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In Jamaica, attacks, murder, and rape are common occurrences against LGBTI people, with little to no retribution or justice brought against those responsible.
After being forced from shacks, derelict buildings, and their own families, many homeless LGBTI Jamaicans have found refuge in the storm drainage systems of Kingston — known locally as the gully. For trans girls and gay men unable or unwilling to hide their sexuality, the sense of community and relative safety the gully provides acts as a welcome sanctuary, and for many, a hope of change to come.
VICE News travelled to the New Kingston area to see what LGBTI life is like in Jamaica — where just being who you are can mean living a life underground.
This unique community has found solace in the lyrics of street life and struggle of the recently incarcerated singer Vybz Kartel, a national hero of sorts and considered “The Voice of the Jamaican Guetto” by many. Check out the unofficial video for “Beautiful Girl” by Vybz Kartel, the “”voice of the Jamaican ghetto” at Noisey:
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