Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

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

Friday, September 16, 2011

Florida Attorney Helps LGBT Jamaicans Seek Asylum

1 comments



Homophobia still runs rampant around much of the world, but the global LGBT community is experiencing change as human rights advocates like Grace Gomez fight for change.

Grace Gomez, a lawyer working with LGBT asylum seekers in the United States, has been making some progressive changes working with displaced LGBT Jamaicans in Florida.

Grace Gomez

Homophobia is a prominent mindset throughout the country and the United States serves as a haven for some refugees who Gomez has helped to seek asylum. Their stories of hardship are heart-wrenching, as the possibility of being beaten, stabbed, or jailed is an everyday reality for LGBT Jamaicans.

Gomez specializes in immigration law and has become a passionate champion for LGBT asylum seekers globally. When she began her immigration work, she knew nothing about the injustices facing LGBT communities around the world, and she definitely didn’t expect to become so involved in her work. The passion for her work was inevitable; after hearing the stories and gaining the trust of her clients, her mission became to change the lives of even just a few immigrants. 

According to Grace, once she won the trust of the Jamaican LGBT community it became much easier to understand the innate and ingrained fears that they had of their government, families, and country.

Many LGBT Jamaicans in the United States seeking asylum have been completely shunned and outcast. It was hard for Gomez to even get her clients comfortable saying the word "gay" as they more often claimed to "be on the other side;" a term coined out of fear and socially learned prejudice. This violent discrimination, from beatings to murders, is a reality instilled in the community dynamic. Even harboring someone suspected of being gay has violent repercussions.

A client of Gomez, who out of fear for his life would like to remain unnamed, was emotional as he explained his conditions and that of his fellow Jamaicans who were "lost" prior to meeting Gomez. He said that she "helped put things into perspective for me, and told me I could file for asylum or withholding."
As defined by the United Nations persons claiming asylum must establish a "well-founded" fear of persecution, based on one of five grounds: race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinion. The asylum seeker must prove their case and the courts are obligated by law to protect the refugee.


Withholding is defined under Article 3 and requires applicants to establish that it is more likely than not that they would be tortured if removed to a specific country. It is truly up to an Immigration Judge to decide if the candidate for asylum meets the standard. The notable difference is that asylum is discretionary while Article 3 protection is mandatory.

Relief from deportation under Withholding of Removal is found in the Immigration and Nationality Act under §241(b)(3) and 8 U.S.C. §1231 (b)(3). Under this section, the Attorney General "may not remove an alien to a country if the Attorney General decides that the alien’s life or freedom would be threatened in that country because of the alien’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion."

Furthermore, a grant of withholding of removal under INA § 241 (b)(3) provides for amandatory prohibition against removal of a person to a country when that person has met the burden of proof, in contrast to the discretionary relief available under a grant of asylum.

An application for asylum under 8 U.S.C. §1158 is generally considered an application for withholding of removal under 8 U.S.C. §1231(b)(3) as well. Thus, if the determination is made that a person’s life or freedom would be threatened if returned to Jamaica because they are homosexual, they are entitled to mandatory relief from removal to that country.

As Gomez’s client describes his feeling about being in court he explains, "[I]t felt like I went in there with a mask on, and when I came out, it felt like I could take my mask off." That liberating moment is one that many gay Jamaicans trapped in their home country will never experience.

Jamaica gives no protection to its gay citizens as the law clearly denounces homosexual acts between men as illegal both publicly and privately. Law enforcement officers actively partake in the discrimination and turn a blind eye towards hate crimes. The judges and court system seem are unaware of the depth of the issue and discriminate just as law enforcement does.

Since protection under the law does not exist locally for LGBT Jamaicans, human rights advocates like Gomez are vital to not only creating a safe place within Jamaica but also changing the perspective of LGBT rights and rule of law in our global community. It is vital to recognize the imbalances of equality that exist around the world in order to demand change and more importantly affect it.

