Another Gay Jamaican Seeks Asylum In Canada
Michael Hayden, a gay police officer, is the latest refugee from Jamaica to seek asylum in Canada.
Michael received multiple death threats after he spoke out about Jamaica’s deadly homophobia problem in a local newspaper this year. He now fears for his life and has gone into hiding, desperately seeking to escape to Canada:
I want to stay here [in Jamaica] and fight, but it’s not safe for me. My life is in great, great jeopardy.
Despite Jamaica’s image as an easygoing paradise for tourists, it is among the worlds most deadly places for gay people. Earlier this month, Gareth Henry, one of Jamaica’s few gay activists, escaped to Canada after 13 of his friends were killed by lynch mobs.
The good news, however, is that with every new refugee, more attention is drawn to Jamaica’s deadly secret. If Canada and other governments become aware enough of the issue to put out traveler warnings, Jamaica’s tourism industry can be leveraged to stop this horrific violence.