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The Safe House Homeless MSM Project 2009 a detailed look & more



In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless men in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project and the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Doors slam shut on coming out(ers)

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As the new year rolls on the fallout from the coming out process for many who decided to make it a part of their new year's resolution to come out to family and friends in particular is showing up more. Certainly the requests for information on how to go about it have been coming in from Jamaicans here and abroad from the beginning of the holiday season. There have been some what seems positive results on the surface of it for a few persons. One lesbian who related happily her story that her father who she feared who have disowned her has been quite receptive and tolerant but the surprise for her was her mother who she thought would have been the one to be in that position and who is very angry at the revelation further to that the woman decided to approach her father first before coming to her has made her upset as well. Such are some of the unexpected results in the coming out process and of course is not the same per person/case despite the standard guidelines for the process. Another positive case is a Jamaican University student studying overseas who decided not to "hide anymore" in his own words and gathered the family over the holidays to not only come out but introduce his selected life partner on the backdrop on the repealing of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy in the United States military he explained in an email that he is quite pleased with the results so far and is keeping tabs on the parents and extended family as to his decision. He said he read online guides and thought long and hard about how he was going to handle the situation.

Two cases in particular on the negative side were what prompted this post bearing in mind Coming Out Day is in September/October in each year. How can we prepare the communities outside of the celebratory months but nearer to the end of year holidays and new year resolutions to better handle their situations if they should go bad or not as planned. Even if the process causes a fallout one would hope that the fallout is not permanent and there can be dialogue and interventions over time to smooth out the relationship issues for harmony.

Case number one is that of a lesbian living abroad like others decided to come out to her family they are now up in arms and her mother has actually contacted a church who has been calling the lesbian on a regular basis urging her to come in for counseling. She presently has regretted the move to come out and maybe she ought to have done more research before making the leap. Her father is intent of evicting her from the home and has already told family members the outcome of the conversations between himself and his daughter.

Case number two is also another female who decide to come out as the same time as going out on her own, her mother has refused to take her calls and her father is not so receptive to the idea of her disclosure. She is worried as she is not sure what her next move is going to be and sadly there are no serious avenues in the social support arena in the murky advocacy pool to help persons like this especially at this time of the year post the holidays as persons adjust their lives in various respects.

Here are some tips to consider:

No matter what their age, many people are afraid their parents will reject them if they come out. The good news is that you’re probably wrong. However, if you are under age 18 or financially dependent on your parents, consider this very, very carefully.

Coming out to family members

Some reactions you may want to prepare for:

■ Some parents may react in ways that hurt. They may cry, get angry or feel embarrassed.

■ Some parents will feel honored and appreciate that you have entrusted them with an important piece of truth about yourself.

■ Some parents will need to grieve the dreams they had for you, before they see the new, more genuine life you are building for yourself.

■ They may ask where they “went wrong” or if they did something “to cause this.” Assure them that they did nothing wrong.

■ Some may call being GLBT a sin, or attempt to send their child to a counselor or therapist in the baseless hope that they can “change.”

■ Some parents will already know you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender — or they might have an inkling. They may have been waiting for you to tell them, and find your doing so a relief.

■ It may take time for a parent to absorb or come to terms with the information. Good or bad, their initial reaction may not reflect their feelings over the long term.

Remember that your parents grew up in a time when some of the stereotypes about GLBT people were more prevalent than they are today.

Remember, too, that they’re probably trying to keep you safe from something they do not understand.

Finally, keep in mind this is big news, and there’s no timetable for how long it takes parents to adjust.

Deciding to Tell Others

Most people come out because, sooner or later, they can’t stand hiding who they are anymore. They want their relationships to be stronger, richer, more fulfilling and authentic. Once we do come out, most of us find that it feels far better to be open and honest than to conceal such an integral part of ourselves. We also come to recognize that our personal decision to live openly helps break down barriers and stereotypes that have kept others in the closet. And in doing so, we make it easier for others to follow our example.

The Benefits of Coming Out:

■ Living an open and whole life.

■ Developing closer, more genuine relationships.

■ Building self-esteem from being known and loved for who we really are.

■ Reducing the stress of hiding our identity.

■ Connecting with others who are GLBT.

■ Being part of a strong and vibrant community.

■ Helping to dispel myths and stereotypes about who GLBT people are and what our lives are like.

■ Becoming a role model for others.

■ Making it easier for younger GLBT people who will follow in our footsteps.

Along with these benefits, there are also risks. As constructive as the decision is, the reaction of others can be difficult or impossible to predict.

The Risks of Coming Out:

■ Not everyone will be understanding or accepting.

■ Family, friends or co-workers may be shocked, confused or even hostile.

■ Some relationships may permanently change.

■ We may experience harassment or discrimination.

■ Some young people, especially those under age 18, may be thrown out of their homes or lose financial support from parents.

You’re in Charge:

When you weigh the benefits and risks of being open about who you are, it’s important to remember that the person in charge of your coming out journey is you. You decide who to confide in, when to do it and how. You also decide when coming out just may not be right, necessary or advisable

Keep in Mind That:

There is no one right or wrong way to come out or live openly. Choosing to come out or to be open does not mean you have to be out at all times or in all places — you decide how, where and when based on what’s right for you. Your sexual orientation and gender identity are important pieces of you, but they do not have to define you. Living openly doesn’t change all the many unique things that make you, you.


Making a Coming Out Plan

When you’re ready to tell that first person — or even those first few people — give yourself time to prepare. Think through your options and make a deliberate plan of who to approach, when and how. You may want to ask yourself the following questions:

What kind of signals are you getting?

