Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

The Safe House Homeless LGBTQ Project 2009 a detailed look & more

In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ youth in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Study shows Disparity in Jamaican LBT media coverage vs MSM


I just got a chance to read the document created by a new women’s empowerment group for same gender loving persons and the first question that came to mind is where are previous entities/bodies such as lesbians in action (LIA), AJAWO (Jamaica Women’s Wheel), Couture Elements, CE(party element discontinued),

 Womenforwomen (a derivative of LIA), Underlined Response(sister to CE) and other same gender women centric outfits that simply come and die or go dormant after a short run with continuity towards visibility and or change. Could someone also tell me where is PRIDE in Action?

Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ with which I will declare interest as its volunteer Outreach Assistant has been quietly working on the ground but with very little help from the more established outfits, this disjointed advocacy overall has been our major downfall in addressing several issues including homelessness and the very overlooking of SGL matters. I hope Women’s Empowerment for Change (WE-Change) is not another limited time wonder as others before and simply go away when the activists get bored or fizzles. Frankly speaking as a gay man with some over twenty years experience in advocacy and working or partnering with women’s groups I am tired of short term advocacy and indeed oversight by the very main LGBTQ advocacy itself namely JFLAG.

Some examples via my previous rants and podcasts:


For too long the focus has been on MSM matters, homo-negativity and homophobia with law reform as the major goal as welfare and cohesive community development is secondary in the groundswell so urgently needed. We have seen serious issues hitting the L & B in the LGBTQ population grouping and virtual silence from JFLAG and others; the oversight has to be solved internally first before other needed investigations can occur, be that as it may let us review what was found by WE-Change eh. It is understandable that SGL women do not go through the kinds of incidents and visible outcomes as their MSM counterparts but recent incidents in the last three years; just by observation suggests butch identified women in particular are having a rough ride especially as LGBTadvocacy goes mainstream with a face to boot and not as previous years when it was faceless.

Anyway the group describes itself excerpted below:

Women’s Empowerment for Change (WE-Change) is a rights-based, women-led, community-based advocacy group committed to increasing the participation of lesbians, bisexual and transgender [LBT] women in social justice advocacy in Jamaica and the Caribbean. WE-Change was founded by twenty LBT women out of a need to strengthen the women’s movement within the LGBT community given LGBT advocacy spaces in Jamaica have been largely controlled by, and focused on men, which has inadvertently marginalised and invisiblised women. In May 2015, the organisation was officially launched in Kingston, Jamaica.

Our Vision

WE-Change envisions a society where the rights of every person are recognised, respected, and protected, and where duty bearers and caregivers commit to creating an enabling environment for every person to contribute to the sustainable development of Jamaica.

Our Mission

WE-Change is committed to

 increasing the participation of LBT women in local and regional social justice advocacy;

§ creating alternative and safe spaces for LBT women;

§ reducing homophobia and transphobia among duty bearers and caregivers.

WE believe that empowered women transform communities, and are guided by one of the tenets of the 1995 Beijing Declaration, that:

‘Women’s participation in all spheres of society, including participation in the decision-making process, and access to power, are fundamental for the achievement of equality, development, and peace.’

Executive Members:

§ Associate Director - Latoya Nugent, MSc., PGDip, BA.

§ Research & Advocacy Officer - Paige Andrew, BA.

§ Community Mobilisation & Outreach Officer - Nicolette Bryan, BSc.

§ Monitoring & Evaluation Officer - Rochelle McFee, MSc., BSc.


This research investigates whether a disparity exists between media coverage of issues related to gay men and those related to lesbians, bisexual and transgender (LBT) women. Over a four-month period between May 2015 and August 2015 Women’s Empowerment for Change (WE-Change) undertook a media content analysis of the two most trusted and widely read electronic versions of print media in Jamaica. It was found that a considerably wide disparity exists between media coverage of LBT women and gay men. Matters specifically concerning LBT women were rarely discussed over the period, while those related specifically to gay men populated the media in significantly more numbers. WE believe that this research and its findings can be useful for organisations that work with, and for LBT women, and for raising awareness about the unique challenges faced by this invisiblised and vulnerabilised community. More information in traditional and new media can assist with the education of Jamaicans on issues pertaining to LBT women and this has the potential to change the attitudes of many Jamaicans towards the LBT community and the attitudes members of the community have toward self.


The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement in the Caribbean has always been dominated by gay men. Unfortunately, the issues which are brought to the forefront by activists and covered by traditional and new media tend to make lesbians, bisexual and transgender (LBT) women invisible. Issues such as sexual violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights and intimate partner violence (IPV) in LBT relationships are rarely discussed. This lack of information on LBT issues has an impact on both the attitude many have towards LBT women and the attitude LBT women have toward self.

The formation of Caribbean women-led groups for LBT women such as WOMANTRA (Trinidad), United and Strong (St. Lucia), Women’s Way Foundation (Suriname) and Quality of Citizenship (Jamaica) have ensured that issues relating to LBT women have become part of the discourse in the region, and have made information about issues affecting LBT women more easily accessible. However, it is important to note that the LGBT movement is still heavily focused on issues concerning gay men and by doing so, inadvertently silences LBT women. Given the role of media in society, it is plausible that inadequate coverage of LBT women’s issues in media may correlate with the invisibility of LBT women’s issues in the LGBT community and wider society.

Many persons rely on media as the primary source of information in any country, therefore, if the LBT community is rarely topical, it will have an impact on the knowledge level of the general population about the community, and even the knowledge level the community has of self. This is in keeping with the Agenda Setting Theory that

The power of the news media to set a nation’s agenda, to focus public attention on a few key public issues is an immense and well-documented influence. Not only do people acquire factual information about public affairs from the news media, readers and viewers also learn how much importance to attach to a topic on the basis of the emphasis placed on it in the news (McCombs& Shaw, 1972).

We share the view of Agenda Setting theorists that media entities influence what we think about and how we think about it; this, we believe is also true about the media’s role in how Caribbean people perceive the LGBT community. If media do in fact pay more attention to issues relating to gay men when compared to those that affect LBT women, this will have an impact on the discourse surrounding LBT

This study seeks to investigate the extent of media coverage for LBT women’s issues and whether a disparity in fact exists between the media’s coverage of gay men and LBT women. The study also delves into how the media present different groups, the general nature and tone of the articles written, and the stories covered. Over the four-month period May to August 2015 we surveyed the Jamaican electronic version of the print media, and investigated media coverage of issues relating to Jamaican LBT women and gay men. We believe this study can potentially give organisations that work predominantly with, and for LBT women, scientific evidence to support anecdotal claims that there is a lack of adequate coverage for LBT women’s issues in Jamaican media, and where LGBT issues are covered they more often than not focus on gay men. The study will quantify the disparity in coverage of gay men and LBT women, given the media entities were monitored on a daily basis over the four-month period. It is expected that these findings will encourage organisations to increase their media output about issues that (uniquely) affect LBT women, which are largely ignored or addressed in traditional media spaces, and find innovative and effective ways of sharing information about the LBT women’s community.


