My friend came out of the closet to me.
I’m still in shock!
I’ve known my friend (let’s just call him Jerome to protect his identity) since middle school. We weren’t close back then since we hung out in different social circles, but we acknowledged one another whenever we crossed paths. It wasn’t until high school when we started to really get to know one another, due to the fact that we were teammates and had a few classes together.
Usually when someone comes out of the closet, we somewhat had a feeling that something was different with them. With Jerome, nothing at all was odd. He dated pretty girls in school, dressed well and was ecstatic when he dropped six on all of us on the domino table. So when he told me that he was gay, I was in disbelief. The first thing that came out of my mouth was “stop playing with me!”
The seriousness in his voice let me know that he actually was telling the truth. I went from being in disbelief, to becoming worried for his well-being. I know how society frowns upon issues such as homosexuality, so I was concerned. I knew how his family was…
I didn’t even have to ask him if he has told his family; I already knew the answer to that. It’s difficult to be accepted as a gay Jamaican man, which is why he has withheld this from his family to this day. People often criticize Jamaicans as being homophobic and usually quote popular reggae artist Buju Banton’s song Boom Bye Bye, when he states:
“Boom bye-bye inna batty bwoy head
Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man
Dem haffi dead.”
Regardless of what race, culture, or religion, there are and always will be homophobic people criticizing the decisions made by other people. We need to learn how to accept people for being who they are, instead of being ignorant towards them. I know that what we do not understand, we fear. What we fear, we judge as evil. What we judge as evil, we attempt to control. What we cannot control … we attack.
We need to do better, so that way people won’t fear opening up about their sexuality. I know there are a lot of people in my friend’s situation who are scared, but by having the right people in their life they will be guided towards the light, so that they could come out and be embraced.
Positivity is the key…stay blessed