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 12, 2016

Grenada says no loophole for gay marriage in Rights and Freedom Bill


ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) – Grenada’s Attorney General Cajeton Hood said yesterday that the proposed amendments contained in the Rights and Freedom Bill will not be creating a loophole that could result in Grenada legalising same- sex unions.

“The amendment does not affect the status quo at all in any way, the amendment does not seek too, nor does it at all give additional right to anybody who wanted to get married before the amendment.

“I want to be very clear on that, the amendment does not seek to nor give any loophole or any extra power or any extra right that was not there before,” said Hood.

The bill is one of seven that will be voted upon during the October 27 referendum for a new constitution. Gender equality, according to the legislation, provides for both men and women to be entitled to equal rights and status in all spheres of life, especially in economic, educational, political, civic and social activities.

“This therefore goes to the heart of the matter of the intention of the Bill, the Intent is equal rights for both men and women and not one having more rights than the other,” Hood said, while stressing that government will not in any way go down that route even as he acknowledged that any lawyer can build any case using any law.

Urging the general public to inform themselves with the facts of the issues, he said they should not listen to rum shop talk.

In recent days, several religious bodies have begun campaigning against the Bill, saying that despite it good intention it creates a loophole for gay marriage.

Hood further explained that Grenada’s Marriage Act has not changed and there is no proposal to change it. “The amendment doesn’t speak to marriage,” he said.

Junior Education Minister Simon Stielle said that the present Administration does not support same-sex marriage and it is not the intention of the Keith Mitchell Government to weaken any legislation that will create any loophole within the law.

“There is no intent to weaken any provision that will provide for same- sex marriage…the Bill speaks to equal opportunity, it does not speak to same-sex marriage,” said Stielle, who reminded journalists that Prime Minister Mitchell has openly said he is not in support of same-sex unions.

Hood said that as a country, he trusts that the voting population will see the opportunity that is presented to play an important role in the having a say in the supreme law of the land.

‘It’s the first time the people are having a say and no politician can do it, it is now up to people,” he said.

The Bill needs to be passed by a two-thirds majority of those voting in the referendum to become law.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

LGBTI Intergroup welcomes appointment first ever UN independent expert LGBT discrimination


Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup

Friday, the UN Human Rights Council appointed Vitit Muntarbhorn (immediately above) its first independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In July, the Human Rights Council agreed to the creation of the post in a 23 – 18 vote.

Munthaborn, a Thai national, is Professor in International Law at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. He was co-chair of the 2006 Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Munthaborn is appointed for an initial period of three years. His role will be to assess the implementation of existing international human rights instruments regarding LGBT people. Furthermore, he will raise awareness of violence and discrimination suffered by LGBT persons and engage in dialogue with states to implement measures.

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, reacted: “All around the world LGBTI people continue to face discrimination and violence, sometimes explicitly legislated or encouraged by the state. These are severe breaches of human rights.”

“I am glad the Human Rights Council has reinforced its commitment to end these breaches by creating this position, and look forward to working with Mr Munthaborn in his new position.”

Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “Earlier reports by the United Nations Human Rights Council have shown it clearly: homophobia and transphobia literally kill. We urgently need to up the pressure to end the unnecessary and extreme violence that our community faces across the globe.”

“I call on all states to cooperate with the independent expert so it can fulfil its full potential in fighting for the human rights of LGBTI people.”

Monday, September 26, 2016

Does having a Y chromosome make someone a man?


A lot of unintended harm happens when people assume a Y chromosome makes a person a boy or a man and the lack of a Y chromosome makes a person a girl or a woman. For example, one physician educator on our Medical Advisory Board had the challenging experience of trying to calm a 23-year-old patient who had just been told by a resident that she was “really a man” because the resident had diagnosed the patient as having a Y chromosome and complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS).

It is true that in typical male development, the SRY gene on the tip of the Y chromosome helps to send the embryo down the masculine pathway. But more than the SRY is needed for sex determination and differentiation; for example, women with CAIS have the SRY gene but lack androgen receptors. In terms of hormone effects on their bodies (including their brains), women with CAIS have had much less “masculinization” than the average 46,XX woman because their cells do not respond to androgens.

Moreover, the SRY gene can be translocated onto an X chromosome (so that a 46,XX person may develop along a typical masculine pathway), and there are dozens of genes on chromosomes other than the X and the Y that contribute to sexual differentiation. And beyond the genes, a person’s sex development can be significantly influenced by environmental factors (including the maternal uterine environment in which the fetus developed).

So it is simply incorrect to think that you can tell a person’s sex just looking at whether he or she has a Y chromosome.

Want to know more? The following comes from ISNA’s Medical Advisory Board member Dr. Charmian Quigley:

SRY, discovered in 1989, is a small gene located at the tip of the short arm of the Y chromosome. So what does it do? Actually, like all genes, it does nothing except to act as a blueprint for a protein. In this case, the protein of the same name does funky things to DNA, like bending it and unwinding the 2 strands, so that other proteins can get in and attach themselves to other genes that are then turned on. So how did this gene get its reputation (and its name) as the “sex determining” gene?

As is pretty common in the world of genetics, this was because of some errant mice. Researchers in England took a laboratory-made copy of this gene and inserted it artificially into a female (XX) mouse embryo at a very early stage of development. The mouse was “converted” from female to male, so the gene must have been responsible – right? Well, maybe not. A few years later, a similar gene was found on human chromosome 17. When the important part of this gene was inserted into a female mouse embryo, the same thing happened. Voila! A male.

So now we have 2 genes that can turn a female into a male, and one of them is not located on the Y chromosome! How can that be? It turns out that SRY is probably just a facilitator that allows a more critical gene (or genes) to function, by blocking the action of another opposing factor. Can the magic of genetics do the opposite – turn a male into a female? Indeed it can. A gene on the X chromosome (the chromosome one typically associates with “femaleness”) called DAX1 when present in double copy in a male (XY) mouse, turns it into a female.

So now we have genes on the Y that can turn females with XX chromosomes into males and genes on the X that can turn males with XY chromosomes into females… wow! Maleness and femaleness are NOT determined by having an X or a Y, since switching a couple of genes around can turn things upside down.

In fact, there’s a whole lot more to maleness and femaleness than X or Y chromosomes. About 1 in 20,000 men has no Y chromosome, instead having 2 Xs. This means that in the United States there are about 7,500 men without a Y chromosome. The equivalent situation - females who have XY instead of XX chromosomes - can occur for a variety of reasons and overall is similar in frequency.

For these 15,000 or more individuals in the US (and who knows how many worldwide), their chromosomes are irrelevant. It is the total complement of their genes along with their life experiences (physical, mental, social) that makes them who they are (or any of us, for that matter). The last time I counted, there were at least 30 genes that have been found to have important roles in the development of sex in either humans or mice. Of these 30 or so genes 3 are located on the X chromosome, 1 on the Y chromosome and the rest are on other chromosomes, called autosomes (on chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 17, 19).