From May 1, 2015 to August 31, 2015 the electronic versions of the Jamaica Observer and Jamaica Gleaner were monitored daily for articles specifically about LBT women, gay men and issues relating collectively to the LGBT community. These two (online) newspapers were chosen because of the wide reach they have individually and collectively across the island, within the Caribbean region, and among the Jamaican Diaspora. Both the Observer and Gleaner have wide readership. In fact, the Gleaner’s website is the most visited local newspaper website in Jamaica (The Gleaner Company Annual Report, 2010) and the Observer enjoys a high readership of its print newspaper, and is regarded by 43% of the population as not only the primary source of news, but the most credible source (Readership Survey, 2008).

A total of 103 articles were monitored and analysed over the four-month period for their content and tone. Notice was also made of the section of the paper which the majority of the articles were found, as well as the nature of the coverage - whether it dealt with the legislative framework, sociocultural, or psychosocial issues. Articles that spoke about general issues concerning the entire LGBT community such as same-sex marriage, homophobia and human rights were labelled as ‘articles where entire community is mentioned’. Articles that focussed on issues concerning LBT women such as rights for transgender women, or spoke directly about LBT women, were labelled as ‘articles where LBT issues are mentioned’; articles that focussed on issues concerning gay men or spoke directly about gay men such as the rights of gay men or the rate of HIV and AIDS among gay and bisexual men were labelled as ‘articles where gay men’s issues are mentioned’.

In cases where articles did not fall neatly into the thematic frames established, the researcher placed them under the theme that would have some relationship with those variables. Such articles were explored in the discussion of findings as they amplify the ways in which overgeneralizations invisiblised and silenced other issues and voices, particularly the voices and issues of LBT women.

Read/download the rest HERE

Now that the recognition of invisibility has been formalised yet again let us see where this leads to real representation of such matters pertinent to our sisters. A case of a chopping incident as carried in the Jamaica Observer and here and the subsequent follow-up was not mentioned especially after the revelation of other side of the equation leading to the incident. It was also posted on this blog, go HERE.

Peace and tolerance


related/previous entries:
Lesbian Longs For More Respect via Letter 2014

Continued oversight or deliberate overlooking of Jamaican SGL Women in HIV Prevention?

A most uneasy discussion on Transgenderism in Jamaica......stigmatizing terms repeatedly used

Monday, October 5, 2015

Leighton Levy on Gays are not our problem .... JCHS told to check the mirror


Leighton Levy's sojourn from anti gay to reasonably tolerant and reflective is to be commended and I have been keeping my eye on his articles since three or so years now, here comes one more though some months behind I think it is worth revisiting as to the question of selectivity by antigay voices and groups.

Once again, I am being left to wonder if some of these so-called advocacy groups ever stop to take stock of the hypocrisy they practise each and every day in this country.

I direct my ire at the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society that issued a release this week stating their objection to the visit of Randy Berry, the US Special Envoy for the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) people, to Jamaica.

According to media reports, Berry is to visit the island from May 21- 23. USAID senior LGBT coordinator Todd Larson is also on the island and leaves this weekend.

According to the coalition, "Berry and Larson are here to get the Jamaican Government and people to accept that all sexual activities are to be considered as normal and good. This is the US Foreign Policy: Exporting Buggery and Sexual Confusion."

The kicker for me is when they say the visit represents a new form of imperialism to accept a lifestyle, which is "illogical and demonstrably harmful to our society and particularly to our children.

Jamaica's children are already suffering from the effects of poor family life. We do not need to add the further harms of experimenting with same-sex parenting."

Now, before I go on, let me say that I know that a large majority of Jamaicans agree with the coalition's stance, but that is not what annoys the hell out of me. Note the last thing they said:"Jamaica's children are already suffering from the effects of poor family life." If they believe that to be true, why are we only now hearing about this, and only in the context of homosexual influence?

Why are we not hearing about this in regards to the thousands of paedophiles among us, raping, impregnating and murdering our young girls? Those three pregnant 12-year-old school girls who were impregnated and murdered - was it gay people who did that to them? Those kids that were shot execution style in Clarendon recently - was that a part of the gay agenda?

What are we really saying?

A healthy society allows the raping and killing of our little girls?

Are we saying that a healthy society is one in which we have more than a thousand murders a year for more than 20 years now? Are we saying that rampant corruption within the halls of Government is a hallmark of a healthy society? Is the coalition saying that in a healthy society, people can't find decent jobs that will allow them to take care of their families?

If this is so then ostensibly, according to the coalition, the only way our society becomes unhealthy is when same-sex couples are allowed to have sexual congress within the privacy of their own homes.

crime and corruption

Great! Just great! I guess we are an extremely healthy society then, because we have a healthy dose of unemployment and underemployment, healthy doses of crime and corruption, and extremely healthy doses of child abuse and human trafficking.

That is the only reason I can come up with why we haven't been hearing from

them all this time, while all these things have been happening in our society.

Now I understand why they have been silent on all these issues. All it took was for Mr Berry and Mr Larson to visit and, all of a sudden, our 'healthy' society is threatened.

This is the hypocrisy that sickens me. All this ridiculous chatter espousing hate against people just because they're different while deliberately ignoring the muck right underneath our noses. All of this to me is just another healthy dose of BS.

Here is a little secret I would like to share with the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society: Homosexuals are not our problem. You want to know what our real problem is? Take a look in the mirror.

Previous Levy rantings:

What goes on in the minds of the overly religious? 2013

Lyrics, not gays, tearing down reggae or dancehall 2015

Silent madness on the rise (Star feature) 2011

Al Jazeera's documentary on children in Jamaica

Peace and tolerance


Monday, September 28, 2015

Upcoming FTM Fitness World Conference 2015


Monica Roberts

My trans brothers have been asking me why I haven't been covering the news from their half of the community lately, and they have a point. I do need to do a better job of it since I have the only continuous publishing blog dealing with trans issues from an African-American trans perspective.

And covering trans issues from an African-American perspective means I not only need to cover the stuff that happens on the trans feminine end, it also means I need to cover the issues and developments on the trans masculine end, too.

But you trans brothers also need to step up and let Monica know what's happening, and what you think I need to be talking about that you think needs to be brought to our attention for a wider discussion across Trans World.

Commentary over, now let's segue to what this post is about.

This weekend in the ATL the FTM Fitness World Conference will be taking place October 1-3 at the Ramada Plaza -Downtown Atlanta (Capitol Park) with the 2015 theme of The Warrior Within You.

The event was founded by Neo Sandja with the goal of bringing the trans community and trans masculine men together who want more out of life through workshops, activities, exhibits, partnerships, networking and entertainment.

It also made a little history in the process. In 2014 The FTM Fitness Conference hosted the first ever bodybuilding competition for men of trans experience.

The FTM Fitness World Conference has two goals, The first one is to embrace diversity by focusing on what unites us instead of what separates us and bridging the gap between us based on age, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, religious affiliation and more.

The second on is to empower our community. It seeks to do so by inspiring attendees to push for excellence while rejecting mediocrity. It wishes to inspire attendees to be the change they wish to see in their local communities and realize they possess the tools to succeed in every area of their lives while focusing on what united the trans community.

The emcee of this year's event will be my lovely Houston homegirl Diamond Stylz, and keynote speakers will not only include FTM Fitness World Con founder Neo Sandja, but also Dr. Kortney Ziegler, Ryan Salinas, Tracee McDaniel, and Buck Angel,

And yes, the 2nd annual FTM Fitness World Bodybuilding Competition will be a part of this year's event.

