Best News & Current Affairs Blog (2011 & 2012) and Jamaican Blogger of the Year (2011) at The Jamaica Blog Awards.

Gays and Bacch-Anal


Last night while commuting home on my hottaz JUTC A/C yellow bus (you know how I roll), I overheard a conversation that piqued my interest. Two young men and a young lady where discussing what the young lady termed “di invasion of battyman at Mas Camp cuz of Bacchanal”. The guys, one feminine in behaviour (I can’t remember how to spell ‘effiminate’ or ‘effeminate’ and I’m too lazy to check) and the other quite masculine, were adamant that the girl was closed minded and shouldn’t be painting all men who attend Mas Camp for Bacchanal as “battyman”.

As we cruised along in A/C comfort, the girl made an allegation that rang true to me, at least in part. She claimed the only reason gays, (wait, is that word offensive? Should I use the politically correct ‘homosexuals’?), go to Mas Camp is because the cover of soca music gives them the chance to behave “outrageously and disgusting”, I had said I agreed with her in part because I’m not sure the behaviour is ‘disgusting’; as I’ve never personally been to Mas Camp.

However, having grasped the essence of soca music, I would agree that gays would have an opportunity which might not have been otherwise present were it a different public setting. I’ve heard stories of all out “dashing out” by young men clad in skimpy and revealing clothing. I’ve heard stories of men dancing, that is wining, on other men. I’ve even heard stories of blatant homosexual conduct on the grounds of Mas Camp. Let me hasten to add, I am not suggesting that these allegations are true, I am merely saying I can see how bacchanal could give license to that kind of behaviour. You’re entitled to disagree.

Being the very nuff person I am, I decided to intervene in the conversation taking place. You see, I was curious as to who determines how gays are supposed to act in public. So I posed that question to the young lady in my most carefully enunciated English. She replied, “battyman fi hol’ dem cawnaz and mek God bless people enjoi dem self” (-.-) She couldn’t even attempt a lil English though? Hssst. Anyhow, I decided to press her further. So I asked her if gays weren’t allowed the benefit of public entertainment. Her reply, “Mi pay mi money guh inna Mas Camp enuh! Mi nuh waan see nuh fish!” The sheer DAWKNISS of that comment threatened to overpower even the brilliant fluorescent lights in the goodaz JUTC bus. I looked at her for a few seconds, just a blank stare; then I gave her what Brandon calls a ‘slow f@%king blink’. I then put my earphones in and tuned out the rest of their convo. I was once told never argue with a fool. Advice I take very seriously.

For the rest of my journey I wondered :

(1) Does bacchanal really attract a larger homosexual than heterosexual crowd?

(2) Is the behaviour displayed “outrageous and disgusting”?

And based on the young lady’s final response to me :

(3) Do gays jump the wall to get into bachannal? Only heterosexuals pay to get in? 😐

I’d love some answers to these questions.

The last thing I heard of their conversation before getting off the bus was one of the guys speaking to the girl, “yaw eediot enuh Rochelle!”

I concur sir. I concur.

By the way, is this a co-incidence? “bacch-ANAL” #OkBye. *ninja vanish*

Read Part 2 Here.

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38 responses

  1. Karim

    Like to some extent the girl is right. I did witness some very questionable behavior last night from young men and old alike . It was blatant Mas Camp via Bachannal is slowly become ‘ Gay Central'( as mommi would say).

    As for her final comments- the last time I checked everyone pays she needs to dead! She need fi stop bout ‘God Bless’ – chances are she a one a dem weh go Mas Camp an whine out man oman dawg and floor.

    Don’t hate them. Just go bout ur business and keep on keeping on.

    April 16, 2011 at 10:48 am

  2. Ricardo

    Scandalous! Lol. This woman is lucky that she hasnt gotten the opportunity to visit foreign, else she would be traumatised!
    People like her are quick to kill a gay man but wonders why our crime rate is so high… tsk tsk tsk

    April 16, 2011 at 10:59 am

  3. Olivia

    um… yeah they’re behavior is pretty disgusting. Everyone knows bacchanal is suppose to be fun but they defiantly get wild. The night b4 closing night, there was this one set that was whining up on each other… and everyone just sorta backed away. and this one guy… im telling yuh.. only ting left fi him fi duh ah guh pon him head top O.o they even attempted to whine on straight guys :/ it was disgusting. They really need to control demself :/

    April 16, 2011 at 11:00 am

  4. TinyDivaNas

    So this ‘bruk out’ effect is limited to the gays at Bacchanal? Or is it just more of an issue because gays ‘keep it in check’ more in other settings?

    April 16, 2011 at 11:03 am

    • I think cuz they keep it in check elsewhere and I think str8 people brucking out is considered acceptable brucking out?

      April 16, 2011 at 11:25 am

  5. If they were standing around looking bored no one would have noticed them. But since they are having more fun and ‘getting on bad’, ‘palancing’ and ‘being all advantage’ it is a problem.

