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, December 9, 2011

J-FLAG Celebrates 13 Years of Promoting Tolerance for Gays ... higher expectations from some quarters .................

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One day before JFLAG's 13th anniversary as was formerly launched on Human Rights Day December 10th 1998 in the sted of the then defunct Gay Freedom Movement (GFM) and also to create an advocacy arm for parent NGO Jamaica AIDS Support (the "for Life" name addition came some years later) they have released a statement as seen below from the desk of the Executive Director. I was proud to have witnessed that period of LGBT history in the early days of murdered co founder/advocate Brian Williamson whose home some of us as battered and bruised MSMs gathered to hear the plans of the movement in 1997/8, he too also opened his home to displaced msms and sgl women, some including myself provided information on our personal struggles with homophobia, incarceration and family ostracism as gay men at the time through active persons such as Thomas Glave a co founder as well who now reside overseas. Other operatives had to also seek asylum for their own safety. 

I may stand alone hereafter but sometimes it takes only one.

My buggery case and that of my three other co-accused which was in court at the time (started in December 1996 through to 1999) was also used as reference material for to develop the crisis intervention structure at the time I was told afterwards. While we can appreciate and congratulate them on the milestone and the more meaningful achievements such as the Stop Murder Music Campaigns and the Parliamentary Submission (which was not properly followed up) in the good early years they seem to have lost the original vision with purpose and some major issues and obstacles that have impeded LGBT community development have been highlighted from the mainstream but some handicapping occurring precisely due to the advocacy structure's ineptitude or dropping the ball, selectiveness on issues, very little or full non engagement of key sub groups under the lgbt umbrella and in some instances downright laziness on their part, also bearing in mind no recognition of their very own milestone was given by them two years in succession. Several things are missing from this release in my mind and as a former volunteer and full time advocate with them I feel we need to get real and honest about where we are. Most communications written and the view oral or limited forumatic activity from the goodly J is not tailored to the main LGBT audience which also says a lot about the organization's ideology. It took several years and alot of noise in some circles to get the J to even become enlightened in the use of proper descriptions and the very website languished for years without any updates for the community to see and follow up on, even now on the new site comments posting is closed, so how are persons for or against to engage the group when the very acronym implies action to interact with the groups? Alternate independent media was suggested as an option and even those ideas were subtly rejected. Now those are now being embraced quietly. 

But have a read first and decide for yourselves. Frankly JFLAG's representation here is much to be desired for the person with higher expectations as they seem to continue to ignore the real issues on the ground and present this artificial unity to the globe. 

The release read as follows via their website


J-FLAG Celebrates 13 Years of Promoting Tolerance for Gays



Kingston — December 9, 2011



Jamaica has come a long way in promoting respect and tolerance for the human rights of Jamaicans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) but much more needs to be done to make Jamaica a cohesive and just society where everyone can live, work and raise their family.
J-FLAG was launched on December 10, 1998 as Jamaica’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocacy group by twelve business people, educators, lawyers, public relations practitioners and human rights activists to advocate for protection from state-sanctioned and community violence. In this regard, J-FLAG’s call was for the fair and equal treatment of gays and lesbians under the law and by the ordinary citizen.

Thirteen years ago there were more dancehall and reggae artistes singing homophobic songs, more persons right to life was being violated because of their sexual orientation, the Commissioner of Police would never instruct police officers to respect the rights of all civilians, regardless of their sexual preference, political representatives would never meet with us and publicly support LGBT rights, the media would never openly advocate the repeal of the buggery law, and HIV programmes were not catering to the needs of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM). Today, 7% of HIV/AIDS organisations in Jamaica are working with MSM, more and more research is being done on homosexuality and homophobia in Jamaica, there are social and entertainment spaces that are friendly and for LGBT people and there are more than five LGBT focussed organisations and many support groups across the island.

The truth is more of us are realizing that human rights belong to every one of us without exception and more of us are promoting this concept. However, unless we know them, unless we demand that they be respected, and unless we defend our rights to love and care for each other without distinction, these rights will be just words in a decades-old documents.