If you wish to learn more about #FTMFitCon15 you can go to for further information.

Revenge Porn Now Recognised As Abuse, By Blogger


Revenge porn is sexually explicit media that is distributed without the consent of the individual(s) involved. In the wake of civil lawsuits, legislation has been passed in various countries and jurisdictions to criminalize this practice as well as to define it.

The term "revenge porn" is generally used to indicate content uploaded by intimate partners with the intention of humiliating the partner depicted (hence "revenge" when uploaded by an ex-partner). The term is also often misused to describe non 'revenge' scenarios, including nonconsensual pornography distributed by hackers or by individuals seeking profit or notoriety. The images are usually accompanied by sufficient information to identify the pictured individual, typically their name and location, and can include links to social media profiles, home addresses and workplaces.

Victims' lives can be ruined as a result, the victims exposed to cyber-stalking and physical attack as well as facing difficulties in their workplace should their images become known as a result of routine checks by employers. Some have lost their jobs, while others have been unable to find work at all. Copyright law cannot help if the person who publishes the image also made it.

Jurisdictions which have passed laws against revenge porn include Israel, Germany, the United Kingdom, and twenty-three states within the United States

Recently, Google publicised advice about a new type of abuse that may be reportable, when present in a Blogger blog.

Our philosophy has always been that Search should reflect the whole web. But revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims—predominantly women. So going forward, we’ll honor requests from people to remove nude or sexually explicit images shared without their consent from Google Search results. This is a narrow and limited policy, similar to how we treat removal requests for other highly sensitive personal information, such as bank account numbers and signatures, that may surface in our search results.Supposedly, "revenge porn" mitigation is limited to removal from Google Search. In one forum discussion, however, the new classification appears to have successfully resulted in an offensive blog being removed from Blogger.

It appears that "revenge porn" is now part of the "Remove information from Google" reporting process.

You may use the "Remove information ..." form, to report "revenge porn".
If you are offended by a Blogger blog - and if the contents of the blog reflect the description
nude or sexually explicit images shared without their consent.

You may use the "Remove information from Google" form, to cite malicious blog content.

Please be aware that these reports will be evaluated carefully.
Please consider reality, however. Since this is a new abuse category, any reports most likely will be evaluated very carefully by the staff who process the complaints.

Don't try to stretch the definition, by what you "believe", or what might be considered the case, in extreme circumstances. Submit a complaint, only when the complaint fits the definition of the new abuse category.

Do the right thing, and report "revenge porn" only when it is righteous.

Unlike bogus DMCA complaints, I don't see any suggestion of any penalties for malicious misuse of the form. However, if you intentionally misuse this new abuse category, consider that your doing so may make one of the legal staff spend time evaluating your complaint, while another, genuinely worthy complaint may wait, unattended.

Do the right thing - and only cite the new category when it is, honestly, necessary.

Peace & tolerance


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Trans Models Represent During NYFW 2015


by Monica Roberts

"As a transgender person of color, as an immigrant who grew up poor in a tiny little alley in the Philippines, and here I am in New York City doing the biggest fashion show... for a young trans person to see that, it changes that person's life.. To finally see that it's possible for a young trans person to pursue his or her dream to be the person whoever that you want to be."
--Geena Rocero

Even if that dream is to strut a catwalk during New York Fashion Week

We had a few trans models representing our community during the recently concluded New York Fashion Week, and I couldn't be prouder of all of them that did so and worked hard during that September 12-17 period. And even better, I'm proud to call some of those amazing people my friends.

It was cool to see Isis King, Geena Rocero, Ines-Loan Rau, Arisce Wanzer and others strutting catwalks in the various shows during NYFW while others were in the audience cheering them on.

They are heirs to an incredible legacy of trans women from around the world who have been walking fashion runways since April Ashley did so in the early 60's.
And with Apple Model Management opening up and specifically being focused on trans models, it is a major step forward in ensuring that trans models aren't just the latest fashion trend or flavor of the season, but an accepted part of the fashion world.

That long stylish line of trans models continues into the 21st century, and some have become advocates and leaders in our community when they aren't doing their day job.

By doing so, they are also doing their part to expand the horizons, serving as possibility models, and slaying stereotypes in addition to continuing the long and proud legacy of trans models.

Activists target anti-LGBT bias in Caribbean


Attorneys and activists met this week in Grenada to discuss strategy for litigation and advocacy seeking an end to anti-LGBT discrimination in countries in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). This is a press release from United and Strong Inc., Saint Lucia, and GrenCHAP,, describing the work:

Is litigation around the criminalisation and lack of recognition of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, currently possible in the countries of the eastern Caribbean?

This was the main question under interrogation as lawyers joined activists representing the rights of LGBT people from September 21–23, 2015, in Grenada.

Veronica Cenac (Photo courtesy of LinkedIn)

Addressing the very real stigma and discrimination faced by LGBT citizens is at the heart of the OECS Litigation and Advocacy Strategy Meeting, co-organised by United and Strong Inc., Saint Lucia, and GrenCHAP, Grenada, with direction from Saint Lucian Attorney-at-Law Veronica Cenac.

Issues facing trans people were among the subjects of the Sept. 21-23 meeting of LGBTI rights activists and attorneys

“We must address the human rights of LGBT citizens in the OECS and we are on a path to full recognition of these human rights through litigation and advocacy,” says Janice Stephen, Vice-President of the Board of United and Strong. She says of the process, “It was a positive experience. The first two days were informative for me as an activist as it highlighted some of the contradictions in the constitution, and opportunities and barriers in the law. But it was not only about the law over these few days it’s clear that the LGBT community has individuals that can stand up for us.”

Participants have experience working in or with human rights-based organisations in countries that include Dominica, Antigua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and Barbados, They have, through their work, direct knowledge of the deleterious effects of criminalisation on adult same-sex relationships and gender non-conforming people, and are well-placed to identify challenges and map the way forward. Also among the thirty-three participants were persons sharing experiences of litigation in Jamaica and Belize. Representatives of CVC[Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition], Heartland Alliance, Arcus Foundation, Human Dignity Trust, Open Society Foundation and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network brought a wealth of knowledge on, and resources for, litigation and advocacy within the Caribbean.

Damarlie Antoine, GrenCHAP’s Director of Research, states:

Damarlie Antoine (Photo courtesy of

“There’s no argument, not religious nor legal, that can justify the continuous discrimination and de-humanisation of OECS citizens including Grenadians based on gender identity or sexual orientation. It is due time for our governments to take a stand against the prejudice and discrimination meted out to our citizens based on gender and sexual orientation.

“Quiet diplomacy hasn’t worked and democracy has arguably regressed in the Caribbean, so now human rights have to be demanded through legal challenges.”

The discussions were anchored by Cenac, with over 17 years’ experience in related legal work and a long history of contribution to the movement. She said the discussions were “the beginning of a move among LGBT activists in the OECS and Barbados to demand the extension of basic human rights protections to them. There is no rational basis for the exclusion of citizens under Constitutions that seek to protect all citizens. Documented violence and abuse against LGBT persons or any other minority is unjustifiable in democratic societies founded on the rule of law and principles of human dignity.”

