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Sunday, August 11, 2013

16-Year-Old Transgender Brutally Killed In Jamaica

Dwayne Jones was relentlessly teased in high school for being effeminate until he dropped out. His father not only kicked him out of the house at the age of 14 but also helped jeering neighbors push the youngster from the rough Jamaican slum where he grew up.
By age 16, the teenager was dead - beaten, stabbed, shot and run over by a car when he showed up at a street party dressed as a woman.
His mistake: confiding to a friend that he was attending a 'straight' party as a girl for the first time in his life.'When I saw Dwayne's body, I started shaking and crying,' said Khloe, one of three transgendered friends who shared a derelict house with the teenager in the hills above the north coast city of Montego Bay. 
Like most transgenders and gays in Jamaica, Khloe wouldn't give a full name out of fear.
'It was horrible. It was so, so painful to see him like that.'
For years, Jamaica's gay community has lived so far underground that their parties and church services were held in secret locations. 
Most gays have stuck to a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy of keeping their sexual orientation hidden to avoid scrutiny or protect loved ones.
'Judging by comments made on social media, most Jamaicans think Dwayne Jones brought his death on himself for wearing a dress and dancing in a society that has made it abundantly clear that homosexuals are neither to be seen nor heard,' said Annie Paul, a blogger and publications officer at Jamaica's campus of the University of the West Indies.

Police say witnesses have said they couldn't see the attackers' faces.
Dwayne was the center of attraction shortly after arriving in a taxi at 2am with his two 23-year-old housemates, Khloe and Keke. 
Dwayne's expert dance moves, long legs and high cheekbones quickly made him the one that all the guys were trying to get next to.
Like most Jamaican homosexuals, Dwayne was careful about confiding in others about his sexual orientation.

But when he saw a girl he had known from church, he told her he was attending the party in drag.
Minutes later, according to Khloe and Keke, the girl's male friends gathered around Dwayne in the dimly-lit street asking: 'Are you a woman or a man?' 
One man waved a lighter's flame near Dwayne's sneakers, asking whether a girl could have such big feet.
Then, his friends said, another man grabbed a lantern from an outdoor bar and walked over to Dwayne, shining the bright light over him from head to toe. 'It's a man,' he concluded, while the others hissed 'batty boy' and other anti-gay epithets.

Khloe says she tried to steer him away from the crowd, whispering in Dwayne's ear: 'Walk with me, walk with me.' But Dwayne pulled away, loudly insisting to partygoers that he was a girl. 
When someone behind him snapped his bra strap, the teen panicked and raced down the street.
But he couldn't run fast enough to escape the mob.
The teenager was viciously assaulted and apparently half-conscious for some two hours before another sustained attack finished him off, according to Khloe, who was also beaten and nearly raped.
She hid in a nearby church and then the surrounding woods, unable to call for help because she didn't have her cellphone.

Dwayne's father in the Montego Bay slum of North Gully didn't want to talk about his son's life or death. 
The teen's family wouldn't even claim the body, according to Dwayne's friends.
They remembered him as a spirited boy with a contagious laugh who dreamt of becoming a performer like Lady Gaga. 
He was also a street-smart hustler who resorted to sleeping in the bushes or on beaches when he became homeless. 
He won a local dancing competition during his time on the streets and was affectionately nicknamed 'Gully Queen.'
'He was the youngest of us but he was a diva,' Khloe said. 'He was always very feisty and joking around.'

Daily Mail

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