Mother, friend of man found dead on Lady Chancellor: He never interfered with anyone

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Joggers on Lady Chancellor Hill. – Photo by Sureash Cholai

The mother and a friend of Marvin Joseph, who was found dead Lady Chancellor Hill dressed in women’s clothing, both say the 21-year-old never troubled anyone.

Joseph’s body was found around 4 am yesterday in the grass at the side of the road.

While the police did not confirm the details, Newsday reached out to Joseph’s mother, Bella Alleyne, who confirmed his identity.

Alleyne said the last time she saw Joseph was around 9 pm on Saturday when they had a short conversation before she went to sleep.

She said Joseph was a jovial person.

“He was always happy. He liked music and was always singing and dancing.

“He was a caring and loving person, loved by everyone in the community. He was always liming with friends.”

Alleyne also addressed the comments on social media about Joseph, who she said, despite being known as “Goldie” and “Marva”, identified as a man.

She said while the comments about his lifestyle and his death are hurtful, she won’t let them bother her.

“I was browsing through some (comments) but I didn’t read many of them. That is just people’s opinion so I don’t let it bother me. People will always be people and they will always talk. Some will be for and some will be against, so I don’t really take them on.”

Alleyne admitted that she and Joseph clashed over his lifestyle but said it had become a case of “quiet acceptance.”

“Many times, we had many disagreements because of his lifestyle.

“When we had time we used to talk but this is my son, and at the end of the day, it’s his life. I want the best for him but…I could only talk to him.”

She said she refuses to judge her only son based on his lifestyle.

“Those without sin cast the first stone. Who am I to judge Marvin? He chose his way of life, and he once told me that he did it his way.”

A woman, who told Newsday she had been friends with Joseph for 11 years, said his death has hit her hard.

“His death hurt us because he did not deserve to die like that, regardless of his lifestyle. Everyone has their own lifestyle but he also had friends, family, a sister and a mother. That wasn’t the way for him to go. He will be missed.”

She said they last spoke was last week.

“He had a passion for hair. He always told me that he wanted to go to Amsterdam to live so he could do his thing.”

The friend said Joseph was well-loved by everyone and never sought trouble.

“Everybody loved him, children and adults. He was a real good boy… a real good soul.”

“He used to dress like that in public sometimes. Other times, he would dress like that at home but everybody knew him. When he used to go out with his friends, he was never out of bounds with anybody.”

She said people in Joseph’s community in Caledonia, Morvant accepted his lifestyle.

“They never beat him or did anything to him. He used to come in freely and go out freely. He never interfered with anyone or go out of bounds with them.”

She criticised people who made hurtful comments about Joseph on social media after news of his death.

“The comments made us angry and upset. People have the right to say what they want but those who don’t know him and feel they could talk and judge him, they need to know him first. Remember, he is somebody’s son, somebody’s brother.”

“Humans will be humans but be mindful that he has a family and death hits everybody’s doorstep. Death is not just for Marvin,” she warned.

Joseph’s friend said she hoped that justice would be delivered.

“I hope that the police get his killer because they kill somebody’s son, somebody’s brother. I hope his family can get justice.”

Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO) extended condolences to Joseph’s family, friends, and loved ones.

In a press release, CAISO noted what it described as “violent language” towards members of the LGBTQI+ community on social media.

The organisation said the emphasis on the victim’s clothes and behaviour “shifts the focus away from the violence that has been perpetrated and essentially blames the victim.”

It reminded the public that clothing is a form of expression adding, “How people express themselves through clothing is intimate to them as individuals and should not be subjected to public opinion.”

CAISO called on the police to investigate Joseph’s death to the fullest extent.

It said, “The fact remains that an act of violence was committed which led to the loss of someone’s life. On this alone, the police have a responsibility to perform their duties with due diligence.

“We have one too many cases of this nature that are left unsolved with families and loved ones left without closure.”

Joseph’s autopsy is scheduled for later this week.