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2022.08.03・HATE CRIME IN FREEDOM TIME


sometimes chaos comes before the peace. I've been slowly processing the news of the deaths of two transwomen in kingston that took place on emancipation day. I don't yet have words for all the emotions currently residing in my body, but I'm being called to write, so here we are.


this murder is triggering in so many ways. ways I know many of us will not be able to speak about or even engage in immediately. I trust my words will find whoever needs them, because we need community. in the truest meaning of the word. now. last week. next year. always. this situation is triggering because it could have been any of us. because it has been many of us. it hits extra close to home because there was a time it could have been me. in a previous living situation, my neighbours were extremely vocal about their disgust at living next to "lesbians and witches". at this time, I had locs and was still discovering much of myself regarding my gender identity, and living next to them did not encourage me to explore the other aspects of myself in any way. I am not naturally a fearful person, but there were nights they would gather large groups, sometimes reaching 20+ people, to pray and cast curses over us. I am grateful it never migrated to physical violence, but the truth is you don't ever know what it will take to set someone off. to make them take that next step.


this was not my first encounter with violent/potentially violent conflict, but it was my first time experiencing continued hatred coupled with deep desire for me (and others close to me at the time) to experience pain and even death. being a young parent made it even more concerning. I give continued thanks that we were able to leave that situation with all our lives and bodies unharmed, but I will never forget it. the energy of that kind of hatred is tangible, and something I know too many of us know far too intimately. I've lost count of the people I know who have suffered harm of all kinds, especially those of us who identify as queer, both in and outside of jamaica.

I give thanks for the ways spirit & my ancestors continue to watch over me, because by all accounts, I've had many close calls. and not for carelessness or recklessness either. I have to wonder if there are those who still wish me harm. some of my friends witnessed strange events that happened over the weekend leading into emancipation day. events that by all evidence, seem intentional and possibly premeditated. events that could have led to my death and the deaths of my children. I am in tears as I write this, yet grateful for the ability to do so, as I am still dealing with the aftermath of said events. I'm grateful also to the ones who have shown up in numbers to offer support and assistance. there are so many who do not have such community, and even if they do, it's sometimes too late.


I'm disgusted by the utter disregard of us by the jamaica gleaner. by anyone who deliberately uses our deadnames and misgenders us. because what does it really take from you to show kindness and respect to another humxn? I say our because what affects one of us, affects all. we need to dash weh this illusion of separateness. and I will continue to shout that what we are asking for is not even acceptance. you don't need to understand or even befriend us to let us live in peace. WE ARE ALL HUMXN. somebody shouldn't fear for their life because of how they dress. all love between consenting adults should be treated equally. I pray for a safer jamaica. for a safer caribbean. a more loving diaspora. I pray we one day draw for non-violent approaches towards our anger/confusion/disagreements as the automatic response. because while my focus is on the queer community right now, we know the state of our society on a whole is in shambles, and I believe we are so much better than that as a people.


in regards to what happened in maxfield, I stand by the notion that it was a hate crime. #hernamewaskimmy and she deserved to see more than 20 years on this planet. I don't yet know the name of her partner, but I send my deepest love & condolences to those who knew and loved them both. this is for all those who've come before. and to those of us still here, our work isn't done. let us remember that we are stronger together. to love and hold each other outside of pride. may we remember the true meaning of community and be examples of love even in the face of our differences.


may anyone reading this be protected from all who try to harm us 🧿


anhan katu

yayabo buma





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