LGBT Travellers

There is a gay scene in Kingston, but it is an underground affair as Jamaica is a largely homophobic society. Sexual acts between men are prohibited by law and punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Many reggae dancehall lyrics by big-name stars could be classified as antigay hate speech. Gay-bashing incidents are almost never prosecuted, with law enforcement, in most cases, looking the other way.

Nonetheless, you shouldn't be put off from visiting the island. In the more heavily touristed areas you'll find more tolerant attitudes, and hotels that welcome gay travelers, including all-inclusives. Publicly, though, discretion is important and open displays of affection should be avoided.

Useful websites:

Gay Jamaica Watch (http://gayjamaicawatch.blogspot.com)

J-FLAG (www.jflag.org)

Quality of Citizenship Jamaica (www.qcjm.org)