In light of this, sex should be considered not a product of our chromosomes, but rather, a product of our total genetic makeup, and of the functions of these genes during development.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Implicit Transphobia or sheer ignorance .......


both perhaps

So Dr Glenville Ashby had a piece he penned published in the Sunday Gleaner dated September 25, 2016 entitled “Transgender: denying reality” where he insidiously went off on Transgenderism and so near effortless displayed sheer ignorance on the subject(s). He was quite prepared to conflate transgender with intersex and committed the ultimate infraction when it comes to the latter that of using a now well accepted stigmatizing term as ‘hermaphrodite’ and the faux pas of transgender(ed) as if to suggest someone can be a past participle of who one is, the ‘ed’ at the end is still a problematic issue in terms of designation prior to or after re-assignment surgery or feels.

‘Hermaphrodite’ has been removed from the LGBTQI toolkit in as far discourse surrounding such physiological issues attends since 2005. The word is seen as a stigmatizing terms as it conjures up mental images of someone with merely two sex organs when the issues attendant to such matters are not ones of sexual orientation and or gender identity in as far as psychological considerations are concerned. While Dr Ashby has used the correct term ‘Intersex’ he has misdirected it to mean something else and ends up concluding some sort of abnormality or as the article is subtitled ‘denying reality’

For example he wrote:

“Transgender should not be confused with transvestite

Then he both Transgenerism and intersex as one, he wrote:

“Transgender is invariably referred to as intersex (a person that has non standard genitalia), or transsexual (a person who expresses a gender identity that is different to his or her gender at birth).”

He could have simply done some basic research on this just as how he was able to site opinions of the likes of neuroscientist Tad Pacholcyzk or Dr Paul McHugh. We have been subjected to a series of very deceptive writings and outward transphobic pronouncements by some persons pointing to Transgenderism as madness of some kind; the leader in the wave of the intellectually driven hatred is Dr Wayne West of Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS fame. He has been given support by sociologist and radio show host of Everywoman on the sometimes progressive Nationwide News Network, NNN Radio one Miss Georgette Crawford.

Here is the Gleaner article in question:

The highly publicised sexual transformation of United States Olympian Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn Jenner) has ignited a bruising political and cultural debate on gender dysphoria and 'transgenderism'.

Academicians, scientists, theologians and laypersons have weighed in on a phenomenon that is as old as civilisation.

With a shift in the cultural paradigm, transgender rights are slowly being accommodated. Federal laws prohibit discrimination against transgender individuals, and bathrooms at most public places in the United States are required to accommodate new 'gender realities'.

Not surprisingly, political, academic, and judicial activism has advanced a new confrontational liberal zeitgeist that has made it difficult to have a dissenting opinion for fear of being maliciously labelled. The same held true when conservatism was universally dominant.

There are key questions surrounding this debate. For example, is surgery appropriate in dealing with somatic dysphoria? Also, is being transgender a psychopathology? What is needed is a sober discussion based on measurable arguments and not malleable evidence fashioned by individual and social leanings.

Transgender should not be confused with transvestite (a man having pleasure in dressing like a woman), homosexuality (having sexual feelings for the same sex), bisexuality (having sexual feelings for both sexes), or hermaphrodites (a person having male and female genitalia).

Transgender is invariably referred to as intersex (a person that has non-standard genitalia), or transsexual (a person who expresses a gender identity that is different to his or her gender at birth).

In many of these cases, gender transition is made possible through surgery.

Orthodox religions have long expressed paradoxical views regarding abnormal sexual identity, not unlike its position on homosexuality. The actions of the so-called sinner are vehemently condemned, although love is professed for the perpetrator.

Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the southern Baptist Convention, said: "The transgender question means that conservative Christian congregation must teach what's being handed down to us, that our maleness and femaleness points us to an even deeper reality, to the unity ... of Christ and the Church.

"A rejection of the goodness of those creational realities, then, is a revolt against God's lordship, and against the picture of the gospel that God is embedded in His creation."

In marginal cases, pastors have been accused of fomenting a climate of hatred and violence towards transgender people who are deemed morally bankrupt and evil.

James Dobson, president of Focus on the Family, declared: "If you are a dad, I pray that you will protect your little girls from men who walk in unannounced, unzip their pants and urinate in front of them ... . If this happened 100 years ago, someone might have been shot."

Sensing and experiencing slight from mainstream Christianity, many in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community have begun worshipping in churches and temples where sexual orientation is inconsequential.

Secular society, though, has pushed back forcibly against what they call intolerance and bigotry. Prominent businesses are boycotting states, such as Georgia, Indiana, and North Carolina that uphold the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that is arguably discriminatory and unconstitutional.

While battlelines are drawn, some are critically measured, preferring to understand the sexual dynamics and overall psychological profile of the transgender community.

Among those is priest and neuroscientist Tad Pacholczyk, a Yale and Harvard graduate and education director at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. His scientific and theological background offered a unique insight into this highly charged subject.

In the article, 'Seeing through the intersex confusion,' he acknowledged that confounding physiological (hormonal) triggers and cultural forces lead to psychological discordance.

Comparing somatic disorders to other developmental disorders that should never "be subjected to bias or mistreatment", he argued that "while a newborn's 'intrinsic maleness' or 'intrinsic femaleness' may be difficult to access in certain more complicated intersex cases, the point remains that there is an 'underlying' sexual constitution that we must do our best to recognise and respect and act in accord with".

Equally important is his far-reaching assertion that "wilfully (denying this reality) is a prescription for disillusionment and dishonesty".

Pacholczyk has oftentimes referred to the work of the eminent Dr Paul McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, who has been in the cross hairs of liberal professionals.

His detailed study of transgenderism and sex-reassignment surgery has produced some explosive assertions.

McHugh observed that after transitioning, individuals are still plagued by psycho-emotional and identity problems; that there is an absence of maternal characteristics and desires in transgendered individuals; and that despite haute couture over compensation there remains definitive, irreversible indicators of their maleness or femaleness.

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, McHugh likened the transgendered to "anorexia nervosa patients who believe that a drastic physical change will banish their psychosocial problems".

"At the heart of the problem," he argued, "is confusion over the nature of the transgendered."

McHugh continued: "Sex change is biologically impossible (and) people who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminised men or masculinised women."

He concluded that the transgender issue "is not a civil rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder".

McHugh has always emphasised that a diagnosis of mental illness should be met with the most appropriate means to address a very real problem.

Lending support to McHugh is the conservative American Association of Paediatricians.

Featured on its website is the article, 'Gender Ideology Harms Children', in which we read that "gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept (and) not an objective biological one".

It also highlighted the disproportionately high rates of suicides among those who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex realignment surgery, "even in Sweden which is among the most LGBT- affirming countries".

As both sides of the debate harden their position, the words of Pacholczyk invite reflection: " ... allowing people to 'define their identity' ignores the crucially important truth that numerous aspects of our identity, especially those related to our bodily and sexual identity, are predetermined, objective goods that we are called upon to recognise and respect in the choices we make".

I am sure as we wade through the sea of ignorance and the bliss that accompanies it we are going to see more nonsense such as this article so worded to give support but the true reasons becomes clear.

Peace & tolerance


also see:

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bisexuality Day is September 23 ...................


Celebrate Bisexuality Day is observed on September 23 maybe 24th as it falls on a Sunday by members of the bisexual community and their supporters originally in the United States but has been extended worldwide.

