Monday, November 30, 2009
The article has listed quotes from some prominent luminaries in Psychiatry and Counseling who have on the face of it backed the belief that is widely held by many in Jamaican society and echoed in the piece. Sadly many of the cases of gay violence be it gay on gay or otherwise involve prominent persons but have internal conflicts ending up in some ugly mess. That much is true however the vast majority of cases where persons are killed, evicted or forced to relocate from their homes, rape of lesbians and beatings go unnoticed by the mainstream media and are often sanctioned in a way by the silence thereof sliding them underground. If it weren't for blogs like this one and others who may know of such events or JFLAG to some extent, if and when they speak out on these issues then the public would be unaware but with the limited reach and readership of such outlets the issues still go unheard of thus fuelling the perceptions held ad expressed in the Observer article.
Do not get me wrong there are incidents of relationships of whatever sort go haywire namely transactional or situational sex negotiations that did not work out or just mere accusations of infidelity have led to awful outcomes but to simply say that no incidents of homophobic attacks and episodes have occurred is simply not true, frankly many quoted in the article simply want not to believe it so they can push their discriminatory lines of argument and justify their bigoted positions.
Just look at some of the incidents that have come to light recently not to mention those that have gone under the radar from folks like me who have our ears on the ground. One wonders when are we going to see the truth or is part of the problem class? as outlined before the cases that do get media attention are ones with prominent persons while the ordinary victims are overlooked as they have no stake being involved in this nasty lifestyle. There is alot that needs to be done with us a GLBT community and the general population by extension.
BY HG HELPS Editor-at-Large firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ghastly gouging out of the eyes of self-confessed homosexual Claude Pryce by his enraged lover last week, brought into sharp focus the often spine-chilling, bloody end that awaits, when love goes wrong among gays.
Police investigations of gay deaths are replete with scenes in which the knife - the apparent weapon of choice - is plunged over and over into the body of the victim, leaving a trail of blood that frequently leads to prominent doors in affluent St Andrew.
Former trade ambassador Peter King, described by one member of the homosexual community as an "aggressive male hunter", was arguably the most high-profile Jamaican to have perished in that tragic style.
Police said they found several tapes containing explicit sexual scenes in King's house and the names of prominent Jamaicans apparently caught on tape, have been mentioned.
King, who at one time headed the trade board and led Jamaica's talks in countless international fora, was found lying face-up on his blood-soaked mattress at his St Andrew residence on March 20, 2006. His throat was slashed and his body had numerous stab wounds.
"In the gay community, there are people whose passion finds expression through bizarre sexual experiences and through the infliction of pain," said top psychiatrist Dr Aggrey Irons.
"And so it is not unusual to find acts of cutting off the genitals, gouging out of eyes, personal attacks that have to do with knives and other sharp objects, and so when there is a homosexual to homosexual crime of passion, it is going to seem to be of a bizarre and exaggerated nature," Irons told the Sunday Observer in an interview.
Popular radio talk show host and psychologist, Rev Dr Aaron 'Dear Pastor' Dumas, attested that the knife was the preferred weapon in times of dispute among gays, not only because the gun was harder to get, but death by the knife seemingly allowed for "a greater sense of satisfaction" by the killer.
"They use the knife frequently, because the knife, unlike the gun which is an easier way to kill, is more punishing. When they stab, they don't want the person to survive. Callous and cold-blooded murder seems to depict a lot of these guys," said Dumas, a Baptist pastor who counsels troubled gays.
Homosexual spin doctors in lobby groups such as Kingston-based Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All Sexuals & Gays (J-FLAG) and London-based Outrage! often attempt to deflect blame onto 'homophobic' Jamaicans, a ploy, critics suggest, to pressure the Government into relaxing anti-gay laws.
Homosexual groups claim that there have been over 50 acts of fatal violence against their members in the last five years, although they failed to say how many of those were committed in their own camp.
The common feature - the spilling of blood by the knife - and the gruesome nature of the killings, have been more difficult to explain.
. Claude Pryce's alleged lover gouged out his eyes in a fit of rage, police said, because he (Pryce) had "slept out" the night before.
. The body of well-known lecturer, Dr Cliff Lashley, 57, was found in a gully along Lady Musgrave Road in Kingston in February 1993. His head had been severed and his hands and legs chopped off and stuffed in a bag. Peter Rowe, identified in court as Lashley's young lover, was convicted of non-capital murder for the crime.
