Friday, May 7, 2010
There are no laws presently on the books that directly speak to lesbian behaviour as illegal except for the gross indecency clause where one may be charged if caught in a public or private place conducting that specific sexual activity, the alleged perpetrators consenting or not. The new Sexual Offences Bill 2009 speaks of penetration with an object vaginally or anally gender neutral and as we know many lesbian couples do use sex toys for pleasure, that's the closest they may come to legal woes here.
There have been several "corrective rape" crimes carried out in Portmore and Kingston and most recently in St. Thomas where an attempt was made on a 19 year old woman and in upper St. Andrew on a visiting Jamaican student studying in the United States who was followed and set upon by 2 men who she had resisted there advances in the hometown of her birth while she was shopping at a local grocery store. Corrective Rape in the paragraphed is used to describe the sometimes despicable sexual assaults of lesbian and bisexual women with the intent to punish and correct their same sex attraction or choice. There are several other types of rapes as well such as date, war, prison and gang rape.
Lesbians like the gay male community also have their fair share of problems within each sub group and they have developed ways of dealing with them, of note the forumatic activity which seems lacking in the gay community in general as the two groups socialise differently and many lesbians openly refuse to be seen at parties, events or forums where certain types of gay men would be present. Lesbophobia is also a pressing problem for some lesbians, the now defunct GLABCOM meetings usually held by Jamaica AIDS Support for Life which was an outreach arm of their targeted intervention program for Gay Lesbian Allsexual and Bisexual Community as the acronym spells out. Many lesbians complained of gays overtaking the meetings and not allowing fulsome discussions and exchange of ideas while many of the men wanted a meeting for themselves to deal with issues.
JFLAG has not had any forumatic activity in a while which begs the question what does forum in the name and acronym stands for? There was a lesbian group which was a spin off from early JFLAG days called Lesbians in Action which later changed to Women for Women. Their primary concern is social intervention within the Jamaican lesbian and bisexual female communities. They have bi-weekly meetings at selected locations and often have excursions with friends and family members. They can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I think though that because women in general are naturally social creatures they are able to come together to handle issues.
Straight men attracted?Jamaican men in general seem titillated by lesbian action, I say this because of my observation at some of the exotic nightclubs I mentioned before and even the bootleg DVD business, sales on the streets of Kingston and other areas where lesbian xrated porn is openly sold. One of the ways to test the temperature of sexuality and lifestyle I have seen is to check these two spots as mentioned.
In a poll I started some time now on here I asked whether lesbians could use their tolerance advantage to assist with the fight for equality in Jamaica, yes seems to be the majority answer so far as at the time of this post it was 93%. it has been suggested that they could speak on certain issues definitively and may not get rebuffed as easily as the gay male voices over the years in GLBT agitation.
To track issues relating to lesbian posts on here just click on the labels section "lesbian issues" or type in the search bar on top to list all articles.
GLTBQ Jamaica hopes to work together with all the groups and gender variants to arrive at a cohesive working relationship and tolerance.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Maurice Tomlinson's May 2 letter condemned the absence of sexual orientation non-discrimination specification in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and alleged an obsession of some with "what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms". If private consensual behaviour were really the issue, the GLBT political machine would have won this issue globally four decades ago. The aims clearly go much further and are insatiable.
Is Mr Tomlinson suggesting Jamaican law would fail to defend the victim of a crime for the sake of sexual orientation? Isn't the point of the rule of law to protect individuals - and not fashionably favoured groups - from state excess? Are crimes against same-sex-attracted Jamaicans somehow worse than the same offences against anyone else?
Is the next step hate-speech legislation to punish any who dare voice dissent against GLBT politics? Isn't this a budding tyranny of the minority?
In the USA, Court Appointed Criteria for True Minority Status Qualifying for Special Civil Rights Protections specify that the entire class in question must meet three standards: they must have suffered a history of social oppression; exhibit obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics; and demonstrate political powerlessness. Sexual orientation fails on all three counts.
(1) Social oppression: same-sex-attracted people have a higher average household income, higher average educational status, and higher percentage in professional or managerial positions than most Americans; and housing discrimination is nearly non-existent.
