Say it with me, Demaro, not Demarco.
Skim-reading got the best of several Twitter users when a post announcing Demaro as dancehall’s first openly gay artiste, was misread for Demarco, a lyrically-professed lover of females only.
“Swear a Demarco dis say until I saw the photo.”— Twitter user
The chest-clutching moment came courtesy of Billboard magazine who interviewed Westmoreland native Demaro, a dancehall artiste whose latest single and video, Mi Readi, makes for a cute ‘coming out’ anthem with its drag queen-inspired visuals and word-slurring lyrics.
But before people could even decide if the track was a bop, Demarco’s name entered the chat.
“Ah swear ah Demarco mi see pan di first glance,” said ZJ Sparks.
Londie Murray responded: “Sparks, me just let out a ‘weh di bbc mi just read’ cause me swear seh a Demarco!”
Mario Don added: “Swear a Demarco dis say until I saw the photo. I should read more slowly.”
So, who is Demaro anyway?
According to the Billboard article, the 34-year-old has been actively pursuing a music career despite the challenges of being an open homosexual in a homophobic genre and country. He said that he remained closeted in his early years out of fear and migrated to the United States at 22 after he was stabbed in the leg by a random person.
“In Jamaica, you just cannot be a gay man down there at all, that’s a no-no,” he said. “Even now, you have to be on the DL. We still had our way of getting around, but you had to be discreet in the streets…
“I just knew that I wanted more, and Jamaica never had much to offer me,” Demaro continues. “I never had much help in Jamaica navigating myself and knowing that I had these feelings. There was no one there that I could talk to about what I was feeling.”
“In Jamaica, you just cannot be a gay man down there at all, that’s a no-no.”— Demaro
Relocating also brought its fair share of troubles, as the singer found himself homeless and depressed.
Bridge the divide
Today, Demaro hopes to bridge the divide between homophobic culture and the LGBT community, and he hopes people will give his music a listening ear.
“I want younger gay men, especially in Jamaica, to keep on fighting,” Demaro said. “Don’t give up. You’re beautiful and going to be OK. Don’t give up on yourself. We’ve all gone through bad times, but young men must keep pushing.”
His debut EP, Good Vibes Only, is scheduled for release this year around Pride Month (June).