"HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS have given Jamaica the infamous title: 'The Most Homophobic Place on Earth'. If you love your gay friends and family members, you won't visit Jamaica. If you care about the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, you won't buy Jamaican products. Isn't it time we stop rewarding this hate state with our tourism dollars? This nation should be avoided at all costs until the Jamaican government takes action to end the country's virulently homophobic climate and draconian laws that persecute homosexuals." That's the official statement on the Jamaica boycott. Since learning about it last night, I've flip-flopped several times over condemning it, or supporting it. My initial reaction was one of satisfaction. "Good," I thought. "Serves them right." But today I've been thinking on it, and a few questions came up. Who, exactly, is boycotting Jamaica? Financially comfortable whites, presumably. Is it fair to tar every Jamaican with the same brush? Not really, no. Why just Jamaica? What about, er, every country in Africa? And how about America too, with its rabid packs of bible-bashers and various states who've effectively condoned homophobia (and I'm thinking Proposition 8). And above all else - why a boycott? As if that's going to work. Boycott Jamaica (the official site) have answered all of these questions to my satisfaction, via their Q&A page. On the subject of who, they're described as a "coalition of GLBT activists". I take that to mean our brothers and sisters who care enough to actively fight for all of Us - race shouldn't come into it (although, without a doubt, the Jasmine Cannicks of this world will seek to make it a black versus white issue). Are all Jamaicans guilty? Boycott Jamaica say, "We have nothing against the Jamaican people and desire nothing more than calling off this boycott. There is, however, a price to pay for continuing down a homophobic path." And to misquote a well known phrase, ignorance of what's right is no defence. Over the years I have known quite a few Jamaicans, and two of my good friends are from that island. They are, almost without exception, amongst the most fundamentally decent people I know, but their acceptance of what is has always troubled me and been the source of many an argument. It always comes down to the same thing - they point out that I don't know what it's really like, so I should keep my mouth shut. That's fine, I accept that. I'm lucky to have been born into a relatively liberal society. But by the same token, if no one ever raises their head above the parapet, nothing ever changes. Nelson Mandela - or Harvey Milk, for that matter - didn't say, "Sod it, it's too hard," and pull the blanket back over their respective heads. So, why pick on Jamaica? You have to start somewhere, and Jamaica's one of the biggest bullies in the playground. As Boycott Jamaica points out, Jamaica relies heavily on the tourist dollar - which also negates the argument that outsiders shouldn't meddle with Jamaica's internal affairs. If you want our cash, you better fix up. Finally, is a boycott likely to work? It's a moot point. Will heterosexuals support us in sufficient numbers to make Jamaica sit up and take notice? Perhaps - hopefully, even the hint of violence will spoil the postcard perfect picture of Jamaica for the hallowed Families. There's no excuses for what is going on in Jamaica. Go get them. Make them hurt, even if it's just a fraction of what they're doing to our brothers and sisters. And to quote another late, great freedom fighter, "in the end, winning is the only safety."