(2) Immutable characteristics: gays have none that are obvious or readily identifiable, and there is zero evidence for a gay gene.
(3) Political powerlessness: the GLBT lobby is potent with influence on every level of society - government, business, media, and education - guarded aggressively by an extremely well-financed lobby.
Mr Tomlinson noted "human rights (are) not the gifts of the state but were the birthright of every individual..." Does he know from whence that concept came? According to renowned English jurist and devout Christian, Sir William Blackstone, the source for common law was "holy scriptures". Yet Mr Tomlinson wishes the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship to go away: "in an evolving democracy when they are long dead and gone". If Jamaica had hate-crimes and hate-speech legislation, would his own comments have violated such? Be careful what you wish for, Sir; you just might get it.
Dr Andre Van Mol
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
The global epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) suggests both reemergent spread among men in resource‐sufficient countries since 2000 and emerging epidemics among MSM in resource‐limited countries. Both epidemic contexts are evidence of the current limits of prevention of HIV infection in MSM.
A range of evidence‐based preventive interventions exist, but few new interventions have shown efficacy among MSM. Circumcision has not been investigated for MSM. New interventions are needed. Trials of preexposure prophylaxis are pending and may markedly alter the prevention landscape. For MSM in developing countries, basic services for prevention of HIV infection have yet to reach the large majority of men. Homophobia and discrimination limit access of MSM to prevention services and markedly increase vulnerability, as does criminalization of same‐sex behavior. Decriminalization of same‐sex behavior is a structural intervention for prevention of HIV infection and has recently been embraced by a nonbinding statement from the United Nations.
Reprints or correspondence: Dr Chris Beyrer, Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Johns Hopkins BSPH, 615 N Wolfe St, E 7152, Baltimore, MD 21205 (email@example.com).
In the third decade of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS pandemic, we face a painful reality—although men who have sex with men (MSM) were among the first affected populations and, in well‐resourced countries, communities of MSM were pioneers in prevention of HIV infection and behavior change, there is now evidence of multiple reemerging epidemics of HIV infection among these men [1, 2]. A recent analysis of data from 8 industrialized countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, and Canada, found that, although the prevalence of diagnosis of HIV infection generally decreased from 1996 through 2000, diagnoses of HIV infection among MSM have increased by 3% per year from 2000 through 2005 . Marked increases in the rate of diagnosis of syphilis among MSM in 5 of these 8 countries over the same period suggest that at least some of the increase in the prevalence of HIV infection was attributable to increases in sexual risk–taking behavior . Among US MSM, a particular concern is the disproportionate burden of HIV infection among MSM of color, especially among African American MSM, who are at strikingly higher risk of HIV infection, even after controlling for individual‐level sexual risk behaviors [3, 4]. Rates of undiagnosed HIV infection among black MSM are also strikingly higher than those among MSM of other race and ethnicity groups, suggesting that HIV testing, counseling services, and messages are failing to reach these men, even as rates of HIV infection increase.
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GET MORE INFORMATION HERE
Held on April 20-23, 2010
Renaissance Harborplace Hotel
The HIV Research Catalyst Forum: Treatment, Prevention, Advocacy (Formerly North American Treatment Action Forum—NATAF) is an unique conference focusing on community advocacy in HIV treatment and prevention research. From identifying research priorities to overcoming research barriers, HIV advocates have driven groundbreaking discoveries that have changed the course of this relentless epidemic. But with no cure or preventive vaccines in sight, rising new infection rates, and the continuing death toll, our work is far from over.
The Catalyst Forum aims to revitalize the community response to the domestic and global AIDS epidemic by amplifying the voices of community advocates in HIV treatment and prevention research. This four-day conference will provide a rare opportunity for new advocates to gain knowledge, build capacity, and sharpen skills; for experienced advocates to exchange ideas, craft strategies, and tackle new challenges; and for advocacy networks to recruit new participants and collaborators to strengthen planned or ongoing research advocacy campaigns.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Maurice Tomlinson's May 1 letter condemned the absence of sexual orientation non-discrimination specification in the Charter of Rights of Freedoms and alleged an obsession of some with "what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms". If private consensual behaviour were really the issue, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) political machine would have won this issue globally four decades ago. The aims clearly go much further and are insatiable.