This day is a call for bisexual, pansexual, friends and supporters to recognize and celebrate bisexuality, bisexual history, bisexual community and culture, and the bi/pansexual people in their lives.

First observed in 1999, Celebrate Bisexuality Day is the brainchild of three United Statesbisexual rights activists: Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida, and Gigi Raven Wilburof Texas.

Wilbur said,

Ever since the Stonewall rebellion, the gay and lesbian community has grown in strength and visibility. The bisexual community also has grown in strength but in many ways we are still invisible. I too have been conditioned by society to automatically label a couple walking hand in hand as either straight or gay, depending upon the perceived gender of each person.

This celebration of bisexuality in particular, as opposed to general LGBT events, was conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of the bisexual persons by some in both thestraight and greater LGBT communities.

In its first year, an observance was held during the International Lesbian and Gay Association, which occurred during the week of the 23rd. While at first it only took hold in areas with an extremely strong bisexual presence, it is now celebrated worldwide.

It features event such as discussions, dinner parties and dances in Toronto and a large masquerade ball in Queensland, Australia. At Texas A&M University, the week featured discussion panels and question-and-answer sessions. Princeton University celebrates this day each year by throwing a party at its LGBT Center.

It has also been celebrated in Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Unfortunately in Jamaica either our advocates haven't matured to the recognition of bisexuals as a part of our struggle or we can't be bothered as "batty business" and the associated dramas are more important when some of the very issues of homophobia as we call it are not really so but bi-phobia if one were to closely examine the details at times.

JFLAG, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays has "Allsexuals" included in their acronym I suppose to cover all other orientations and variants outside of the original LGBT population (excluding those associated with disorders) but I never heard of any direct meetings, interventions or strategies to engage this section of the population or any inclusion in the umpteen public statements or press releases.

Bi-phobia or bi-erasure by default?

I would hate to think that our advocacy representatives are themselves guilty of bi-phobia in the form of bisexual erasure (the tendency to ignore, omit, remove, falsify, or reexplain evidence of bisexuality in history, advocacy, academia, the news media, and other primary sources.)

In its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include denying that bisexuality exists. Inclusiveness is the name of the game now if we are to get anywhere but with the elitist position taken by the group one wonders when will we begin to move on anything? with recent ugly events further darkening our LGBT history that of aloofness towards the homeless msm population more and more persons in and outside the LGBT community are asking what are the reasons for these organizations.

It is refreshing to see other individual voices saying their piece and going out on their own, I would love to see an all out Jamaican bisexual website or at the very least a couple of blogs related to bisexual issues exclusively. There has been some discourse regarding bisexuality but the backlash from the MSM and SGL female communities suggests we have a far way to go towards inclusiveness and tolerance, ways that are to be facilitated by a JFLAG or similar groups.

Let us hope in the near future something can be done about that either by them despite the insulation or some other group, organization or individuals. Here is an ironical take on the issue from a UK perspective, the images included here were burrowed from this clip.


my audio commentary on the issue from a year ago:

Also see:

Biphobia in the L & G communities maybe higher than thought 2011

Peace and tolerance


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Transgender in Jamaica radio show highlight


Last evening on the progressive radio station Nationwide News Network, NNN Co-founder and friend of mine from Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ appeared on the Love & Sex weekly show hosted by Dr Karen Carpenter. Satiba her pseudonym has made radio appearances before with the same host who is a board certified Clinical Sexologist and operates the possibly only professional clinic for assessment for transgender persons alongside other issues such as intersex matters, sexuality concerns and as far as erectile dysfunction.

The discussion overall was edifying and bearing by the quality of the calls in the call back section and the questions asked, some change in thinking seems eminent, given the resistance by way homophobia and the confusion if not conflation between gender identity and sexual orientation issues. The other guest on the show seems to display that quite nicely as the individual was not sure if they were transgender or not as while presenting as female they declared that they were not considering surgery to remove his penis or any re-assignment surgery as such. The longstanding issue of gay, bisexuals or gender neutral persons who present as androgynous also seem to label themselves as transgender without accessing or confirming same with a requisite professional. Some concern had been raised elsewhere but not on the show as I expected, on the lumping of other identities and sexual orientation as a way of reprieve from homophobia; as the heightened visibility given social media and such makes it seem attractive to some who self diagnose as transgender.

While the term transgender was explained by Dr Carpenter as an umbrella term to include persons who do elective surgery for cosmetic reasons without having any issues with gender identity, such as transsexuals for example or persons in the sex trade/porn industry (the old 80s she-male phenomenon in the US) some more emphasis should have been placed on addressing the conflation with homosexuality versus gender matters and advising persons what the differences are. Some effort was made at the near end of the two hour show to look at the difference in fairness to the guests and host but it was a little too late for me although the tail end of a radio show tends to be remembered by listeners than the beginning unless some memorable occurrence was in play at the top.

I was also expecting some emphasis on the re-assignment surgery bit as people need to understand that such procedures when it comes to genitalia cannot be simply reversed and one cannot ‘switch’ from one gender to another; the younger guest on the show seems to believe the aforementioned as they espoused they were interested in a butt lift, breast implants and other enhancements, all this while keeping a penis although they identify as a woman. Transgenderism is more about the mind of the individual and not necessarily the anatomical considerations as not all persons who feel they are ‘born in the wrong body’ can even qualify for re-assignment surgery.

The pre-surgery assessment that is usually conducted prior to ascertain the fitness and hormonal levels for so identified persons can also reveal much as to the continuation to full transition or not. There are persons identify as transgender but who cannot go all the way to surgery as their biology would not accommodate the full hormonal treatment/interventions, seeing that said treatment courses are for a lifetime so as not to reverse to the assigned gender and physiology of the party involved.

The mentioned assessment for children who display opposite gender traits by a requisite professional was commendable as Satiba drew on her own experience as she never had the family support in her transitioning journey. As highlighted on this blog and on sister blogs on Wordpress organizations such as JFLAG and others did not take these issues seriously in the early days although the coined term “Allsexual” appeared in their name. Satiba like so many others had to effectively fend for themselves; she sought out information on her own and after moving from doctor to doctor finally found one who was aware of the matters arising. Dr Carpenter mentioned the clinic at the University of the West Indies and asked interested persons to go via the Love & Sex Facebook page and on Twitter. I was expecting however some clarification on the gender non conforming behaviour in children and that that in and of itself is not a marker for someone to be deemed transgender.

Some 1500 persons are believed to be transgender living in Jamaica according to Satiba who referenced a research project that was conducted some years ago and documentary evidence supports. Overall it was a good show but given previous opportunities like this that still are too rare far more was delved into in a shorter air time and given this was a two hour show more should have come forth in my view. I hope Dr Carpenter will do a follow up sometime in the future. Thankfully the calls were civilised this time around as evidenced before terms such as ‘mad’ have been used by some to insult and belittle transgender folks who go public.

Finally the use of certain terms while commendable for those already in the know versus opening the knowledge base of those we want to win simply flew over the heads of the latter; terms such as transvestite, gender neutral (which was explained when a male caller asked for an explanation) and others were barely glossed at, I guess due to the myriad of advertisements and breaks that came during the two hour show (advertisers like the show I imagine) but the breaks sort of broken the flow of the discourse with recaps to (re)connect the audience. Maybe the structure of the show when discussing LGBT issues needs to be rehashed or tighten given the sensitivities involved.

