17-year-old cross-dresser Dwayne Jones was mobbed and murdered in Jamaica yesterday. Allegedly he was in the dancehall dancing with a man. A woman who knew he was no man blurted out the story to the party. Dancehall consensus turned against Dwayne. Hands began touching him to verify whether he had a penis or vagina. Upon confirmation Dwayne Jones had no vagina, the typical homosexual murder process started.
As of now, I don’t know whether Dwayne’s male dance partner had jumped on the murdering bandwagon. But if such had been the case, I can tell that many homophobic Jamaicans will say, “Dwayne shouldn’t have been fooling this man that he was a woman.”
Now any Jamaican who says that is downright not thinking culturally critical. Do you think Dwayne would really be dancing with a man who didn’t know he was a man—in such a publicly violent homophobic setting? Yes, he could pull off looking like a woman to all, but how could he get away with erotic scrutiny of the male dance partner?
We forget that a large part of the dancehall culture is one of bumping and grinding, squeezing titties, fingering vagina, penis squeezing, and ass slapping publicly to the dancehall lyric and beat.
In fact, it’s pretty common in Jamaica for women to be abused by men outside of the erotic setting of the dancehall—women slapped on the behind by strange men as they walk past them in daylight; women’s breasts touched and the victimizers mocking apologies follow; women greeted with comments like “Hey sexy, yuh look like yuh have some good pussy!” “Fat ass baby!” “Aye Gal, when you gwine give me some a dat pussy yuh got?”
In many parts of Jamaica, it’s always open season to sexually exploit women in public. Women have to put up with this sort of behavior everyday particularly in inner city communities—so what do we expect from a dancehall setting where the music is erotic in many cases and encourages male domination of women?
Indeed many women consent to this sort of lyrical and physical domination in dancehall spaces. It’s the culture of the music. Given this sense and expectation of body exploration in dancehalls, does anyone really think the man with whom Dwayne danced was unaware of Dwayne’s gender?
Dwayne Jones was murdered in the blood of Jesus Christ of Calvary
Well, I might talk as much as I want but at the end of the day, I don’t have the final word either. I can only speculate based on the news in thus far. Yet what all of us should be certain of is that Dwayne Jones was murdered in the name of the blood of Jesus Christ of Calvary. As we know from church doctrine, this Jesus must be understood through the history of his blood—history of violence. Many of his demented followers are hell-bent on honoring this violent legacy by making non-followers like Dwanye Jones bleed. They seem to believe the blood most precious for the memory and proselytizing of the violently acquired blood of Jesus Christ is the Pussy-Boys’ blood, Homos’ blood, curdled Battyman blood, Frowsy-Ass AIDS-infected blood, Faggots’ blood that isn’t permitted a bandage beneath family roofs, Blood of Cum-Swallowing Men.
Our names sound offensive to some sensibilities when I use them and not certain people—Isn’t that right? Well, I meant to offend everyone just as Dwayne’s murder and a tradition of derogatory name-calling have been offending the LGBT population.
Aren’t Jamaicans tired of the burning bleeding “Burn dem out?” Aren’t they bloody weary of the gunshot bleeding in the tradition of “Bum bye bye in a battyman head?”
I know Jamaican men must be men with a “Trailer Load of Girls” who have ready pussies on the wharf waiting for cocky clearance as dancehall star Shabba Ranks reminds us. But isn’t this a new era to consider space for new kinds of Jamaican men who are free: gender nonconforming men like Dwayne Jones? men in high heels? men like me who sometimes wonder how it would feel to wear $200 titties to greet the U.S. president? men who respect the vagina power but make it clear its power cannot fire-up their sleeping penis?
When will homosexual blood stop flowing in Jamaica as vengeance for a Jesus Christ being hammered with nails in his palms on Calvary’s cross? A songwriter did say, Calvary’s cross I will never forget; Calvary’s Cross I will never forget—but I did bleed too. The bleeding hadn’t stopped at Calvary at all. So could someone tell me—how much more homosexual blood must flow in Jamaica to settle this Christian price?
I don’t like going back to the church lifestyle because I’ve already been washed in the blood of the lamb of scientific thinking, already born again when I released the shackles of Christianity, already saw my heaven in the pleasure of the critical secularist landscape I can now trod, and I’ve embraced my hell doctrine by my affirmation that I will not return to the torment of Christian ways; because, I’ve already discovered and am still abiding within a freethinking moral-loving atheist identity—which shouldn’t even be labeled but which must be labeled because religious identities, organizations, crucifixions, and legislations have dominated the spaces of what is supposed to be normal. What is therefore abnormal no longer have to announce themselves to be understood and to survive without harassment. What and who is, however, normal such as atheists must always announce to remain peacefully alive.
Therefore the only way for me to announce my normality is to basically, regretfully, constantly announce “I’m atheist.” My strategies sadly counters the very thing that Audre Lorde critiques when she says “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Of course, philosophically Lorde makes a lot of sense, and such wisdom must be perpetually considered as we oppose imperialistic alienating dogmas. At the same time, however, it’s ridiculous to even suggest that Lorde believed that one can survive in the master’s territory beneath the master’s laws without employing many of the master’s tools.
In light of this, let me return to church to speak to church people! Let me go back with a part of one of those songs that I used to sing as I wept and chanted church tongues (Pentecostal gibberish):
Oh what it means to me
Since Jesus set me free
I think of Calvary
Oh what a cleansing flood
He did all for me on Calvary
So if this Jesus did it all—could someone, anyone, just tell me how much more homosexual blood will add buffer to Jesus’s blood? Silent Christians who never make reference to homophobic crimes, where are your moral battle cries? Do you think you are conscience free? Are your ways really ways of love? Or, are you in love with violence that is supposedly purgatory? And are you in a deeper love affair with dogma than with the love of rejecting homophobic criminality?
Dwayne Jones’s blood is on your skin. When in church drinking your communion of bloody red wine, remember Dwayne Jones’s blood buffers that wine you are consuming in Jesus’s name. And in remembrance, I hope you can lift up a testimony that rejects violent homophobia.
For the homophobic epidemic plaguing Jamaica is a Christian epidemic. The Christian lifestyle and its violent consenting followers must be held accountable. Christianity has been nurtured in a tradition of violence—the very violence that Eduardo Galeano refers to in Open Veins of Latin America: “The sword and the cross marched together in the conquest and plunder of Latin America, and captains and ascetics, knights and evangelists, soldiers and monks came together in Potosi to help themselves to its silver” (p.20).
In the contemporary, Christianity is pretending to be more sophisticated—a grown up Christianity that parted with savage ways. Rather than dragging non-followers to stones to stake them dead, rather than threatening non-followers to follow or else their head will be cut away and the dead head placed on European posts as warning to heathens, rather than making political decrees that a nation must choose only one religion, Christianity has matured in the modern ways of lobbying, boycotting and evangelizing propaganda.
But since some of it followers are dogmatically ol’ fashioned when it come to strategies of Christianity pluralism and mandating, Christians need to counsel these ol’ school Christians to modern up: Ol’ school Christians, leave the murder strategies to the past! Out right killing makes us all look bad, too much like many of those wacko Muslims who are still trying to figure out what a 21st Century religion should look like.