit y (incorrectly associated with t rans people), then, is viewed by gender binary societies as a highly undesirable state. Des pite invisibility in activism, t rans people have nowhere to hide in mainstre am society. A key component of t rans identity is that it is highly visible. This is tied to the fact that in part, outward expression of sex/gender identity is subject to scrutiny. High visibility, combined with a nti trans bias, means that t rans people face social stigma in an unavoidable way. Wo rkplace discrimination against t rans people is virtually ubiquitous. Employers remain unwilling to challenge the status quo by hiring gender nonconforming individuals. Fo r this reason, t rans people are almost totally excluded from formal economic participation.
156 Of course, exceptions to these norms exist. Laura Garcia, foun Pride, is a t rans woman who foun ded the organization attempt to mee t the needs of the underserved t rans community, as well as those of lesbian and bisexual women. Garcia is a success story in her own right. She had to struggle to make her transition, including extensive psychological counseling to legally change her bio logical sex, encountering anti t rans bias of psychology practitioners in the process. Garcia is also unique in that she is an information technologist and software engineer. Given the anonymity of such work, Garcia has been able to shield herself from some of the more damaging types of workplace discrimination. She is largely self employed, though. This is both blessing and curse. She finds herself chronically underemployed and unable to disentangl e herself from the complex web of familial obligation complicated by misunderstandings of family members. I frequently encountered Garcia longing to leave the island to free herself of such obligations to pursue an easier life in the U.S., Canada, or the U K. This was somewhat surprising, given her level of commitment to LGBTQ activism. However, sexual minority activists often espouse such sentiment. I find that it is a coping mechanism employed by activists to help deal with the intrusive and painful reali ty of daily discrimination as well as the incidences of violence which punctuate the lives of transgender, lesbian, bisexual, queer and gay Jamaicans. Black ness in Sex Work: Replication of Racism/C olor ism vis a vis Sex N orms As stated earlier, Black ness is associated with sexuality, an inheritance from the plantation era. This contemporary racialized economic system replicates colonial era attitudes toward Black
157 work, as might be expected. White and/or privileged bodies tend to be the ones consuming sex ser vices from Black sex workers. This means that there is a flow (albeit a small one) of cash from privileged patrons to Black workers. The commodity is not agricultural labor, but sex. It positions Black sexuality as inferior and dirty, y et necessary. sexual minorities, gay men and t rans women are the most likely to participate in sex work. Overwhelmingly, their clientele is male. There is a geographic component to sexual consu mption, as well. Most transactions take place in New Kingston. New Kingston is more tolerant of sexual minorities than other parts of the city, most notably Downtown. It is also where many privileged patrons work, giving them easy access to consume sexual services in the evening. Ea ch evening, there is a mass movement of sex workers from their homes to New Kingston. Since there is there is discrimination in the renta l housing market, impoverished t rans people face significant hurdles i n acquiring safe hous ing. Many t rans sex workers re squat houses and in They leave the relative safety of these daytime refuges clients. This night ly commute does not happen unnoticed, however. Many Kingstonians seize the opportunity to on foot, with condemnation and judgment as they pass in cars on the road. Out of sheer n Gul are carving out a place for themselves in public space. With few other options, they use their visibility as a tool
158 toward this end. It is an inherently risky b argain, while violence against t rans people remains high. Black Tra ns Femininity As will come as no surprise, Black social class. Here too, the power and privilege that come with financial means are also felt. Even as trans femininity is visible, it remains transgressive. Be cause of outsider status, Black trans women have needed a certain boldness and fearlessness to survive. Black trans femininity is transgressive in that sexual nonconformity is taboo in Jamaica. Survival as a Black trans woman is dependent upon successful n avigation of this outsider status. Nevertheless, trans identity is one that is endangered by its liminality. Gender a uthenticity, as a concept, is highly contentious and driven by an In a polarized gender system like Jamaica s there is no room for ambiguity. Authentic gender performance requires individuals to adhere to a narrow range of roles. T hese roles do vary across social classes ; Ulysse (2007) addresses middle class perceptions of market women as partially masculinized for example. But, it is important to note that norms for Jamaican men do not allow for a feminized male gender performance that is always considered taboo. Thus, for middle class Black trans femininity authenticity in gender performance is of critical i social critique of gender norms through gay culture, exemplified in the drag scene. Mattel embrace this over the top caricaturized female gender performance. In contrast a less exaggerated g ender performance is vital to middle class Jamaican trans women
159 Authentic gender performance is difficult to gauge, and yet, authenticity in gender performa nce is readily recognizable by virtually anyone. Authenticity, for this reason, encompasses some paradoxical realities. It also creates schism along class lines since authentic gender performance has an economic component. Greater authenticity can be achie ved with finer accoutrements: better wigs/hair extensions, cosmetics, clothing, etc . Of course, this amounts to greater expense. However, among the poorest trans women, the Gully Queens, there is a rejection of at least some of the norms of authenticity. In a aesthetic among American gay men and drag queens the economic hurdle of visual authenticity is rejected by the Gully Queens because it is financially unattainable. What is striv en for instead is behavioral authenticity. Many Gully Queens adopt the stage name and persona of popular performers into their gender performance repertoire. Paired with a rejection of visual authenticity in gender perf ormance, is the Fierceness is a difficult quality to measure, but amounts to fearlessness and boldness. Use of the term does have history among gay men Fierceness is virtually required for all trans women in Jamaica (and all Jamaican women, really) but is an e specially important value for Gully Queens. This recalls ing business on the street (2007 ). Because they occupy public space while defying mainstream gender norms, Gully Queens use fiercenes s to push back against the tyranny of mainstream norms. This use of fierceness amounts to a kind of activism. More than just consciousness raising, fierceness empowers poor trans women to carve out a place in public space for themselves.
