Evicted for being gay – Man claims state shelter discriminating against him
Twenty-one-year old Oshane Brown* is a homosexual living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and he claims the state shelter which has been his home for nearly two years, is seeking to evict him because of his sexuality.
“It’s really the man that is in charge of the dormitories that want me out. Every minute, I have to be making complaints about the way I am being discriminated against and nothing comes from it. I don’t want to live like this anymore,” Brown said.
“I’m trying to ask people if there is any vacancy around that could accommodate me. If a even fi clean up them yard and do work for them and stay there. I would really appreciate that,” he added.
The youngster said he is desperate as he has nowhere else to turn if he leaves the shelter. His parents abandoned him at a state home at three years old. He then ran away and began living on the streets at 16 then was molested by men who infected him with HIV.
Since then, he has sought refuge at the state-owned shelter.
Brown told THE STAR that he has long been facing discrimination and the threat of eviction from the home because of his sexuality and HIV status. However, he claims it intensified recently after he was released from lock-up.
He said he was arrested by the police on September 24 after being found in the company of a group of men in New Kingston. He was charged with being armed with offensive weapon and indecent exposure and was taken to court on November 17.
There, he said he explained to the judge that indeed, he had armed himself with a small knife to protect himself but that he was not exposing himself. That latter matter is still being tried, and Brown was granted bail.
However, as soon as he entered the premises of the shelter, he was met with warnings.
“I heard other clients saying I should not be on the compound because the man responsible for the dorms said I should not be on there because I went to New Kingston, taking off clothes, and taking away people things.”
Inspector of the Poor for The Kingston and St Andrew Corporation Mavis Sawyer-Farquharson told THE STAR that she was unaware of anyone seeking to evict Brown as he was still living on the compound.
However, Brown is adamant that he is under pressure to leave, but he has refused to do so as he has nowhere to turn.
“I just want to be treated as if I’m a human being. Not because of my lifestyle doesn’t mean you should use those things against me. I want to achieve good things in life just like anybody else.”