Angela D. Giampolo is an attorney, avid entrepreneur, and advocate for the LGBT community. Her column informs readers about changes affecting the LGBT community and provides expert advice on varying topics. As Founder and Principal of Giampolo Law Group, her goal is to provide a safe place for the LGBT community to service their legal needs and have their business and entrepreneurial questions answered. To learn more about Giampolo Law Group visit www.giampololaw.com and to read more articles, you can visit the firm’s two blogs at www.phillygaylawyer.com and www.lifeinhouse.com. To contact Angela directly with your business and legal related questions email her at: angela@giampololaw.com.
Source

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stop Transgender Pathologization (STP) Designates October 22nd International Day of Action

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data="http://www.stp2012.info/img/400x500_oct_eng.swf"

The International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization will take place this year on Saturday, October 22nd 2011. They are inviting all activist groups around the world to participate in this call for action and go out into the streets for trans depathologization. To participate, please contact: contact@stp2012.info Apart from this international day of action, STP 2012 will continue working, in collaboration with other activist networks, in international forums in favor of trans declassification, and through participating in groups and work commissions. They intend to continue to participate in regional and international meetings, symposiums and conferences, with the objective of spreading the word about STP 2012 and creating spaces for debate regarding trans depathologization. International Stop Trans Pathologization Campaign - STP 2012, July 2011 www.stp2012.infoContact: contact@stp2012.info International Stop Trans Pathologization Campaign - STP 2012 On October 23rd 2010 - the International Day of Action for the Depathologization of Trans Identities, which is coordinated by the International Stop Trans Pathologization (STP) 2012 Campaign - demonstrations and other actions in favor of trans depathologization took place in 61 cities of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. The number of cities proves to be a significant growth in comparison to the mobilizations from the past year, when 41 cities organized demonstrations and other actions. To this date, more than 270 groups and activist networks from various regions of the world have joined the STP 2012 Campaign. Additionally, during the past two years several statements for depathologization and/or depsychopathologization of transexuality have been published by international activist networks, among them Asia Pacific Transgender Network ILGA Europe ILGA-Europe / TGEU (Malta Declaration) ILGA Trans Secretariat STRAP and Transgender Europe as well as international and national professional associations such as SOCUMES and WPATH. Within the political sphere, over the span of these last two years, we have observed a growing inclusion of trans depathologization issues in national and international political agendas, as mentioned in documents, recommendations and statements issued by international organizations and governments; these include the “Human Rights and Gender Identity” Issue Paper by Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg. the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 the Resolution 1728 (2010) of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly and the Human Rights Comment by Thomas Hammarberg “Clear laws needed to protect trans persons from discrimination and hatred,” published on July 26th 2011as well as statements issued by governments such as the Spanish Government and the French Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs Furthermore, on October 23rd of 2010, International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization, the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights posed a parliamentary question to the Council of Europe regarding their position on the subject of trans declassification, a question that was answered in January 2011 by the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection While observing a growing support to the STP 2012 demands from activists and professionals, and an increased presence of this issue in international political agendas, we are also noticing a lack of translation of these statements of interest into actual changes in the health and legal situations of trans people in various regions around the world. Thus, trans people’s experiences continue to be characterized by a logic of pathologization. In February 2010 a draft of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5 was published, which, besides some terminological modifications (“gender incongruence” instead of “gender identity disorders”) and changes in the diagnosis criteria, still maintained the classification of gender expressions, trajectories and identities as a mental health disorder. STP 2012 analyzed this draft in a communiqué and in a letter directed to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) On May 4th, 2011, a new draft of the “gender dysphoria” chapter was published on the APA website dedicated to the development of the DSM-5. This last version has new changes in terminology (“gender dysphoria” instead of “gender incongruence”) and includes new diagnostic criteria and additional specifications. It also changes its position in the general structure of the DSM-5 – “gender dysphoria” is now in a different chapter than the one “sexual dysfunctions” and “paraphilias” are in. Just like we did in 2010, STP 2012 sent a letter 3 to the APA regarding these last modifications with regard to the “gender dysphoria” chapter in the DSM-5 draft. We as STP 2012 note with concern that, despite the recent modifications in the latest version of the draft, trans expressions, trajectories and identities continue to be classified as mental health issues, both through the diagnostic criteria of “gender dysphoria” and “transvestic disorder.” Therefore, we deem that the main demand of the STP 2012 Campaign still stands: that is, the removal of pathologizing diagnostic criteria related to trans expressions, trajectories, and identities (in their varying terminological terms) from the DSM and ICD psychiatric diagnostic manuals. In addition to the ongoing classification of trans identities as mental health disorders in the DSM-5 draft, we also observe the persistence of pathologizing situations in trans persons’ daily lives, both in legal and health arenas. In many countries around the world, trans people have no access to good quality, statecovered trans-specific healthcare. In countries where the public health system does include trans-specific healthcare, access to services is often bound to psychiatric or medical monitoring. DOWNLOAD THE FULL COMMUNIQUE HERE Let us also be reminded of the Historic Decision at the United Nations: Human Rights Council Passes First-Ever Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (Geneva, June 17, 2011) In a groundbreaking achievement for upholding the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity (L9/rev1). The resolution, presented by South Africa along with Brasil and 39 additional co-sponsors from all regions of the world, was passed by a vote of 23 in favour, 19 against, and 3 abstentions. A list of how States voted is attached. In its presentation to Council, South Africa recalled the UDHR noting that “everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind” and Brasil called on the Council to “open the long closed doors of dialogue”. Today’s resolution is the first UN resolution ever to bring specific focus to human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and follows a joint statement on these issues delivered at the March session of the council. It affirms the universality of human rights, and notes concern about acts of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This commitment of the Human Rights Council sends an important signal of support to human rights defenders working on these issues, and recognizes the legitimacy of their work. “The South African government has now offered progressive leadership, after years of troubling and inconsistent positions on the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity. Simultaneously, the government has set a standard for themselves in international spaces. We look forward to contributing to and supporting sustained progressive leadership by this government and seeing the end of the violations we face daily”. (Dawn Cavanagh, Coalition of African Lesbians) The resolution requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and calls for a panel discussion to be held at the Human Rights Council to discuss the findings of the study in a constructive and transparent manner, and to consider appropriate follow-up. “That we are celebrating the passage of a UN resolution about human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation is remarkable, however the fact that gender identity is explicitly named truly makes this pivotal moment one to rejoice in,” added Justus Eisfeld, Co-Director of GATE. “The Human Rights Council has taken a step forward in history by acknowledging that both sexual and gender non-conformity make lesbian, gay, trans* and bi people among those most vulnerable and indicated decisively that states have an obligation to protect us from violence.” "As treaty bodies, UN special procedures, and national courts have repeatedly recognized, international human rights law prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.” (Alli Jernow, International Commission of Jurists) The resolution is consistent with other regional and national jurisprudence, and just this week, the 2011 United Nations Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS recognised the need to address the human rights of men who have sex with men, and the Organization of American States adopted by consensus a resolution condemning violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Earlier in this 17th session of the Human Rights Council, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, reported to the Council that: “[C]ontributory factors for risk of violence include individual aspects of women’s bodily attributes such as race, skin colour, intellectual and physical abilities, age, language skills and fluency, ethnic identity and sexual orientation.” The report also detailed a number of violations committed against lesbian, bisexual and trans women, including cases of rape, attacks and murders. It is therefore regrettable that a reference to "women who face sexuality-related violence" was removed from the final version of another resolution focused on the elimination of violence against women during the same session. "Despite this inconsistency, we trust the UN resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity will facilitate the integration of the full range of sexual rights throughout the work of the UN." (Meghan Doherty, Sexual Rights Initiative). A powerful civil society statement was delivered at the end of the session, welcoming the resolution and affirming civil society’s commitment to continuing to engage with the United Nations with a view to ensuring that all persons are treated as free and equal in dignity and rights, including on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. “Now, our work is just beginning”, said Kim Vance of ARC International. “We look forward to the High Commissioner’s report and the plenary panel next March, as well as to further dialogue with, and support from, those States which did not yet feel able to support the resolution, but which share the concern of the international community at these systemic human rights abuses.” ARC International, John Fisher (Geneva) +41 79 508 3968 or john@arc-international.net Amnesty International, Peter Splinter (Geneva) +41 (0) 22 906 9483 or Emily Gray (London) +44 (0) 20 7413 5865 CAL – Coalition of African Lesbians, Dawn Cavanagh (South Africa) + 27 11 918 6115 or dawn@cal.org.za COC Nederland, Björn van Roozendaal (Netherlands) +31 6 22 55 83 00 or BvanRoozendaal@coc.nl Council for Global Equality, Mark Bromley (Washington) +1.202.719.0511 orMark@globalequality.org GATE - Global Action for Trans* Equality, Justus Eisfeld (New York) jeisfeld@transactivists.org, +1-646-341-1699 or Mauro Cabral (Argentina)mcabral@transactivists.org or +54 9 351 5589876 Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, Stefano Fabeni (Washington) +1 312-919-3512 or sfabeni@heartlandalliance.org Human Rights Watch, Siphokazi Mthathi (South Africa) mthaths@hrw.org or + 27 82 777 1319/ +27 11 484 2640 or Juliette De Rivero (Geneva) +41 079 640 1649 or derivej@hrw.org IDAHO - International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Joel Bedos (France) jbedos@dayagainsthomophobia.org IGLHRC - International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Jessica Stern (New York) + 1 212 430 6014 or jstern@iglhrc.org ILGA- the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, Renato Sabbadini, +32 474 857 950 or renato@ilga.org International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization STP 2012, Amets Suess, stp2012@gmail.com International Commission of Jurists, Alli Jernow (Geneva) +41(0)22 979 3800) orallison.jernow@icj.org International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Bjorn Pettersson (Geneva),b.pettersson@ishr.ch, +41 22 919 7117 Sexual Rights Initiative, Meghan Doherty, Sexual Rights Initiative, +41 (0)78 871 6713 or meghan@acpd.ca Thailand's Sexual Diversity Network, Paisarn Likhitpreechakul +66 81 634 3450 orforsogi@gmail.com Transgender Europe (TGEU), Carla LaGata (Germany), mana@zedat.fu-berlin.de Attachment (Records of Vote and Co-Sponsorship) States supporting the resolution: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Thailand, UK, USA, Uruguay States against the resolution: Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Jordan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Moldova, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Uganda. Abstentions: Burkina Faso, China, Zambia Absent: Kyrgyzstan, Libya (suspended) Co-Sponsors of the resolution: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy,Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, and Uruguay. Peace and tolerance H .