Participants take a break from planning LGBTI rights strategy to enjoy the scenery at the Flamboyant Hotel in Grenada.

The three-day meeting is expected to be the beginning of a long process that includes extensive research and development, ultimately leading to legal protections from discrimination against same-gender loving and gender non-conforming citizens of the Eastern Caribbean and recognition of the human rights of all.

Bi Visibility Day 2015: Pam Hall


Listed as one of the best exports from Jamaica and bisexual I decided to feature singer, writer, producer and chanteuse the legendary Pam Hall. Her achievements reads lengthy and she is still active preferably behind the scenes in music and such, her vocal can be heard providing support for artists established and upcoming.


Hall recorded as a solo artist from the mid-1970s as well as providing backing vocals for several other artists including Jimmy Cliff, Judy Mowatt, Beres Hammond, Dennis Brown, and Peter Tosh, sometimes along with her sister Audrey. Among her earliest releases were "Creation", a duet with Orville Wood as Pam & Woody, and "You Should Never Do That", a duet with Tinga Stewart.

Her 1986 single "Dear Boopsie" topped the reggae charts and reached number 54 on the UK Singles Chart.Her first album, Perfidia, was released in 1987.

She had further hits on the reggae charts in the 1990s with her version of "I Will Always Love You", "Young Hearts Run Free", and "You Are Not Alone". She continued to be in demand for backing vocals, working with Toots Hibbert, and Ziggy Marley in the 1990s. She went on to release a string of solo albums on VP Records.

In the 1990s she filled in for Judy Mowatt in the I Threes, joining the group in the decade that followed.

Her biggest hit for adults audiences is "I Was Born a Woman"


Perfidia (1987), World Enterprise
Always Love you (1993), VP
Missing You Baby (1995), VP
Magic (1996), VP
Bet You Don't Know (1998), VP
Time For Love (2001), VP
R&B Hits Reggae Style (2001), VP
Songs in the Key of Dancehall (2007)

Unfortunately her website is down as at the time of publication of this entry but she is on social media. Living legend indeed and as you may have guessed I am a fan from way back when prior to seeing her listed on a Youtube video some years ago.

Peace and tolerance


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bisexuals still seen as confused


Sadly every time it draws to this time of year as bi-visibility day approaches and social marketing on the subject is raised more so internationally the local biphobic LGTQ penny section crawl out of the woodwork blasting bisexuals as mad, not knowing what they want, being greedy or wanting their cake and eating it too and other scaving remarks. Trolling even has crept into the mix on social media and with an apparent lack by the various spokespersons and nongovernmental organizations who claim to deal with SOGI, Sexual orientation and gender identity clearly overlook bisexuals and zoom in on gay and lesbian identities predominantly.

Bi-invisibity has been an issue for some time now, decades in fact since formalized advocacy in Jamaica since 1974 with the formation of Gay Freedom Movement. The very name of GFM is a clear overlooking and even as then in those days newspaper articles especially by Jennifer Ffrench on the subject for several years bisexuality has not risen to the level of equal importance as it should in as far as visibility and such. Major reference only comes with associations with HIV infection rates and how the group acts as a barrier for transmission on the HIV virus as evidenced recently in a speech by our minister of health Dr Fenton Ferguson at a meeting of funders and stake holders where some figures were presented. Previous references come from voices for the removal or decriminalization of the buggery law in as far as HIV prevention as the primary reason by Dr Peter Figueroa at that Sexual Health Awareness meeting on November 2013 where he went into great detail on the last major study and emphasized the point.

Smaller outfits such as the defunct Couture Elements team hosted some discussion on the matter and even in those supposed safe LGBT spaced the vitriol towards bisexuals was clear as the very night of one of the Open Mic Open Soul event heated words were exchanged from one lesbian and a member of the panel with the thing almost coming to blows. A recent discussion at another all women group at a lyme also had a similar outcome with the panellist in that instance almost next to tears as she could not believe the contempt that was held in the what is called straight lesbian community.

Other outfits such as Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica made sure the issues were addressed in their successful Seizmic Self Development and Enterprise Project Sessions for some 45 persons but as always with such small outfits they get no help from the more established LGBT organizations and or funding disappears for them so continuity is a major issue for such exercises.

The former GLABCOM gay, lesbian and bisexual community steering committees (an imprint of targeted interventions of JASL) and general LGBT meetings discussions tried its hand even getting key influentials involved such as a popular female party promoter but as usual again no real support comes from the main NGO structure and the emphasis ended up becoming more on HIV in the MSM community but mainly gay men via condom use and such and again bisexuals only limited to being a bridge for the virus’ passage to the general population. One event planned which was dubbed Bi-Fridays was conceptualized to try to attract such persons but very little response came as persons felt they would be identified and labelled mixed with ridicule.

Social media interventions via discussion boards, questions posed in groups and threads only seek to bring out the trolls and bitterness that seemed buried waiting to be stoked by the thought of suggesting bisexuality, how can we change that though? Even my own blog posts have received a backlash from persons asking why persons like myself and a few others even discussing bisexuality. So our bi brethren go underground. A recent thread on Facebook proved such that such anti bisexual sentiments still abound and coming from not only younger gay men and lesbians but rather surprisingly older persons which had me and some others sit up and take notice. But I should not be shocked as sometimes last year a former female party promoter and one half of the aforementioned Couture Elements team bore a daughter and shared her joy on Facebook only to be lambasted by persons on her friends list to the shock and horror of those who saw it and left an ugly feeling for some advocates former and present.

Comments to such effect as how can a lesbian go dickly? Or questions as to why she would share this openly knowing how persons can be downright rude and uncaring or what would a woman see in a man and or a penis for pleasure?

I would imagine prolonged awareness programs are required but sadly inwardly for the folks who believe in the one way or the other mantra in terms of homosexuality. Individuals who are otherwise enlightened can continue to share the right information but there is a definite need for more systematic interventions that are sustained and not stop and start activities. But community development in a real sense has never really been the main objective as law reform takes precedence than other matters that require urgent attention.

Think on these things

Peace and tolerance

also see:
Bisexuals accounted for 40 per cent of new HIV infections in 2012


Suicide Prevention, Concerns & the loss of a friend


Suicide Prevention Day passed earlier this month September 10 to be precise and the theme observed this year was
Light a candle near a window at 8 PM to show your support
for suicide prevention to remember a lost loved one and for the survivors of suicide.

On my sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch upon my blogging break end I posted my return entry with some bad news of the loss of one of my original followers from the days of the JFLAG blog and Sunshine Cathedral blog as well, Mark Holford took his own life and surprisingly as no signs of trouble were seen as is usually the case as friends and colleagues mull over recent contact for any details they may have missed as to the signs. Other cases have since emerged with another two successful attempts within the same month of Mark’s departure. He had been a major supporter of mine from the NING page days as well through to the name and focus change of both blogs mentioned above to become this blog and Gay Jamaica Watch and the subsequent Wordpress branch and my X-rated Battymantings blog as well. He was often a strong commenter and contributor to my Facebook groups and pages and his presence will be missed greatly. He was also a donor behind the scenes in crisis intervention matters where he could and aided in providing financial help in shelter assistance for displaced persons when I used to house persons in my spare bedroom more often than nowadays, grocery stipends and health services costs.

