PAULA GORDON & SHELDON WILLIAMS, STAR Writers
A group of homosexuals had to pack up and leave a popular community in Portmore, St Catherine, THE STAR has learnt.
It is understood that a protest carried out by some intolerant residents led to the group's disappearance.
When THE STAR visited the community recently, we were prevented from going unto the property because of their strict security procedure. When we inquired about the matter, we were told that the 'gays' already left the community.When we pressed for further information, we were directed to the chairman of the citizens' association. But that person told THE STAR that he could not confirm or deny if an actual protest was staged.
He explained: "From time to time people do congregate and discuss issues in the park." He also said that no resident could be forced to leave the community because of their beliefs or sexual orientation. "These are owned homes, we just ask people to conform to our rules. We never ever force people to leave, we do not discriminate," he said.
Meanwhile, he pointed to issues such as speeding on the property and excessive noise as issues that they would speak to residents about. Nonetheless, the matter had become a popular topic among Portmore residents as THE STAR recently witnessed persons from other communities discussing the matter at a service station in the municipality recently.
"Police go rescue one a dem one night, the one who a the 'woman', but hear the joke, when him go inna the police vehicle him never properly dressed, so him ask him boyfriend if him can pass him blouse fi him from the dresser," a man said, which amused the others. Meanwhile, when our news team attempted to gather further details about the displacement of these 'outcasts' from the St Catherine South police, our queries were initially met with chuckles.
"Anno there so alone inno ... each time a community or a scheme build up, dem find themselves deh until their cover gets blown," the lawman reasoned. However, he emphasised that there were no arrests made as the actions taken by the straight residents against their non-straight neighbours did not escalate into physical violence.
My two cents
Sometimes we too make it bad for ourselves and the amounts of complaints that have come from the residents of the area namely Caribbean Estates/Innswood to be precise have been numerous, from loud music to fights to strange or surprising to some the thug characters coming in on bikes or in high end sports utility vehicles make the other residents suspicious in addition to recent sightings of a particular set of dancehall acts coming from a house known for its occupants being cross dressed and ganja smoking have not gone down well with the mostly upper middle income residents in this gated community. We have to also seriously take into account the energies we give off the persons around us and how we carry ourselves in public, sure one can be a cross dresser and still let people gasp in shock at how good one looks but not for the noise one makes or the type of characters one has around one in full view of a cynical public.
Fresh in the minds of many in that community also I have since learnt is that Innswood incident that was shown on television Jamaica, TVJ some months ago where the police were called in to calm nerves as residents got tired of complaining of the antics of my "sisters" in a rented house. The clips of which have been online for a while but the furore has since died down on that case.
Here are some scenes from that story which I carried on my sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch entitled:
That Innswood matter ......
So we have to be cognizant of our surroundings guys and remind those of us to just be respectful of others views, at least according to the piece in the Star News the neighborhood persons made it clear they weren't interested in removing them due to their sexual orientation but due to the complaints, if they are to be believed.
but this story also links to the area in St. Catherine:
also see the problems related to the labeling by SSP Bailey on the gay community as scammers
Apology Accepted JCF but some questions on several fronts still linger ..
J-FLAG Responds To Police’s Assertion About Gays & Organised Crime
UPDATE September 27th
The Star also carried this:
Months after homosexual residents were displaced from their homes in a popular community in Portmore, St Catherine, one man claiming he was one of those who was chased away, said the community did nothing to protect them, as they were attacked repeatedly.
"The security who were over there pointed us out and called us homosexuals and they wouldn't protect us," the man, who spoke on terms of anonymity, explained.
"I just want them to tell the truth," he said, adding that the homosexuals who lived there experienced physical violence.
The man then took the opportunity to describe in detail the abuse which he and the other estimated 20 homosexuals who lived in the community had to endure.
"My windows were hit out by children, they poisoned my dog. Dem puncture the wheels of my Kia and Levin ... If we a walk go down to the plaza, they would stone us," the man said.
He also explained that his neighbours told lies on him and others accusing them of being criminals so the police could arrest them.
"One morning police swarmed my house and accused me of doing lottery scam," he claimed.
Additionally, he pointed out, "On every cluster, the residents have problems with homosexuals. People would also run us down with machetes. They used a knife to cut another gay on his head but there were no arrests".
However, the man admitted amid the hatred, some residents were openly apologetic.
"You have good residents over there. Some of them, mainly women, came back to apologise later," he emphasised.
When asked if he was experiencing the same dislike and abuse in the community where he has relocated, he confessed, "I'm comfortable where I'm at now, everything is ok,".
When THE STAR enquired into the matter with the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), the organisation said it was had been made aware of the displacement of homosexuals from the community in question.
Corbin Gordon, programme & advocacy coordinator at J-FLAG, said, "We were alerted some time ago of the abuse in Portmore ... We are aware that homosexuals are being driven out of their homes and communities because of homophobic violence."
At the same time, he emphasised, "We have a lawyer on retainer who can take up such cases."