The International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization will take place this year on Saturday, October 22nd 2011. They are inviting all activist groups around the world to participate in this call for action and go out into the streets for trans depathologization.

To participate, please contact: contact@stp2012.info

Apart from this international day of action, STP 2012 will continue working, in collaboration with other activist networks, in international forums in favor of trans declassification, and through participating in groups and work commissions. They intend to continue to participate in regional and international meetings, symposiums and conferences, with the objective of spreading the word about STP 2012 and creating spaces for debate regarding trans depathologization.

International Stop Trans Pathologization Campaign - STP 2012, July 2011
www.stp2012.infoContact: contact@stp2012.info


On October 23rd 2010 - the International Day of Action for the Depathologization of Trans Identities, which is coordinated by the International Stop Trans Pathologization (STP) 2012 Campaign - demonstrations and other actions in favor of trans depathologization took place in 61 cities of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. The number of cities proves to be a significant growth in comparison to the mobilizations from the past year, when 41 cities organized demonstrations and other actions. To this date, more than 270 groups and activist networks from various regions of the world have joined the STP 2012 Campaign. 

Additionally, during the past two years several statements for depathologization and/or depsychopathologization of transexuality have been  published by international activist networks, among
them Asia Pacific Transgender Network ILGA Europe ILGA-Europe / TGEU (Malta Declaration) ILGA Trans Secretariat STRAP and Transgender Europe as well as international and national  professional associations such as SOCUMES and WPATH. Within the political sphere, over the span of these last two years, we have observed a growing  inclusion of trans depathologization issues in national and international political agendas, as mentioned in documents, recommendations and statements issued by international organizations and governments; these include the “Human Rights and Gender Identity” Issue Paper by Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg. the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 the Resolution 1728 (2010) of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly and the Human Rights Comment by Thomas Hammarberg  “Clear laws needed to protect trans persons from discrimination and hatred,” published on July 26th 2011as well as statements issued by governments such as the Spanish Government and the French Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs Furthermore, on October 23rd of 2010, International Day of Action for Trans  Depathologization, the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights posed a parliamentary question to  the Council of Europe regarding their position on the subject of trans declassification,  a question that was answered in January 2011 by the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection While observing a growing support to the STP 2012 demands from activists and professionals, and an increased presence of this issue in international  political agendas, we are also noticing a lack of translation of these statements of interest into actual changes in the health and legal situations of trans people in various regions around the world. Thus, trans people’s experiences continue to be characterized by a logic of pathologization.

In February 2010 a draft of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5 was published, which, besides some terminological modifications (“gender incongruence” instead of “gender identity disorders”) and changes in the diagnosis criteria, still maintained the classification of gender expressions, trajectories and identities as a mental health disorder. STP 2012 analyzed this draft in a communiqué and in a letter directed to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) On May 4th, 2011, a new draft of the “gender dysphoria” chapter was published on the APA website dedicated to the development of the DSM-5.

Stop Trans Pathologization - 2012

This last version has new changes in terminology (“gender dysphoria” instead  of “gender incongruence”) and includes new diagnostic criteria and additional specifications. It also changes its position in the general structure of the DSM-5 – “gender dysphoria” is now in a different chapter than the one “sexual dysfunctions” and “paraphilias” are in. Just like we did in 2010, STP 2012 sent a letter 3 to the APA regarding these last modifications with regard to the “gender dysphoria” chapter in the DSM-5 draft.

