Media coverage of the Coroner’s Court proceedings has been a bit questionable, and has included publication of a private journal entry that Maloney was supposed to have written. But perhaps the most ridiculous part of the inquest surfaced recently in this Nation newspaper article, and focuses on the testimony of a gay man who claimed to be in a relationship with someone who may or may not have also been in a relationship with the deceased. You probably need to read that again very slowly. And while you’re at it, take a look at this:
Shon Boyce, who admitted to being a homosexual from his childhood days said he was introduced to Jason Collymore, a former witness at the inquest, in 2003.I love how they mention that Mr. Boyce “admitted to being a homosexual”, as if this were on par with, say, admitting to being the Unabomber. And notice the use of what, in Barbados, is scandalous language like "outside man" and "had a Rastaman". Now this is not a direct quote, so presumably this particular testimony by the witness could have been conveyed in a less prejudicial way. The inquest goes on to discuss in detail the supposed intimate relationship of these three men, and throughout, I am trying to figure out what in the name of all that is holy any of this has to do with whether there was foul play involved. Or is it that, in their experience, gay men often jump to their deaths?
He was introduced to Collymore, he said, and they subsequently got involved in a same-sex relationship where he was the outside man, since Collymore, who works at the Cement Plant, told him that he had a Rastaman and he, Boyce, should never come to the house when the man was there.
He said Collymore lived at White Hall Main Road in an apartment, and he did not know the Rastaman's name as it was never told to him, but he used to pass a man on the stairway going down smiling as he would be going up. Boyce said he only recognised that the man was Maloney when he saw the advertisement in the paper and decided to come forward and give testimony after reading Collymore's evidence in the newspaper that he was not gay.
Then “Constable Wendell Walkes…went into some personal history, on the questioning of Coroner Faith Marshall-Harris, about his own Rasta brother's suicide.” I get the trend here: Rastafari people are clearly prone to suicide, so if you’re gay and Rasta, well, surely that’s enough to drive anybody off a cliff.
I don’t know what happened on that cliff in Cove Bay last year, but I’m not sure what the inquest is trying to establish by focusing on Maloney’s religion and raising conjectures about his sexuality. Perhaps they’re implying that in a homophobic society like Barbados, a secretly gay man might feel tortured enough to end his life. But all they and the media who give them voice are succeeding in doing, which might also be their goal, is encouraging those who see gay people as unimportant and dispensable to carry on in such thinking.