However, despite our progress over the years, this year alone J-FLAG received more than sixty reports of murder, mob attacks, extortion, home evictions and verbal and physical abuse. Tomorrow is Human Rights Day, and as Hon. Rudyard Spencer said on December 1, 2011 at the Leaders’ Breakfast on HIV and AIDS, “we should not ignore the cries of those who continue to suffer because we fail to do what is right. It is time to be courageous and to be strong. It is time to usher our country to into a new day where justice, liberty and freedom prevail for all.” It is important that we begin recognizing and respecting the rights and beliefs of others.

J-FLAG strongly believes that the next government must take the steps needed to promote tolerance and respect for human rights, regardless of, inter alia, sexual orientation and protect LGBT persons from abuse. Already the United Nations Human Rights Committee has instructed the government to report by the end of 2012 on the steps it will take to come into full compliance with its human rights obligations. We stand ready to assist our government on issues of concern to many Jamaicans with respect to the rights of the LGBT community.

Here are five concrete things the leaders of both political parties can do if they form the next government and can easily accomplish within a year. These are:

· Taking Leadership for Human Rights,

· Promoting Equality and Non-Discrimination,

· Tackling Crime and Violence,

· Integrating Sexuality Issues within Gender Policy and

· Ensuring Every Child Learn in Safe Schools.

These will have a welcome and meaningful impact on the lives of all citizens, including LGBT Jamaicans, their family, friends and allies. J-FLAG stands ready to support the government in demonstrating its commitments to protect and promote the human rights of all Jamaicans, regardless of their socio-economic status, sexual orientation, health status, disability, work, and political and religious persuasions.

For further information contact:

Dane Lewis

Executive Director
P.O. Box 1152, Kingston 8, Jamaica
T: (876) 978-8988 | M: (876) 875 2328 | F: (876) 946-3244
W: www.jflag.org | E: admin@jflag.org
Follow us @equality_JA on Twitter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/J-Flag/96340216669

ENDS

Glaring realities:

Sadly no mention of the two murdered lesbians who were taken from us tragically just this month as well or the other same gender loving female issues that abound which more and more confirms the belief it's a man's world when it comes to LGBT advocacy in Jamaica 

No recognition of the introspective activities by a small group who did an expose on LGBT business and culture in a Pride Fest to which the J was invited to participate in and of which they ignored

No mention of the overall health and or concern of the homeless community lest we forget earlier this year some of them launched a two day civil disobedience action August 23rd and 24th at the parent NGO office that being Jamaica AIDS Support (for Life), where there was open defiance to the Exec Director when he and the former Crisis Intervention Officer tired to engage the angry men, two days of shame for us as thinking people, the men were banned from the groups before the action and then the structure turned around and hypocritically asked the nation for tolerance in the now rejected tolerance ad, credibility lost other methods have been employed since to agitate for rights or the decriminalization of buggery, a call I support but not without a proper ethical base from which to speak. 

Still no serious look at transgender issues overall during the year even with the death of two of the most prominent ones, a suspicious voting process for trans representatives for the former Global Fund CCM for Round 11, their website still has not shown any serious moves towards this population as a matter of public record, their version of Jamaican transgender news is a Wikipedia link as evidenced below:


Lack of serious frontline interventions and presence ISLANDWIDE not just a Kingston office is URGENTLY needed especially with regards to a more younger active LGBT community

Interest seems to be more on the international stage, governmental battling and suring up image than dealing with inter and intra community issues which is a longstanding criticism from several sections of the community and is spreading slowly as persons begin to evaluate where we are as a people.

To say that HIV programs are not catering to the msm population is disingenuous as JFLAG is parented by the oldest NGO in the field of HIV Jamaica AIDS Support for Life founded by and still run by very powerful and influential MSMs along with other persons and who have direct access to the community if they so desire which makes us question the reasons for such groups existence now, simply documenting incidences and or allotting a couple thousand dollars to victims is NOT enough, still there are no resident psycho social services as spread out in any meaningful islandwide framework with real cooperation not selected friends., it is for the greater good of the community that the work is to be done.

