Estimated Total Population:

2.96 million

Worldometer, 2020

Estimated SGM Population:



Estimated Total SGM Adult Population:



Estimated % of SGM Adults (18+):



Despite being called the most homophobic place on earth(Time magazine, 2006), there is abundant research on the LGBTQ+ population in Jamaica and their experiences. There are no laws protecting these individuals and same-sex acts can be punished with up to 10 years in prison, but only for males. These laws are rarely enforced, and their repeal is pending. However, a deep stigmatization of the LGBTQ+ population remains woven through society. Religion and poor sexual education contribute to this, but the biggest factor is arguably the popular dancehall music which often features homophobic and violent lyrics. Neither one of the major political parties supports LGBTQ+ rights and both oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. There are organizations working to dismantle these harmful ideas. The Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) is the first Jamaican organization to fight for LGBTQ+ rights. It works underground and anonymously for legal reform, crisis intervention, and support programs (http://equalityjamaica.org/). Women’s Empowerment for Change (WE-Change Jamaica) was founded in 2015 and is a women-run organization to fill the gap previously found in advocating for women in the LGBTQ+ community (https://wechangeja.org/).

Jamaica's Laws and Policies from ILGA World Report (2019)

Marriage for Same-Sex Couples
Civil Unions
Joint Adoption
Second Parent Adoption
Employment Nondiscrimination Laws
Broad Protections
Criminalization of Violence
Ban of Conversion Therapy
Consensual Same-Sex Acts are Legal?
Male Only
Max Penalty (Yrs in Prison)

Selected Published Studies, Reports, and Other Documents

Alecia Johns (2020)Public morals versus private rights: examining the influence of Christian norms and institutions on the development of LGBT rights in Jamaica, Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, DOI: sci-hub.tw/10.1080/14662043.2020.1773113

Amar Wahab (2016)Calling ‘Homophobia’ into Place (Jamaica),Interventions,18:6,908-928, DOI:10.1080/1369801X.2015.1130641

Carmen H. Logie, Nakia Lee-Foon, Nicolette Jones, Kristina Mena, Kandasi Levermore, Peter A. Newman, Katherine Andrinopoulos & Stefan Baral (2016)Exploring Lived Experiences of Violence and Coping Among Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual and Transgender Youth in Kingston, Jamaica,International Journal of Sexual Health,28:4,343-353, DOI: sci-hub.tw/10.1080/19317611.2016.1223253

Carmen H. Logie, Alex Abramovich, Nicole Schott, Kandasi Levermore & Nicolette Jones(2018)Navigating stigma, survival, and sex in contexts of social inequity among young transgender women and sexually diverse men in Kingston, Jamaica, Reproductive Health Matters, 26:54, 72-83, DOI:10.1080/09688080.2018.1538760

Carmen H. Logie, Ashley Lacombe-Duncan, Kandasi Levermore & Nicolette Jones(2017)Conceptualizing empowerment practice with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in Jamaica,Social Work Education,36:4,456-465, DOI: sci-hub.tw/10.1080/02615479.2016.1273894

Carmen H. Logie, Natania Marcus, Ying Wang, Ashley Lacombe-Duncan, Kandasi Levermore, Nicolette Jones, Nicolette Bryan, Robin Back & Annecka Marshall (2018) Contextualising sexual health practices among lesbian and bisexual women in Jamaica: a multi-methods study, Reproductive Health Matters, 26:52, 109-127, DOI:10.1080/09688080.2018.1517543

Charles, C. (2011). Representations of Homosexuality in Jamaica.Social and Economic Studies,60(1), 3-29. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from https://www.jstor.org/stable/41635290

Chisholm, Mervin E. (2013). "Let Them be Free: Adult Education in an Underground LGBT Church in Jamaica,"Adult Education Research Conference. https://newprairiepress.org/aerc/2013/papers/13