Some six reports in all have been brought to my attention this year alone and with depression figures high in Jamaica overall according to a recent report there are some concerns. Relationship challenges, family rejections, forced evictions and such specific to LGBT people are key factors leading to all kinds of ways out; a recent report of cutting (hand slicing with a knife or sharp instrument) with prolonged hemorrhaging leading to unconsciousness and possible death have been attempted by a lesbian in February where she was found by visiting friends who also were shocked at the find as no signs existed prior.

There are some signs however that one can look for as suggested by the website for suicide prevention:

Understanding and preventing suicide

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 million people die each year from suicide. What drives so many individuals to take their own lives? To those not in the grips of suicidal depression and despair, it's difficult to understand what drives so many individuals to take their own lives. But a suicidal person is in so much pain that he or she can see no other option.

Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable. Blinded by feelings of self-loathing, hopelessness, and isolation, a suicidal person can't see any way of finding relief except through death. But despite their desire for the pain to stop, most suicidal people are deeply conflicted about ending their own lives. They wish there was an alternative to committing suicide, but they just can't see one.

Common misconceptions about suicide

FALSE: People who talk about suicide won't really do it.
Almost everyone who commits or attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like "you'll be sorry when I'm dead," "I can't see any way out," — no matter how casually or jokingly said may indicate serious suicidal feelings.

FALSE: Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy.
Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They must be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing, but extreme distress and emotional pain are not necessarily signs of mental illness.

FALSE: If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop them.
Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, wavering until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.

FALSE: People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.
Studies of suicide victims have shown that more than half had sought medical help in the six months prior to their deaths.

FALSE: Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.
You don't give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true—bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.

Source: SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
Warning signs of suicide

Most suicidal individuals give warning signs or signals of their intentions. The best way to prevent suicide is to recognize these warning signs and know how to respond if you spot them. If you believe that a friend or family member is suicidal, you can play a role in suicide prevention by pointing out the alternatives, showing that you care, and getting a doctor or psychologist involved.

Major warning signs for suicide include talking about killing or harming oneself, talking or writing a lot about death or dying, and seeking out things that could be used in a suicide attempt, such as weapons and drugs. These signals are even more dangerous if the person has a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder, suffers from alcohol dependence, has previously attempted suicide, or has a family history of suicide.

Take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. It's not just a warning sign that the person is thinking about suicide—it's a cry for help.

A more subtle but equally dangerous warning sign of suicide is hopelessness. Studies have found that hopelessness is a strong predictor of suicide. People who feel hopeless may talk about "unbearable" feelings, predict a bleak future, and state that they have nothing to look forward to.

Other warning signs that point to a suicidal mind frame include dramatic mood swings or sudden personality changes, such as going from outgoing to withdrawn or well-behaved to rebellious. A suicidal person may also lose interest in day-to-day activities, neglect his or her appearance, and show big changes in eating or sleeping habits.
Suicide Warning Signs

Talking about suicide

Any talk about suicide, dying, or self-harm, such as "I wish I hadn't been born," "If I see you again..." and "I'd be better off dead."

Seeking out lethal means

Seeking access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.

Preoccupation with death

Unusual focus on death, dying, or violence. Writing poems or stories about death.

No hope for the future

Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped ("There's no way out"). Belief that things will never get better or change.

Self-loathing, self-hatred

Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden ("Everyone would be better off without me").

Getting affairs in order

Making out a will. Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family members.

Saying goodbye

Unusual or unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again.

Withdrawing from others

Withdrawing from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left alone.

Self-destructive behavior

Increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks as if they have a "death wish."

Sudden sense of calm

A sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the person has made a decision to commit suicide.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

European Parliament adopts a new comprehensive report on fundamental rights in the EU.


Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted a new comprehensive report on fundamental rights in the EU.

Copyright 2015 ILGA-Europe

Defying an attempt by the EPP group to adopt an alternative report which would have deleted nearly all content on LGBTI rights and other relevant human rights issues, the final report includes an extensive section of the situation for LGBTI people (par. 85 – 92).

For the first time, a parliament report also specifically addresses the human rights violations experienced by intersex people (par. 92). The report condemns medically unnecessary genital surgery on intersex infants and calls on Member States to outlaw such practices.

Genital “normalisation” surgery currently occurs throughout Europe, and is only explicitly forbidden in Malta.

Furthermore, parliament spoke out in favour of making legal gender recognition procedures easier for transgender people, and to review mental health catalogues as to exclude transgender people as being considered mentally ill (par. 89 – 91).

Parliamentarians also highlight that same-sex couples everywhere should have access to marriage or registered partnerships, the effects of which should be recognized across the EU (par. 86).

Lastly, Parliament underlined its demand for the development of a comprehensive action plan/strategy against homophobia, as well as the pending horizontal anti-discrimination directive (par. 44 and 85).

The Rapporteur, Laura Ferrara MEP, Member of the LGBTI Intergroup, reacted: “By this report, the European Parliament has clearly stated that the rights of LGBTI people need to be further consolidated and better protected.”

“Whereas in many countries the situation has improved, we need to ensure that other Member States ensure equal rights too. The Commission has a key role to play here, and this report also calls on them to show political leadership in this regard.”

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights and shadow rapporteur on the report, continued: “It is sad that the EPP has again tried to get an alternative text adopted, virtually lacking all content on LGBTI rights.”

“However, good sense prevailed for the majority of MEPs, and I am very glad that the Parliament stood up for the ideals of equal rights and non-discrimination, including for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.”

Read more:

UN launches Intersex Fact Sheet ............


As part of its Free&Equal campaign, the United Nations Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (UN OHCH) has launched an intersex fact sheet to better explain intersex issues.

The fact sheet includes a basic explanation of intersex and outlines many of the human rights issues faced by intersex people: including forced sterilisation and gender assignment surgery.

According to the UN OHCHR fact sheet, intersex people are born with sex characteristics that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies and being intersex is much more common than most people think. 1.7 percent of the world’s population is born with intersex characteristics. According to experts there are as many intersex people as there are natural red-heads.

The fact sheet also makes clear that intersex is a matter of biology not orientation or gender identity and that an intersex person may be straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or asexual, and may identify as female, male, both or neither.

“Because their bodies are seen as different, intersex children and adults are often stigmatised and subjected to multiple human rights violations, including violations of their rights to health and physical integrity, to be free from torture and ill-treatment, and to equality and non-discrimination,” states the document.

The fact sheet also outlines the discrimination intersex children face – often subjected to unnecessary surgeries to conform to binary stereotypes – and suggests action is needed to ensure an end to unsolicited and medically unnecessary surgeries.

The UN also points out the lack of training health care professionals have around intersex issues and the failure of adequate protections for intersex people in anti-discrimination law.

Morgan Carpenter, President of Organisation Intersex Australia (OII Australia) descrimed the fact sheet as a well balanced an informative document.

"This is a fantastic and very welcome resource. It doesn’t just clearly explain who intersex people are and the issues we face, it also provides a list of action points for all Australian and other governments to address, to ensure that intersex people have the same rights and freedoms as everyone else.”

The fact sheet called for a number of action points to better protect the human rights of LGBTI people.

Prohibit medically unnecessary surgery and procedures on the sex characteristics of intersex children, protect their physical integrity and respect their autonomy.