160 Moving F orward? Th ere exist several approaches to mitigating the deleterious effects of the multiple othering of sexual minorities. The following discussion describe s campaigns for action by LGBTQ organizations. Each tackle specific aspects of perpetuating homophobia. These interventions range various strategies, and some have more longevity than others. LGBTQ teens. Meant to specifically address the additional pressure put on dislocated/homeless youth by evic ting them from squat houses, which reemerged as a strategy used by houses, where they oft en stayed with permission of the absent landowners after a renewed effort by police to crack down on such unregulated home occupation. I visited one squat house in my neighborhood in 2013. There were approximately 20 25 young people living in the house and on its grounds. The home did not have active electrical service or running water inside (these had long been turned off by the owner). People were bathing outdoors from a hose, and several young trans women were getting dressed to get ready to head down t o New Kingston that evening. They spoke to me, even as they were in various stages of preparation, as comfortably as if they were receiving me in their own living rooms, because, indeed, they were. They spoke of multiple visits by the police to evict them. During these, they would flee, and return at night. They did have verbal permission from the landowner to live in the home, but adjacent homeowners did no t like their presence, and complained. Because this home was located Uptown, police readily complied, not wanting to upset wealthy residents.
161 So, ultimate ly, the permission granted did no t matter, because the norm of respectability took precedence over the rights of dislocated youth with nowhere else to go. As will be discussed in detail later, legal re form, in the form of Supreme Court cases challenging the laws making sexual minorities more vulnerable is an important strategy. These challenges are a first step in legal reform. The next steps involve repealing and replacing them. This process is aided b y the rather recent addition of a charter of essential rights (similar to the Bill of Rights) in 2011. The Charter is also expected to need reform to be inclusive of sexual minorities. Police sensitivity training has been a longstanding int ervention of J FLAG and JASL, and has been ongoing for 10+ years. The benefits have begun to be reaped in recent years, with police now giving protection to particularly gay men fleeing violence. This is remarkable, and occurring consistently enough to not e an emergent trend. At the same time, it does not happen across the board, and so more work remains to be done. It can be expected that police sensitivity training will continue, as the need for it will not diminish until greater social acceptance at the societal level is achieved. Targeting down low population for outreach, HIV education, condom use remains important, and although efforts have been ongoing, they have not very successful. This work remains critically important, however fruitless it may se em. That is because this population should be included in the wider population of sexual minorities. It is almost entirely due to h omophobia pushing these individuals into anonymity. Greater efforts to include, hold accountable, and educate this group will result in measurable gains in lowered HIV and STI infection rates.
162 Nutrition programs to comple ment ARV dispensing programs for homeless/ sex worker populations will continue to be critical to supporting poor LGBTQ persons living with HIV. It is irrespon sible to dispense ARVs to patients without complementary food/nutrition programs for the simple reason that the virus can still be shed if the patient is not stable enough nutritionally. Beyond this, it should be a mission of holistic care to ensure these patients are properly cared for in aspects of their health other than HIV. Social inclusion and dismantling social stigma represent the hardest part of the broadcasting an inclu sive message, attempt this. To date, their range has been curtailed through exclusion by the media houses, although they have circulated via YouTube. Police sensitivity training has shown some results, too. It should be noted that from 2009 to 2012, a dram atic change took place: activists went from using pseudonyms to using their real names, and from hiding their identities to appearing on TV and Internet interviews. This demonstrates a calculated risk on behalf of the LGBTQ activist community, but also shi fts public perceptions, at the same time.