Vincent Tulloch, a well-known newspaperman, had over 40 stab wounds when police found his body at his Calabar Mews, St Andrew home in September 1994. The case remains unsolved, but police have not closed the files.
"We are still working on that case, and we are seeking someone who we are told was his lover," a senior investigator told this newspaper last week. Psychic Safa Asontuwa, popularly known as Safa, was brutally beaten and stabbed on June 25, 2002 in Seaview Gardens in Kingston's westend. His body was later cremated. Founder of the J-Flag, Brian Williamson, was stabbed to death on June 9, 2004 by a man from Jones Town who was later charged with his murder. Eyewitnesses stated that the man visited Williamson at his home regularly, until he slaughtered Williamson, following a lover's quarrel.
Psychiatrists, trying to get to the bottom of that homosexual mystery conclude that gay-on-gay violence often resembled that between heterosexuals.
"Homosexuals are no different than heterosexuals in terms of the distribution of other psychiatric disorders, especially personality disorders," said Dr Irons, who also counsels homosexuals.
"Homosexuality in and of itself is not considered a psychiatric disorder, but within the homosexual community there are certain persons with psychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, many of them have personality disorders attendant on their homosexuality and because homosexuals are so focused, perhaps even more so on the importance of attention and affection, especially from other men, they are renounced nationally and internationally for their jealousy. "When you add to that a paranoid element or an anti-social element, that multiplies the rage and jealousy and you see that expressed in their particular crime of passion," he said.
Dr Irons said that attacks by homosexuals on their own could rise to unthinkable levels of gory conduct.
"Stabbing is not specific to homosexual behaviour, it is a sort of tautological connection," said Irons. "But with each stab would come some kind of exclamation, some expression of hatred or disgust. This is physical, emotional and verbal. So with repeated stabbing, you would find bizarre amputations as well and even relocations.
"I have had to counsel patients who have been battered by their same sex lovers. I don't do it often, but I have had to do so and I treat all patients equally, regardless of whether or not they are homosexuals. If you are having a problem with a relationship or within the context of your life, then the appropriate treatment is offered to you," said Irons.
Dr Dumas argued that homosexuals were still in the minority and tended to be very protective.
"To leave one for the other is to play with one's life," he said. "I have counselled many homosexuals, both male and female. Some have told me that if they are out driving with their partners and one looks at another person, the partner is ready to attack. It is a big problem. Just like how a man will take care of his woman, homosexual lovers are like that too.
"Many of the guys who have been fortunate to have good education will tell you that they are afraid to leave the homosexual community because of the reprisals. Some want to start their own families, but fear that if they do that, they could be in danger," Dr Dumas added.
Roman Catholic deacon and counsellor Peter Espeut, while acknowledging that violent homosexual behaviour was outrageous, argued that homosexual conduct was a reflection of the wider society and no different from heterosexual violence occurring here.
"Not only gay lovers are violent, but heterosexual ones too. They chop up and poison each other like the gays do," he said.
"I don't know if it is true that homosexuals are more violent than heterosexuals. We in Jamaica seem to have a way of turning to violence to resolve certain things and we need to ask ourselves why this is so, because the same thing does not happen in countries like the Cayman Islands, St Vincent and Dominica."CONTINUE HERE
This is in response to the November 26 letter "Perverted" in the Observer. Like the writer, I find homosexual practices repulsive and as such would not knowingly keep a gay man as a friend. However, let's look at the bigger picture. Consenting adults indulging in homosexual acts behind closed doors is not Jamaica's biggest problem.
What I find more disturbing is the increasing incidence of sexual abuse against our minors - girls and boys. Fathers and stepfathers are molesting their daughters and sons in some cases. It's a known fact that in some garrison areas dons have their way with whichever girls they choose. My heart goes out to these defenceless children who are robbed of their innocence. It puzzles me that as a society we are so caught up in our stance against homosexuals and yet very little is said or done to combat sexual abuse of our minors.
Be honest with me, don't you think that this issue deserves more attention than homosexuality? The dancehall DJs flog this homosexual argument to death but very rarely do I ever hear any of them "licking out" against sexual abuse. When are we ever going to learn? Just so you know, there is not a law against homosexuality as such in Jamaica. The law that you are referring to is against buggery. Buggery is defined as anal sex, whether between homosexual or heterosexual couples. So you think a man should be sent to prison for having anal sex with his wife? Besides, I still think it ridiculous for someone to be sent to prison for their sexual preference. Think on these things.