Ensure that intersex people and their families receive adequate counselling and support, including from peers.

Prohibit discrimination on the basis of intersex traits, characteristics or status, including in education, health care, employment, sports and access to public services, and address such discrimination through relevant anti - discrimination initiatives.

Ensure that human rights violations against i ntersex people are investigated and alleged perpetrators prosecuted, and that victims of such violations have access to effective remedy, including redress and compensation.

National human rights bodies should research and monitor the human rights situation of intersex people.

Enact laws to provide for facilitated procedures to amend sex markers on the birth certificates and official documents of intersex people.

Provide health care personnel with training on the health needs and human rights of intersex people and the appropriate advice and care to give to parents a nd intersex children, being respectful of the intersex person's autonomy, physical integrity and sex characteristics .

Ensure that members of the judiciary, immigration officers, law enforcement, healthcare, education and other officials and personnel are trained to respect and provide equal treatment to intersex persons.

Ensure that intersex people and organizations are consulted and participate in the development of research, legislation and policies that impact on their rights.

Celebrate Bi Visibility Day, 23 September 2015 ...........


Bi Visibility Day, also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day, has been marked each year since 1999 to highlight biphobia and to help people find the bisexual community. Jamaica had events some years ago hosted by the Couture Elements team and others but recently it is as if bi-invisibility is back with us but I hope someone picks it up soon.

Events for 2015:

Will be listed here as we get them! Tell us about yours.

United Kingdom

11 September: Bristol. Bi clubbing. More here.

18 September: Manchester screening of the film Acceptable Behaviour & after-film talk. More here.

19 September: Leeds – Running for visibility in purple in the park. More info here.

20 September: London: Queer Alternative bi meetup in Camden. Details here.

23 September: Bolton. Library display. More info here.
23 September: Brighton. Coffee meet from 5pm, details here. Pub meet from 7pm, details here.
23 September: Bristol bi chat at a bookshop. Details here.
23 September: Derby info coming soon
23 September: Grimsby bi talk – more here
23 September: Hull info coming soon
23 September: Leeds Bi Student Stall. More here.23 September: Leeds Central Library bi exhibition. More soon.
23 September: Leeds early evening workshop/training on bisexual visibility in the workplace. More here.23 September: Manchester BiPhoria are making plans.
23 September: Nottingham BiTopia are making plans.
23 September: Swansea Info soon.
24 September: London social at the O Bar. Details here.
25 September: Edinburgh. Bi film night. Details here.
25 September: London. Bi women & lesbians – panel debate at Goldsmiths college. Details here.

26 September: Salford. Bi Coffee morning at the Imperial War Museum. Details here.26 September: Manchester – BiPhoria bi picnic and bi history project filming, details tbc.

Tuesday 8th to Wednesday 30th September: Bradford bi exhibition. Details here.


20 September: Madison, Wisconsin. Bi Picnic organised by the 521 bi group. Details here.
22 September: Washington DC -HRC, AmBi and the Mayor’s office team up. Details here.
23 September: Chicago, Illinois. Panel discussion at Center on Halstead. More here.
23 September: Denver, Colorado: Eliel Cruz guest speaker. Details tbc.
23 September: Lafayette, Indiana. Pub meetup. Details here.
23 September: Los Angeles, California. LA Bi Arts Festival. Lots more info here.
23 September: Minneapolis/St Paul – BOP’s annual Community Recognition Awards and much more. Details here.
23 September: Montclair State University, New Jersey – bi tie-dye & free t-shirts. Details here.
23 September: New York – Open mic night. Details here.
23 September: San Francisco – music, burlesque & more. Details here23 September: possibly one extra event in San Francisco, details when we have more ourselves

25 September: Chicago, Illinois. Play, burlesque & much more. More info here.
25 September: Columbus, Ohio. Burlesque, spoken word & more. Details here.
26 September: New York – My Brother’s A Keeper stage performance. Details here.
All week: Atlanta bookstore bi writers and characters celebration. Details here.


2nd September. Austrian Radio Orange 94.0 had a show about bisexuality. More here.


23 September. Sydney. Bi women’s social mixer. Info here.


23 September: Hasselt – documentary screening. More here.


September 22: Paris: 9am, Bisexuality research launch. More here.
September 22: Paris: evening of film, poetry & more. More here.
September 23: Paris: bi march for visibility, details here
September 23: Toulouse: Street stall. Details here.
September 26: Bordeaux. Bi academic talks. More here.
September 26: Paris. Details soon.


Date to be confirmed: The Hague. Screening of film “The Best of Both Worlds”: more here
25-27 September: Rotterdam – BiCon Netherlands. Details here.


7th September, Trondheim – Panel discussion on bisexuality. More here.

Inclusion Top Tip:

For 2015 the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur aka “Day of Atonement” begins in the evening of Tuesday, September 22 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, September 23. It’s a major holiday and fasting day but as it falls on a different date each year it only clashes this time. As many events to mark Bi Visibility Day are held on other days that week it will mostly only impact things on 23rd itself.

Bisexuals accounted for 40 per cent of new HIV infections in 2012


MINISTER of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson July 13 disclosed that men who have sex with both men and women accounted for almost 40 per cent of new HIV infections in 2012.

Speaking at a press conference to announce the approval of funds for the National HIV/STI Programme at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, Dr Ferguson said although the HIV/STI programme has made significant strides in achieving a decline in new infections and is on track to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, it continues to face challenges with respect to the prevalence rate among vulnerable groups.

“While we have a prevalence rate of 1.8 per cent among the general population, female sex workers have a prevalence of 4.2 per cent, young men under 25 years who have sex with men are at 24.3 per cent as at 2013, and adult men who have sex with men (MSM) have a prevalence rate of 32 per cent,” the health minister explained.

“In addition, men who have sex with men and their female partners accounted for almost 40 per cent of new infections in 2012,” he said.

“I want to further note that MSM who reported being involved in sex work, reported an HIV prevalence of 41 per cent, transgender women 45 per cent, and transgender populations in sex work reaching as high as 56 per cent.”

Insisting that the prevalence rate among these groups are “way too high”, Dr Ferguson said that much of the efforts must be concentrated on these vulnerable groups, adding that there is the ever present challenge of implementing mechanisms to effectively deal with the issue of stigma and discrimination.

The approved funds include US$14.9 million from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, to be used from January 2016 to December 2018; US$5 million from the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDs Relief (PEPFAR)/United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the 2015/2016 financial year, and increased budgetary allocation from the Jamaican Government.

The funds, according to the minister, will facilitate support geared at reaching those most at risk of becoming HIV infected, as well as those who are already infected through the provision of treatment, care and support services.

Dr Ferguson said the PEPFAR grant has already been approved and that they are now in the final stages of completing the ministry’s work plan, while a mission from the Global Fund is now in the island working through funding requirements and guidelines with stakeholders to develop an integrated plan.

He told the Jamaica Observer that the additional funds being pumped into the programme will enable them to focus on vulnerable groups, instead of just the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among the general population.

“I think we have done extremely well to get to 1.8 per cent, but you would've heard the startling statistics I spoke to and unless you are able to target those groups and while targeting them, increasing your public education component that's going to be important because even as you [set] targets, people must know what they should do, what puts them at risk, etc,” the minister said.