163 CHAPTER 7 T HROUGH THE SOCIAL MEDIA LOOKING GLASS: ESCALATING TENSIONS AND VIOLENCE POST FIELDWORK Queer Optics This dissertation draws on the variety of ways in which the optic s of sexual minorities represent s a contested social field. As much as mainstream media have sought to maintain the homophobic status quo, social media have provided a necessary conduit for LGBTQ activist groups to counter it. At the same time, social media have also been sites of antigay bu llying, homophobic conflict and threat s against the lives of activists Social media sites have also served to keep me connected with happenings in the field. Since departing, this connection has become more voyeuristic and less participatory. Largely th is is due to sheer necessity to analyze the data collected to complete the dissertation write up. In this way, social media have served as a sort of backward view through this digital looking glass through which I have been able to reflect upon the impact of political homophobia on queer Jamaicans and their modes of resisting its deleterious effects. Substantive Connections At the very beginning of this research project, I restricted my interests in the plight of Jamaican sexual minorities to purely academi c concerns. Over time, a certain uneasiness grew the longer I worked on the project. I was hiding a part of myself, and in so doing, I was holding back from a substantive connection with my research consultants. Being a deeply closeted bisexual woman was i nterrupting the potential for meaningful connection, for rapport, with my interlocutors. As I started to come out to
164 them, so many of the blockages that created gaps in my connection to my research participants began to disappear. This realization also hel ped me to understand the multiple ways in which I, as a white, North American, bisexual woman, am privileged. I have included some vignettes in this writing of instances of being mistaken for being in charge, for example. But, I would be remiss if I did no t unpack other aspects of my privilege that only became visible after this personal revelation. Bisexuality is a fraught category (leaving considerations of homophobia aside for a moment) due to misunderstandings about how this orientation works. Some cons done, either out of necessity o r convenience. But, this inauthenticity carries a heavy burden. I could hide behind my privilege, using it to my advantage to conceal my true self. My interlocutors, of course, saw through this. Once I started to come out to them, and to friends and fami ly members, I also began to appreciate the complexities of the coming out process. The first epiphany related to this is that it is, indeed, a process, one that may never be complete. There is a careful calculation made each time before revealing this inti mate part of oneself with another. Sharing personal vulnerability in this way is incredibly humbling, often a gut churning experience. But it is this soul bearing that has also revealed so many beautiful moments I could not have otherwise experienced. In t hem, I was given a precious gift of existing in a shared reality with my research participants. But, it also comes with a set of responsibilities, as well.
165 The most important of these is to use my privilege in an accountable way. In addition to no longer h iding my identity, I acknowledge the ways I can leverage my privilege to bridge the academic and activist worlds. This is not merely subscribing to a theoretical orientation, but instead, a deeply reflexive praxis in which I am obligated to use my training as an anthropologist to connect my interlocutors to academic research they might not otherwise access, to help them connect their struggles with activists in other contexts, to voice their challenges and concerns in substantive ways, and to help to dimini sh the skills gap that has doomed so many grassroots organizations. In this way, the perspective I have gained is one of a lifelong commitment to this praxis. It is one of the most profound realizations I will take away from my time working on this project In taking stock of the entirety of the fieldwork experience, several difficulties have come to the fore. Each of these issues illuminates different aspects of the LGBTQ population. What is evident is that although the deck is stacked against sexual minorities, they persist in activism: ultimately, they have hope. Through determination and out of sheer necessity, they refuse to give up. Resistance is an important tool for survival. I have observed varied and beautiful expressi ons of resistance: some overt like the drag queens taking back public spaces, distribution of Christmas meals to homeless gay men, or Jalna and Angeline of QCJ taking time to father refused to allow their child to live with her and her partner
166 Violence Since Leaving the F ield Incidents of violence have not decrease d since my fieldwork ended. In fact, t here are increased numbers of violent incidences against LGBTQ people, but numbers of claimants remain low, due to little confidence in the constabulary/investigative process, fear of reprisa ls, and incapacity of the legal system. Efforts to train police to tre at victims of human rights abuses with respect are working, but there is much more ground to be gained in this endeavor. A problem that has followed the duration of this research is the lack of statistical data. Underreporting of human rights abuses repre sents only a portion of the issue. There is the problem that police are not retaining data on such claims. These kinds of data are simply elided in police recordkeeping. To gain perspective on just how extensive homophobic violence is a more comprehensive repository of these incidents is required. J FLAG and the Inter A merican Commission do keep their own records, but acknowledge their incompleteness. So, the next phase of police sensitivity training must take this aspect into account. If applied broadly t o other minoritized segments of the population, then reporting on domestic violence, and violence against minors may also become more traceable. It is my hope that a searchable, open source database may one day be built out of this data compilation. These LGBTQ folk and the extent to which it is threatened by them. These societal responses reinforce the fragility and the confinement of the glass closet. In some cases, these instances of viole nce galvanize the minoritized community and spur collective action. However, this action seems challenging to sustain. As much as spectacularly horrific incidents inspire collective action, repeated loss bludgeons the community into inaction.