Peace & tolerance


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Suicide Prevention Day 2016 .......


September 10 is observed as International Suicide Prevention Day and in Jamaica suicides have been on the rise the figures trend shows. Last year the records by Choose Life, a suicide prevention and interventions outfit show 59 cases and so far we are at 51; 4 of those cases outside of Choose Life monitoring are LGBT matters and all are females. Two other cases are being looked at as more investigations continue. The highest year on record of suicides in Jamaica overall is in 2008 where there were 80 cases and from GLBTQ Jamaica records three confirmed cases were a part of that with another two failed attempts involving pharmaceuticals and slashing or cutting.

80% of persons who are successful at suicide attempts have tried the same before says the experts, some other signs include persons when questioned have a definitive plan which seems to go against what is considered normal, a change in regular daily or life patterns, persons who say ‘goodbye’ with no serious plan in mind when pressed to present same or cannot tell where they are going, withdrawal from friends and families, giving away of things or personal effects that they treasure with no clear justifiable reasons, hygiene changes or deterioration or a can’t be bothered attitude, that may be out of sorts with the usual life pattern. The urging is listening with your ears, eyes and hearts.

The conversation however on suicide though overall is helpful tends to drift into reparative therapy in as far as sexual orientation related stressors are concerned, many of the groups and individuals involved are subscribers to an evangelical mantra and who push a redemptive Christian perspective in addressing the issues. While faith is important the moment the person is seen as LGBT then comes the prescriptive view of changing or adjusting one’s sexuality or old terms such as ‘sexual preference’ still being used by the parties involved.

This year's theme:


Fostering connections with those who have lost a loved one to suicide or have been suicidal themselves is crucial to furthering suicide prevention efforts. Although every individual suicide is different, there are some common lessons to be learned. Those who have been on the brink of suicide themselves can help us understand the complex interplay of events and circumstances that led them to that point, and what saved them or helped them to choose a more life-affirming course of action. Those who have lost someone to suicide, or supported someone who was suicidal, can provide insights into how they moved forwards on their journey. The sheer numbers of people who have been affected by suicide would make this a formidable network.

Of course, these connections should be two-way. There will often be times when those who have been bereaved by suicide, and those who might be feeling suicidal themselves, need support. Keeping an eye out for them and checking that they are okay could make all the difference. Social connectedness reduces the risk of suicide, so being there for someone who has become disconnected can be a life-saving act. Connecting them with formal and informal supports may also help to prevent suicide. Individuals, organisations and communities all have a responsibility here.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2016 Infographic


Open communication is vital if we are to combat suicide. In many communities, suicide is shrouded in silence or spoken of only in hushed tones. We need to discuss suicide as we would any other public health issue if we are to dispel myths about it and reduce the stigma surrounding it. This is not to say that we shouldn’t exercise necessary caution; we don’t want to normalise suicide either. Careful, considered messages about suicide and its prevention are warranted, as is an awareness of how different groups of individuals may receive and interpret this information.

Equipping people to communicate effectively with those who might be vulnerable to suicide is an important part of any suicide prevention strategy. Broaching the subject of suicide is difficult, and these sorts of conversations are often avoided. There are some simple tips that can help, however. Most of these relate to showing compassion and empathy, and listening in a non-judgemental way. People who have come through an episode of extreme suicidal thinking often say that sensitively-managed conversations with others helped them on their course to recovery.

The media also have an important role to play in suicide prevention. Some types of reporting on suicide (e.g., prominent and/or explicit stories) have been shown to be associated with 'spikes' in suicide rates, but others (e.g., those that describe mastery of suicidal crises) have been shown to have a protective effect. Media recommendations have been developed by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization to assist journalists in getting stories right. Please see:


All the connecting and communicating in the world will have no effect without the final ingredient – care. We need to make sure that policy-makers and planners care enough about suicide prevention to make it a priority, and to fund it at a level that is commensurate with its significance as a public health problem.

We need to make sure that clinicians and other service providers care enough about it to make suicide prevention their core business. And we need to make sure that communities care enough about it to be able to identify and support those who may be at heightened risk.

Most of all, we need to ensure that we are caring ourselves. We need to look out for others who may be struggling, and let them tell their story in their own way and at their own pace. Those who have been affected by suicide have much to teach us in this regard.

Connect, communicate and care on World Suicide Prevention Day

On September 10th, join with others around the world who are working towards the common goal of preventing suicide. Check in on someone you may be concerned about, and start a caring conversation with them, asking them how they’re going. Investigate ways of connecting with others who are trying to prevent suicide in your community, your country, or internationally. Show your support by taking part in the International Association for Suicide Prevention's Cycle Around the Globe.

The first World Suicide Prevention Day was held in 2003 and was an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization (WHO). Since then, World Suicide Prevention Day has taken place on 10th September each year.

other 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.

Peace & tolerance


Monday, September 5, 2016

Antigua Gov’t denies turning a blind eye to LGBTI community


ST JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda (CMC) – The Antigua and Barbuda Government has denied allegations that it turns a blind eye to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community and warned that a recent report by a member of the community to the international media could have negative repercussions for the island.

“All persons, irrespective of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, are entitled to enjoy in Antigua & Barbuda the protections provided for by our constitution and by international human rights law,” according to an official statement issued here.

The statement, titled ‘Policy on Protection from violence and discrimination of persons of the LGBTI community,’ further notes that “Antigua & Barbuda does not tolerate any acts of violence or discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community, and maintains their right to protection under local law and international law.

“The government of Antigua and Barbuda upholds the core legal obligations of states with respect to protecting the human rights of LGBTI people.”

Information Minister Melford Nicholas, speaking to reporters at the end of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Thursday, said that the Gaston Browne Administration has taken the initiative to counter the comments made by Canada-based LGBTI activist Tasheka Lavann.

In an interview with the US-based Huffington Post, Antigua and Barbudan-born Lavann, who identified herself as a lesbian, said she feared violence as a member of the LGBTI community.

But while she later retracted the statement, saying they had been taken out of context, there has been a growing call for the government to respond to the allegations.

“We do not want to wait until there is such a development,” Nicholas told reporters, after indicating that St John’s was not willing to wait to hear from Canada first on the issue before taking action.

“If it is given currency, and by the State refusing to indicate what indeed is its position then we run the risk of something then happening and then we have to undo it,” he said, adding, 

“This is not to say that person or persons may not have had… things meted out to them which will not be cause for concern.”

He said when such incidents do occur, the LGBTI community has recourse to the law just as any ordinary citizen.

“The laws of the State are sufficient to protect, and should it be brought to the attention of the authorities, including the Cabinet, that there is any degree of prejudice towards any particular one…we would certainly would like to be made aware of it.

“This Government and all preceding governments have pretty much adhered to the process of law,” he said, noting 

“The Cabinet is of the view that if left untreated and Antigua and Barbuda were to be found in breach to the extent that one of our citizens would be required to achieve refugee status in a country, it would do some harm to the validity of our State and the validity of our passport.”

