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Horrors suffered by Jamaican LGBT youth captured in new documentary

Horrors suffered by Jamaican LGBT youth captured in new documentary

Fans of Rihanna and looking for work, these Jamaican youth might sound like your typical teens.

Except that they’re LGBTI, and they’re living in a Kingston, Jamaica sewer under constant threat of deadly attacks.

VICE News has released a new documentary titled Young and Gay: Jamaica’s Gully Queens, in which camera crews ‘explore the reality of being gay in a country known for LGBT intolerance’.

The latest documentary in a line of films released this year covering the group of LGBTI youths living in a gully in the Jamaican capital, VICE’s documentary gets direct quotes from the youths about the abuses they endure, how they stay alive and what they hope for in the future.

Living in the gully proves to be a huge risk for the group as they are open to attacks at all times.

The documentary shows one man’s scars after he was stabbed with a knife four times, pointing to the jagged scars cutting across his face, neck and torso.

The camera crew also spoke with lawyer and LGBT activist Maurice Tomlinson, an active voice who advocates for the LGBTI youths and has been campaigning against the country’s colonial-era buggery law.

In the film, Tomlinson led the camera crew to the gully to meet the youths, calling the group the ‘touchstone’ for how far gay rights will advance in Jamaica, when the group starts being respected.

Footage shows a daytime protest organized between Tomlinson and the youths, during which the youths stand the streets holdings rainbow flags and pro-LGBTI signs as passing cars yell ‘dirty batty boy’ and other insults at them.

Young and Gay also delves into how police and politicians approach and treat the small group of LGBTI youths and Jamaica’s larger LGBTI community.

New Kingston Police Deputy Superintendent Christopher Murdock, who recently proposed opening a new homeless shelter for the LGBTI youths after one was closed in October 2012, accused the youths of taking advantage of their situation to commit crimes.

‘They use the umbrella of the gay community to commit crimes,’ said Murdock.

He says living in the gully, like their sexual orientation, is a choice.

While many politicians and officials maintain homophobic discrimination occurs all around the world, Jamaica is considered one of the countries with the most homophobic culture and legislations in the world.

The full video is available for viewing below.