John Terry, Britain’s honorary counsel in Jamaica, was found beaten and strangled to death at his home on the island nation. And your instincts are correct: it was an anti-gay murder.
Terry’s body was accompanied with a foreshadowing note: “This is what will happen to ALL gays,” it read, also referring to Terry as a “batty-man.” Ugh.
Investigators say it’s likely Terry, who separated from his wife three years ago, and his murderer returned home together. They’re also pushing the storyline that “something went awry” sexually between the two, which led to Terry getting beat with the base of a lamp and dying with a cord wrapped around his neck. This is terrible stuff.
And now: We enter the spin zone. Jamaican authorities won’t be volunteering to make locals appear as anti-gay vigilantes, roaming the island murdering the gays. And yet, there’s plenty of evidence showing that’s a very real problem. Meanwhile, British officials will be more concerned with maintaining healthy diplomatic ties than blaming Jamaica and its intolerance for the murder.
Is an entire country to blame for one guy’s death? Certainly not. This was a singular incident.
But the culture that pervades Jamaica is one where homophobia is celebrated, gays are marginalized at best (murdered at worst), and where there’s no mechanism in place to reverse the trend. That? That Jamaica should be blamed for.