167 This constant grief without substantial healing is a heavy burden continually borne by sexual minorities. Implications of S trategies E mployed T hus F ar LGBTQ population is now gaini ng increased visibility. When President Obama visited Jamaica on April 9, 201 4 he recognized the activism of the sexual the Supreme Court cas es as well as his stands in Emancipation Park. This kind of exposure also has implica tions for pushback, as evidenced by the Jamaica CAUSE movement, the subsequent termination as director at CHART (Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training) Network on June 29, 2014 (RJR 2014). It can be expected that the se modes of resistance and backlash by straight conservatives will continue to increase as visibility of LGBTQ activism increases. Many activists now use their own given names. This is a big change over the use of pseudonyms prevalent at the start of this research project. While this h as created the opportunity for abuse and violence against out activists, the positive effects greatly outweigh such risks, according to the activists themselves. It is important to overall social change for out LGBTQ activists to be present in society. By refusing to be faceless specters at the fringes of normative society, these activists are making a conscious choice to normalize lesbian, gay, transgender and queer lives, even at substantial risk to themselves. The implicatio ns of Maurice taking up the Buggery Law case instead of a different claimant, after Javed (the original claimant) and his family were threatened are that he absorbs additional risk. After Javed and his family were threatened, Javed left
168 Jamaica Althoug h Maurice lives in Canada, hi s parents reside in Montego Bay, and I often worry about their safety, I know Maurice does, too. The Buggery Law is frequently referred to as justification for continued discrimination and violence, so this struggle is the lync hpin to dismantling th exclusion. There is an ongoing high risk of violence regarding strategies emphasizing greater visibility because such tactics create vulnerability while homophobic values still dominate. It can be expect ed that there will be a tradeoff in the form of a spike of violent reprisals as more activists embrace identity transparency. Recommendations for F uture S trategies and A ddressing L acunas Violence continues to be used as a tool for enforcing status quo. These incidents and as interviews wit h anti gay community members). Measures to ensur e fair and balanced reporting in media have not yet begun. This is a difficult area to access because of the against the media houses. It seems counterintuitive, foolhardy, even, but Maurice is right: visibility IS liberty. Social media will continue to be the platform from which campaigns aimed at educating the public about the need for protection of rights and promoting greater inclusivity will be launched. This is particu larly evident in the wake of the Supreme Court decision The role that social media can play is one of moderating the heretofore unfavorable representations in tradition media formats. Just as easily, ho wever, these sites can be used as vectors to communicate
169 more brutal homophobic sentiments. Careful moderation must be employed in dealing with such complexities. An important project looming on the horizon is to make Jamaica safer for local activists esp ecially those who are poor and Black Generally, it has been only middle class a ctivists who can escape the island. Some of the recommendations here will help, but better standards for establishing clearer immigration rules for amnesty on the basis of pers ecution for sexual orientation are needed. As identified by numerous activists and scholars, repealing the Buggery Law is a critical part of long term strategy because the presumed illegality of homosexuality is still being used as justification for discri mination against sexual minorities. And, although repeal has been discussed as a provisional requirement for British Commonwealth countries receiving foreign aid from the United Kingdom, this process cannot be initiated from outside Jamaica, lest dire cons equences ensue. Instead, a more deliberate process of consensus building must take place. It can be expected that other modes of resistance will continue, such as the stands in Emancipation Park. With an aim to better access to mainstream media for more f avorable coverage I anticipate more engagement of the activist community with traditional media. Although problematic coverage has been offered by the media houses to date, these durable forms of access remain the primary ones the average Jamaican accesse s. So, while they are imperfect, they are still viable modes of working toward g reat er inclusivity. Similarly, improving solidarity within the LGBTQ activist community is an important goal. Just a few weeks after I departed the field J FLAG hi red Latoya N ugent