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The ‘B’ in LGBTQ stills means something


The old issue of invisibility of bisexuality in the struggle if not the discourse surrounding sexuality, rights and orientation continues, this blog may be a little guilty of it for this year at least as so many other issues have come up but several tags and posts have been made prior. The matter of bisexuals seen as confused is also very much alive despite the feeling is coming from younger LGBTians and also despite the availability of more information on social media persons still believe that people need to choose between or be either gay, heterosexual or transgender for that matter but not bisexual or have no room for such expressions with pansexuality (that most do not seem to know the difference from bisexuality) seen as an extreme.

The ball started a rolling from a workshop on sexuality in June where bisexuality was raised among other things, the conversation continued on social media and subsequently I was alerted to the furore of sorts as to what to make of bisexuals especially given that one male member of the cohort openly expressed his bisexuality and was wondering about a female partner he was thinking of a prolonged relationship given she wants a child and is also aware of his orientation none the less. It is almost annually I find myself doing these kinds of posts as the mindset change I expected seems not forthcoming. What is even more egregious is that the vitriol towards bisexuals comes from more females than males, a surprising feature to me seeing we expect women to be more sensitive to emotions and so on.

Sentiments to the effect that bisexuals want to hide their homosexual desires or experiment with homosexual sex is wrong or that they want to have their cake and eat it too which suggests sexual greed keep coming up in the sub text of it all. One woman who can be described as a lesbian said she does not want any bisexual as a partner as how could she trust them as she was not sure when they would “switch” meaning she could be dropped and a man become her replacement. Other insecurity driven sentiments also came through on the now deleted thread by the administrator of the Facebook group involved. Things got so heated that terse words and indeed curse words were exchanged. Bisexuality is still able to somehow emote such phobic or opposing responses from within the LGBT populations. Some questioned how bisexuals can settle going from the one partner at a time concept as opposed to polyandrous or polyandry relationships. Despite some interventions in terms of posts and related articles posted in the group in question some persons were just not receptive, I guess we are experiencing the misunderstanding of orientation as binary in a sense as mentioned before.

What is to be made of asexuality and given the rise in the discussion as linked to the matters of intersex and the Olympics, transgenderism where it is believed some gays are getting caught up in the novelty element of same and the aforementioned pansexuality. The sudden explosion of transgender visibility and the notion of sex reassignment as it were some young persons are misaligning orientation with aesthetics, feminization (forced or unforced) and drag culture and wanting to align with trans when in fact they are not in the final analysis. The same workshop where this bisexuality issue stemmed from also seemed to have elucidated this mix up with transgender as well. Transgender in the eyes of some is a safer haven in their eyes to avoid homophobia with the punctuated violence and seek or get comfort in that world which can lead to other challenges especially in the homeless department.

Just to reiterate it, bisexuals are not confused nor are they greedy and do not want to be seen as such and some persons are sexually attracted to both sexes, maybe one moreso than the other and that there is an abundance of information out there we must not see the kinds responses to such persons. We need to simply inform ourselves on such matters and really get a grasp of what LGBTQ actually means; and that they are not just simply cute call letters for use to identify with. Real inclusiveness if not tolerance is needed, if we are to really get some respect on all levels then said tolerance must be already demonstrably clear in our own backyards to include embracing inter/intra community differences.

Peace & tolerance


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Jealousy leads to fight at strip club (yet again)


An accused lesbian damned as being jealous was held by cops recently at a strip club in St Catherine on Friday night last as she became furious that a girlfriend of hers who performs at the establishment was too close to a male patron. The old issue of women who work in these clubs who also are same sex attracted or involved in liaisons or otherwise has raised its ugly head again. The woman in question who became the center of the tussle between the man and the disgruntled lover works at the club as a performer but is alleged to be just that and not a commercial sex worker as well.

The job does require some light intimate contact with patrons mostly men even though some females also pas through and also patronise the ladies with tips and such as evidenced with cash thrown on or drinks being sent to the particular dancer who is the subject of attention. The subject was in the arms allegedly of a male patron who was also drinking at the time in a too romantic position when her female love interest walked in; she did not act at the time but waited until the woman was off duty to confront her at the dressing room throughway, a problem of access by non-staff that seems to linger these days. What started as an argument steadily became louder to the other dancers and staff and according to some of them questioned things got really ugly when the butch identified woman offered several blows to the face of her love interest.

Several minutes into the melee as the night’s proceedings continued outside the dressing room, the women fought as tempers flared; a wig was soon seen on floor and blood was running down the left side of the dancer’s face as the butch woman unleashed her fury on her. She complained that the love interest was too close to the male patron (of course dotted with colourful Jamaican parlance and expletives) and she proceeded to remind her that she was the ‘man’ in her life and that she was to only dance on stage and not get so close to men almost to the point of sex.

The management of the club was eventually alerted as the music was halted why the DJ announced of the situation over the microphone. Patrons were spooked by the impromptu halt of their enjoyment and when it became apparent as to the reasons why, many were not pleased, to include the male patron in question who wanted a go at the butch woman. Many other male patrons were up in arms declaring that they would harm any lesbian or man royal (the colloquial term for butch identified women), some men went as far as to declare that the club should ban female patrons who look like lesbians and went on to compare another popular strip club where lesbians also congregate in larger numbers and openly flirt with each other and dancers; in disdain the men suggested the lesbians should go there for their entertainment. One man even suggested another spot where male dancers are also a part of the line-up as he related his surprise when he went there and complained that too much gays are about these days.

The fight between the women was stopped by other staff in the dressing rooms and the security detail with the manager present. The aggrieved woman (butch) was escorted outside and a plain clothes policeman allegedly warned her not to cause anymore trouble; which led to another near clash, he identified himself and reached for what appeared to be a firearm on his waist under his shirt. Things calmed and the music resumed with the dancers and waiters serving. The injured young lady had a cut on her left side of her forehead and the aforementioned blood was cleaned off. The butch woman asked to leave the premises a request she took up and told that if she persists and the lady reports the matter to the police further action will be taken.

The phenomenon of lesbian relations with so called go-go dancers outside of their jobs when said job requires interactions sometimes very close intimate contact with male patrons has been a challenge for many years since I have been observing it from HIV prevention activities. It would seem to me that if one’s woman is in such a job then it may not be normative to expect some physical connection, given the nature of the beast. Although she may not have had sex as other dancers may also get involved in commercial sex with patrons and depending on the club rules, lovers need to be cognisant of that fact. To simply get jealous as it were because one’s love interest is in the arms of a man is foolhardy and also suggest there is no trust in that union. If one felt that their love interest will not stray as it were then one should not be worried about the fickle nature of the job sexually speaking. Some have also asked why a lover would come to a club to watch their love interest if not spy on them if not by being insecure. A similar incident occurred at another club in January of this year but was quickly diffused by other male patrons and security and the woman chased away but the aftermath for the woman in question was evident the next week when a healing face wound was the outcome.

Such are the challenges of same gender relations, intimate partner violence and role playing for that matter.

