Beenie Man’s Respect for Gays and Lesbians
The controversy of internationally recognized Reggae artist, Beenie Man’s anti-gay songs, which he penned twenty years ago, continues to follow him everywhere he is scheduled to perform. Today, he has developed a newfound respect for gays and lesbians. A few days ago, at a concert in the Rototam Sunsplash (www.rototomsunsplash.com) in Spain, expressed to concert-goers in a video message:
“I respect each and every human being, regardless of which race or creed, regardless of which religious belief and regardless of which sexual preference you have, including gay and lesbian people.”
In recent years, Beenie has been the subject of several protests from gay communities on an international scale. Between the years 2004 to 2010, several demonstrations all over the world, prevented him from performing and led him to cancel his concerts. Today, Beenie understands the severity behind the degrading lyrics from his past songs. He reflected on the poor decisions he has made as a young artist publicly at his most recent performance. He said to his audience:
“Do not fight against me for some of the songs I sung 20 years ago. There is no one in this world who is the same person they were 20 years ago, I know I’m not. I was a kid when I came from Waterhouse in one community. I never knew what the world was like and what the world was all about. Now, I know that there are people in the world that live differently from the way I do. I know I still have to respect and love human beings.”
In 2007, Beenie’s new attitudes lead him to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act with fellow contemporaries. This agreement is a promise that all signees cease performances of anti-gay material. In signing this agreement, Beenie committed himself to not sign or make any public statements that would encourage prejudice, hatred or violence against gays or lesbians in Jamaica or any other country in the world.