Friday, August 20, 2010
It's not yet known how if any the negative repercussions towards the LGBT community as it relates to being tricked or if persons feel that incidents like this are actually carried out by gays themselves (possibly thugs or hyper masculine types who can 'double-up'). I find this an area that requires more exploration and discussion.
More and more we are hearing of this type of fetishist behaviour coupled with the open use of bleaching creams more feminine or metro sexual aesthetics becoming far more acceptable while outward behaviour display of stereotypical homosexual behaviour is still taboo and most unholy in Jamaica. Only recently in downtown where the street side hair dressers ply their trade men were seen openly getting their hair braided with extensions and beads woven in while another was having a street side facial done with bleaching cream applied to finish the session, it was funny to some passers-by while others mostly men were obviously not pleased.
More reading: forced feminization
Also see: Autogynephelia
The story reads:
A businessman who was tricked and robbed by a man pretending to be a dumb female beggar has become the topic for discussion in a Clarendon community.
THE STAR heard that some two weeks ago, the businessman who was at home was awoken by sounds of someone knocking on his gate some time around 9 p.m.
When he went to investigate, he was said to be greeted by a character who acted in a manner which suggested that 'she' could not speak, but instead used hand gestures to beg money and food.
THE STAR further heard that the businessman invited the person into his home and offered to cook a quick meal.
While preparing the meal, it is said that the beggar got up, revealed he was in fact a man. He was said to have also pulled a firearm before demanding money.
The thief is said to have obtained $8,000 from his victim before refitting his disguise and making off into the night.
The businessman raised an alarm with the hope of accosting the thief but he was not captured.
The businessman is said to have recounted the incident to a number of persons who came out of their houses to see what the fuss was about.
When THE STAR contacted the Area 3 police, a source said they were made aware of the incident by the victim who was urged to submit a formal report. He, however, claimed he was leaving for the United States the following morning and promised to do so as soon as he returned to the island.
"It is something that we would have to follow up on because the businessman said he would give us a report when he came back from the States' but he hasn't come forward as yet so we don't know if he is in fact here," the source, a detective corporal explained.
Meanwhile, one resident from the community said the incident has become the hot topic on everyone's lips. Some persons are said to be ridiculing the businessman while others have lauded his attempt at being kind and said he did not deserve to be robbed.
"All now people still a chat bout it, di way it happen kinda funny eno ... Some people a laugh after him but some people sorry fi him," the resident claimed.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Read more: http://www.disabled-world.com/health/aids/hiv-drug.php#ixzz0x6A5HzVa
Following up a pioneering 2007 proof-of-concept study, a University of Utah biochemist and colleagues have developed a promising new anti-HIV drug candidate, PIE12-trimer, that prevents HIV from attacking human cells.
Michael S. Kay, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry in the University of Utah School of Medicine and senior author of the study published Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010, online by the Journal of Virology, is raising funds to begin animal safety studies, followed by human clinical trials in two to three years. Kay believes PIE12-trimer is ideally suited for use as a vaginal microbicide (topically applied drug) to prevent HIV infection. His research group is particularly focused on preventing the spread of HIV in Africa, which has an estimated two-thirds of the world's 33 million HIV patients according to the World Health Organization.
"We believe that PIE12-trimer could provide a major new weapon in the arsenal against HIV/AIDS. Because of its ability to block the virus from infecting new cells, PIE12-trimer has the potential to work as a microbicide to prevent people from contracting HIV and as a treatment for HIV infected people. HIV can develop resistance rapidly to existing drugs, so there is a constant need to develop new drugs in hopes of staying ahead of the virus." Kay said.
PIE12-trimer was designed with a unique "resistance capacitor" that provides it with a strong defense against the emergence of drug-resistant viruses.
Peptide drugs have great therapeutic potential, but are often hampered by their rapid degradation in the body. D-peptides are mirror-image versions of natural peptides that cannot be broken down, potentially leading to higher potency and longevity in the body. Despite these potential advantages, no D-peptides have yet been developed.
PIE12-trimer consists of three D-peptides (PIE12) linked together that block a "pocket" on the surface of HIV critical for HIV's gaining entry into the cell. "Clinical trials will determine if PIE12-trimer is as effective in humans as it is in the lab," Kay said.
