While Americans have been making leaps and bounds in the right direction as far as LGBT civil rights go, other places in the world haven’t been as open to making a change.
Amongst those countries largely set within those rather unfortunate situations is Jamaica. Their ignorance towards LGBT individuals has been particularly notorious these past few decades. One of the country’s most well-regarded musical hits ever
is a song about shooting a gay man in the head!
The song in question is “Boom Boom Bye” by Jamaican dancehall artist Buju Banton, whose career exploded in 1988 when he debuted the song at just 15 years old. It’s largely because of this track that the term “batty boy” is still a popular Caribbean term to this day to describe a homosexual male, as the lyrics below denote:
"It's like boom bye bye / Inna batty boy head / Rude boy nah promote no nasty man / Dem haffi dead."
While Jamaican gays have begun to stand up for their rights in recent times, they have a long road ahead of them. However, more Jamaican individuals than ever have become conscious of their ignorance--there’s finally some sort of realization that the violent, misogynistic, homophobic, and otherwise embarrassing dancehall music of the 80s and 90s could be subconsciously shaping their mindsets when the island never really had a straight stance on the subject before.
It’s important to note, as Jamaican The Guardian
reporter Keon Hall pointed out in his original report:
|“Research like this is essential to understanding why that is, and how to change it. We Jamaicans are, for the most part, open and accepting people. Although in Jamaica sexual boundaries are rigidly and violently monitored, we integrate readily and easily with different ethnicities, political views and national boundaries. More than our European and American counterparts, we tend to see a boundary as permeable, which encourages a general atmosphere of inclusivity.”
While many Jamaicans are ignorant towards homosexuality, there is hope for change
in the near future. Given the country’s general mindset when it comes to permeable political boundaries, they might just have an easier time doing it than we Americans did throughout the past couple of decades. It’s a tough call to make in the moment, but here’s to hoping!
Best of luck to Jamaican LGBT individuals and supporters as they begin taking their first steps towards revolution.
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