Proposed law that would impose life imprisonment on homosexuals has the potential to divide leaders at summit.
The Commonwealth convenes for a summit this week amid growing furor over a proposed law that would impose life imprisonment on homosexuals in Uganda, whose President is chairing the gathering.
The law, proceeding through Uganda's Parliament and supported by some of its top leaders, would imprison anyone who knows of the existence of a gay or lesbian and fails to inform the police within 24 hours. It requires the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” – defined as any sexual act between gays or lesbians in which one person has the HIV virus.
The controversy is growing because Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is the chairman of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, which opens on Friday with Stephen Harper joining the leaders of 52 other countries.
If it is raised at the summit, the issue has the potential to divide Commonwealth leaders, who hold deeply polarized views on homosexuality. A number of Commonwealth countries, including Canada and Britain, have liberal views on the subject, but many African and Caribbean nations are socially conservative and maintain laws on their books that criminalize homosexuality.
Activists are urging the Commonwealth to make it clear that it will suspend Uganda's membership if the law passes.
Human-rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have condemned the bill. They say it is a product of a campaign by evangelical churches and anti-gay groups that has led to death threats and physical assaults against Ugandans suspected of being gay.
The governments of the United States and France have criticized the proposed law, with France expressing “deep concern.”
In Ottawa Tuesday, a spokesman for Mr. Harper also criticized the bill, using words that were virtually identical to the official U.S. comment of several weeks ago. “If adopted, a bill further criminalizing homosexuality would constitute a significant step backwards for the protection of human rights in Uganda,” said Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office.
“Canada has clearly spoken out against human-rights violations committed against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and we urge states to take all necessary measures to ensure that sexual orientation and gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests, or detention.”
By chairing the summit without opposing the anti-homosexuality law, the Ugandan President “makes a mockery of Commonwealth principles,” Stephen Lewis, the former United Nations envoy on AIDS in Africa, said in a speech in Trinidad Tuesday. “This intended anti-homosexual statute has the taste of fascism.”
“The credibility of the Commonwealth is hanging by a spider's thread,” he said. “The putative legislation declares war on homosexuality. … What is put at risk here – beyond the threat of the death penalty for HIV-positive homosexuals – is the entire apparatus of AIDS treatment, prevention and care.”
The private member's bill was introduced last month by a Ugandan backbencher who described homosexuality as a “creeping evil.” The bill has not been formally endorsed by Mr. Museveni, but his government has allowed it to proceed through Parliament, and some of his top officials have praised it.
Analysts are predicting that the law will be approved by Parliament with only minor revisions. A senior government member, Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo, said he views the bill “with joy” because it will “provide leadership around the world.”
The law would impose a sentence of life imprisonment on anyone who “penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the same sex with his penis or any other sexual contraption.” The same penalty would apply if he or she even “touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.”
The law requires a three-year prison sentence for anyone who is aware of evidence of homosexuality and fails to report it to the police within 24 hours. It allows for the prosecution of Ugandans who engage in homosexual acts in foreign countries. And it imposes a prison sentence of up to seven years for anyone who defends the rights of gays and lesbians.
These clauses have “a powerful Orwellian flavour” and reflect a “twisted world of sexual paranoia,” Mr. Lewis said in his speech to the Commonwealth People's Forum, a civil-society group. “Can you imagine a father or a mother turning in a son or daughter? Can you imagine a teacher ratting on a student? But that's exactly what this law requires. I've truly never seen its like before.”
Mr. Lewis, co-director of Aids-Free World, an international advocacy organization, noted that many other countries have laws against sodomy. “But nothing is as stark, punitive and redolent of hate as the bill in Uganda. Nothing comes close to such an omnibus violation of the human rights of sexual minorities,” he said.
“What is truly staggering about all of this is that not a peep of skepticism or incredulity has come from President Museveni.”
The proposed law would “demonize homosexuality” and “intensify stigma,” driving gays underground and making it much more difficult to prevent the spread of AIDS, Mr. Lewis said.
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thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venure 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.
Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
- To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus
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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.
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Recent Homophobic Incidents
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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