There is so much that is just not in place for proper representation too numerous to list here but with the cogs of HIV, funding and other interventions gateways jealously guarded by elements linked to the J we may never see any true serious and proper coverage islandwide especially in the area of frontline work. I guess we are going to be told there is no money for what we are expecting. That I totally disbelieve having participated in fundraising action on behalf of the J. With the Obama administration in the US pledging more support and conditionalities to countries for aid with regards to LGBT rights and support for advocacy groups as well some are expecting that the J will benefit seeing the connections they have to the consulate locally, it is with great interest a few including myself are watching to see if and when such funds become available if we won't see major improvements in advocacy and intervention work with real forumatic activity.

Wake up J, we are expecting far more than this after 13 years seeing that dissenting voices are not engaged or ignored so read what some feel on independent media. I do not think major JFLAG founders like the late Brian Williamson or even some alive today do approve or would have approved of the direction we are heading, the silence from the ones alive albeit some are living overseas is also troubling. They seem to be only majoring in scoring asylum seekers access overseas and a late in coming counseling line by an external associate in ASHE supposedly opened on Fridays to Sundays on 294-1111. One hopes the old accusations of the phone counselors in a previous dispensation were hitting on some of the callers every now and again don not resurface.


more here in my audio commentary:



Peace and tolerance

H

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Should gays serve in Parliament? ...... Under certain conditions, new candidates say (Observer)

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(From left) Dr Winston Green, the PNP’s candidate for St Mary South East, makes a point at the Observer Monday Exchange at the newspaper’s Beechwood Avenue offices last week, while other fresh candidates on the election campaign trail, the PNP’s Leonard Green, the JLP’s Camile Buchanan and Keith Blake listen attentively. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Read more:

FORMER prime minister Bruce Golding's infamous 'Not in my Cabinet' statement to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 2009 when pressed about gays in Jamaican representational politics, ignited fiery discussion on the previously taboo subject which drew widespread reaction.

Golding came out forcefully in the BBC interview, stating that he would not allow known homosexuals to be a part of his Cabinet, a sentiment lauded for the most part in Jamaica, but shredded in parts of Britain and the United States, countries that are tolerant to such sexual conduct.

The thorny, yet delicate issue of showing tolerance to politicians with homosexual or gay tendencies has become more topical in recent years, with claims of irregular conduct among members on both sides of the Jamaican political fence.

Three aspiring parliamentarians in the upcoming general election have said that unless it can be proven that homosexuals were using their behaviour in an offensive way, and their conduct could be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, it should not prevent them from entering the Jamaican Parliament.

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate for the redefined St Catherine East Central constituency, Camile Buchanan, along with People's National Party (PNP) representatives, Leonard Green — who will be the face of the party in St Thomas West — and his namesake, Dr Winston Green — the PNP's point man in St Mary South East — agree that homosexuals have the right to choose their sexual paths and should not be persecuted and prevented from serving nationally, as long as they conform to the laws of the land.

“I do believe that it's your personal life,” Buchanan told Observer editors and reporters at this paper’s Monday Exchange last week.

“However you choose to live, it is entirely up to you. I think if you are representing your party and the country and not representing your sexuality, that is fine with me. It is your personal choice. Who you really choose to sleep with is not my business,” said Buchanan, the former chief executive officer of Caymanas Track Limited, who will be challenging the young PNP attorney, Arnaldo Brown.

Petrol station operator, haulage contractor and farmer, Leonard Green, said that he would not aggressively oppose homosexual behaviour, as long as citizens who are so inclined, operated under certain terms.

“My position is simple. Every citizen has privileges under the law. If there is no law preventing this (homosexuality) and if the person is not in breach of any law, then I have no problem at all.

“If however, the laws that exist are against certain behaviour, then I couldn't sanction it at the highest level of the land,” said Green, who will go up against the JLP's deputy leader James Robertson, whose United States visitor's visa was cancelled last April for unknown reasons.

