Jamaican comedian Gabre Nelson recently proposed to his male companion at a live show in New York. The comedian, who placed second in the Comedy Buss competition in 2007, told THE STAR that he reserves the right to propose to a male if he so desires.
"It's freedom of speech in this country, so I can pop the question wherever and whenever I feel like. I had fans in the audience, so I had a level of support. However, after I left the venue, I was told that there was an uproar by some persons. When they first heard about the proposal, some people started to make noise, then when they saw that it was a male everybody became silent. I don't know if they were shocked," he said.
The comedian further stated that he went ahead with his decision to propose to his companion on stage, after a fellow comedian decided to sing Buju Banton's Boom Bye Bye during his set.
"I came second in Comedy Buss, so number two is certainly my number. They were describing me as a gay man on the show, then a comedian went up there and sang Boom Bye Bye. So I went up there, performed the same song, and then I proposed to my male lover, whom I have been with for eight years.
I went on my knees and he said, 'Yes'," Nelson proudly said.
The comedian, who now resides in the US, says he has no interest in Jamaica.
He also said Jamaicans are backward as it relates to their acceptance of the homosexual community.
"I don't need to come to Jamaica. Maybe for a three-day visit, but nothing much. I am still very much a comedian, but I am mostly into business, and I have my own fanbase on Facebook and Instagram. Your sexuality does not have anything to do with your personality, and I don't see the need to hide that I am gay. I knew I was gay from age six, but I never got involved with a man until I was 25," said the father of three biological children.
However, Comedy Buss winner Rohan Gunter, who was also booked for the show, said Nelson's proposal stunt showed poor judgement.
"He wasn't booked for the show, he was just invited. It seems he planned the entire thing because he even had people with cards supporting the proposal. I think it was inappropriate because it was a family event. We also had a hard-core Jamaican audience in the venue, so his action could have caused a violent outbreak. Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but at the same time, you have to be careful of your actions because some people were genuinely upset and left the show, while others threw things at him onstage," Gunter said.