A Lesbian Love Affair Defies Stigma In Jamaica

Through Gchat, read the story of a relationship that started in Kingston and continues to thrive despite obstacles.

Chris Ritter for BuzzFeed

Chat histories have become the modern version of a cache of yellowed love letters, a record of relationships that endured or went awry. In Love in the Time of GChat, couples show us the online exchanges that punctuated their time together. Want to share your chats anonymously? Email shift@buzzfeed.com.

The beginning

Raquelle and Jordin met four months ago at a gay pride meeting at their college in Kingston, Jamaica. Raquelle immediately noticed Jordin, who wore loose guy’s clothing and had a certain sparkle about her. Raquelle liked what Jordin said about gender expression: “She said she isn’t as butch as she presents herself necessarily, and regardless of her clothes she is still a girl. And she wants to be treated like one.” So Raquelle went home and found Jordin on Tumblr through some mutual friends. She “liked” a bunch of her posts and soon they started chatting online.

The two started chatting a lot. At first they didn’t exactly hit on each other outright, but the conversations kept coming back to sex.

Raquelle knew she wanted to date Jordin, but she wasn’t sure where this could go. Both Jordin and Raquelle lived at home with their families, two buses and a parish apart. Raquelle is not out to her family; Jordin was outed against her will, and now her parents just ignore her sexuality.

Despite the obstacles, when Jordin and Raquelle finally met up again on campus it was as though a cork had been popped. They ended up making out under a gazebo as it turned dark. At one point a security guard saw them but didn’t say anything. “He probably figured Jordin was a guy.” Raquelle says. (Lesbian sex in Jamaica is legal, but heavily stigmatized.)

Things were going really well. Raquelle introduced Jordin to her favorite secret spots in Kingston, Jordin introduced Raquelle to her friends. But the pair weren’t girlfriends yet — which began to worry Raquelle. Jordin had some commitment issues which started to make things hard. Online they joked about it.

The Middle

Things soured on Jordin’s birthday. Raquelle was supposed to meet Jordin that night at a wine bar. But Jordin kept Raquelle waiting for over half an hour and showed up stoned. Raquelle felt hurt — like Jordin didn’t take her seriously — but then they had a good time sipping chilled white wine. And then Jordin asked Raquelle to be her girlfriend. It was what she had been waiting for. She said yes. They still spent hours chatting but with less anxiety than they’d been feeling. Now they talked about their lives and their future and just enjoyed each other.

They also talked about gender expression, the topic that drew Raquelle to Jordin in the first place. (Below, “Binding” refers to wrapping something around the torso in attempt to flatten the chest and “T” is short for testosterone.)

Raquelle says Jamaica can be a beautiful place to fall in love. She says Kingston is everything you see on travel ads with white sand soft as floor pillows. Though it also isn’t gay-friendly. And as much as she’d thought about escaping, Jamaica is home. Except it isn’t very hospitable for Raquelle and Jordin’s love. This is not a place where they can walk down the street holding hands.

Raquelle says sometimes when she and Jordin are walking down the street with a group of friends, a man passing by will cat-call Jordin, making sexual comments. Raquelle doesn’t understand it. Maybe because Jordin wears male-identified clothing, they need to bring her down? It makes Raquelle nervous but she keeps a strong face for Jordin.

Still Going Strong

Though they’ve been together just a few months, Jordin and Raquelle have weathered a lot. There have been near break-up moments, lots of ups and downs and sweltering confessions of love. But for now their love seems pretty solid.

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