Saturday, October 4, 2008
Jamaica's popular culture has a strong tradition of music, particularly reggae and dancehall. As a consequence performers are high profile, either (depending on perspective) seen as influencing popular opinion or reflecting it. Artists such as Buju Banton, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Vybz Kartel, Elephant Man, Sizzla, Capleton, T.O.K., Anthony B and Shabba Ranks, write and perform songs that advocate attacking or killing gays and lesbians.
Apologists argue that these artists are simply championing Rastafarian values in contemporary reggae music by recording material which is concerned primarily with exploring Rastafarian themes, such as Babylon's corrupting influence, the disenfranchisement of ghetto youth, oppression of the black nation and their abiding faith in Jah and resistance against perceived agents of oppression. Homosexuality is enmeshed with these themes.
One of Beenie Man's songs contains the lyrics: "I'm a dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays." Lyrics from Sizzla's songs include: “Shot batty boy, my big gun boom” (Shoot queers, my big gun goes boom). "A Nuh Fi Wi Fault" by Elephant Man boasts: "Battyman fi dead!/Please mark we word/Gimme tha tech-nine/Shoot dem like bird".
Shabba Ranks's reputation was badly damaged by his explicitly homophobic views and lyrics. This was evidenced by a notorious incident on the Channel 4 programme 'The Word' where he advocated the crucifixion of homosexuals. This view was also aired, for example, on his track "No Mama Man", where the following lyrics can be heard: "If Jamaica would a legalize gun / to kill battyboy would be the greatest fun".
An international campaign against homophobia by reggae singers has been launched by OutRage!, UK-based gay human rights group., the UK-based Stop Murder Music Coalition (SMM) and others. An agreement to stop anti-gay lyrics during live performances and not to produce any new anti-gay material or re-release offending songs was reached in February 2005 between dancehall record labels and organizations opposed to anti-gay murder lyrics. As of July 2006 this agreement seems to have been revoked.
The Canadian High Commission in Jamaica is also requiring performers who wish to tour in Canada to sign an Entertainer Declaration that states that they have read and fully understand excerpts from the Criminal Code of Canada, Charter of Rights and Human Rights Act and "will not engage in or advocate hatred against persons because of their… sexual orientation."
The most recent rising star of dancehall reggae to use violent homophobic lyrics is Dr. Evil, aka Mr.Evil of the duo Leftside and Esco. In his song "JA don't like gay" he uses lyrics which include, "I bought this AK to spray on all gays." In 2008 he collaborated with dancehall star Sean Paul.
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Friday, October 3, 2008
I am absolutely horrified about the situation my brothers and sisters of gay and lesbian identities face in Jamaica.
I should be proud of my father's homeland, but I am not. I am ashamed. When my father came here to England, he faced terrible abuse for being black.
Cannot help our sexuality
He was considered, like all other Jamaicans in the country, to be no less than an animal, in fact, a sub-species. He was spat upon, reviled and sometimes beaten because of his skin colour. Now how do I see things changing in Jamaica? People are just as bad in Jamaica about lesbians and gays. We cannot help our sexuality. We are born with it.
Hypocrisy and bigotry
We are told God loves a sinner. If it is a sin and God loves all sinners, why are people behaving like this in the name of God? Such hypocrisy and bigotry need to be eradicated. We are sup-posed to be civilised people. What happened? Why such pain and shame? Killing people for being gay is a terrible crime.
Change these draconian laws. Why are people so threatened now by such things? Fear is no excuse. I shall do whatever is within my power to put a stop to this until the day I die.
You are gay and there are many others like you. Why do you seek to condemn others who are not gay and who do not agree with your lifestyle? What laws do you want to be changed in Jamaica? I have said many times that no one should be threatened, beaten or killed because of their sexual preference.
On the other hand, those who are gay should not flaunt their lifestyle in public and expect the people of Jamaica to accept the things they do as acceptable behaviour.
Too bad you are ashamed of Jamaica. Although your father was Jamaican, you don't seem to know much about this beautiful island. You are angry. Cool down, sir. Learn about Jamaica and its people. Nobody is going to interfere with you because you are gay, but if you believe that you can get everybody in this country to accept your lifestyle you are making a very big mistake.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Lately, I’ve been writing about thriving after a break up, feeling the economy shift, and thinking about earthquakes. I’m thrilled to share a perspective on upheaval that can support and inspire you to continue deliberately creating the life you desire.From a law of attraction perspective, you are always creating your experience through the energy your thoughts exude.
In other words, your external life experience is a reflection of your internal thoughts, feelings and beliefs. This creation process is always occurring, and applies to individuals, our country, and world. Additionally, there is constant dynamic exchange between your thoughts and your experiences. Sometimes the dissonance between the life you’ve created and who you’ve become results in a build up of energy. A significant shift must occur to realign your life. Thus, break ups, earthquakes and economic shake ups happen in response to a quest for a new equilibrium.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
In July President Bush signed the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Act, which lifts the ban on HIV positive people from entering the United States. The bulk of the legislation aims to fight AIDS in the developing world.
At present any foreign national who tests positive for HIV is "inadmissible," meaning he or she is barred from permanent residence and even short-term travel in the United States.
Yesterday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will issue regulations which purport to “streamline” the waiver application process for HIV-positive short-term visitors.
"The timing of these regulations is deeply troubling," said Victoria Neilson, Legal Director of Immigration Equality.
"In July, Congress issued a bipartisan message to this Administration – remove HIV as a barrier to travel and immigration.
"Instead of simply ending the HIV travel ban, the administration is again treating HIV differently from any other medical condition."
