Thursday, April 15, 2010
Your editorial of Friday, April 9 was an important contribution to the dialogue which needs to occur in Jamaica about tolerance of socially marginalised groups. There were, however, some unfortunate elements in the piece which could
derail the understanding needed to advance this dialogue.
To begin, your dismissive title, "On tolerating homosexuals and such", could contribute to the very intolerance you seem to reject in the body of the editorial.
Second, framing the Walk for Tolerance in Montego Bay against the background of a failed gay march 20 years ago - an inaccuracy, as no such march was ever planned - creates the impression that the Walk was a veiled gay march. This is patently false.
The truth is that 13 organisations working with a variety of groups vulnerable to HIV because of social stigma participated in the nearly 100-person strong Walk. Some of them were gays and lesbians; most were not.
Please note that following the Walk, four young men had to flee their communities because of the irresponsible characterisation of it as a gay march by sections of the media. Third, the term "prostitutes" is derogatory and has long been rejected in favour of "sex workers" as it has been recognised that these individuals are engaging in
Finally, the Jamaican gay and lesbian community has not engaged in "offensive attempts to ram acceptance of their lifestyle down the throats of the majority of people in this country". The truth is that the Jamaican gay and lesbian community has constantly sought dialogue on the need for the recognition of the fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of expression for sexual minorities. Over its 11-plus year history,
J-FLAG and other gay rights organisations have exercised significant restraint in agitating for the rights of gays and lesbians, a fact which has resulted in our being blamed for the very slow pace of change and the relatively high level of intolerance of gays and lesbians in this society.
We have never, for example, despite strong pressure to do so, supported any calls for boycott of Jamaica or Jamaican products by international gay and lesbian organisations as we thought this would be harmful to our goal of constructive social engagement.
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Thanks for your Donations
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
- 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 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
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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