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

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What if Semenya were a Jamaican?

Peta-Ann Baker

Would Jamaica have added an eighth gold medal to its haul at the recently concluded World Athletics Championships if Caster Semenya had been a Jamaican? Semenya's victory in the Women's 800 metres was called into question because the athletic authorities had requested (demanded?) that she undergo testing to determine her sex.

For many people, the conclusions that they had drawn based on her physical appearance were confirmed by news reports that her body is producing three times the amount of testosterone as the average woman. Semenya is a man!

Here in Jamaica the cartoonists, commentators and talk show hosts have been having a field day. One cartoonist caricatured her name - Si-man-ya! A commentator admits that she might be a woman, but not one that he would take out on a date. (The arrogance of his assumption that she would want to go anywhere with him escapes him of course.) A talk show host shows off his knowledge of Latin to suggest that there might be a subliminal message about her sex in her name: Semen-ya = semen = male.

Given the dominance of conservative religious ideas in Jamaica at the present time, it could be something of a challenge to find people willing to discuss much less accept the idea that defining one's sex is not a simple matter. But an even cursory investigation produces credible information that many societies have long recognised that the binary definition is not appropriate. As Dr S. F. Ahmed, a consultant in paediatric endocrinology at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, Scotland, states, "It is one thing to have a vulva, vagina, clitoris, breasts, ovaries, but it may be quite another thing being female, feminine, or a woman." It seems that we have to acknowledge that there is a continuum of embodiment, and while the majority may tend more to one end or the other, there are those who occupy spaces closer to the middle.

AMBIGUOUS SEX

Scholars have identified early creation myths in which a person with neither male nor female sex was created to "serve the King". Ancient Asian and Latin American societies have deities that have both or neither sets of genitalia. Some theologians have suggested that the Ethiopian eunuch whom Phillip encountered was not a man who had been castrated (the common definition of eunuch), but was instead a member of this "third sex". The existence of intersex and transsexual persons in eastern Africa including southern Ethiopia has been documented.

But persons of ambiguous sex are not just the subject of myth or scriptural exegesis. In recent times, occupants of this space between male and female have been identified in countries as diverse as India which has millions of such persons called the Hijra; in Samoa where the Fa'afafine (featured in a recent BBC documentary) seemingly male children are raised as females and perform domestic roles in the family. Here in the Caribbean, there are the Guevedoche of the Dominican Republic. These persons appear female at birth, but with the onset of puberty develop male organs. Many continue to identify as female.

What we do not realise is that every year intersex children are born here in Jamaica. What we also do not sufficiently appreciate is that being intersex is only one of several distinctions that exist in the fields of sex, gender and sexual orientation, that these three are separate constructs and that science cannot definitively say what makes us 'male' or 'female', nor what determines same or other sex attraction.

If the ambiguity is evident at birth or in early childhood, surgery and possibly hormone therapy are routinely provided. If the ambiguity emerges later in life, such as happens in the Dominican Republic similar actions might be taken. Some girls having undergone surgery go on to form heterosexual relationships and bear children. But reports from other countries indicate that the result of sexual assignment surgery is not always positive. In some instances the child comes to adulthood with a different gender identity to that assigned by doctors (who intervened based on what they found to be the dominant characteristics). It is not easy to undo that which has been done in early childhood, especially if male genitalia have been removed. Interestingly, it seems as if the female is the "default" version for all of us; male characteristics only emerge several weeks into the development of the foetus.

Perhaps even more painful is the experience of those children who are born with these characteristics who are locked away at home because of their parents' shame, fear or desire to protect them from the prying eyes of a gossipy and superstitious community. A lack of understanding makes them objects of derision when they emerge in public. Some play on the public's voyeuristic tendencies and earn a living by exhibiting themselves.

DECISION-MAKING

What is sure is that there are very few persons in Jamaica competent to provide information and advice to parents and young persons facing these issues. The ethical question of the child's right to participate in decision-making about such a life changing matter - which implies at least delaying surgery, does not appear to have become part of the discourse even among this small group of professionals, and the early surgical intervention approach seems to predominate.

I wonder if Senator Hyacinth Bennett was aware of any of this when she demanded that the new Sexual Offences Bill give no protection from rape and any other form of sexual assault to persons who have had sex-change operations. One would have expected an educator to demonstrate some minimal understanding of the complexity of the issues of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

Even if we disapprove of a particular set of sexual behaviours, those who occupy positions of leadership need to be careful that these opinions do not result in a failure to ensure that we act on the basis of factual information rather than on the basis of prejudice or belief.

This is particularly important in light of the fact that those who for whatever reason appear to be other than 'normal' are among the ones most likely to be subject to violence, including sexual violence.

Given the foregoing, it is unlikely that if Caster Semenya were Jamaican, we would have added an eighth gold medal to our tally. The news reports state that her parents affirm that she was raised as a girl although she was always considered a 'tomboy'. Can you imagine a similar Jamaican child's parents being willing to be interviewed in the national and international press? Even if they were not ashamed of their child, they would be fearful of the backlash from their community and would therefore remain silent.

SEX VERIFICATION

It will be interesting to see what happens if the authorities determine that Semenya is in fact more male than female, and that this is due to no conscious action on her part or on the part of those associated with her athletic career. Producing more testosterone than usual for a woman is not a definitive sign of masculinity by the way, since it is possible for the body to produce this hormone but not be able to use it. The International Association of Athletics Federations had abandoned the wholesale use of sex verification tests in 1991 because it realised that they were not completely reliable.

A recent edition of Sports Illustrated on-line reports that in a similar case an athlete who had lived her life as a woman, but who was stripped of the medal she won at the 2006 Asian games, tried to commit suicide.

In the meantime, rather than going home in shame, as would probably have been the case were she Jamaican, Caster Semenya returned to the warm embrace of family, village and nation. What she does from here on remains to be seen.

All this should not be surprising since South Africa is the first country in the world to provide constitutional protection from discrimination for persons of different sexual orientations and is reported to be willing to grant asylum to persons who fear persecution on the grounds of sex, gender or sexual orientation. Gender reassignment surgery is available and openly performed, and people are able to change their personal documents, e.g., passports, to reflect a change in sex. While community attitudes are not always approving, South African legislators had the moral courage to recognise the legitimate rights of all its citizens.

Peta-Anne Baker is the co-ordinator of the Social Work Programme at the University of the West Indies, Mona. pab.ja2009@gmail.com.

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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


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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:

and





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

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

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

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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: glbtqjamaica@live.com or lgbtevent@gmail.com



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: 1-876-841-2923




Peace

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 lgbtevent@gmail.com or call 1-876-841-2923

Peace to you and be safe out there.

Love.


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

VACANT AT LAST! SHOEMAKERGULLY: DISPLACED MSM/TRANS PERSONS WERE IS CLEARED DECEMBER 2014





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

GLBTQJA (Blogger): 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 ...my 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