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Dwayne Jones, also known as “Gully Queen.” (Photo courtesy of Minority-Insight)
Jamaica: Why keep talking about murdered LGBT teen?

in JAMAICA, 27/08/2013

WHY KEEP TALKING ABOUT DWAYNE JONES? Some persons (incredibly, this includes members of the Jamaican LGBT community) have suggested that we should stop talking about the barbaric murder of 17-year-old cross-dressing teen, Dwayne Jones.

Many reasons have been given for this position, including a claim that Dwayne was killed on July 22, nearly 2 weeks ago, and since then we have had no more gay murders(!) Also, the suggestion was made that since many straight Jamaicans have been killed since the date of Dwayne’s death basically, his killing was nothing extraordinary. Other persons insist that Dwayne “deserved” his death because he “tempted fate” by going to a straight street-party in a homophobic society while dressed in traditional female attire. Another argument I have heard is that speaking about the brutal mob-killing of Dwayne is an attempt to defame Jamaica’s good name. Still another argument is that speaking about Dwayne’s death is painful for his family and friends.

I will attempt to respond to each of these allegations in turn.

First, the fact that Dwayne was the last KNOWN Jamaican to have been killed because of his gender non-conformity is no reason to think that we have somehow become less barbaric. The FACT is, in 2011 when gay 16 year-old Oshane Gordon was slain by a mob who invaded his home in the early hours of the morning, there was a temporary outcry and certainly NO condemnation by the Jamaican government. Nothing was done to ensure that there were no more Oshanes. And, as a result, we have what happened to Dwayne. So, we MUST keep talking about Dwayne, so that he will not have died in vain like Oshane.

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