Across the world, HIV occurs in many different strains and has the ability to mutate to resist drugs aimed at stopping it. Due to the high conservation of the pocket region across strains, PIE12-trimer worked against all major HIV strains worldwide, from Southeast Asia and South America to the United States and Africa.
To help advance toward human clinical trials, Kay and co-authors Brett D. Welch, Ph.D., and Debra M. Eckert, Ph.D., research assistant professor of biochemistry, formed a company, Kayak Biosciences, which is owned by the University of Utah Research Foundation. If PIE12-trimer proves to be an effective and safe drug against HIV, the same D-Peptide drug design principles can be applied against other viruses, according to Kay. Approval of the first D-peptide drug would also greatly stimulate development of other D-peptide drugs.
The study's first authors are Welch, and U of U graduate student J. Nicholas Francis. Also contributing were U graduate students Joseph Redman and Matthew Weinstock, as well as Eckert. Images of how PIE12 binds to the HIV pocket were obtained using X-ray crystallography, a technology that provides high-resolution analysis of atomic structures, and were provided by Frank Whitby, Ph.D., research assistant professor of biochemistry, and Christopher P. Hill, Ph.D., professor and co-chair of the Department of Biochemistry. The study includes colleagues from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and Monogram Biosciences, South San Francisco, Calif.
This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Utah Research Foundation.
Read more: http://www.disabled-world.com/health/aids/hiv-drug.php#ixzz0x69pAQo2
Monday, August 16, 2010
Now you tell me, WHAT is wrong with some Jamaican men seemingly being unable to say “boyshorts” or “Manchester” or – gasp - fish? Yes this is a random post but it’s about something that’s been on my mind for a while and I’ve been provoked by a conversation I’m having with a friend of mine.
HOW homophobic and chupid can you really be, to think that saying these words with “man” or “boy” in them makes you gay or a supporter of gay rights or suspect? And if is hide yuh ah try hide seh yuh gay by forcefully using these words…newsflash: it does not work! Your only accomplishment is to come across as silly…and not in a good, lighthearted way either.
Set aside the moral and religious arguments about homosexuality for now, I’m not discussing that in this post. Pushed them aside? Good.
For a while I kept hearing “Gyalchester” and “Gyaldeville” and I paused…what or where was that? Seriously, it didn’t connect in my mind at all. So I inquired and was enlightened: no man, wi nuh support di battyman ting, straight gyal wi support! Um. Ok. Sure, support your girls, though I don’t see how you’re getting any with that nonsense spewing from your mouth. But how is simply saying the name of a place with “man” in it mean that you’re supporting men and men? It’s just the name of a place for crying out loud!!
All of this has been on my radar more than often because twitter, glorious, twitter. First I kept seeing “salt sea creature” in my timeline and I was like, eh? Is this a new fish? I seriously didn’t get it and had to think about, go back and see the context in which the term was being used to figure out that folks were referring to saltFISH. Pupah Jesus!! I know not exactly from whence the term ‘fish” came to apply to “gay man” (or is it vagina? I can’t keep up) but ahhm, why when referring to ackee and saltfish must one refrain from saying fish? Nuh fish weh have scale and fin yuh ah chat bout?!
Then there was the ruption on twitter between Mr. Vegas and DJ Karim about Vegas’ new tune “Boyshorts.” And what a delightful ruption it was – perfect relief from afternoon boredom. DJ Karim took exception to the title of the song…because it’s called “BOYshorts.” Mr. Vegas did not take to this criticism kindly and unleashed his now legendary Twitter Tracing on DJ Karim. It was entertaining to watch though it did get out of hand after a while. Some quibble about whether the criticism warranted a response and I understand their points, but I for one was glad Vegas said something because I found the bother about the title “Boyshorts” juvenile. Yes, yes I know is Vegas and he is a lightning rod but c’mon!!
How homo-sensitive can you be? Is there any wonder that Jamaica and Jamaicans have been branded homophobic (and sometimes by implication backward and ignorant) and dancehall as misogynistic? And now I’m talking to a bredren who’s relating to me how his bredren had a problem with the name of the song and went on a research bent to find an alternate name…apparently so he wouldn’t have to say BOYshorts. Kiss mi neck back.
