I will post a reply here I posted in a comment on the advocate:
Homophobia and internalized homophobia starts in the home at a young age. A lot of black families will be aware of their childs homosexuality but will take the silent approach. The "just don't bring it up or bring it in my face approach". Usually, because of the stigma, fear of being ostracized, shamed, many develop the behavior of keeping their sexuality a secret. Families (fathers and mothers set the ground rules from early). They make homophobic comments or threats (if any of my boys come to me about being a homo, I would slit their throat or kick their ass to the curb). That creates a fear, you end up acting the part, internalizing homophobia leading to the down-low behavior that is so pervasive in our culture and community.
A lot of the times, its not even about the church, its about the ideal of what it means to be a man in the black community. Most times, you are being raised by a single mother because the father is not there or never was from the beginning. You don't want to perpetuate the myth of momma's boy being a sissy, soft, emotional and eventually being gay. There are expectations of a young man in the black community, even if he does not get a full education; being involved in the church, finding a woman, getting a job, getting married, starting a family, thats the perfect ideal and sigh of relief for many black families. Thats why even here in Jamaica (in the Caribbean) so many young men are thought, if you don't have a youth (child) by a certain age, you are homo.
Thats why teenage pregnancy is not even seen as a big deal out here, because at least he's not a homo (battyman/faggot) or she is not a lesbian. The difference I see though is in most cases the community and the church will rally around the pregnant girl. Peer pressure forces a lot of young men to make this rite of passage just to camouflage their sexuality. It goes right back to the church. The church is always the root cause of this.
The church and government in Jamaica are especially big on homophobia. Jamaica’s foundation is built upon the church; it plays a critical role in every facet of society. The fact that a church exist for every square mile in the country speaks volumes about its control of how society thinks. At the same time, the church turns a blind eye to activities that are really having a negative impact on society such as crime, standard of living, corruption, adulterers in heterosexual relationships and the hypocrisy in church where pastors are involved in relationships with members or have women outside their marriages and even fathering children. As long as you had something to say against Gay people, you were alright in their book. I remember a comment by a prominent bishop who said, it was better for his son to be a thief than to be homosexual.
Part of bigger misunderstanding within the black community of what it means to be gay is part of the problem. It is so foreign to many simply because so many reduce it to physical attributes surrounding sex. The thought of my son playing the female role in a relationship is so heartbreaking for many fathers and even mothers, brothers and sisters. Again, this going back to ideal of a man, the machismo behavior. Its also racism issue, homosexuality even in the African American and Afro Caribbean communities is still seen as a rich white man behavior.