■ You can get a sense of how accepting people will be by the things they say — or don’t say — when GLBT-related issues come up. Try to bring them up yourself by talking about a GLBTthemed movie, TV character or news event. If a person’s reactions are positive, chances are he or she will be more accepting of what you have to tell them.

Are you well informed about GLBT issues?

■ The reactions of others will most likely be based on a lifetime of misinformation, and in some cases even negative portrayals of GLBT people. If you’ve done some reading on the subject, you’ll be prepared to answer their concerns and questions with reliable and accurate information.


Do you know what it is you want to say?

■ Particularly at the beginning of the coming out process, many people are still answering tough questions for themselves and are not ready to identify as being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. That’s okay. Maybe you just want to tell someone that you’re attracted to someone of the same sex, or that you feel uncomfortable with the expectations of cultural gender norms. Maybe you just want to tell someone about a new same-sex attraction, or that you’re feeling that your true gender does not align with cultural “gender norms.” Labels aren’t important; your feelings are. Also, you may want to try writing out what you want to say, to help organize and express your thoughts clearly.

Do you have support?

■ You don’t have to do this alone. A support system is an invaluable place to turn to for reassurance. Sources of support can be other GLBT people who are living openly, GLBT hotlines, school guidance counselors, a supportive member of the clergy or, if you are coming out for the second or third time, perhaps the first person you opened up to initially. A supportive mental health professional often helps people become more comfortable. In fact, these are the first people some of us come out to.


Is this a good time?

■ Timing can be very important. Be aware of the mood, priorities, stresses and problems of those to whom you would like to come out. Be aware that if they’re dealing with their own major life concerns, they may not be able to respond constructively to yours.

Can you be patient?

■ Some people will need time to deal with this new information, just as it took time for many of us to come to terms with being GLBT. When you come out to others, be prepared to give them the time they need to adjust to what you’ve said. Rather than expect immediate understanding, try to establish an ongoing, caring dialogue.

■ Remember, the whole reason you chose to be open with the person is that you care about them. If they react strongly, it’s likely because they care about you as well. Keep that in mind as you navigate trying times.


Having the Conversations
Fostering strong, deep relationships with your friends and family begins with honesty. Living openly is important because it allows for closer relationships with the people you care about — and ultimately a happier life for you. For most people coming out or opening up to someone new starts with a conversation.

It’s normal to want or hope for positive reactions from the people you tell, including:
■ Acceptance
■ Support
■ Understanding
■ Comfort
■ Reassurance that your relationship won’t be
negatively affected
■ Confidence that your relationship will be closer
■ Acknowledgment of your feelings
■ Love
All or some of these positive reactions can result from your coming out conversation, but they may not happen immediately. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes may also be helpful.

A person who has just had someone come out to them often feels:
■ Surprised
■ Honoured
■ Uncomfortable
■ Scared
■ Unsure how to react
■ Supportive
■ Disbelieving
■ Relieved
■ Curious
■ Angry
■ Anxious
■ Unsure what to do next

Give the person you’re telling the time they need. It may also be helpful to remember that the person you’re really doing this for is you. When you’re ready to tell someone, consider starting with the person most likely to be supportive. This might be a friend, relative or teacher. Maybe you will tell this person that you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Maybe you will simply say that you have questions about your sexual orientation or gender identity. Again, there is no right or wrong way to do this. You are the expert in knowing what’s best for yourself and what you are feeling. When you are ready, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
■ Find a relaxed, private place to have the conversation, and allow adequate time.
■ People will usually take their cues from you in how to approach this — so be open and honest and say that it’s okay to ask questions.

Appropriate and gentle humour can go a long way to easing anxiety for both you and the person you are speaking with.

Telling Friends


When you’re ready to come out to friends, you may be lucky enough to have some who are already out themselves, or who have a GLBT friend or relative of their own. Oftentimes, however, coming out to a friend can be a leap of faith. Here are some things you may want to consider:

■ Your friends may surprise you. Those you thought would be least judgmental may be the first to turn away; those who seem least likely to be accepting sometimes offer the strongest support.

■ Don’t assume prejudice. Earlier we mentioned that signals can help indicate someone’s level of support, or lack thereof. While that’s true, it is just as possible to read too much into an off-the-cuff remark. Give your friends a chance to be supportive.

The Coming Out Continuum

Coming out and living openly aren’t something you do once, or even for one year. It’s a journey that we make every single day of our lives. There are three broad stages that people move through on the coming out continuum. For each person it is a little different, and you may find that at times you move backward and forward through the phases all at once.

1) Opening Up to Yourself

The period when your journey is beginning — when you’re asking yourself questions, moving toward coming out to yourself and perhaps the decision to tell others.

2) Coming Out

The period when you’re actively talking for the first time about your sexual orientation or gender identity with family, friends, co-workers, classmates and other people in your life.

3) Living Openly

The ongoing phase after you’ve initially talked with the people closest to you about your life as a GLBT person, and are now able to tell new people that come into your life fluidly —where and when it feels appropriate to you.

Peace and tolerance

H
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Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

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.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact: glbtqjamaica@live.com




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

Thanks again
Mr. H

Tel: 1-876-8134942
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

Information & Disclaimer

lgbtevent@gmail.com

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 lgbtevent@gmail.com

Peace to you and be safe out there.

Love.

What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)

First, be calm: Do not panic; it may be very difficult to maintain composure if attacked but this is important.

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.

Emergency numbers
The police 119

Kingfish 811

Crime Stop 311


Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police

a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

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

Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today

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