Thursday, July 1, 2010
The lack of fair and accurate representations of LGBT people is arguably one of the leading causes of homophobia. One way to eradicate homophobia is to counter stereotypes with positive gay images that raise awareness and reflect the diversity of our communities.
This July, IN THE LIFE features lesbian "voluntouristas" who bring positive visibility and lend a helping hand to local communities in the Caribbean, and rappers who use their words and images to change hearts and minds within the music industry.
In November 2009, a lesbian travel company dedicated to changing the world launched its first eco-friendly lesbian cruise. IN THE LIFE set sail with SWEET and a group of lesbian travelers who went to the Caribbean to spread positive visibility and to volunteer while on vacation.
I Am What I Am (00:13:06)
Rap music has a reputation that has evolved into a stereotype - that it promotes violence, objectifies women, and is homophobic. But there are pioneers emerging, a new generation of rappers like Shorty Roc and KIN, who are countering that image head-on, and demonstrating that "one love" includes everyone.
Peace and tolerance
Monday, June 28, 2010
This is no laughing matter. However, sometimes we have to "tek bad tings mek laugh". On seeing a strikingly close counterfeit of Christopher "Dudus" Coke on the front pages of this newspaper, queerly decked out in a fluffy black wig and sporting a queenish pair of spectacles; a friend exclaimed: "But wait, nuh Sista Mullings dis. Is weh she a do inna de Observer?" I stopped her in her tracks and replied; "Well, this is not a picture of your church sister, this is the notorious Dudus Coke". Deep wells of disbelief suddenly creased her forehead, with enough depth to collect pails of sweat, as she ruefully retorted: "No sah, yuh nuh see seh dis a one big ol' woman? De picture is dead stamp a Sista Mullings. Di only ting missing is a little lipstick."
By this time, I was keeling over in peels of laughter. But not only that, I was completely overwhelmed by her comical innocence, which provided a welcome respite from the long wait for the extradition request. Anyway, she continued, "But anybody eva see mi dying trial; why 'im neva dress up like when parson tun dem collar back way, or even put on a false grey beard or sum'ting like dat? Tek it from mi, 'im woulda walk right pass di policeman dem faster than it tek fi sey "feh". 'Im nuh smart at all! Go see 'im a put on 'im woman clothes." Humour aside, her conclusion stood in stark contrast to her wish for Mr Coke to be taken in for trial and for normality to return to Jamaica.
And in all seriousness, anyone with the slightest sense of humour would have been tickled by the spate of comedic intrigues that followed the major players throughout this matter. And to top it off, Mr Coke's final entry on to the big stage, along with assorted feminine apparel and into an unexpected police roadblock, would make for an exciting catwalk beside American drag queen and model, RuPaul. For, according to newspaper accounts, some of the items found inside the priestly vehicle in which he was travelling alongside his driver pal "Al", on their way to Kingston, included, of all things, a pink wig! This story could not have got any more bizarre than it did, leading up to the penultimate chapter, just hours before Dudus's chartered flight left for the Big Apple.
Although common sense dictates that if one wants to delude another, or evade capture, wearing a mask could help in executing that plot, it is somewhat puzzling that an alleged don and "bad man" as Coke is said to be, would choose to camouflage himself as a woman. Is it then, that, deep down in the crevices of their souls, most reputed thugs, dons, or whatever nomenclature one wants to assign to describe hardened criminals, are nothing more than little pussycats, masquerading as full-fledged "don gorgons"? And, by the way, it is important to know that the word "gorgon" is Greek in origin and describes "a terrifying and dreadful female creature"; it would seem fair to me, given Dudus's extraordinary accessories and his penchant for multi-chromatic wigs, that he is well aware of the original meaning.
There is something else amiss here, for while it is foolish to stereotype, impugn people's character, or speak glibly about somebody else's intent, too many of our men are morphing into tough-talking, tight-pants-wearing, butt-showing, thug-acting machismos, only to do things that completely betray the very masculinity they try so hard to promote, prove and protect. About summer of 2008, for instance, the reputed leader of the Clansman Gang who was incarcerated at the Horizon Remand Centre inserted a mobile cellular phone all the way up into his "future", without realising that he did not turn it off. To much consternation and disbelief, the phone rang, reluctantly forcing the police to use lubricated gloves to remove the filthy instrument.
