Last month in Jamaica, a 16-year-old boy was beaten, stabbed, shot and run over by a car when he showed up at a party in women’s clothing for the first time. Before his death, Dwayne Jones had endured relentless taunting, at home and at school, for being effeminate. His father kicked him out of the house aged 14, and subsequently helped neighbours drive him out of the slum where he was raised.
The discrimination and violence Dwayne experienced is the norm in my country. Last year, Maurice Tomlinson fled his homeland after he was sent death threats after local media reports about his marriage to a man in Canada. These are only the cases that make the news. Small wonder that Jamaica once had the dishonour of being named the most homophobic place on Earth by Time magazine.