Batty boy

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In Jamaican culture, a batty boy (also spelled batty bwoy; other terms include batty man and chi chi boy/man) is a man considered to be gay, bisexual, or effeminate. The term is considered pejorative, as homosexuality is often condemned in Caribbean cultures, partially as a result of mainly conservative Christian and Rastafarian beliefs[citation needed]. Jamaican culture is seen as one of the most violent towards gay men in particular and, in 2006, Time noted it likely was the worst place in the Americas for LGBT people and one of the most homophobic places in the world.[1][2][3] Sex between men is punishable with up to ten years' jail.[4]

Certain Jamaican musicians whose music features hostility to homosexuals (such as in a T.O.K. song Chi Chi Man that threatens to "burn fire" on gays and those in their company),[2] have used the term batty boy to disparage LGBT people in their lyrics; one notorious song, Boom Bye Bye, written by dancehall musician Buju Banton, advocates violence against "batty boys", including shooting them in the head and setting them on fire:

Boom bye bye, in a batty bwoy head,
Rude boy nah promote no nasty man, dem hafi dead.[5]

Post-World War II Jamaican immigrants brought the term batty boy to the United Kingdom, with usage rising partly as a result of British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, and his portrayal of the character Ali G.[6] The term is also used in North America.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ TIME: The Most Homophobic Place on Earth? By Tim Padgett. Wednesday, April 12, 2006.
  2. ^ a b A glimpse inside the lifestyle of a male prostitute Janice Johnson, Jamaica Observer, December 25, 2006.
  3. ^ Homophobia in Jamaica[dead link] Diane Abbott, Jamaica Observer, August 2, 2009.
  4. ^ Crimes against gays are mounting in Jamaica and across the Caribbean By Tim Padgett. Wednesday, April 12, 2006.
  5. ^ "Boom Bye Bye - song lyrics ♪". Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  6. ^ HBO: Ali G - Glossary