We as STP 2012 note with concern that, despite the recent modifications in the latest version of the draft, trans expressions, trajectories  and identities continue to be classified as mental health issues, both through the diagnostic criteria of “gender dysphoria” and “transvestic disorder.” Therefore, we deem that the main demand of the STP 2012 Campaign still stands: that is, the removal of pathologizing diagnostic criteria related to trans expressions, trajectories, and identities (in their varying terminological terms) from the DSM and ICD psychiatric diagnostic manuals.

In addition to the ongoing classification of trans identities as mental health disorders in the DSM-5 draft, we also observe the persistence of pathologizing situations in trans persons’ daily lives, both in legal and health arenas. In many countries around the world, trans people have no access to good quality, statecovered trans-specific healthcare. In countries where the public health system does include trans-specific healthcare, access to services is often bound to psychiatric or medical monitoring. 


Let us also be reminded of the

Historic Decision at the United Nations: Human Rights Council Passes First-Ever Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

(Geneva, June 17, 2011) In a groundbreaking achievement for upholding the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity (L9/rev1).
The resolution, presented by South Africa along with Brasil and 39 additional co-sponsors from all regions of the world, was passed by a vote of 23 in favour, 19 against, and 3 abstentions.  A list of how States voted is attached. In its presentation to Council, South Africa recalled the UDHR noting that “everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind” and Brasil called on the Council to “open the long closed doors of dialogue”.
Today’s resolution is the first UN resolution ever to bring specific focus to human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and follows a joint statement on these issues delivered at the March session of the council. It affirms the universality of human rights, and notes concern about acts of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This commitment of the Human Rights Council sends an important signal of support to human rights defenders working on these issues, and recognizes the legitimacy of their work.
“The South African government has now offered progressive leadership, after years of troubling and inconsistent positions on the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity. Simultaneously, the government has set a standard for themselves in international spaces. We look forward to contributing to and supporting sustained progressive leadership by this government and seeing the end of the violations we face daily”. (Dawn Cavanagh, Coalition of African Lesbians)
The resolution requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and calls for a panel discussion to be held at the Human Rights Council to discuss the findings of the study in a constructive and transparent manner, and to consider appropriate follow-up.
“That we are celebrating the passage of a UN resolution about human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation is remarkable, however the fact that gender identity is explicitly named truly makes this pivotal moment one to rejoice in,” added Justus Eisfeld, Co-Director of GATE.  “The Human Rights Council has taken a step forward in history by acknowledging that both sexual and gender non-conformity make lesbian, gay, trans* and bi people among those most vulnerable and indicated decisively that states have an obligation to protect us from violence.”
"As treaty bodies, UN special procedures, and national courts have repeatedly recognized, international human rights law prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.” (Alli Jernow, International Commission of Jurists)
The resolution is consistent with other regional and national jurisprudence, and just this week, the 2011 United Nations Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS recognised the need to address the human rights of men who have sex with men, and the Organization of American States adopted by consensus a resolution condemning violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Earlier in this 17th session of the Human Rights Council, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, reported to the Council that:
“[C]ontributory factors for risk of violence include individual aspects of women’s bodily attributes such as race, skin colour, intellectual and physical abilities, age, language skills and fluency, ethnic identity and sexual orientation.”
The report also detailed a number of violations committed against lesbian, bisexual and trans women, including cases of rape, attacks and murders.  It is therefore regrettable that a reference to "women who face sexuality-related violence" was removed from the final version of another resolution focused on the elimination of violence against women during the same session. 
"Despite this inconsistency, we trust the UN resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity will facilitate the integration of the full range of sexual rights throughout the work of the UN." (Meghan Doherty, Sexual Rights Initiative).