    I think we should readily accept this form of expression when you sign up for taking on a different culture. For Trinidadians I would imagine this is normal behaviour at a soca event. I can hear a Trinidadian say right now “In carnival you just get on bad”. While in dancehall we have strict rules as to what the man is expected to do and the role of a woman. Are there clear lines in carnival – soca? I don’t think so. It’s all about “1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4 – jump and wave” (8), just having fun. Kudos to soca music for including everybody and not dividing its revelers.

    I think the bigger story here is that Jamaican homosexuals can go out, have fun, frolic in a safe environment without any incidents. And they did that for over 6 weeks. Jamaica is growing up. Is it?

    April 16, 2011 at 11:29 am

    • I don’t know that Jamaica is growing up. I think the Mas Camp crowd is just far less likely to attack homosexuals. The nasty comments will be made under their breath, but they just won’t go as far as attacking anyone. Should the same behaviour be displayed in another setting, I’m not sure the same would obtain.

      April 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    • Corve, I have to agree with you that Jamaica is growing up (as incremental as such growth is). We have given context and space for a kind of homo-erotic expression that perhaps might confront intolerance within the borders of our strictly defined society. The wider spaces of theatre (Shebbadadisation on theatre) and dancehall (The feminisation??? or performance and acceptance of varying shades of masculinities) where homo-erotic expressions are “ok” speaks to the kind of growth we identify.

      You are right in the carnival space male on male; female on female; and male on female enjoyment is seen as the WHOLE reveling experience. In traditional dancehall spaces it has been a clearly hyper-heterosexual experience. there has been a shift – a shift that warranted the commentary from Makka Diamond that too many men are now in the video light (seen dancing with each other). This behaviour in the dancehall space has almost become normalised where men are not necessarily there to dance with women or to admire the performance of the female body as there bodies can do the same thing and dare i say “better”.

      Bacchanal then become another space where gay males feel at liberty to express themselves and let their hair down as it were…

      Dat gyal deh weh av fi har proglem wid battyman (who pay fi dem moni tuu) at Bacchanal must pack har bag an GO….har yaad if she nuh like it.. AWO!!!

      April 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    • Trini in Ja

      I know I do not speak for all Trinbagonians when I say this but…soca or no soca man wining up on man is never acceptable. No man is to take on the role of a woman- in dancehall or soca.

      I have been to Bacchanal and have been equally disgusted by the behavior of homosexuals and lesbians (who want to approach me like if they are men) and I honestly wondered how come there were no incidents at Mas Camp being aware of Jamaican intolerance to gays. Let me say I am also disgusted by heterosexuals who want to “bruk out” and “dagger” as if they are in their bedrooms. Soca and Carnival is about enjoying yourself definitely but people seem to lose themselves unfortunately and some folks just simply get on TOO wild.

      I don’t advocate violence so I am glad the Ja homosexuals can enjoy themselves, like any other person, without incident. It is true Trinis may be more tolerant (we don’t go out and commit violent acts against gay people) but trust…that we are all not accepting. We see the behavior, comment (positively/ negatively) and we keep it moving!

      April 29, 2011 at 8:39 pm

      • I’m happy another caribbean national commented and gave another perspective. I begun to get the sense that perhaps the behaviour was positively sanctioned in the rest of the region and Jamaicans were just archaic and outdated, obviously that’s not so. Thanks for your thoughts man.

        April 29, 2011 at 8:58 pm

  6. DaProngs

    I have witnessed what I guess is deemed homosexual behaviour at Mas Camp. Ricardo RT something someone said and I agree.I come to enjoy myself and not give a damn about anyone else.That is what the season is about nuh watch nuh face.On the other hand, this is Jamaica so people need to be mindful and aware of their surroundings.And everyone paid their money.

    April 16, 2011 at 11:58 am

    • I agree with being mindful of one’s surrounding. People can’t just go behaving any ole’ way they choose. That goes for both gay & str8 people.

      April 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm

  7. Ricardo

    Good points made. But bacchanal is about having fun. So what if they gays ate having more fun than everyone else? They paid their money too! Its funny how straiggt women can climb up on top of speaker boxes and create a scene, that is considered acceptable. I tell you, Jamaican people need to get a clue. The more we stand divided, the worse we become.

    April 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    • I think at some point we have to have a conversation about the behaviour of str8 women as opposed to that of gay men and why one is acceptable and the other isn’t.

      April 16, 2011 at 6:35 pm

  8. personally I can understand (albeit barely) what the “stupid” girl was trying to say. Never been a soca fan but some of the things I have seen being done by gays at soca events is downright appalling, but it’s a free country and I do not advocate violence against any citizen so to each their own.

    April 17, 2011 at 7:24 am

    • Do you think it’s appalling if the str8 folks carry on the same way? Or is it unique to the homos?

      April 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm

  9. I have noticed that venues like Mas Camp are often used as a hyper-active free-for-all where homosexuals feel they can get away with murder. However, is this not because there is little space for them to enjoy themselves elsewhere? This is a simple case of never see come see, where a person who usually has limited access or exposure to a certain privilege overdoes his indulgence when he does get unlimited access to it. If gays in Jamaica were not so terribly marginalized, I doubt they’d behave as ‘extra’ as they do at Bacchanal.