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who led the repeal effort in the House of Representatives, said:
"I am disappointed that the Administration has decided to move ahead and finalise this rule to clarify the visa waiver process for HIV positive short term visitors to the United States.
"The rule itself remains fundamentally flawed because it is grounded on an unjust and discriminatory policy that has no basis in public health."
Immigration Equality said that under the new rules a short-term traveller must meet twelve stringent criteria "that impose unnecessary burdens on HIV+ travellers and continue to stigmatise those living with HIV. Some criteria are inconsistent with current medical knowledge of HIV transmission and treatment."
Visitors who take up the waiver do not have the right to apply for a green card from within the United States – even if he or she marries a U.S. citizen.
Department of State consular officers will make decisions on waivers without sending them to DHS for approval.
"We are on the eve of lifting this ban once and for all. Why is the Administration setting new waiver requirements in stone now?" said Ms Neilson.
"The time has come for this Administration to finish the job that Congress started this summer. It’s time to lift the HIV ban."
The ban originates from 1987, when fear about the spread of the disease led US officials to require anyone with HIV to declare their status and apply for a special visa.
The matter was reported to the Kingston Central police and they have since transferred the matter to Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse.
The teen told THE STAR that he was beaten until he was unconsciousness. "Him try fi have sex wid mi nuff time and mi tell him no and today him tek mi bag and seh is either mi have sex with him or mi haffi pay him," the traumatised and scared youth said. "All mi can say is mi feel sad and bad."
The St Andrew North Police say that yesterday they held the most-wanted man in their division in bed with another man.
THE STAR was told that during an early-morning raid carried out at a two-room house in the Harriman Close area of Jacks Hill, St Andrew, Damion Walker, otherwise called 'Bruno', was captured.
Walker was wanted in connection with a double murder that occurred on July 27, 2007, along Park Lane in the Red Hills Road area.
During that incident, Camille Daley and Clive Baker were killed. A warrant had been issued for Walker's arrest in connection with this crime.
He was also being sought by the police for the murder of Eunice Campbell, who was killed earlier this year along Oddman Lane in the Grants Pen community.
Walker, THE STAR was told, was found in bed with his driver and alleged accomplice, Jason Hart, otherwise called 'Tallman'. Hart, the police say, is being held for harbouring a fugitive, but could face other charges.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Most people lie to their partners or spouses at least occasionally. Since lying (especially when it becomes habitual) can have such a detrimental impact on your relationship, it's important to understand the reasons why you might lie and how to overcome the need to lie.
6).The Compassionate lie.
7).The Spiteful lie.
If you've lied to your partner recently, feel the urge to lie, or if lying has been a problem for you in general, begin to question your motivation for spinning these tales. Check your reasons with the list above to gain further clarity. It's obviously best that your relationship be built on a foundation of honesty.
Monday, September 29, 2008
How to Deliberately Create Your Life After Your Relationship Changes
The Law of Attraction is a phenomenally powerful resource that is available to ALL of us! You may have seen the movies, “The Secret”, and “What the Bleep”, that helped popularize the Law of Attraction concepts that, our thoughts create our reality. This article explores how your answers to three questions can guide you to increased sense of peace and freedom after your relationship with a lover or partner changes.
Let’s start with a quick review of how the Law of Attraction works.
Everything within the universe is comprised of energy.
Energy interacts dynamically with itself, and like a magnet, attracts that which is similar. In practical terms, the universe is always agreeing with you and the thoughts and feelings you radiate. The formula for deliberate creation is simple:
Your ongoing answers to three essential questions can tap into your desires and support your energy alignment after your break up.
- What do I want?
It is our nature to continually notice and evolve toward our desires. So, please, don’t be shy!!! Let your self be clear about what you like AND thankful for what you have. Learn to welcome the notion that your approach to life, break up, love, romance, and dating is uniquely yours.
To tap your desires, simply make a list of what you want. What do you want this very second, and in the future? Write it ALL down, and update it regularly. Remember, this is a list of what you want, not a list of what you don’t want. How will you feel when you have what you want? Integrate these feelings into your daily life through activities, visioning, and journaling.
- What will bring relief?
- What if this is the most perfect place and time in my life?
How to use these questions.
These questions are simple, yet profound guides toward your ever expanding self. The first question is all about desire, while the second and third questions relate to your alignment with your desires. Since transitioning out of a relationship is a journey, your answers to these questions at one time in your life might take you to one level of insight. As you continue to take action that supports your answers to these questions, you’ll tap deeper into the peace and freedom found in your core self.
Ask these questions often, especially at the beginning and end of your day. At the beginning of your day, you’ll be setting your intentions for how you want the day to be. At the end of the day, notice and appreciate how well you integrated the answers to these questions in your life.
Enjoy, and may you always flourish. . ..
Judy Kinney is the creator of Dream and Flourish LLC, a coaching resource for lesbian, bi and queer women who are ready for love, like they know it can be.
"They took me to the police station, and it was there that I discovered that I hadn't been arrested for embezzlement but for statutory rape and homosexuality. I was dumbfounded. I didn't know what to do. And then they threw me and five other guys who were also gay in prison. We weren't tried and I was never sentenced. We were just put in prison as if we were wild animals."
Prison lifeLorenzo and the other five men spent a total of seven months in jail. They were all in the same cell and were rarely allowed out. Everyone in the prison, both the guards and the inmates, knew they were gay.
A free man? When Lorenzo was released, he had no money and nowhere to go. He moved back in with his mother and brothers and sisters. They only discovered that he was gay when he was jailed. "My relationship with my family now is difficult.
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Violence and venom force gay Jamaicans to hide
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Thanks for your Donations
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.
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
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.
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Recent Homophobic Incidents
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What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)
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.
The police 119
Crime Stop 311
Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
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
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