Peace & tolerance


also see:

Lesbians clash in car park outside popular strip club

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Belize’s ruling on gay sex supports access to HIV services — UNAIDS


As we await the written judgement on the concluded case of the buggery law constitutional challenge in Belize here is a position from UNAIDS

Dr Cesar Nuñez

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) today welcomed Belize’s Supreme Court decision to overturn a portion of the small Central American country's criminal code that outlawed gay sex.

This development, UNAIDS said in a release today, reinforces human rights and supports access to HIV services.

Yesterday, Chief Justice of Belize Kenneth Benjamin ruled that Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code is inconsistent with the Constitution. The law criminalised “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”, including anal sex between consenting adults. 

The chief justice ruled that this provision violated the rights to human dignity, privacy, freedom of expression, non-discrimination and equality before the law

This development, according to UNAIDS, comes at a critical juncture in the HIV response. Through the Sustainable Development Goals the world has committed to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. In order to do so member states have pledged to ensure that no one is left behind.

For gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in most of the English-speaking Caribbean, discriminatory and punitive laws regarding sex between men hamper access to HIV and STI prevention and treatment and other social services by reinforcing discriminatory attitudes, UNAIDS said.

The organisation explained that many people are reluctant to reveal their same sex behaviour due to fear of discrimination, harassment and violence. This ruling removes a key stumbling block to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men accessing HIV testing and treatment services.

UNAIDS advocates for the removal of punitive laws which are detrimental to the AIDS response. This must be combined with strategies to increase testing, treatment and treatment retention rates, particularly among young people, sex workers, transgender people, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men and other key populations, the release said.

Additionally, UNAIDS said the move is an encouraging step forward for a country that has already demonstrated a relatively high level of positive attitudes regarding homosexuals.

A 2013 poll commissioned by UNAIDS found that two out of every three Belizeans were either accepting or tolerant of homosexuals (68 per cent). In addition, three of four respondents agreed that people should not be treated differently on the basis of their sexual orientation (75 per cent).

“The ruling of the Belize High Court echoes the widespread public opinion in Belize that people should be treated with dignity and equality, regardless of who they love,” said UNAIDS Director of the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Support Team, Dr Cesar Nuñez.

also see from GJW:

Suggestions that court victory in Belize could set precedent for decriminalisation in region

Anti-Sodomy Laws Across The Region Should Now Tumble - UN, Human Rights Groups 

Belize Supreme Court overturns sodomy law for consenting adults


leading antigay voice Dr Wayne West upon realising now that he and others may not get their way in keeping antiquated laws wants to play on the public's ignorance to go the route of an obvious uninformed referendum of buggery while ignoring the chief way of the interpretation of law.

West says such an important change in societal norm should have the input of Jamaicans.

West says he believes that any change to Jamaica’s law criminalising anal sex should come from a vote by Jamaicans in a referendum and not from a court.

West notes that courts in the US overturned matrimonial laws legalising same sex marriages despite citizens voting in referenda against gay marriage.

He says Jamaica should seek to avoid such a situation, stressing that a national consensus, through a referendum on buggery, is the right way to go.

Monday, August 8, 2016

WHO set to declassify trans identity as mental disorder…but is it enough?


It has recently been announced that the World Health Organisation is proposing – finally – to remove transgender identity and gender dysphoria from its list of mental health disorders.

The list, known as the ICD-10, describes gender dysphoria as “the urge to belong to the opposite sex that may include surgical procedures to modify the sex organs in order to appear as the opposite sex”.

Calls for the WHO to revisit this have increased in recent years and most recently since new research has confirmed that transgender and non-binary people experience disproportionately high rates of social rejection and are more likely to be victims of violence. One such study, published in the medical periodical The Lancet, argued that “the conceptualisation of transgender identity as a mental disorder has contributed to precarious legal status, human rights violations, and barriers to appropriate health care among transgender people.” The psychiatrists behind the study recommended removing “categories related to transgender identity from the classification of mental disorders, in part based on the idea that these conditions do not satisfy the definitional requirements of mental disorders…[after considering] whether distress and impairment, considered essential characteristics of mental disorders, could be explained by experiences of social rejection and violence rather than being inherent features of transgender identity” they concluded that there was a need to declassify gender dysphoria and transgender identity as mental disorders and to instead seek ways to “increase access to appropriate services and reduce the victimisation of transgender people.”

The human cost of conflating identity with disorder

Professor Geoffrey Reed, the study’s senior author, said: ““The definition of transgender identity as a mental disorder has been misused to justify denial of health care and contributed to the perception that transgender people must be treated by psychiatric specialists, creating barriers to health care services.

“The definition has even been misused by some governments to deny self-determination and decision-making authority to transgender people in matters ranging from changing legal documents to child custody and reproduction.”

Dr Rebeca Robles, the study’s lead investigator, added: “Rates of experiences related to social rejection and violence were extremely high in this study, and the frequency with which this occurred within participants own families is particularly disturbing.”

The WHO is reportedly considering declassification when it next reviews its list of mental and behavioural disorders in two years’ time. Work on this – which will be known as the ICD-11, has taken some time and the list has not been updated since the 1980s. There have so far been no objections from within the WHO to the calls to change the classification of transgender identity. There appears to be recognition that the existing classification reinforces stigma while doing nothing to alleviate the problems of rejection and distress many transgender and non-binary people experience. All this is naturally positive.

“A diagnosis – but not a mental health diagnosis”Does tackling discrimination require a change of language and culture, especially in medical circles?

Perhaps less positive is the suggestion that ICD-11 will declassify transgender identity will as a mental disorder but will list it in a different part of the document, potentially under conditions related to sexual health. New York psychiatrist Dr Jack Drescher, a member of the ICD-11 working group, explains: “So they’ll be diagnoses, but they won’t be mental disorder diagnoses.” Glad that’s been cleared up.

It is proposed that the new ICD-11 will refer to “gender incongruence” as “characterized by a marked and persistent incongruence between an individual´s experienced gender and the assigned sex, which often leads to a desire to ‘transition’, in order to live and be accepted as a person of the experienced gender, through hormonal treatment, surgery or other health care services to make the individual´s body align, as much as desired and to the extent possible, with the experienced gender. The diagnosis cannot be assigned prior the onset of puberty.” So while it’s been declassified as a mental health condition, it is still likely to remain a clinical diagnosis.

While declassification will be welcome, not to mention overdue, it will represent the beginning of a process rather than signify an end in itself. There can be little doubting that being rendered mentally disordered will always be stigmatising and dehumanising; however, it’s not only the ICD-11 categorisations that need to be challenged but also the culture of medicalisation behind it. It’s not enough to declassify the “mental disorder” element in a well-meaning but misguided attempt to strip away stigma that speaks volumes about the way mental health continues to be treated, when the same identity issue is continued to be perceived as something that is in some way “wrong”. We need to move away from the language of “disorder” altogether.

This is vitally important, especially as many transgender and non-binary people receive deficient treatment in the NHS. If we’re serious about tackling discrimination, we need a change of language – and a corresponding change in culture.

Medicalisation – part of the problem?

Are overly medical approaches doing trans people a disservice?

There is also a tendency in our scientific world to over-medicalise everything, and consequently there will be those who feel that transgender people are actually best served through a system that provides them with psychological care and institutional support. One such voice, American psychiatrist Paul McHugh, goes so far as to suggest transgender people’s real difficulty is “underlying psycho-social troubles”, which constitute “a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention”. He is not alone.

