LGBT Activist Erin Greene told The Tribune in her own words what she has faced since her saying that Buju Banton, the Jamaican reggae artists should not be allowed to perform his violence promotion song Boom Boom Bye Bye in Nassau as told to Rashad Rolle:
“Every time there is an increase in visibility there is an increase in hostility.
“People feel powerless in their ordinary lives. They feel like politicians are taking advantage of them and people in positions of authority are repressing them and so when a gay person who is supposed to be lower than them in the social sphere starts expressing opinions to them it feels damaging.
“Some people have been so impacted that I was given a space to express my personal opinion they feel they have a right to engage me in the same way. There’s one woman who spent most of yesterday afternoon essentially stalking and harassing me on my own (Facebook) wall and her response was ‘you have freedom of speech and say don’t bring Buju, I have freedom of speech and I can harass you on your Facebook wall.’ In a couple of instances people have tagged me in messages not speaking directly to me but saying ‘tell Erin Greene I been looking for sissyville to burn it down.’
“I am concerned for my own safety and the safety of other members of the community. That’s the biggest issue. Secondly, I’m concerned for my country because it appears my people are in crisis and they need help. Essentially, we have people who are not just demanding the right to listen to a song in a public space about murdering homosexuals by shooting them in the head, but people are expressing that this song is an integral part of their identity, that this song is a big part of how they grew up and how they decided to define themselves as Bahamians. That for me is extremely problematic.
“In one instance, I went to a place that I regularly go to work, like I buy and sell fish, and I went and I sold produce there and dropped off a sample to one of the vendors and a young man decided to shout at me, ‘run all of these sissies and batty man from around here and around town’ and this particular job that I went to, there is a potential for violence in that scene if not moderated and I was concerned by what it appeared he was attempting to do.
“The second incident happened the next day. That morning I was turning into an establishment and somebody ran a stop sign further down the road and felt that I cut them off when I decided to turn into the establishment and their response was to shout ‘boom bye bye’ at me and so this has spilled into the real world and not just social media. There was another event that I’m still trying to digest. I was alerted to a couple cars in my neighbourhood moving very suspiciously and I haven’t been able to determine what that was.
“There is fear. Whenever people act or behave irrationally, concern can turn to fear. What I’m deeply concerned about is people with real, valid issues will irrationally project those issues onto the wrong people, either me or other members of the LGBT.
“People should stop trying to intimidate other citizens because those citizens make them uncomfortable. I would tell them they have a responsibility to think about their own lives and how they can improve their own lives and stop expecting people to shrink themselves for others’ comfort.”