A powerful civil society statement was delivered at the end of the session, welcoming the resolution and affirming civil society’s commitment to continuing to engage with the United Nations with a view to ensuring that all persons are treated as free and equal in dignity and rights, including on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Now, our work is just beginning”, said Kim Vance of ARC International. “We look forward to the High Commissioner’s report and the plenary panel next March, as well as to further dialogue with, and support from, those States which did not yet feel able to support the resolution, but which share the concern of the international community at these systemic human rights abuses.”

ARC International, John Fisher (Geneva) +41 79 508 3968 or john@arc-international.net
Amnesty International, Peter Splinter (Geneva) +41 (0) 22 906 9483 or Emily Gray (London) +44 (0) 20 7413 5865
CAL – Coalition of African Lesbians, Dawn Cavanagh (South Africa) + 27 11 918 6115 or dawn@cal.org.za
COC Nederland, Björn van Roozendaal (Netherlands) +31 6 22 55 83 00 or BvanRoozendaal@coc.nl
Council for Global Equality, Mark Bromley (Washington)  +1.202.719.0511 orMark@globalequality.org
GATE - Global Action for Trans* Equality, Justus Eisfeld (New York) jeisfeld@transactivists.org, +1-646-341-1699 or Mauro Cabral (Argentina)mcabral@transactivists.org or +54 9 351 5589876
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, Stefano Fabeni (Washington) +1 312-919-3512 or sfabeni@heartlandalliance.org
Human Rights Watch, Siphokazi Mthathi (South Africa) mthaths@hrw.org or + 27 82 777 1319/ +27 11 484 2640 or Juliette De Rivero (Geneva) +41 079 640 1649 or derivej@hrw.org
IDAHO - International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Joel Bedos (France) jbedos@dayagainsthomophobia.org
IGLHRC - International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Jessica Stern (New York) + 1 212 430 6014 or jstern@iglhrc.org
ILGA- the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, Renato Sabbadini, +32 474 857 950 or renato@ilga.org
International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization STP 2012, Amets Suess, stp2012@gmail.com
International Commission of Jurists, Alli Jernow (Geneva) +41(0)22 979 3800) orallison.jernow@icj.org
International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Bjorn Pettersson (Geneva),b.pettersson@ishr.ch, +41 22 919 7117

Sexual Rights Initiative, Meghan Doherty, Sexual Rights Initiative, +41 (0)78 871 6713 or meghan@acpd.ca
Thailand's Sexual Diversity Network, Paisarn Likhitpreechakul +66 81 634 3450 orforsogi@gmail.com
Transgender Europe (TGEU), Carla LaGata (Germany), mana@zedat.fu-berlin.de
Attachment (Records of Vote and Co-Sponsorship)

States supporting the resolution: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Thailand, UK, USA, Uruguay

States against the resolution: Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Jordan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Moldova, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Uganda.

