Sun Shine: Brattle Street, last stop on the way to freedom for Worcester LGBT asylum seekers

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn0Email this to someonePrint this page

Jeffry knew he was gay as a young child. He also knew he had to hide his sexual identity due to the homophobic mentality in Jamaica. The St. Thomas native said everyone in his life suspected he was gay, but never had concrete proof until a police officer saw him at a gay club and told his father, a fellow officer.

His world changed overnight.

“I was dragged out of the closet,” said Jeffry, now 24, whose last name the Sun agreed not to publish due to safety concerns.

Asylum seeker Jeffry poses with a picture of the place that he now calls home.

Sloane M. Perron / For Worcester Sun

Asylum seeker Jeffry poses with a picture of the place that he now calls home.

The aftermath was quick. Jeffry was fired from his job as a teacher, he could not go shopping because people refused to frequent establishments where a gay man was, and he had to hide in his home because of the discrimination he faced on the streets. His family threw him out of the house at 17 years old, but Jeffry fought back and went to court since he was a minor. His family kept him in the home until his 18th birthday.

However, even at home Jeffry was not allowed to eat and have dinner unless he brought his own utensils and plate. At one point, Jeffry was a teenager living on the streets until a gay couple took him in and helped him through school.

Please log in or subscribe to continue reading. Weekly access is only $2. No recurring charges.