Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Island of Lost Souls

My pal Dick Jefferson has been sending me updates on the investigation into the attack on him and his friend Ryan Smith in St. Martin. (For a comprehensive look, Andy has a nice roundup of it, too).

While Time magazine's online edition has already posed the bigger question Is the Caribbean the Most Homophobic Place on Earth? -- this editorial that ran in the local paper St. Martin Today (scanned copy above) clearly answers the question for them: gays "coined 'homophobia,' managing to turn it into a dirty word." The so-called gay-bashing "might have been a case of a stronger (and non-gay) person taking advantage of a male whose strength may be suspect to the more macho individual" ... nothing like a four-prong tire wrench to make you feel macho.

An editorial in the island's other major paper, The Daily Herald, goes on the offense and accuses my friend Dick of trying to blackmail St. Martin with boycott threats and the like all the while admitting that the sloppy handling of the investigation has only begun to be rectified as a result of the media glare Dick has shone upon it. They also conveniently neglect to mention that the other victim, Ryan Smith, remains hospitalized with possible permanent brain damage.


Lavi Soloway said...

As their attorney, I have represented gay men from Carribean nations who have sought asylum in the United States and I can tell you from their testimony and the supporting evidence, there are some scary places which define "homophobia" and "gay bashing" in ways that we rarely even allow ourselves to imagine in this country.

Anonymous said...

This is a sad case. There is the violence and then the police indifference. While it is way to easy to complain about gay life here in the States, this case should remind us that too many gays in foreign countries face situations we can only imagine.