Abstentions: Burkina Faso, China, Zambia

Absent: Kyrgyzstan, Libya (suspended)

Co-Sponsors of the resolution: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy,Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, and Uruguay.
Peace and tolerance

H

.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fame FM's "Uncensored" on Piercings, Men fighting for mirror time & dancehall's changing aesthetics

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Last evening's edition of FAME FM's (radio cousin of Television Jamaica TVJ that rejected the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays JFLAG ad) Uncensored program went from the ridiculous to the sublime and back again in my view in a supposed discussion about piercings initially which ended up all over the place with insinuations of gays in the dancehall, metrosexuality, males fearing effeminacy, men fighting for mirror time with women, men wanting to wear so called female attire more openly and the fast changing unique fashions in dancehall culture. When listening to the program one who is weak in their convictions or insecure in their sexuality would have walked away with a notion that masculinity is going to die forever with the implosion of everything held dear to machismo and how glaringly insecure the male participants especially in the exchange were which included suspected down low but the publicly bitter & homophobic Rodney Campbell.



In studio amongst others was a male guest whose tongue was said to be pierced as he sports a tongue ring openly, at first the female participants expressed some reservations hinting to male homosexuals who do the same and who come to dancehall events posing with females as they are heterosexuals but when the pierced tongue male was given his chance to speak he outlined he did the piercing for purely sexual reasons so as to enhance his ability to perform oral sex on his female partners as he is not gay, the cynical females who at first expressed reservations soon changed their tune most hypocritically and said they would allow a man to have it as long as that was the reason. After being told another male participant forthrightly that women will supposedly turn men like himself into complete gadgets by conforming to new norms and trends that of piercing tongues to provide oral pleasure whilst warning him not to fall for it the pierced tongue brother challenged the men by posturing that he gets into sex with women alot orally, at times with more than one (further confirming the Jamaican men who love multiple female partner action) he asked why can't men reciprocate oral pleasure? seeing we like it when it is done to us by women. Strangely the same ladies who were reserved before cheered loudly in the background when this question was posed. He also said since he has been pierced he has never received any negative feedback over some five years now until his appearance on the show.

Dancehall's changing aesthetics
As for the dancehall and the changing aesthetics the tight pants phenomenon, the change in choice of clothes and that as Rodney Campbell puts it "what would make a man want to wear his entire sister's collection?" clearly showing how backward thinking the mindset of a host of a program when he should be steering the conversation, one wonders what are the criteria for selecting the hosts of radio programs these days? He suggested that many of the so called women who appear in the dancehall maybe cross dressers or drag queens without saying it in so many words. The fear that the metrosexual or outright effeminate mode of dress was changing the masculinity of men or making them girls was expressed over and over again, a male dancer who was introduced to the program said he was not into the new way of dressing as male dancers do not even dance anymore or cannot do certain types of dances as their clothes were too close fitting. Rodney however reminded him that he is fast becoming a relic as he does not match the new look of the dancehall and its dancers. The issue of male colour selection took up some 35 minutes of the entire program as some male voices expressed the fast growing popularity of pink, lilac, fuchsia and other soft or effeminate colours alongside powdered faces and coloured contacts lenses were just too much for them to take. Hints to certain dancehall acts as influencing the metrosexual revolution as I have been calling it in previous posts also came through every now and again but we all knew they were knocking Vybz Kartel forgetting that there were other acts who pushed the envelope long before his rise to power such as Elephant Man and Harry Toddler with their blond hair, pink or multi-coloured uni-sexual tops and tight jeans or nickers. 

Jeggings

Capris for men

The fast rise in popularity of Jeggings, Rosettes on a Cardigan sleeve and Capris for men as well was a sore point for the male participants in the exchange as they thought men should remain as "men" they also took issue to the wearing of large rosettes on the shoulders of some of the male dancers in the game. Text messages from listeners reaffirmed their pronouncements. 

Swagg is supposedly turned up (tun up) with this new type of metrosexual look, swagg or swagger of course is an imported African American term to describe hype fashion and personal style.