170 in July 2013. Nugent is a Her perspective will undoubtedly address some of the critique s I have made here. However, promising a first step toward mending the rift, it does not diminish the fact that substantial o utreach remains sparse and must be addressed going forward. Communities in Exile LGBTQ population, it makes little sense to connect with those who have fled its hars h conditions. For this reason, I have long envisioned that the part two of this research would require accessing the Jamaican LGBTQ diaspora. Much can be gleaned from ethnological comparison of these two contexts. The future of this research project, then is to connect with communities in exile, particularly in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. I want to see what role these communities play in activism back home in Jamaica, as well as in their immediate communities of residence. I hope to gather data on their experiences of living in exile, the challenges they encounter, and their aspirations for the future. Given that most live within normative West Indian enclaves in their host countries, I want to discover if homophobia persists in these communities and if it does, what forms it takes. I am currently seeking to secure funding to carry out research in these three locations. In viewing exiled LGBTQ communities from the perspective of the J amaican activist community, overseas queer sites se em to play an important role both hypothetically and practically. In the hypothetic al sense, LGBTQ communities in exile represent hope to escape brutal treatment at home. To LGBTQ Jamaicans, they represent freedom to self express, freedom from daily fear. In the practical sense, they
171 offer a platform from which more sustained activism is possible. I have observed repeatedly that the fantasy of escaping the poignant vulnerability felt by sexual minorities is a commonly shared sentiment. It borders on a lamen tation for poor LGBTQ Jamaicans who know there is little chance for them to leave the island for safer ground. Emigration, in their minds, is tied with safety as well as economic opportunity, a potent potential reward for enduring such painful hardship. Wh at is overlooked in all of this is the difficult reality of living in exile: being far from home in a foreign place without the benefit of a support network. I am keen to learn about these experiences first hand from those living abroad because I expect th at they will almost certainly reveal a sense of isolation and loss that initially, these exiles did not expect to encounter. While I hope I will find many success stories, I know that uncertain economic opportunities as well as the racial hierarchies of th e host countries will almost certainly present substantial hardships for those exiled. But, knowing the resourcefulness of Caribbean people, I also expect to find clever ways in which those barriers are circumvented. Looking Forward: Dismantling Political Homophobia The final glimpse I want to make in this writing is not backward, but forward. The challenges to dismantling an institutionalized system of political homophobia are certainly great, but not insurmountable. The work of the activists I have detai led in this dissertation is beginning to gain international recognition. Maurice Tomlinson was awarded the David Kato Vision and Voice A ward in 2012 for his efforts to combat homophobia, particularly through the legal system, and Angeline Jackson was perso nally recognized by President Obama during his Town Hall visit to UWI when he toured Jamaica in 2015.
172 This increased visibility, combined with the number of positive changes I have observed since beginning this research convince me that Jamaican political homophobia is about to be dismantled. Given the numerous ways in which it has become enmeshed in Jamaican social life, this is no small task. The most challenging of these, of course, is in diluting the power homophobia has held in structuring political c onstituencies. It is therefore with cautious optimism that I look forward to seeing the inevitable shifts necessary to Jamaica becoming more inclusive of its vulnerable sexual minority population. Though the gains of this burgeoning movement have been mod est so far they represent important first steps in combatting decades long oppression of LGBTQ citizens. Ultimately, establishing basic protections and accountability measures that ensure minimum inclusion of sexual minorities will serve to enhance the ci tizenship of all Jamaicans and foster a more stable social and economic future for this dynamic island nation.
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187 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Sarah E. Page is a C a ribbeanist sociocultural anthropologist specializing in gender and sexuality, political anthropology, race, and social movements. Born in Texas to a Southern mother of Irish and Jewish descent and a white Yankee father, she was raised in rural New Hampshi re with her younger brother. When she was a high school sophomore, she spent a year abroad as an exchange student in Berlin, Germany. Her lifelong love of immersion in unfamiliar cult ural surroundings was cultivated by this formative experience, and she be came fluent in German during this time. In 2006 she participated as an intern researcher for a USAID funded initiative on Improved Governance and Citizen Security in Montego Bay, Jamaica. During this initial visit she made her first observations of homoph obia that would become the subject of her dissertation research. Ms. Page visited Kingston, Jamaica in 2007 and 2008 to conduct preliminary research and returned there in 2012 and 2013 to carry out the dissertation research itself. In that time, she liai sed with LGBTQ organizations, and their allies, establishing connections that continue to enrich her understanding of political homophobia. She looks forward to implementing the next phase of her project to access the LGBTQ community living in exile outsid e Jamaica. In 2015, along with several members of her University of Florida cohort she was published in a special issue on Latin American and Caribbean perspectives on Transforming Anthropology She received her PhD from the University of Florida in the spring of 2018.