“And I think this funding during this period would really help us to break the back to get Jamaica to be, undoubtedly, the leader within the Caribbean relative to HIV/AIDS.”

The minister admitted that for some the identified vulnerable groups is a controversial topic, but he remained committed to ensuring the stigma and discrimination that is often demonstrated is removed, even as public education is boosted.

“You would have noted [the figure of] men who have sex with men but also with women, you are talking about 40 per cent, that's extremely high,” the minister reiterated, while speaking to the Observer.

“You know sometimes you are focusing on the MSM alone, and not realising that our women are also at risk in those situations.

“So, we will just have to continue the public education, even as we continue to deal with those issues that mitigate treatment of these specific vulnerable groups,” Dr Ferguson insisted.

Meanwhile, in calling for continued partnerships to multiply the gains, the minister thanked both the mission from the Global Fund and USAID for their “consistent support of the national effort to fight the prevalence of HIV and AIDS among the Jamaican population”.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Vice President European Commission demands mutual recognition same-sex marriages

So now that the US has gotten their act together legislatively it is now time for our friends in the EU and in a timely occurrence there has been a statement.

also see from a local standpoint:

In an interview with Politico, published on Monday, Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, indicated he is committed to make sure all EU Member States recognise same-sex marriages conducted abroad.

He stressed that “Even if you don’t want to have same-sex marriage in your country, [you should] at least have the decency to accept that other countries do have it and recognize that marriage when people move to your country who are married.”

This confirms statements he made in a speech one week before, when he called it a disgrace that same-sex married couples moving to another country “run into all sorts of idiotic problems” opposite-sex couples would not face in the same situation.

These problems could include loss of pension rights, inheritance, next-of-kin rights or child custody rights.

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup reacted: “I strongly applaud these words by Vice President Timmermans, which confirm that bonds of love and their legal recognition, no matter whether conducted between same-sex or opposite-sex couples, should be treated equally.”

“I look forward to working with Mr Timmermans to ensure that this will be reality sooner rather than later.”

Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “Why would two married women and their children be recognised as a family in one EU Member state, and as two single women with orphans in another? This is what happens in Italy, as I underlined in the conference ‘Europe: Families without borders!’ and in the video ‘If you are married in Europe you are married in Italy, too.’”

“Indeed this does not make sense and may create dangerous situations. I am very glad to see that Vice President Timmermans is committed to ensure that the effects of same-sex marriages are recognised EU-wide.”

Ian Duncan MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, concluded: “I welcome the words of Vice President Timmermans. Same sex couples should not have to face barriers in other European countries that are not faced by heterosexual couples.”

“I have written to Mr Timmermans to ask what action he will be taking to follow up on his pledge”

See what you make of the Jamaica Observer's Editorial today, I wonder if they are really honest:

How long before Jamaica recognises same-sex marriages?

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution requires all states to grant same-sex marriages and recognise same-sex marriages granted in other states.

In doing so, the Supreme Court overturned its prior decision in 1972 in a case called Baker v Nelson, one of the first attempts by a homosexual couple, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell, to secure a licence for a same-sex marriage. It failed at the time primarily on grounds that marriage was to be between a man and a woman.

"Their (same-sex couples) hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilisation's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in his 2015 opinion on the law.

The US decision called Obergefell has, predictably, launched an intense debate not only in the US but across the world, particularly among Christians, with some describing it as "tragic" and a "grave error"; while gays and pro-gay groups have ecstatically embraced it.

Jamaicans appear to be taking their time to digest the US Supreme Court's ruling, but the debate here can be expected to be no less intense. It is an extension of the vigourously contested views on the legalisation of homosexuality, as proposed in the call to strike down laws against buggery.

We suspect that the US decision will impact Jamaica and the Caribbean sooner than later, given that hundreds of Americans come here to get married in the idyllic conditions offered by year-round warm sea, sand and sun with which we are blessed. The economic bonanza alone will make it hard to say no.

The real question will be how long before Jamaica follows America in legalising same-sex marriages.

For its part, the United States has come a long way since May 18, 1970 when Jack Baker and Michael McConnell climbed the steps of the Minneapolis courthouse, paid the required fee of US$10, and applied, unsuccessfully, for a marriage licence. Reports said the county clerk Gerald Nelson told them bluntly that marriage was for people of the opposite sex.

The Supreme Court's decision is a dramatic indication of how views have changed in America in the 45 years since. Jamaicans, despite unfortunate labels of being homophobic, have also grown in their tolerance of the gay lifestyle. It is worthy of notice that the days of violence against homosexuals seem to be well behind us and there is now a greater acceptance of the value of dialogue on this issue.

Indeed, that was the experience of Messrs Randy Berry and Todd Larson, the US Government LGBTI advocates who visited Jamaica in May this year.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Bad Man Nuh F*** Batty (Masculine Men Don't F*** Ass) (The Fear of The Feminine in JA) 16.04.15

A look at the fear of the feminine (Effemophobia) by Jamaican standards & how it drives the homo-negative perceptions/homophobia in Jamaican culture/national psyche.


After catching midway a radio discussion on the subject of Jamaica being labelled as homophobic I did a quick look at the long held belief in Jamaica by anti gay advocates, sections of media and homophobes that several murders of alleged gay victims are in fact 'crimes of passion' or have jealousy as their motives but it is not as simple or generalized as that.

Listen without prejudice to this and other podcasts on one of my Soundcloud channels

Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Homophobia - What are we afraid of?

Former host of Dr Sexy Live on Nationwide radio and Sexologist tackles in a simplistic but to the point style homophobia and asks the poignant question of the age, What really are we as a nation afraid of?

It seems like homosexuality is on everyone's tongue. From articles in the newspapers to countless news stories and commentaries, it seems like everyone is talking about the gays. Since Jamaica identifies as a Christian nation, the obvious thought about homosexuality is that it is wrong but only male homosexuality seems to influence the more passionate responses. It seems we are more open to accepting lesbianism but gay men are greeted with much disapproval.

Dancehall has certainly been very clear where it stands when it comes to this issue with various songs voicing clear condemnation of this lifestyle. Currently, quite a few artistes are facing continuous protests because of their anti-gay lyrics. Even the law makers are involved in the gayness as there have been several calls for the repeal of the buggery law. Recently Parliament announced plans to review the Sexual Offences Act which, I am sure, will no doubt address homosexuality.

Jamaica has been described as a homophobic nation. The question I want to ask is: What are we afraid of? There are usually many reasons why homosexuality is such a pain in the a@. Here are some of the more popular arguments MORE HERE

also see:
Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation

Sexuality - What is yours?