O and there is “Testing 1, 3″ because saying 2 also aligns one with being gay (refer to Terror Fabulous’ explanation below but shorthand: 2 = reference to the anus, the 2nd hole and the one that gay men use)
This has got to stop. Whenever I hear men tongue tie themselves to avoid saying certain words I look askance at them. HOW am I supposed to take you seriously? Seemingly sensible people trying to prove…what exactly. Yes, yes it could be about culture but I think it belies deeper insecurities about how you (yes, you men) and masculinity are perceived. As is evident throughout Jamaican culture and music Jamaican men are on a desperate quest to show that they’re men…worthy men (nuff gyal in a bungle, stab it up jack it up dig out di red, nuff cyar, nuff money, blah blah blah). But this trend really does disturb me because it’s just plain dumb and makes YOU look insecure about your team (which gives me pause) and all of us look astonishingly stupid.
Gentlemen, let me assure you: if you are gay avoiding saying certain words or grabbing at every girl within reach does not help to throw off the gaydar! Believe me, you’re still out and proud in other ways and this language use only gives me – and others – nuff jokes because your attempts to hide are fruitless. How about you tackle those tight “balls have no room to thrive” pants, shaped eyebrows, eyeliner, and V-neck button down sweaters? Because, gentlemen, wearing those pieces of clothing say nothing about your fashion sense but do scream “I’m gay, flaming even!!” more than anything else you could avoid saying…
That said, I’m going to warm up some FISH for dinner.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
The buzz words are 'justice' and 'human rights'. All over Jamaica there is the cry, "We want justice." Peter Tosh famously sang about "equal rights and justice". The human-rights lobby is the most vocal and trenchant of all lobbies in Jamaica, commanding a deference in the media and within the political class, far above its numerical strength.
But is the human-rights lobby taking a holistic view of human rights, and has the concept of justice been thoroughly thought through? Human-rights groups in the West have traditionally focused on what are called first-generation rights, involving civil and political liberties, leaving economic and broader social rights to be taken up by left-wing and progressive groups. But the time is long overdue for a more integrated view of human rights and justice but, happily, in the scholarly literature significant intellectual advances have been made in articulating a broader concept of human rights and justice.
The tour de force work, of course, was John Rawls' epochal book, A Theory of Justice. But, in recent years, more pointed attention has been given, more specifically, to the issue of poverty by Columbia University Political Science Professor Thomas Pogge. He has insisted that the issue of global poverty be put on the front burner of human-rights concerns. In his 2007 edited work, Freedom From Poverty as a Human Right: Who Owes What to the Very Poor, he makes an eloquent case that our present global economic and political order is inherently inimical to human rights and justice.
He systematically assails all the excuses given why we need only concern ourselves as a primary focus with whether states are torturing, murdering, unjustly incarcerating and violating people's right of association and freedom of movement or oppressing them because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
Human rights have to involve more than ensuring that people have the right to elect which set of oppressors will rule them for the next few years or whether they can publish or read whatever they want. In short, human rights must involve more than civil and political liberties.
There are some persons who are involved in Western human-rights organisations, including those in Jamaica, who would be alarmed at the full implication of human rights and justice. For a coherent view of human rights could clash radically with our bourgeois conception of how this society and world ought to be organised and how its economics and politics should function.
Look at the objective facts about the world in which we live. Ask yourself, where is the justice? The world's 500 richest people have a combined income greater than the poorest 416 million in the world. Some 2.2 billion people live on less than US$2 a day, accounting for just five per cent of global income. The richest 20 per cent account for 75 per cent of the world's income. The $7 billion needed annually over the next few years to provide 2.6 billion people with access to clean water is less than what Europeans spend on perfume and less than Americans spend on elective surgery!
Lack of essentials
That $7 billion would save 4,000 lives each day. For every $1 developed countries spend on aid, they allocate, even in this post-Cold War era, $10 to military expenditure. Two billion people lack access to essential medicines; over one billion do not have adequate shelter; two billion lack electricity; nearly 800 million are illiterate and nearly 950 million are chronically undernourished.
