Thursday, June 3, 2010
PRIDE presently is supposed to be a mostly American invention coming out of the Stonewall events in the late sixties, other jurisdictions have added their own historical experiences such as Brisbane, Russia, Canada and The UK. LGBT pride or gay pride is the concept that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The movement has three main premises: that people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity, that diversity is a gift, and that sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered. The use of the abbreviated gay pride and pride have since become mainstream and shorthand expressions inclusive of all individuals in various LGBT communities.
The word pride is used in this case as an antonym for shame, which has been used to control and oppress LGBT persons throughout history. Pride in this sense is an affirmation of ones self and the community as a whole. The modern "pride" movement began after the "Stonewall riots" in 1969. Instead of backing down to unconstitutional raids by New York Police, gay people in local bars fought back. While it was a violent situation it also gave the underground community the first sense of communal pride in a very well publicized incident. From the yearly parade that commemorated the anniversary of the Stonewall riots began a national grassroots movement. Today many countries around the world celebrate LGBT pride. The pride movement has furthered the cause of gay rights by lobbying politicians, registering voters and increasing visibility to educate on issues important to LGBT communities. LGBT pride advocates work for equal "rights and benefits" for LGBT people.
Symbols of LGBT pride include the LGBT rainbow flag, butterfly, the Greek lambda symbol, and the pink as well as black triangles reclaimed from their past use.
Historical Background:Advocates of gay pride have used history to point to oppression as well as differing levels of acceptance of homosexuality throughout history. The ancient Greeks did not conceive of sexual orientation as a social identifier, as Western societies have done for the past century. Greek society did not distinguish sexual desire or behavior by the gender of the participants, but by the extent to which such desire or behavior conformed to social norms. These norms were based on gender, age and social status. "Lesbian" derives from the name of the island of Lesbos,which was famous for the poet Sappho, who wrote love poetry to female lovers. Homosexuality in the ancient Roman Empire is considered to have been widespread but was tempered by the complex social systems of the society.
During Medieval times all forms of sexuality began to be repressed by the church as the message of heaven and hell gained popularity. As technology fell behind, simple luxuries such as clean running water and proper sewage became a thing of the past. This caused horrible conditions and disease. People began to believe that they were suffering from the wrath of God, blaming immorality. Any and all forms of homosexuality became not only shameful but punishable by death.
Homosexuality in ancient Greece
and Homosexuality in ancient Rome
Symbols of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Movements
The Catholic Church and Homosexuality
Pride celebrated worldwide
In 390, the first law banning same-sex love was enacted in Rome, making it punishable by death.
Pride! but the problems on the ground still are real .......
In our most recent history though, it is disheartening that many activities that were once expected to occur during this period have died or discontinued, there were film festivals, art auctions, other forms of entertainment and forums/workshops as well that were helpful to the community to realise who we are with ordinary LGBTQ persons participating. Sad that the only advocacy group once again has failed us as a GLBTQ community in this regard to fuse our resolve in oursleves as proud people despite the problems we face literally on a daily basis. The closure of the MSM housing project for example under the watch and deafening silence from JFLAG is a further indication that we are representationless as a community as only certain issues seem to be of priority while others are cast aside for whatever reasons at the risk of violence due to displacement. Yes we may be proud as individuals as we assert ourselves as a natural survival instinct mechanism but it is sad we can't get the activities required on a larger scale to fuse the subgroups under the GLTBQ umbrella towards solving some of the inter-community issues that need urgent attention. Small cell groups however are doing what they can given their limited scope and resources availabe, many individuals would like to offer more but the present systems overlook or ignore such voices.
The GLABCOM (Gay Lesbian Allsexual Community) meetings that were discontinued in Kingston in late 2008 has been meeting constant stalls in efforts by some to restart them. Frankly in my estimation there is nothing to be proud of in this vein presently given the set of circumstances that prevail. We have an advocacy system for the most part now being driven by funders who now basically dictate how those activities ought to operate as we have failed to properly carry out basic continuity of previous interventions, ideas and strategies that would have produced tangible results and a seemingly special club decides what happens on that level excluding desenting voices like this one and others as was evidenced in the recent IDAHO event, the wider community was never made aware in a meaningful way of what IDAHO actually entails let alone a planned activity in Jamaica.
What is happening to our lesbian and bisexual women in terms of the corrective rape typed instances of violence meted out to them with very little assistance or concern from the advocacy quarters on these problem that has been on the increase since 2007 is worrying as well. Not even so much as public outcry on the matter to bring attention to it or some forumatic discourse on the issue at the comunity level.
The invisibility in a sense of our transgendered community members is disturbing to say the least, one prominent pre-operative trans woman is homeless presently and literally sleeps on a cot in an office ironically situated close to the JFLAG facility while many others just on the face of it seemed disillusioned on the lack of recognition. Sad.
Let us still celebrate PRIDE on an individual level non the less but we cannot and must not overlook these and other serious issues friends, I am sure there are many others you may know of as well in your own corners. See how best you can play however small a part in adding improvement of the lives of our brothers and sisters out there.
Peace, tolerance and PRIDE
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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.
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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.
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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