entertainment

Ray BLK celebrates Jamaica's oppressed LGBT community in new music video - WATCH

2016-11-11
Despite the country slowly waking up to the needs of its LGBT population, Jamaica remains one of the most hostile places to be openly LGBT+. Homosexual acts can carry prison sentences, and the community is often attacked, ostracised and preyed upon by mainstream society. One of the most vulnerable groups within the country's LGBT community are the Gully Queens. Often gender non-conforming or trans, the Gully Queens live on the margins of Jamaican society - the price paid for living openly. In her video for new single 'Chill Out' ft. SG Lewis, British R&B singer Ray BLK's shines a light on Jamaica's Gully Queen community, and attacks the hyper-masculine culture that sees LGBT youth too often shunned. The video for Chill Out kicks off with spliced footage of homophobic rants and news reports of violence from the country. The violent intro is contrasted by the song itself - a chilled R&B cut. The lyrics, "You're making a big deal/Of nothing you should chill" take on new meaning when set to footage of Jamaican trans women living peacefully, shopping, and dancing - offering an reflection on what life for Jamaica's LGBT community can look like when they're left in peace. However, the scars that many of them bear provide a reminder that this is an extremely vulnerable community. Watch the powerful video below: More stories: What will a Trump presidency mean for LGBT people? Lady Gaga isn’t taking Donald Trump’s election victory lying down