LGBT in the Caribbean Culture (Jamaica)

Subject: Sociology
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1508
Topics: Discrimination, Homosexuality, LGBT, Tradition, Transgender

LGBT is a short name referring to the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. LGBT is used in describing of distinct groups that are within the culture of gay.  The first initiatives for individuals who were found to be gay only focused on the men.  However, there has been the attempt of drawing attention to problems that are specific to lesbians.  Those individuals who are found to be transgender or bisexual have for an extended period been traditionally left out of or have been not adequately represented in health initiatives and research studies. In today’s world, it has been considered standard to include the bisexual and transgender groups with lesbian and gay men. The transgender group of people consists of individuals with a gender identity that varies from their assigned sex. Bisexual is used to refer to individuals whose romantic and sexual feelings are for both genders. Conversely, lesbian is used to refer to those women who are found to be lesbians and gays. Additionally, gay applies to individuals whose romantic and sexual feelings are of the same gender.

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The LGBT people in Jamaica especially the men are faced with social and legal issues which are not experienced by individuals who are not LGBT. For many years, Jamaica has been described as the most homophobic nation by several groups of human rights as a result of the increased level of the violent crime that is directed towards LGBT individuals (Charles, 2011). The process has resulted to the LGBT finding ways in which they use to hide their sexual orientation identity as they most fear to be either killed or being burnt to death by the people in Jamaica who are against LGBT. Even though the government of Jamaica confirms to its citizens that it is committed to ensuring that there is the fair and equal treatment of all citizens and that there is no legal discrimination that is intended toward people on the ground of their sexual orientation, the LGBT people are hiding their identity while in the country while many of them are migrating to other countries which provides discrimination protection.

Batman refers to a pejorative term used to describe a gay or homosexual person. Batman is a form of an insult meant for people who are homosexual or those individuals who are suspected of being homosexual in Jamaica, The term Batman came from the gay interpretation of the Batman Franchise. Most of the people believe that the Batman stories  are psychologically lesbian. They also think that the Batman kind of a story has the potential of stimulating children as well as the adults to lesbians or gays fantasies in which they end up being unconscious. Gayness is created into Batman, a fictional character that is intended to be a heterosexual but following the basis of the whole concept is just a gay. Therefore, most people in Jamaica adopted the term Batman to describe a gay or homosexual person.

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According to West, & Cowell, (2015), LGBT individuals in the Caribbean Society who live in New York are found having more freedom, and more respect. In New York, all laws that were against the private consenting LGBT sexual conduct between the adults have been abolished in New York. Therefore, in New York, it is legal to have LGBT practices. The other privilege that the Jamaican LGBT people are found to enjoy when they are living in New York is that the city provides for recognition of relationships between people of the same sex. In the year 2011, the state legislature in New York passed the act on marriage equality which permitted marriages of the same sex to be carried out in New York. Moreover, the New York regulation allows LGBT people and the couples of the same sex to petition to adopt. The other privilege that LGBT individuals from the Caribbean who moved to New York enjoy is the discriminations protections (Smith, & Kosobucki, 2011).  New York has passed an act which prohibits the kind of discrimination which is on the ground of the sexual orientation in education, employment, public accommodations and the process of exercising of civil rights.

The old folks from Jamaica will never be okay with lesbians and gays for some reasons. Both moral and religious concerns are the primary reasons most people in Jamaica hate gay relationships. Most of the old folks from Jamaica firmly believe that homosexuality is unnatural and it is against the laws of nature.  As such, most people argue that it is only through hetero sex, which may be utilized in producing babies as a natural method of having sex. The other reason is that the old folks have the belief that God did not make a man to be homosexual. The religion of many parents in Jamaica mandates people to hate homosexuality (White, & Gerke, 2007).

Therefore, those individuals who accept their faith has no question just follow its teaching as they think that because God hates homosexuality, they should too hate it. Besides, the old folks in Jamaica will never be okay with homosexuality since they believe that homosexuality set a terrible example for their kids. The societal acceptance of the practice of homosexuality gives vulnerable kids the impression that the practice of homosexuality is ethical, healthy and moral.  A community found accepting the immoral relationships makes the children to be stumbled into sexual immorality. Another reason why the old folks in Jamaica will never be okay with homosexuality is that it does not provide the stability that a traditional family should have (White, 2013). Children need to be raised in a traditionally stable family. Thus, the children need to have a female mother, and a male father to attain healthy and proper development.  The old folks believe that there is the need of each of the female and male contributions to the life of a child.

There are specific reasons why people believe that it is okay for a woman to like another woman and not the other round. Women are considered to be all-around better humans as they are found to be more evolved emotionally and more capable of understanding, love, and compassion. Therefore, it makes it a better chance for it to be okay for the women to like one another as they stand a chance of establishing a more fulfilling relationship than the other way round. The primary reason which makes it okay for the women to like one another is that women are believed to be open to their emotions (King, 2006). It has been discovered that it is natural for women to be more empathetic and are better communicators as compared to men. Women to women relationship have the women talking freely concerning their issues and feelings.

Contrary, men who like other men do not exactly know what they feel. The other reason why it is okay to have a lesbian relationship is that lesbians typically mate for life. The lesbian relationship comes with a lifetime warranty. It has been found that lesbians are rarely single for an extended period and the gay men are found to be infrequently monogamous for an extended period. What makes people not okay with the gay relationship is the notion that there is the existence of extensive ties within the domain of gay man.

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There are some lesbian and gay Jamaicans who found their haven in the New York City after they had been persecuted back home. New York City has the highest number of residents who are identified as LGBT. The Jamaican LGBT found their way to New York City after the city passed laws that prohibited discrimination that is based on the sexual orientation in public and the employment accommodation. In New York City, activism for the right of LGBT is fuelled by various organizations that have been established to advocate for the respect of the rights of LGBT. The laws created aimed at protecting the rights of LGBT, and the fact that many people are living in New York City who are LGBT  is the reason most Jamaican LGBT who were freeing their country get attracted to move to New York City (LaViolette, 2009). Thus, New York became an escape city for most Caribbean lesbians and gays from Jamaica.

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  1. Charles, C. A. (2011). Representations of homosexuality in Jamaica. Social and economic studies, 3-29.
  2. King, J. (2006). Outing the Center: Homophobia in Jamaica.
  3. LaViolette, N. (2009). Independent human rights documentation and sexual minorities: An ongoing challenge for the Canadian refugee determination process. The International Journal of Human Rights13(2-3), 437-476.
  4. Smith, C. L., & Kosobucki, R. (2011). Homophobia in the Caribbean: Jamaica. JL & Soc. Deviance1, 1.
  5. West, K., & Cowell, N. M. (2015). Predictors of prejudice against lesbians and gay men in Jamaica. The Journal of Sex Research52(3), 296-305.
  6. White, C. M. (2013). Human Rights and the Impact of Criminalization: Legalizing Homophobia in Jamaica, Nigeria, and Uganda.
  7. White, R., & Gerke, D. (2007). 10 Gendered experiences of sexuality-based discrimination in Jamaica. Sexual Orientation Discrimination: An International Perspective4, 153.
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