Batty boy

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In Jamaican English and creole, batty boy (also batty bwoy, batty man, and chi chi bwoy/man) is a pejorative term often used to refer to a gay or effeminate man, however, it may more accurately be defined culturally as a man who has (by some action or belief) rejected societal norms of machismo and how the sexes (gender) inter-relate. The term batiman (or battyman) is used in Belizean Creole.[1][2] From Caribbean slang batty bottom, buttocks. Slang: Instead of saying: "He's a Gay boy", it's "He's a Batty boy".

In 2006, Time Magazine claimed that Jamaica was the worst place in the Americas for LGBT people and among the most homophobic places in the world.[3][4][5] Sex between men is punishable with up to 10 years in jail.[3]

Certain forms of Jamaican music feature hostility toward homosexuals using terms such as 'batty boy' to disparage LGBT people. One example of this is through a T.O.K. song "Chi Chi Man", which contains violent lyrics against gay men and claims that "they have to die".[6] Another 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.

Post-World War II Jamaican immigrants brought the term 'batty boy' to the United Kingdom. Contemporary usage has been boosted partly by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen through his portrayal of the character Ali G.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scott, Julia (May 22, 2015). "The Lonely Fight Against Belize's Antigay Laws". The New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2016. 
  2. ^ Cayetano, Isani (April 9, 2014). "Transgender woman is stoned and beaten by an angry mob". News 5. Belize. Retrieved October 24, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Tim Padgett (April 12, 2006). "The Most Homophobic Place on Earth?". Time. Retrieved December 1, 2009. 
  4. ^ Janice Johnson (December 25, 2006). "A glimpse inside the lifestyle of a male prostitute". Jamaica Observer. Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved December 1, 2009. 
  5. ^ Diane Abbott (August 2, 2009). "Homophobia in Jamaica". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved December 1, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Jamaica's Anti-Gay 'Murder Music' Carries Violent Message". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 2017-06-29.