Police Superintendent Enid Ross-Stewart, head of the island’s sex crimes unit, said investigators have never received a report of someone targeted because of their homosexuality and she believes that “all the people who are raped come forth.” Sometimes, female victims of sexual violence wait to leave Jamaica before revealing their experiences.
Reggae singer Diana King, who in 2012 became the first Jamaican musical artist to publicly come out as gay, recently tweeted from her Florida home that when she was a 13-year-old on the island, she was “gang raped for looking at a girl too long.” In her 2010 memoir, Brooklyn-based writer Staceyann Chin writes she was ostracized after coming out as a lesbian on a Kingston college campus, and one day was herded into a bathroom by several male students, who sexually assaulted her while telling her that women were created for men to enjoy. In 2008, Simone Edwards survived an attack by two gunmen who hissed the anti-gay epithet “sodomite” at her as she lay bleeding on a street from two bullets.
Now, the 25-year-old woman directs Jamaica’s only registered organization for lesbians and bisexual women.
Although there are growing pockets of LGBT tolerance in Jamaica, anti-gay attitudes continue to be fueled by some church leaders and dancehall reggae performers who disparage homosexuality.“I once thought if I had a gun I’d kill the man who forced himself on me,” said the woman in her late 20s, her voice weighted with sadness.Alkaline is a recording artist who became popular in 2013, and is famous for his popular songs such as " Spoil you" and " Company".The artist says his music represents everything that society is afraid of and everything that he is afraid of.There’s a common misconception that Jamaica is a dangerous travel destination, only safe if sticking to tourist areas, all-inclusive resorts and their organized tours.But the stigma against Jamaican homosexual women and the underreported crime of targeted sexual assault of lesbians is receiving growing attention.Last year, Vice President Joe Biden mentioned Jamaica’s struggle with “corrective rape for lesbian women” while speaking about global gay rights.Human Rights Watch last year reported it knew of 10 cases of sexual assault in Jamaica targeting eight lesbians, one transgender woman and one gay man, including cases of rape at knife or gunpoint.“It is clear from victims’ testimonies that anti-LGBT animus is a factor,” said Graeme Reid, LGBT program director for the New York-based group.He cornered her, she recalled, remembering his Jamaican patois: “You think me no know who you be? Me see how you dress and me know who you be,” she said.The woman, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation by her attacker and banishment by relatives, conceded that perhaps she never will report the crime.