Down Low Is Low Down….

I understand that Jamaica is perceived as a homophobic country based on the actions of some citizens toward lesbians, gays, and transgender. This is evident in reggae and dancehall songs; and do not forget that our former Prime Minister, the Honourable Bruce Golding vehemently declared that gays are not welcomed in his Cabinet via a television interview.

But I am not here to talk about that today; I will leave that for another article. My bone of contention is for men who know that they are gay, and still date women, and even develop long-term intimate relationships because they feel more comfortable hiding their true self. But at what expense!

There have been some disturbing stories circulating in the Jamaican dancehall, about men who are undercover gays who have formed relationships with women who are not privy to their true sexual lifestyle. These women are ridiculed on social media and are left in awkward positions; perhaps even defending the man because that is the right thing to do.

Recently, popular Jamaican dancer Marvin was allegedly labeled as being gay and created quite a stir on social media. With all the accusations which were being hurled, can you imagine how his also popular dancer partner felt and his child’s mother? I have no proof of whether Marvin is gay but the accusation can ruin his reputation as well as mentally destroy his female partner.

If you were living in the 70’s or 80’s in Jamaica, which may be described as a transitional era, then it would have made a lot of sense to be on the ‘down low’, which is a term used to describe a man or woman who has decided to appear heterosexual in the public eye while behind closed doors, he or she is a homosexual.

It is now 2017, which in my humble opinion, more (notice I said ‘more’ not ‘most’) Jamaican citizens are more tolerant of gays, lesbians, and transgender based on the fact that most of them move freely to transact their business, and have an active social life on a daily basis (Just check out Instagram). I have witnessed the flamboyance of these young men who dress in skirts and all they attract are wide-eyed stares and maybe a few choice Jamaican bad words; however, they are not prohibited from moving freely.

“Down Low” is what I have a serious problem with. If you are homosexual, then keep it that way and if you are fearful of repercussions from your friends or family, then keep it to yourself. Yes, I know that this not easy, however gays and lesbians are not pariahs in Jamaica anymore. Many hold esteemed positions and are influencers, and movers and shakers in the society.

Do not go around destroying someone who genuinely loves you and genuinely believes that you are indeed heterosexual especially if the union produced children. Can you imagine what that child who had no choice in the matter is feeling or will feel when story come to bump?
This opinionated piece is by no way bashing gays or lesbians. If you know me, you know I have quite a few gay friends.

My advice to you is live your truth! Let us stop this ‘down low’ nonsense! I know some will respond and mention professions and the reasons for being on the ‘down low’ but hey if you make that much money and have that much power, then become an advocate and help your fellow men or women to speak up! Otherwise, keep your business to yourself; stick with the gender that floats your boat or kibba yuh mout’.

I know this is just the beginning of the conversation so feel free to add your two cents below and let’s make a dollar.
Onome was last seen having a likkle Rum and Ting with a splash of lime juice.

-Onome Sido

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