Harris, O., & Jarrett, S. (2018, March 14). Beyond Homophobia: How Do Jamaican Men Who Have Sex with Men Build Communities, Affirm Identity, and Mitigate Homophobia? Retrieved June 17, 2020, from sci-hub.tw/10.1016/j.jana.2018.03.003

Hewitt, R. (2016). The Influences of Conservative Christianity, Rastafari and Dance Hall Music within Jamaica on Homophobia and Stigma against People Living with HIV and AIDS. Alternation Journal, 23(2), 169-184. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/soa/article/view/1281

Jarret S. Lovell (2016) ‘We are Jamaicans:’ living with and challenging the criminalization of homosexuality in Jamaica, Contemporary Justice Review, 19:1, 86-102, DOI:sci-hub.tw/10.1080/10282580.2015.1101687

Keon West (2018) Understanding and Reducing Sexual Prejudice in Jamaica: Theoretical and Practical Insights From a Severely Anti-Gay Society, The Journal of Sex Research, 55:4-5, 472-485, DOI:10.1080/00224499.2017.1416055

Keon West & Noel M. Cowell (2015) Predictors of Prejudice Against Lesbians and Gay Men in Jamaica, The Journal of Sex Research, 52:3, 296-305, DOI:10.1080/00224499.2013.853725

Keon West (2016) Jamaica, Three Years Later: Effects of Intensified Pro-Gay Activism on Severe Prejudice Against Lesbians and Gay Men, The Journal of Sex Research, 53:9, 1107-1117, DOI:10.1080/00224499.2016.1221028

Keon West (2016) Sexual Restrictions Beyond Anti-Gay Prejudice: Anal Sex, Oral Sex, Masculinity and Sexual Prejudice in Jamaica,International Journal of Sexual Health, 28:4, 278-285, DOI:sci-hub.tw/10.1080/19317611.2016.1223251

Keon West DPhil & Miles Hewstone DPhil (2012) Culture and Contact in the Promotion and Reduction of Anti-Gay Prejudice: Evidence from Jamaica and Britain, Journal of Homosexuality, 59:1, 44-66, DOI: sci-hub.tw/10.1080/00918369.2011.614907

Logie, C. H., Lacombe-Duncan, A., Kenny, K. S., Levermore, K., Jones, N., Marshall, A., & Newman, P. A. (2017). Associations between Police Harassment and HIV Vulnerabilities among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women in Jamaica.Health and human rights, 19(2), 147–154. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5739366/

Logie, C.H., Lacombe‐Duncan, A., Brien, N., Jones, N., Lee‐Foon, N., Levermore, K., Marshall, A., Nyblade, L. and Newman, P.A. (2017), Barriers and facilitators to HIV testing among young men who have sex with men and transgender women in Kingston, Jamaica: a qualitative study.Journal of the International AIDS Society, 20: 21385. doi:10.7448/IAS.20.1.21385

Logie, C. H., Lacombe-Duncan, A., Wang, Y., Levermore, K., Jones, N., Ellis, T., ... Grace, D. (2020).Adapting the psychological mediation framework for cisgender and transgender sexual minorities in Jamaica: Implications from latent versus observed variable approaches to sexual stigma. Social Science & Medicine, 245, 112663. doi: https://sci-hub.tw/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112663#

Not Safe at Home. (2017, May 25). Retrieved June 18, 2020, from https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/10/21/not-safe-home/violence-and-discrimination-against-lgbt-people-jamaica

Stewart, Zachary, "The Legacy of British Rule On LGBT Rights In Jamaica and the Cayman Islands" (2017). Master's Theses. 322. https://aquila.usm.edu/masters_theses/322

Yohann White, Theo Sandfort, Kai Morgan, Karen Carpenter & Russell Pierre(2016)Family Relationships and Sexual Orientation Disclosure to Family by Gay and Bisexual Men in Jamaica, International Journal of Sexual Health, 28:4, 306-317, DOI: sci-hub.tw/10.1080/19317611.2016.1227015