F.J. Genus is a Jamaican queer man of transgender experience working as an IT consultant. In many public spaces he feels unsafe. He describes how every morning he must mentally prepare himself to face a world outside that often doesn’t accept him for the man he identifies as. To contact: +1(876)3135059, email: fjgenus@gmail.com. Social media handles: @to_gentleman (IG, Tw). 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. 24 September 2016

F.J. /

“Every time I introduce myself I am asked what I have come to refer to as the ‘Annoying Inevitable Question’: ‘What does FJ Stand for?’ the selection of a name is a critical part of the transition process of a transgender individual. This choice captures who they are, who they want to be and who they wish for others to view them.

I didn’t quite select my name as much as I opted to retain my initials. And this is particularly curious, for I was originally names such that mine would mirror my father’s: J.G. After he passes, I wanted to keep that part of him with me. This again, is an interesting choice given that we had such a tumultuous relationship. Regardless my father was the one person whom I had always wanted to be. Having not been socialized as his son however, I had to embark on a journey to discover my own version of manhood and my masculine identity. I have spent years and will continue to do so- unlearning the toxic hegemonic masculinity which we use to preach our boys and learning what being a man means to me I can only hope that the man I am, and the one I desire to be, the one I will become, would have made my father proud of me that is all I ever wanted really. So every time I get asked this annoying inevitable question, it reminds me of my journey of self-discovery, that I can define manhood in my own terms and can take comfort in knowing that even though he didn’t know, I’m my father’s son.- a  thought that warms my heart.”

  • J Genus
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