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Here’s quite a tricky question from Damon:
I’m a gay man who lives in a medium-sized midwestern city. My mother lives in a smaller city, and is your typical midwestern housewife type. She is very sweet, moderately conservative and church-going. She’s a bright person, but not very worldly, and has rarely, if ever, travelled outside of her state.
Out of the blue this past year, she called me and said that she has always wanted to go to Jamaica, and that since I’m the only person she knows who has travelled extensively, she’d like me as a travel companion on her “once in a lifetime” trip to Jamaica.
I do not know why the sudden interest in Jamaica. She says it’s the beaches she’s seen in travel brochures and the adorable accents that she finds fascinating.
As a gay man, I have a problem with Jamaica, as it is a homophobic country. I’m not usually very political, but I don’t like the idea of spending tourist dollars in a place that is so culturally backward when it comes to gay rights. That said, my mother insists that she pays for everything, as this is her treat, and as both a birthday gift for me and a thanks for accompanying her, so it’s not really my money.
I asked if she’d like to see any other Caribbean islands, or if it has to be Jamaica, and she simply replied “I want to go to Jamaica.”
So answer me this: do I stick to my political beliefs and refuse to go to Jamaica, even though I’m not paying for it, or do I honor my mother’s wishes, hold my nose, and go anyway? I know that my mother is not aware of the ways GLBT men and women are treated in Jamaica, and isn’t interested in supporting it, but she’s also very fixated on this vacation.
Also, if I do go, is it fair that I talk her into getting cornrows done in her hair, as so many women who visit the islands do, as a wicked revenge?
Obviously whichever option you choose, she’ll be having the cornrows as well. Dyed to match the rainbow flag.