On the face of it, one might be inclined to overlook the action in the preceding example and write it off to brazen criminality. However, instances such as these should give rise to the far more fundamental issue of "reversed intolerance" (my phraseology) and its impact on crime and violence. Why did Mr Coke feel so comfortable dressing up like my friend's church siser - Sista Mullings, instead of faking it as an old man? Why did the reputed leader of the Clansman Gang, stock "Vaseline" in his cell and stick a mobile phone all the way up into his "tomorrow" and act normally as it vibrated and rang? Let us not go there, or try to second-guess how comfortable they were with their choices, but what a contradiction!
To see Dudus in wig, hat and spectacles was funny indeed. Yet, his transvestite metamorphosis, from don to donette, is not uncommon among many self-acclaimed thugs. And, if night should turn day, as my late aunt was wont to say, some of the revelations would put the entire nation into cardiac arrest. In the final analysis, though, Dudus's cross-dressing is no laughing matter, it exposes more than what greets the eye. And although I laughed heartily, upon seeing the reputed strongman go "cold turkey" - wig and all - in his most vulnerable of moments, it was also mightily discordant that he was being chaperoned and chauffeured around by a man of the cloth, of all persons.
Suffice it to say, however, in a society where homophobia runs as high as it does in Jamaica, these two small examples may provide some answers. Yes, answers that could help us to determine the psychology of crime and the sociological underpinnings that encourage it, as well as to assist us with garnering a better understanding of the concept of donmanship, especially as we seek to dismantle the castles of crime in the country. We would be fooling ourselves if we believe that crime and violence are not offshoots of deeper socio-psychological, emotional, economic and cultural struggles, such as poverty, low self-esteem, sexual struggles and repression, intolerance, poor parenting and socialisation, and emotional traumas from abusive homes and communities. Dudus, wittingly or unwittingly, might have opened up Pandora's Box to a greater solution to donmanship.
FEMALE sexual dysfunction can involve a decrease in sexual arousal or in rare cases, an increase in sexual responsiveness. Many physical and psychological factors can lead to sexual dysfunction in women. Physical causes can include certain medicines (such as oral contraceptives and chemotherapy drugs), diseases (such as diabetes or high blood pressure), excessive alcohol use or vaginal infections.
Psychological factors include depression, relationship problems, abuse (current or past abuse), and everyday stresses of life.
Some women may have less sexual desire during pregnancy, right after childbirth or when they are breastfeeding. It has also been shown that after menopause, many women feel less sexual desire, have vaginal dryness or have pain during intercourse. This is due to a decrease in oestrogen.
There are five major categories of decreased responsiveness and one of increased responsiveness (persistent genital arousal disorder):
1. Desire disorder: This occurs when women are not interested in having sex or have less sexual desire than they are used to. It is the absence of, or a decrease in sexual interest, desire and an absence of responsiveness.
2. Arousal disorder: This is when women don't feel a sexual response in their body or when they cannot stay sexually aroused. It is a lack of subjective or genital arousal or both.
3. Orgasmic disorder: This is when you can't have an orgasm despite high levels of stimulation, or you have pain during orgasm.
4. Vaginismus: This is reflexive tightening around the vagina when vaginal entry is attempted or completed. Gynaecologist Dr Errol Daley explained that approximately one in every 5,000 Jamaican women are affected by this disorder.
5. Dyspareunia: This is pain during attempted or completed vaginal penetration or intercourse.
6. Persistent genital arousal disorder: This involves excessive genital arousal.
Fortunately, these conditions can be treated with the help of therapy and support.
"[A problem like] vaginismus is treatable and requires that the therapist work with the woman and her partner where possible, to help overcome the psychological fears associated with intercourse. The process is a gradual one but results are usually rewarding and the couple can be helped to enjoy the benefits of a healthy and satisfying sex life," clinical sexologist Dr Karen Carpenter said.
Some women may not be distressed or bothered by decreased or absent sexual desire, interest, arousal, or orgasm, and so the situation is not a problem for them.
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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
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
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