    And coming from the EC, where soca is blood, water and life, I can tell you guys that men are allowed to wine up and grind up in ways most Jamaicans might think are reserved for the females, however there is no head top, skin out, tip tricking, or splitting done by men. Even we have limits! lol!

    April 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    • So perhaps what Jamaicans need is exposure to the real essence of bacchanal.

      April 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm

  10. G

    DWL … jump the wall. Calm down G.

    Once ATL clears the land for their new showroom y’all wont have anything to complain about. Take it to “The Building” or Quad

    April 21, 2011 at 11:23 am

    • Who is the “y’all”?

      April 21, 2011 at 11:33 am

      • G

        You carnival/soca lovers.. and haters like me.

        Full time we got rid of soca… Its not even recognized as a word by Google #fail

        April 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      • LOL! I stated in the post that I’ve never been to Mas Camp. I’m no soca lover

        April 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

  11. Bree

    Anyone who goes to mas camp during the soca season knows or at least have an idea on what goes on there.Gays are abundant and they have no shame in enjoying themselves. For me personally its not a problem because i dont care what they do as long as it doesnt affect me. Eg. of this i believe it was Week 4 of the Bacchanal series ..a group of gays were to the left of me and one of the men there proceeded to ”SKIN OUT” that would make any hardcore ghetto girl jealous. I was shocked but i laughed it off and moved on But almost EVERYONE in that section stopped for a good 15 minutes staring at him for his behaviour.

    I think they should be mindful of how they behave Jamaica is SLOWLY accepting it ….but there are lines that shouldnt be crossed ..yet

    April 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    • I agree with you. They should be cautious abt how they behave and what they expose the public to.

      April 28, 2011 at 6:07 pm

  12. matt

    “gay” is the more politically correct term

    April 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm

  13. keith

    i am deading…… woi me bell, somenady please help be. omg am litterally crying on the floor. help i can,t stop lauging… “DAWKNISS”…. you had me at dawkniss…

    April 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm

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  16. I know I late, but …

    I have an issue with overtly sexual behaviour in public, homo or hetero doesn’t really change that. I am fully aware of how uncomfortable it makes me, so I choose my entertainment to fall in line with my comfort level. To me, it is simple, if I’m not comfortable with the crowd, the behaviour, or anything within the atmosphere of an event, that will be the last time my presence will felt there. I believe to do otherwise is hypocrisy.

    I am quite sure it was not the first or last the young lady (loosely being used) has been to a Carnival event. I am sure, this is not the first time she is seeing men dance with each other there. I would have wanted to know, why spend your money then complain? Don’t bother going if you’re going to end up unhappy.

    For me, this is the hypocrisy of where we are now. We complain about the “rise” in homosexuality in Jamaica, yet we take joy in Shebadda, make extra efforts to go to Carnival events and knowingly support a plethora of other ventures of the things we supposedly detest. If you dislike it, then why use your hard earned money to support it?

    Other than that mini-rant, seriously though, I wonder if the young lady realises that she is no more or less “God-blessed” than those she hating on? She sounds like a less educated version of a Pharisee … but hey, do you.

    May 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    • That was one of my own concerns, why go somewhere that you know certain behaviours will be on display and then complain about what you see there?

      May 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      • Which could be an entire post on my side of things if I’m not careful… but seriously, why? Can’t we be just as miserable at home alone?

        May 7, 2011 at 10:03 pm

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  18. Fiyu Pikni

    “Gay” is politically correct in North American circles… not sure what the Jamaican consensus is (because there is none), but use of the word “homosexual” is frowned upon because it has long been used as a medical term to describe the pathologization of homosexual attraction. I don’t like using it, but I do because it’s far less problematic than the term “gay,” which is a distinctly western identity construct for men with homosexual sexual proclivities. Owing to the influence of American media, and the globalization of “gay” culture in general, many Jamaican homosexuals self-identity as gay today.

    Why are we such hypocrites? Many sanction the “behaviour” of gay men saying that they don’t respect public displays of libidinous sexuality for heterosexuals either. Notwithstanding their conservatism, heterosexual displays of sexuality are culturally sanctioned in Jamaica. Nobadi naago stare pan a heterosexual couple who a skin out (unless their voyeuristic curiosities get the better of them). Still, we’re suggesting that our own personal disgust for PDS (public displays of sexuality) is some reasonable justification for our reaction to gay men at Mas Camp. Ef yu no wahn si people a brok out, duohn gaa bakanal. If you’re okay with seeing straight people brok out, then you’re being a hypocrite to say that gay men shouldn’t. Let’s not pretend we’re actually concerned about their safety. We’re concerned about them shaking the foundations of the heteronornative world we all participate in sustaining.

    Great post!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 10:56 am

    • Thank you! 🙂

      I’m always pleased when readers have extensive comments 🙂 makes me feel like I made a point.

      I agree though, it’s a steady hypocrisy. We have double standards, we excuse straight displays of “brucking out” but we condemn the homosexuals who do.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting.

      June 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm

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