These voices may be arguing against a growing consensus, but they underline the reality that the arguments must move away from medical. After all, it wasn’t long ago that homosexual people were seen as being mentally disordered and it wasn’t the intellectual medical arguments that brought about greater social acceptance for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Yes, declassifying transgender people as mentally disordered will, at a stroke, cease to mark them in the way they have for decades. It will also mean governments who have used the WHO’s inadvertent support for their denial of rights and protections to transgender and non-binary people may have to reconsider their actions.

The medical arguments label, analyse, consider data and seek to offer scientific explanations. All that can be helpful. But what they’re less good at is recognising that transgender experiences are incredibly varied, as are the “treatments” transgender people want. They don’t generally treat individuals as individuals, but as some kind of homogenous group with a shared identity. Ultimately, why should it be up to the medical profession to decide who has a valid gender identity and who doesn’t?

And that’s the real issue – who has the right to determine who is and who isn’t a particular gender? Who has the right to deny people the right to identify with any gender or none? While declassifying gender dysphoria as a mental health condition represents a powerful statement and an overdue step forward, the real solution lies in improving social awareness, with education rooted in the experiences of transgender and non-binary people.

Transgender experience

Lesley Stafford: “I had to put my hand up to a ‘mental health disorder’ to be allowed certain treatment, but I was never convinced of the correctness of this.”

Lesley has often been asked when she knew she first felt like a girl, a woman, and she can’t answer the question. She explains: “I have never felt like a girl or a woman; I simply was a girl, and, later, a woman. Nor can I explain how a child, albeit a very bright child, can get their head around the way I was and live comfortably with the dichotomy of being a girl while living as a boy.

“I had problems enough as a child and this wasn’t one of them. My father had a problem with my problem, and he had a drink problem, and the toxic mixture would bubble into regular physical violence, intimidation, and humiliation for me. I was clever too, I knew it, I wasn’t shy about it and that was a problem; I liked “snob music” and that was a problem. I was a problem. I would “end up a bloody pervert, like that one on the telly”, and I have no idea which pervert I was destined to be like. I never worried myself about that. My mother exploited my strange malady in another more sinister and sickening way, and that remains a problem for me.

“For a long time, my biggest issue was that I lived contentedly in a boys’ world while something in my manner seemed “girlish” to my parents, but I WAS a tomboy. I lived my boys’ life fully in character. I climbed trees better than any other child my age; I was up for every mad, crazy adventure going. I hung about the fringes of my older brother’s delinquent gang. I stole. I lied. I cheated. The police dragged me home from time to time, and I was charged with petty offences.

“The discovery that my conduct and my dilemma might be explained by my being a tomboy was a great relief. So I am a girl! That’s great!”

When Lesley first heard this expression, and discovered its meaning, a great weight was lifted from her shoulders. Puberty was hell, but she did all she could to survive, and be a girl in a boys’ life – not a boys’ body, or mans’ body. It annoys her still to hear to hear the phrase “a woman trapped in a man’s body”. She says: “I was a girl, a woman, and my body was my own. Don’t get me wrong; my body was pretty well screwed up, but it was mine, and my body and my psyche lived in joyous confusion together for most of my life. We still do. I don’t have a female body. Nor can I ever have one. My breast and genital surgeries were deeply moving experiences for me, but I don’t have a new body. I have my body, the same body I always had – altered but still me, still a woman, still the same woman I always was. I had to put my hand up to a ‘mental health disorder’ to be allowed certain treatment, but I was never convinced of the correctness of this.”Andrew: “I was concerned that anything I said would be connected to my mental health problem.”

Andrew, who is non-binary, admits they’ve “never felt particularly male…from as young as I can remember I always wanted to do ‘girly’ things and struggled to adapt to societal gender roles. In my teens, things happened to my body physically that don’t really happen to boys. So while I didn’t have a woman’s body I certainly didn’t have a typically male one either. For all the arguments about gender being a psycho-social expression of identity or a social construct, in my case there was an undoubtedly a biological basis.

“The picture was complicated further by my sexual orientation (Andrew is bisexual) and the fact that in the Hebrides during the 1990s there were few opportunities to openly and positively discuss my gender identity. Seeing a doctor about this was difficult to say the least – I was also concerned about anything I said being connected to my mental health problem (Andrew experienced depression at this time). So I hid it, tried to make sense of it alone, sometimes even ashamed of who I was. Later, working in mental health, I became more aware of non-binary and transgender identities but also discovered the stigma behind them…there’s no doubt that revisiting the ICD and reclassifying gender dysphoria can help tackle this. But it isn’t enough by itself.”

The new ICD-11 is expected to change the status of transwomen like Lesley. She says: “I will no longer be seen to suffer from ‘gender dysphoria’ – a very vague mental health condition. It would seem that I have had it exchanged for a ‘condition related to sexual health’ – namely ‘gender incongruence’ . . . Hm! At least I’m not crazy! I still have ‘a condition’ and I am still suitable for treatment.

“When I first engaged in gender politics and activism, I met women like me who hated the term transsexual. It was the use of “sexual” that was a problem. We didn’t have a “sexual problem”; we had a “gender issue” and I remain conflicted about that. Transgender is a dreary term, and I have never liked it. Is it an umbrella term? Am I trangender(ed)? My feeling is that I am transsexual. My body, my own woman’s body, clearly bore the evidence of male sexual characteristics. I lived my life as a man. I have children to whom I am a father. My gender, my certainty that I am a woman, has never changed.

“I emerged from hiding. I nailed my colours to the mast. I am the woman I always was. I have neverchanged gender. My body is my own, it is a woman’s body; it always was.

“When my original GP read a few sections of the letter she had received from Dr David Gerber at theSandyford Clinic in Glasgow, I felt the need to quip – ‘You have a letter that says I’m not mad?’

“Not in this respect.”

Related Posts with Thumbnails


Podcasts You may have missed or want to re-listen

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

More uploads

Aphrodite’s PRIDE JA tackles gender identity, transgender misconceptions .....

Nationwide New Network, NNN devoted some forty five minutes of prime time yesterday evening to discuss the issue and help listeners to at least begin to process some of the information coming from the most public declaration exercise as done by Jenner. Guests on the show were Dr Karen Carpenter Board Certified Clinical Sexologist and Psychologist, ‘Satiba’ from Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica of which I am affiliated and Lecturer (Sociologist) and host of Every Woman on the station Georgette Crawford Williams (sister of PNP member of parliament Damian Crawford); one of the first questions thrown at Satiba by host Cliff Hughes was why has Jenna waited so long at 65 years old to make such a life changing decision?

Satiba responded that many transwomen have to hide their true identity in life .... given her life when she was younger she was a star athlete she would have been under tremendous precious to stay in from the expectations by the public and her team etc, also owing to the fact that she had a family as a man with children one may not want to upset the flow at that time until the kids are old enough. There is a lot of burden of guilt that some persons carry in weighing the decisions of coming out or transitioning so suppression of one’s true self is the modus operandi.

