My intervention however came when I said that they the vendors shouldn’t be judging or accusing anyone as they were vending their wares illegally on the street and would loose if they went to court or any other matter arose out of the exchange. I was quickly rebuffed with strong Jamaican expletives by the group of accusers and one man in particular suggested I was defending the ladies too much with their nasty lifestyle. I kept my stance however and reminded them that there was nothing in law that stopped anyone of the same sex from socializing publicly.
"Unu lef de oman dem alone, a tru unu can get dem fi fuck das why unu vex,” a fat woman exclaimed as she walked away, she too was a vendor, the small crowd burst out laughing in one of the more lighter moments of the exchange. “Some a unu man can do nuttin wid unu bleach out face an a battyman unda de quiet,” she continued, at this point the conversation regained it seriousness and the man who took me on before continued his line of argument saying the women shouldn’t be there doing that with support from others.
“fiya fi unu, bout unu a bring dem ting deh ya yasso” he pronounced with others supporting him. Other vendors said they didn’t actually see the women in a compromising position neither did the other heterosexual couple whom I proceeded to question, they said they saw nothing “funny” the male of the two said. They were clearly surprised at the happenings.
The irate male vendor continued accused them of hugging, kissing and being romantic and by this time two other bleached faced male vendors seem to support his line even though as it turned out they never witnessed the actual embrace. I maintained my stance on the issue and the exchange continued for a while before cooling down. The ladies were visibly shaken as they never experienced this kind of backlash before, this I learned after talking with them as we walked to the main square, I warned them however that they should be careful when in public as people will say all kinds of things to embellish their beliefs or assumptions of what they think is about to or has happened.
Thankfully the situation did not escalate into a violent attack, I assume because there is a certain tolerance for lesbianism and the criticism by the fat woman during the light moment. This has brought light to a stereotype of a specific section of bisexual or gays as bleached faced men who also act masculine and have “Suga Mommas” in the vending community who take care of their needs financially while the men “perform” sexually for the favours granted. It was clear to me at that juncture when the remark was made that the tone and fervency of the opposition heightened at first in typical fashion but was reduced rather quickly which begged the question did she know something or was he and his other cronies guilty?
The accused women were thankful for the support from myself and the other passers-by and commented that people in general are thinking and slowly adjusting to tolerance when it comes to lesbianism and homosexuality in general. One of the ladies made the same observation on the fat woman’s comments and also expressed her support in the belief. She continued that she believed that some of the men who are like “that” just can’t stand to see other gay people together as it bothers them.
Closeted/clandestine gays vs out/identifiable homosexuals? hhhmmmmm.
My caution to us is the same just be vigilant and careful when traversing the streets.
I was upset though that my two companions who were walking with me before disappeared when we came up on the scene, while I know that some may fear happenings like these I also feel we must learn to engage issues of this nature towards an amicable and peaceful solution, we can’t keep running all the time.