Is Mr Tomlinson suggesting Jamaican law would fail to defend the victim of a crime for the sake of sexual orientation? Isn't the point of the rule of law to protect individuals - and not fashionably favoured groups - from State excess? Are crimes against same-sex-attracted Jamaicans somehow worse than the same offences against anyone else? Is the next step hate-speech legislation to punish any who dare voice dissent against GLBT politics (thou shall not say 'no')? Isn't this a budding tyranny of the minority?
In the USA, court appointed criteria for true minority status qualifying for special civil rights protections specify that the entire class in question must meet three standards: they must have suffered a history of social oppression; exhibit obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics; and demonstrate political powerlessness. Sexual orientation fails on all three counts.
(1) Social oppression: same-sex attracted people have a higher average household income, higher average educational status, and higher percentage in professional or managerial positions than most Americans; and housing discrimination are nearly non-existent.
(2) Immutable Characteristics: gays have none that are obvious or readily identifiable, and there is zero evidence for a gay gene.
(3) Political powerlessness: the GLBT lobby is potent with influence on every level of society - government, business, media, and education - guarded aggressively by an extremely well-financed lobby.
Mr Tomlinson noted "human rights [are] not the gifts of the State but were the birthright of every individual ... ." Does he know from whence that concept came? According to renowned English jurist and devout Christian, Sir William Blackstone, the source for common law was 'holy scriptures'. His Commentaries on the Laws of England sold more copies in colonial America than in England, and the Blackstonian phrase "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" served as intellectual premise for the introduction to the Declaration of Independence.
Yet Mr Tomlinson wishes the Lawyers Christian Fellowship to go away: "in an evolving democracy when they are long dead and gone." If Jamaica had hate-crimes and hate-speech legislation, would his own comments have violated such? Be careful what you wish for, sir; you just might get it.
I am, etc.,
ANDRE VAN MOL
here is the original letter:
Guard against the tyranny of the majority
Sunday, May 2, 2010
“I got into my first lesbian relationship at the age of 17 and since then I have been enjoying my life,” Hemmings said. But while she has finally stepped out, she is concerned about some of the negative feedback from some of her friends and family members. According to Hemmings she was warned that some of her relatives and friends in the village where she was born are saying negative things, while others declared openly that she should not return to the district because something terribly could happen to her.
“I have been hiding my sexuality for a long time and am not going to cover up anymore. I am a lesbian. While I understand Jamaica has a reputation of being a homophobic country, I must be true to myself,” Hemmings told the Sunday Herald.
She said based on the reports from her friends and associates and what she read on the Internet, she was scared of returning home. Hemmings contends that her sexual tendencies were her private business and she should not be punished or threatened by persons who don’t share her lifestyle. She is encouraging other lesbians to come forward and declare themselves, providing they feel comfortable doing so.
Hemmings is among several homosexuals who have fled Jamaica for fear that they could be harmed because of their sexuality. Sexuality, according to experts on sexual behaviour, “is an important part of who we are as humans. Beyond the ability to reproduce, sexuality also defines how we see ourselves and how we physically relate to others.”
JFLAG, the local organization representing homosexuals believe its members are being targeted. Much research has been conducted to determine if sexual orientation is the result of nature.
However, most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is the result of a combination of environmental, emotional, hormonal, and biological factors.
In other words, there are many factors that contribute to a person’s sexual orientation, and the factors might be different for different people. Experts argue that homosexuality and bisexuality are not caused by the way a child was reared by his or her parents, or by having a sexual experience with someone of the same sex when the person was young.
Also, being homosexual or bisexual does not mean the person is mentally ill or abnormal in some way, although there might be social problems that result from prejudicial attitudes or misinformation.
Experts say for many people, their sexual orientation becomes evident to them during adolescence or young adulthood, and in many cases without any sexual experience. For example, homosexuals become aware that their sexual thoughts and activities focus on people of the same sex. It is possible, however, to have fantasies or to be curious about people of the same sex without being homosexual or bisexual, or choosing to act on these impulses/ attractions.
Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II
Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14
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Violence and venom force gay Jamaicans to hide
Violence and venom force gay Jamaicans to hide 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
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.
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 Incidents
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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