At one point US rapper Little Wayne (photoed above) was referenced as an influence to the low wearing or hugging jeggings craze now taking the nation by storm and again co-host Rodney Campbell took issue that he should not be used to define a "thug" or manliness while almost implying that he (LW) or other thug stars was on the downlow, he continued that real thugs do not or are not supposed to dress so metro. The issue of thugs on the DL was also touched on briefly with no serious sensible examination to report, Jamaican men blurring the lines of roles and sexuality came up for some scrutiny when a more enlightened brother made a point that piercings were of African origin and that we should not shy away from it in a sense but that soon died as it came as again good ole Rodney brought the old stereotype into play that men who pierce their right ear were gay and those who now pierced both were supposedly not or men who pierce their chin or lower lip were trying to be too girly hence they are gay. The moving target of pin pointing gays by simple aesthetics was a point the participants could not agree on. New colloquial expressions such as "dash weh shirt, a blouse a dweet" (throw away the shirts its blouses that are doing it) was brought up as well which the more enlightened brother before rebutted that men are exploring their feminine sides so to speak and that styles change wherein we may see a return of more "big clothes" in the future. The cost factor of the clothes also was a sore point as the persons pondered whether the men were being supported by other men secretly suggesting downlow homo thug culture again but publicly having females as handbags or for show to conceal their actions.


Other points and questions in the sometime irritating discourse were:



  • Women are bisexual like oral sex from women who wear tongue rings, why can't men do it too?
  • Men are getting into oral sex more so than now
  • Why bore ones tongue if oral sex is so popular, why not a tongue alone?
  • Most persons like piercings for various reasons including the euphoria of the act 
  • Why are mostly men who complain about piercings done by other men?
  • Rodney Campbell "Oman a wicked but man a wear lilac"
  • One female had a problem with men having their eyebrows arched or the surprised permanently look 
  • We judge persons sexuality just by aesthetics, whether someone is gay or not
  • Persons are pushing the envelope more in Jamaica and doing so in the open
  • A male participant said he used to dance in pink leotards while at arts school and he is not gay
  • Text messages claimed "FIRE" (typical anti gay term) for the so called metrosexual look
  • Do Jamaican women have the so called "gay friend" as a bestie as well that obtains elsewhere?
  • Comparisons to Texan cowboys in tight jeans was used but they are masculine by virtue of the masculine items such as boots and the trademark cowboy hats.
  • The dancer commented he fears being branded as he does not wear the tight clothes etc as others on social networks
  • When did the trends change for men to wear very close jeans or capris with clothes tucked in?
  • Men are now wearing man-liners and or concealers with makeup to hide blemishes alongside french manicure nails etc
  • The influence of the internet was used to suggest the rapid changes in tastes and styles
  • The difference between evolution versus mutation was asked but not responded to by the hosts fully
  • Looking gay versus being gay was very briefly looked at with no proper follow up
  • Everybody no matter who you are has someones fit for them
  • We must allow people to choose freely without judging them (this came at the extreme end of the talks)
  • The tongue pierced man said the other stereotypical actions such as tight pants, eyebrow arching and bleaching are GAY and he wouldn't go there. Co-host Rodney found that profound, he cynically sang Beres Hammond's "One Step Ahead" suggesting to me that the moving target for stereotypical looks.
  • The fashion competitions in the dancehall are rigid that women have to accept the new look of their male partners without protest as they may become the victim of a violent reaction 
  • One female participant asked "why are we acting as if there is a shortage of hardcore men or something?" she suggested persons should find what they like
  • Rodney complained there are no lines of demarcation with effeminacy and masculinity
  • A texter texted in "Gaza we used to seh" (suggesting a switch from Vybz Kartel empire's name
  • Another one said "Steve must be Steve and Eve must be Eve"
  • Persons complained about the hair extensions and coloured mohawks worn by men 
  • Gender roles should be strictly observed so pink for females dark colours for men
  • It's difficult to identify men from women in some instances

All in all the phobia is real as it comes when these same persons travel to other more liberal parts of the world and do not complain so why complain here? We have a long way to go it seems but clearly the individualism that is sweeping the land may very help the soft but extremely fragile tolerance that we now are experiencing nationally but how long will it last and will the relapse implode on the LGBT community?


Lots to consider.


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.

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This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.

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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 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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