Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another Gay Murder in Jamaica?;

WaPo: Gays Must be 'Discreet'

(Rudolf Gschloessl, found dead on October 25.)

Loud rumors are swirling on the gay Jamaican grapevine that a German national who was recently murdered was a gay man. Rudolf Gschloessl, according to news accounts and tourist guides, was business partners with Neville Anderson, a Jamaican chef. There is nothing I can locate on the web confirming rumors of Gschloessl's gayness, and the only link to anything gay-related is this story that says the suspect is a "homosexual lodger."

I asked Brett Lock of OutRage! in London if that term had a unique gay-slang definiiton. Brett's reply:
I've asked around and the consensus is that there is no formal or unequivocal understanding that a "lodger" _necessarily_ implied a sexual relationship, but that it would have been one of the ways to explain (in pre gay lib times) why two men were living together.
The basic facts, so far, from Wednesday's Jamaica Observer:

HOMICIDE detectives say they have a suspect in custody in connection with the murder of German national Rudolf Gschloessl, whose body was found with its throat slashed on Sunday morning. [...]

Meanwhile, the police said there were no signs of forced entry at Gschloessl's Mona Heights, St Andrew, home.

According to the police, an occupant of the premises heard screams for help coming from Gschloessl's apartment and when he responded, he found the businessman bleeding from a wound to the throat. [...]

The police suspect that his murder was a crime of passion.

"The man in custody admitted to being a homosexual lodger," a police officer told the Observer yesterday.

In other gay-related news connected to Jamaica, my friend Barrett Brick, long active with the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of DC on global issues, caught a response from the Washington Post reporter who recently authored a puff piece on Jamaican tourism. Andrea Sachs posted her reaction on the Post's online chat service a few days ago:
Warrenville, IL: Your article on Jamaica yesterday deeply troubled me. [...]

Failing to warn gay people to stay away from Jamaica is in effect inviting them to their own destruction. Not a friendly act.

Andrea Sachs: Thank you so much for your note. You made a very good point. While I personally did not see or experience any anti-gay sentiment, I did contact J-Flag for more information. (The organization works toward equality and fair treatment of lesbians, gays and all-sexuals.) I was told that the country's homophobia stems from its conservative roots, but that standards vary according to nationality, gender, etc. The country has a large gay population, but tourists are advised to be discreet. However, organizations like J-Flag are working hard to make Jamaica welcoming to everyone. [Italics and bolding added.]
Very curious that she notes in her online discussion, but not mentioned in her article, that gay tourists should be discreet. Why didn't she say that in the article?

Anyway, kudos to Sachs for contacting JFLAG, however, she could have also looked for other sources. Sachs might cast her net wider and learn what the U.S. State Department reported on the deadly homophobia on the island. We're not talking your garden-variety homo-hatred here. According to State, we're dealing with cases like this:
In February [2008] a mob broke into the home of four presumed homosexual men, killing three of them. The fourth was missing and presumed dead. The men had reported being harassed for their perceived sexual orientation prior to the fatal attack. Police made some inquiries in the case but did not conduct a full investigation or make any arrests by year's end.
Back at the Post page for Sach's story, several angry comments were left, before the paper closed the commenting function. From one of the comments:
Time to break out and meet the locals? Does Ms. Sachs realize that Jamaica is probably the most homophobic place on earth (,8599,1182991,00.html)? All those photos of smiling Jamacians - so long as you're not a "batty-boy" in which case they will beat you to a bloody pulp while the police look on and do nothing. [...]
Good to see that gay activists took the time to both use the Post's online chat and the comment function to take the paper to task for what it omitted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

while you are pointing to homosexual killings u need to be aware that children, women and people from all walks of life are being killed in the country. These murders are not necessarily hate crime situations but an indication of a general crime problem. For their own purposes JFLAG is very vehement in speaking against the deaths of homosexuals, they need to publish statistics on gay-on gay crimes, of which this recent murder seems to be included.