this was pointed out to me this morning via twitter.
it's the sweatshop argument all over again.
i have enough ties to lgbtq people that i completely understand where they're coming from. similarly, i don't want kids losing fingers in machinery or working 15 hour days before they're even old enough to drive a car.
but for many poor but beautiful places like jamaica, tourism is what drives the economy. resort jobs are "good" jobs. tourism also supports craftspeople and various vendors both in and outside the resorts.
so, if you're going to boycott jamaica, are you also going to provide safe spaces for lgbtq people there? a statement from the government is a nice start, but we all know how lightweight they can be. and the police in places like jamaica don't work like they do here.
a paradigm shift is what's needed, and that shift will only arise through education, empowerment, and doing the work. a boycott is only one sliver of the puzzle. until enough people come out and the numbers are known, not much will change.
have these people spoken to (do they even know of?) any jamaican lgbtq folks--ex patriots or not--who have done or are trying to do this kind of work to keep these people safe? couldn't they provide more clear cut, comprehensive ways to help?
i'd be more eager to hear from folks like staceyann chin about culturally knowledgeable ways to handle this. i don't see any faces of color--or faces, period--on that site. and that pisses me off a bit since we're talking about an island full of black folks.
there's a difference between taking your dollars out of an already bad situation, thereby creating a void that could possibly make the situation worse--as one commenter wisely noted--and actually promoting justice for those folks.
have you even thought that far?
or do you just want to feel like you're doing something?
please don't misunderstand me: i know people are dying over there, and it's awful. i hate to see my people falling for the okey doke around sexuality because it was not our original way. i love dancehall, but i don't wanna hear about somebody wanting to set fire to my little brother because of who he loves.
i want a change as much as these folks do.
however, i would hope that we'd know by now that this sort of neo-colonialist, paternalistic (we're gonna take your allowance!) "action" typically winds up amounting to a pile of bullshit.