So it would seem on the face of it, this ugly business of MSM homelessness especially in the business district of New Kingston has been with us for so long yet not a peep came from the members of the privileged clergy in Jamaica including the homo-negative ones who claim to love the sinner but hate the sin in any meaningful way to help or offer shelter. On December 9th the Jamaica Observer carried a story of a pastor who claimed to be hitting out at "Injustices" to homeless MSM, where was he all this time until now with the repeated headlines the men in New Kingston have made? albeit for the wrong reasons. Kimmo Thomas reported: Pastor lashes out at 'injustices' faced by gays

Days later the same paper in the print edition only carried the cartoon as done by its resident cartoonist Clovis on December 11, 2013 parodying Tiana Miller transgender spokesperson for the JFLAG We Are Jamaicans Campaign and another member of the homeless MSM in New Kingston

The Reverend Father Sean Major-Campbell washes the feet of two Jamaican lesbians, Jalna Broderick (in the background), director of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, and Rochelle (surname withheld) during an observance in celebration of Human Rights at Christ Church in Vineyard Town, St Andrew, Photos by Rudolph Brown/Photographer

Fast forward to December 2014 the same priest finds himself in the centre of a firestorm from other church leaders after a feet washing exercise of two lesbians but what about the homeless MSM who he pretended to be concerned about their feet aren't deserving of washing Father Sean Major-Campbell?

also see:
Righteous Anger - Church Members Upset Over Priest's Embrace Of Gays In Worship Service

Jamaican priest washes the feet of lesbians and calls for ‘respect’ for human rights

Anglican priest washes lesbian’s feet, forgets the bit about go and sin no more

When Same Gender Relationships go Bad

A JAMAICAN WOMAN was remanded to Dodds for a month today after being charged with causing serious bodily harm to her live-in female companion.

Kerreon Ishane Kelly, 25, of Barker's Road, Haggatt Hall, St Michael, was not required to plead to the charge of doing serious bodily harm to Tishana Alphonso of the same address, with intent to maim, disfigure or disable her on January 8 this year.

Prosecutor Acting Station Sergeant Neville Watson objected to bail, noting that the victim was still in critical condition in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and that there was a possibility of the accused leaving Barbados. Kelly, a Jamaican national, was remanded until February 19 2015

I was also made to understand that the alleged attacker later apologised for the vicious attack on Instagram.

She allegedly wrote: "Sometimes we let ignorancy get the best of us n we tend to do stuff we don't wanna do and then having regret ... today (Saturday), I did the most cruel thing of all my life and I just want to take a minute to just say how truly and deeply sorry I am. I never really get the seriousness of it until my fren send me a pic ... I want to make a public apology to my ex. I wouldn't wish such a evil act on anyone."

War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

A war of words has ensued between gay lawyer (AIDSFREEWORLD) Maurice Tomlinson and anti gay activist Dr Wayne West (supposed in-laws of sorts) as both accuse each other of lying or being dishonest, when deception has been neatly employed every now and again by all concerned, here is the post from Dr West's blog

This is laughable to me in a sense as both gentleman have broken the ethical lines of advocacy respectively repeatedly especially on HIV/AIDS and on legal matters concerning LGBTQ issues

The evidence is overwhelming readers/listeners, you decide.

Fast forward 2015 and the exchanges continue in a post from Dr Wayne West: Maurice Tomlinson misrepresents my position on his face book page and Blog 76Crimes

Tomlinson's post originally was:

Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II

Following a cowardly decision by the Minister(try) of Education to withdraw an all important Health Family Life, HFLE Manual on sex and sexuality

I examine the possible reasons why we have the homo-negative challenges on the backdrop of a missing multi-generational understanding of sexuality and the focus on sexual reproductive activity in the curriculum.

also see:


Calls for Tourism Boycotts are Nonsensical at This Time

(2014 protests New York)

Calling for boycotts by overseas based Jamaican advocates who for the most part are not in touch with our present realities in a real way and do not understand the implications of such calls can only seek to make matters worse than assisting in the struggle, we must learn from, the present economic climate of austerity & tense calm makes it even more sensible that persons be cautious, will these groups assist when there is fallout?, previous experiences from such calls made in 2008 and 2009 and the near diplomatic nightmare that missed us; especially owing to the fact that many of the victims used in the public advocacy of violence were not actual homophobic cases which just makes the ethics of advocacy far less credible than it ought to be.

See more explained HERE from a previous post following the Queen Ifrica matter and how it was mishandled

Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14

debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.

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Violence and venom force gay Jamaicans to hide

a 2009 Word focus report where the history of the major explosion of homeless MSM occurred and references to the party DVD that was leaked to the bootleg market which exposed many unsuspecting patrons to the public (3:59), also the caustic remarks made by former member of Parliament in the then JLP administration.

The agencies at the time were also highlighted and the homo negative and homophobic violence met by ordinary Jamaican same gender loving men.

The late founder of the CVC, former ED of JASL and JFLAG Dr. Robert Carr was also interviewed.

At 4:42 that MSM was still homeless to 2012 but has managed to eek out a living but being ever so cautious as his face is recognizable from the exposed party DVD, he has been slowly making his way to recovery despite the very slow pace.

Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact:

Activities & Plans: ongoing and future

  • To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus

  • Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives

  • To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony

  • Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions

  • To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term

  • Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere

  • Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public

  • Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner

  • Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise

  • Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL

Thanks again
Mr. H

Tel: 1-876-8134942


Information & Disclaimer

Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.

This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.

Faces and names witheld for the victims' protection.

This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.

This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.

Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.

This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practioner

Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.

As for some posts, they contain enclosure links to articles, blogs and or sites for your perusal, use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.

Recent Homophobic Incidents
CLICK HERE for related posts/labels and HERE from the gayjamaicawatch's BLOG containing information I am aware of. If you know of any such reports or incidents please contact

Peace to you and be safe out there.


What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)

First, be calm: Do not panic; it may be very difficult to maintain composure if attacked but this is important.

Try to reason with the attacker: Establish communication with the person. This takes a lot of courage. However, a conversation may change the intention of an attacker.

Do not try anything foolish: If you know outmanoeuvring the attacker is impossible, do not try it.

Do not appear to be afraid: Look the attacker in the eye and demonstrate that you are not fearful.

This may have a psychological effect on the individual.

Emergency numbers
The police 119

Kingfish 811

Crime Stop 311

Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police

a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions

j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it

Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today

JFLAG excludes homeless MSM from IDAHO Symposium 2013 on of all things Homelessness (CLICK Image)

JFLAG excludes homeless MSM from IDAHO Symposium 2013 on of all things Homelessness (CLICK Image)
Tanya Stephens (photo) makes her presentation as the homeless MSM whose issues were supposedly a part of the symposium had no representative present on May 17th IDAHOT celebrated worldwide, why were the men left out? JFLAG offers another statement from the press release conveyor belt but it does not fly with str8-allies & older LGBT activists up in arms at this bizarre move

Alleged Gay Vice Principal Story & Securing Personal Digital Data

some angry residents reacting to the matter nearing the school

Another case of persons not managing their personal pictures and other materials via devices so much so that they end up making the rounds on social media. Such was the case of the Vice Principal - Mr. Wellington, who’s substantive post at the school is Vice Principal, told Nationwide news centre that he’s the victim of a cybercrime.

He says the images have been tampered with.

Dervon Wellington, Acting Principal of the Christiana High School in Manchester speaking to Nationwide’s Abka Fitz-Henley said but the shots looked quite clear to most and not photoshopped as is being contested.

In the meantime the Chairman of the Board of Christiana High, Calvin Lyn says a meeting was being organized then in December to address an issue which he says has implications for the institution.

All in all the gentlemen involved have since relocated overseas to avoid issues but a word to the wise is sufficient secure ones personal digital materials so that they do not get leaked, or hacked or stolen and then inadvertently find themselves online.

Peace and tolerance

SEE the CVM TV report HERE

This Day in History