Dr Carpenter cautioned after a heated exchange:

“We really must remember as professionals we must stay in our lane I will never pronounce as a Sociologist cause I am not a Sociologist ............When we have an opportunity to speak publicly we must be careful of what we say unless it is extremely well informed......”

Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website

Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website on December 1 2015 on World AIDS Day where they hosted a docu-film and after discussions on the film Human Vol 1

audience members interacting during a break in the event

film in progress

visit the new APJ website HERE

See posts on APJ's work: HERE (newer entries will appear first so scroll to see older ones)

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?

Promised conscience vote was a fluke from the PNP ........

SO WE WERE DUPED EH? - the suggestion of a conscience vote on the buggery law as espoused by Prime Minister (then opposition leader) in the 2011 leadership debate preceding the last national elections was a dangling carrot for a dumb donkey to follow.

Many advocates and individuals interpreted Mrs Simpson Miller's pronouncements as a promise or a commitment to repeal or at least look at the archaic buggery law but I and a few others who spoke openly dismissed it all from day one as nothing more than hot air especially soon after in February member of parliament Damian Crawford poured cold water on the suggestion/promise and said it was not a priority as that time. and who seems to always open his mouth these days and revealing his thoughts that sometimes go against the administration's path.

I knew from then that as existed before even under the previous PM P. J. Patterson (often thought to be gay by the public) also danced around the issue as this could mean votes and loss of political power. Mrs Simpson Miller in the meantime was awarded a political consultants' democracy medal as their conference concludes in Antigua.

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.

Some Popular Posts

Are you ready to fight for gay rights and freedoms?? (multiple answers are allowed)

Did U Find This Blog Informative???

Blog Roll

What do you think is the most important area of HIV treatment research today?

Do you think Lesbians could use their tolerance advantage to help push for gay rights in Jamaica??

Violence & 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: or

Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
  • 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

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

  • Welcoming, examining and implementing 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 for your support.

Tel: 1-876-799-2231


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 alleged gays in Jamaica.

Faces and names withheld 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 practitioner

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 Cases

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 or call 1-876-799-2231

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 outmaneuvering 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 violated. 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

What to do

a. Make a phone call: to a lawyer or relative or anyone

b. Ask to see a lawyer immediately: if you don’t have the money ask for a Duty Council

c. A Duty Council is a lawyer provided by the state

d. Talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police

e. Tell your lawyer if anyone hits you and identify who did so by name and number

f. Give no explanations excuses or stories: you can make your defense later in court based on what you and your lawyer decided

g. Ask the sub officer in charge of the station to grant bail once you are charged with an offence

h. Ask to be taken before a justice of The Peace immediately if the sub officer refuses you bail

i. Demand to be brought before a Resident Magistrate and have your lawyer ask the judge for bail

j. Ask that any property taken from you be listed and sealed in your presence

Cases of Assault:An assault is an apprehension that someone is about to hit you

The following may apply:

1) Call 119 or go to the station or the police arrives depending on the severity of the injuries

2) The report must be about the incident as it happened, once the report is admitted as evidence it becomes the basis for the trial

3) Critical evidence must be gathered as to the injuries received which may include a Doctor’s report of the injuries.

4) The description must be clearly stated; describing injuries directly and identifying them clearly, show the doctor the injuries clearly upon the visit it must be able to stand up under cross examination in court.

5) Misguided evidence threatens the credibility of the witness during a trial; avoid the questioning of the witnesses credibility, the tribunal of fact must be able to rely on the witness’s word in presenting evidence

6) The court is guided by credible evidence on which it will make it’s finding of facts

7) Bolster the credibility of a case by a report from an independent disinterested party.

Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today


CVM TV carried a raid and subsequent temporary blockade exercise of the Shoemaker Gully in the New Kingston district as the authorities respond to the bad eggs in the group of homeless/displaced or idling MSM/Trans persons who loiter there for years.

Question is what will happen to the population now as they struggle for a roof over their heads and food etc. The Superintendent who proposed a shelter idea (that seemingly has been ignored by JFLAG et al) was the one who led the raid/eviction.

Also see:
the CVM NEWS Story HERE on the eviction/raid taken by the police

also see a flashback to some of the troubling issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless GBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE


see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

May 22, 2015 update, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston

THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts

THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts 

The Prime Minister (Golding) on Same Sex Marriages and the Charter of Rights Debate (2009)

Other sides to the msm homeless saga (2012)

Rowdy Gays Matter 21.08.11 more HERE

Ethical Professionlism & LGBT Advocates 01.02.12 more HERE

Portia Simpson Miller - SIMPSON MILLER DEFENDS GAY COMMENT 23.12.11

2 SGL Women lost, corrective rape and virtual silence from the male dominated advocacy structure

Al Miller on UK Aid & The Abnormality of Homosexuality 19.11.11

Homosexuality is Not Illegal in Jamaica .... Buggery is despite the persons gender 12.11.11 MORE HERE 

MSM Homelessness 2011 two cents

Black Friday for Gays in Jamaica More HERE

Bi-phobia by default from supposed LGBT advocate structures?

Homeless MSMs Saga Timeline 28.08.11 (HOT!!!) see more HERE

A Response to Al Miller's Abnormality of Homosexuality statement 19.11.11

UK/commonwealth Aid Matter & The New Developments, no aid cuts but redirecting, ethical problems on our part - 22.11.11

Homophobic Killings versus Non Homophobic Killings 12.07.12

Big Lies, Crisis Archiving & More MSM Homlessness Issues 12.07.12

More MSM Challenges July 2012 more sounds HERE

GLBTQ Jamaica 2011 Summary 02.01.12 more HERE

Homosexuality Destroying the Family? .............. I Think Not!

Lesbian issues left out of the Jamaican advocacy thrust until now?

Club Heavens The Rebirth 12.02.12 and more HERE

Should gov't provide shelter for homeless msm?

National attitudes to gays survey shows 78% of J'cans say NO to buggery repeal

1st Anniversary of Homeless MSM civil disobedience (Aug 23/4) 2012 more HERE

JFLAG's rejection of rowdy homeless msms & the Sept 21st standoff .........

Atheism & Secularism may cloud the struggle for lgbt rights in Jamaica more HERE

Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II and more HERE

MSM Community Displacement Concerns October 2012

The UTECH abuse & related issues

Beenieman's hypocrisy & his fake apology in his own words and more HERE

Guarded about JFLAG's Homeless shelter

Homophobia & homelessness matters for November 2012 ................

Cabinet delays buggery review, says it's not a priority & more ...........................(November 2012) prior to the announcement of the review in parliament in June 2013 More sounds HERE

"Dutty Mind" used in Patois Bible to describe homosexuals

Homeless impatient with agencies over slow progress for promised shelter 2012 More HERE

George Davis Live - Dr Wayne West & Carole Narcisse on JCHS' illogical fear

Homeless MSM Issues in New Kgn Jan 2013 .......

Homeless MSM challenges in Jamaica February 2013 more HERE

JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness 2013

Poor leadership & dithering are reasons for JFLAG & Jamaica AIDS Support’s temporary homelessness May 2013 more HERE

Response To Flagging a Dead Horse Free Speech & Gay Rights 10.06.13

This Day in History