Approximately 18 million die annually - 50,000 a day because of poverty-related causes such as poor drinking water and inadequate nutrition. The world was stunned by the human loss and suffering caused by the Asian tsunami a few years ago, which claimed 300,000 lives. Says the 2005 edition of the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP's) Human Development Report:"The tsunami was a highly visible, unpredictable and largely unpreventable tragedy." But, the report notes, poignantly, "Every hour more than 1,200 children die - away from the glare of media attention. This is equivalent to three tsunamis a month, every month, hitting the world's most vulnerable citizens - its children."
Should human-rights activists be properly concerned about these matters and such gross disparities in the world's 'development'? How meaningful - or complete - are civil liberties and political rights if one is deprived of the economic and social means to fully utilise them? The traditionally jaundiced view of human rights must be challenged - and is being challenged in a most intellectually robust way. The brilliant Indian philosopher-economist and Nobel Prize winning scholar, Amartya Sen last year published his magnum opus titled The Idea of Justice, a nearly 500-page intellectual delight.
Sen notes Thomas Hobbes' famous statement of 1651 that life was "short, nasty and brutish", adding: "I am afraid it is still a good starting point for a theory of justice today, since the lives of so many people across the world have exactly those dire features, despite the substantial material progress of others." If human rights is to be more than merely "bawling on paper", as the 18th-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham wrote, it must embody economic rights.
What is very interesting and noteworthy is that this matter of economic rights is not a Johnny-come-lately concept, alien to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ratified by the United Nations as far back as 1948. An understanding of class society and Marxist critique of capitalism would explain why human-rights activists in the West have latched on to a few narrow rights in their advocacy, ignoring other equally fundamental rights.
But right there in that Universal Declaration of Human Rights we find the following words: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care (Article 25)." It also says, "Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration can be fully realised." It is abundantly clear that our present international economic and political order is distinctly injurious to the human rights of the vast majority who are consigned to poverty, marginalisation and dehumanisation.
A most grotesque recent example of this was the global financial crisis caused by the greed, recklessness and caprice of a few in the richest country in the world. This crisis significantly reduced global gross domestic product, threw hundreds of millions back into poverty and tens of million on the unemployment scrap heap.
It savaged the incomes and prospects of multiple millions in developing countries which have to disproportionately face the burdens of adjustments while the wealthy people who caused the crash were bailed out by their rich capitalist governments. It was socialism for the bankers and more poverty and degradation for the poor.
This is a legitimate concern of those in the human rights and justice movement. Thirty thousand children are dying every day because of poverty. Fifteen million children die of malnutrition every year. The gross domestic product of the United States (US) is more than $13 trillion. US government foreign aid amounts to about 0.2 per cent of the federal budget - two-tenths of one per cent!
What is the responsibility of the economically powerful nations of the world to those disadvantaged by the present global-economic structures? Absolutely none, shouts prominent human rights armchair activist and talk-show host Wilmot Perkins. Developing countries must stop talking "damn nonsense" about the deve-loped countries owing them anything and "get to work" by "creating opportunity". This is the pronouncement of one of the high priests of the human rights movement in Jamaica!
It is interesting that even Franklin D. Roosevelt, former president of the United States, in his famous Four Freedoms speech of January, 1941, identified the third basic freedom as "the freedom from want which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants - everywhere in the world". That is significant, showing the long history of an integrated view of human rights. The human-rights movement in the West has become more narrow in its focus for ideological and class reasons, and hardened its position during the Cold War when, admittedly, communist repression and right-wing authoritarianism held sway in many countries.
It is time to get back to that integrated view of human rights and justice.
Some of the lawyers and other human-rights activists who focus narrowly on civil liberties do so because a broader focus would threaten their class interests. Besides, there is no political groundswell here for this broader focus as the two parties are sold on neoliberal capitalism.
Enforcing economic rights is, of course, problematic. Economic rights assume those who hold duties with respect to those rights. So you run into what scholars call "the feasibility issue". This was a major reason Bentham was sceptical about the concept of human rights centuries ago. Rights must have legal force and who should be held responsible for the many people who are poor? What about those poor through their own carelessness and folly - do they still have a 'right' to food, proper shelter etc? The issues are not unproblematic - but that's no reason we must not pursue them rigorously.
Ian Boyne is a veteran journalist who may be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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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
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Recent Homophobic Incidents
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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