Andre (last name withheld) was bullied severely at school. At one point a large mob of students  gathered outside a school building he was in, threatening him with violence. Eventually the police had to be called to escort him out safely. His mother’s waiting car was stoned. This is how he came out to his family. Instead of rejecting him, as is sadly the fate of so many LGBTQI+ Jamaicans, his family embraced him and accepted his identity and sexuality. To contact:, 18768595236, Social Media: (IG,FB,T) drepheonix. Jamaica is one of 76 countries where same-sex acts are illegal. The LGBTQI+ community in the country have regularly faced violent homophobic and trans-phobic attacks, and discrimination in almost every sector of society. However, in the last ten years, through the emergence of courageous grassroots LGBTQI+ grassroots non-governmental organizations and activists, the country has seen progressive gains for LGBTQI+ acceptance. Photo Robin Hammond/NOOR for Witness Change. 26 September 2016

Andre /

“My story is about how I was “outed” prematurely while I was a teenager in high school. Being that i went to an all-boy school fighting was necessary to survive. It was very unfortunate that I won an actual fight in which a school mate and I actually had. He was very upset because he told everyone in the school that I was gay. In doing this, it caused uproar in the school. I was quickly taken off the scene and I was pushed in a building for my safety. The mob of student grew and you have the entire student body and mob in the building chanting to let me out so they can have their way with me. School officials and security could not squash the mob nor could they disperse. They eventually had to seek the assistance of the police to disperse the crowd. My stepmother came to get me and student started to stone the vehicle; we were quickly taken off campus and we were taken to the police station to make a report. My stepmother told me that the police told her, outside my presence, that I was gay and they would not assist with my situation. In hearing this, my stepmother, along with the other members of my family pitied me and my situation where they did not shun or refuse me. They chose to stand right by me and show me love. My family chose to accept me and my lifestyle and also my sexuality. They have not treated me differently in any way but showed me love and inclusiveness to be related to me and to share the same space with me where I am free from discrimination. I have no need to be accepted by anyone else as my family is the only thing that matters to me to empower me to actually share my story and to advocate and to help others who are in a situation similar to mine.”

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