Green is firm in his view that punishment should be handed down to offenders if proof is found that Jamaican law has been breached.

“If you find out and know and it is proven that the person is doing this, then there should be action,” Green said.

For his part, dental surgeon, Dr Winston Green, said that homosexuals had the right to choose the way they wanted to live, as long as they do not break the law.

“Where do we go from here? Is it that at some time we are going to say no Catholic can be a representative (in Parliament), or no Pentecostal?

“A person's private life - how does that affect his ability to represent? It's not that he is convicted of something and it's against the law. How would you prove that he is operating against the law in private?

“What about the person who uses drugs, smokes ganja for example and you cannot prove it?” Dr Green asked.

The fourth guest at the meeting, the JLP's representative for St Catherine South East, Keith Blake, did not offer a view.

ENDS

My two cents:

I consider this article's position as frankly a non issue and a smoke screen in a sense to continue to perpetuate institutionalized homophobia. Why would there need to be special conditions for LGBT people if they should serve and serve openly at that in a country such as ours? We all know somewhere in the back if our minds that persons have already served who are gay or at least involved in same sex activity, lest we forget it was some time ago a Jamaica Labour Party councillor found himself in trouble with the law on a serious charge of buggery, not to mention the rumour mill by local standards that if it doesn't go as is whispered then it is true that certain names are in gay activity.

Why this fear of us, do persons think we are going to try to find every available excretory orifice to plug with out penises or vice versa in our supposedly over sexed lives and veracious sexual appetite, as many think we have far more sex than heterosexuals. And why should sexual orientation be a criteria for serving ones country? this comes close to the debate in the United States don't ask don't tell policy in the military but we have many examples of LGBT people serving in government businesses around the world and even a transgender representative in France recently who offered herself as a candidate for a leadership race. 

and

All smiles: The election of Robert Biedron (left) and Anna Grodzka (right) shows how far the notorious Roman Catholic country of Poland has come in social change
All smiles: The election of Robert Biedron (left) and Anna Grodzka (right) first transgender member of parliament in poland shows how far the notorious Roman Catholic country of Poland has come in social change Read more HERE:  Europe's first transsexual MP takes her seat in Polish parliament


Elio Di Rupo the man tipped to be Belgium's next PM is openly gay , they would become the 2nd country to have one, Iceland is the 1st way back in 2003. The small European country has shared its neighbours’ economic woes over the past several years. A year and a half has gone by since it’s last national election without a government being formed. But now the majority Dutch speaking country has settled on a Prime Minister, a French speaking son of Italian immigrants


Johanna Sigurdardottir, named as Iceland's prime minister on Sunday, is the first openly lesbian head of government in Europe, if not the world - at least in modern times. The then 66-year-old's appointment as an interim leader in February, until their elections in May 2009 was seen by many as a milestone for the gay and lesbian movement. According to reports at the time few Icelanders were worried about her orientation SEE HERE 
The successful ones have not damaged society or become drunk with power and run afoul of protocol to "infect" others around them or infuse ideology so much so to cause or topple so called values held by the majority.  Lets us not forget the several US gay representatives from both the Democrats and even the republican sides. 

As far as Bruce Golding's Not In My Cabinet rant is concerned that was just a political move out of expediency to sure up support soon after winning a small majority in our parliament and he got the right stage via the BBC's Hardtalk to do it as watched by millions around the world. As for "....homosexuals using their behaviour in an offensive way..." what about heterosexuals who abuse their power to impressionable minds or the gun culture previous so called honourable men in the houses of parliament have aided greatly to stain our psyche and nation with? thus impeding our growth over these many years.

See what you make of it readers.

Peace and tolerance

H
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Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14



debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

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Violence and venom force gay Jamaicans to hide a 2009 Word focus report where the history of the major explosion of homeless MSM occurred and references to the party DVD that was leaked to the bootleg market which exposed many unsuspecting patrons to the public (3:59), also the caustic remarks made by former member of Parliament in the then JLP administration. The agencies at the time were also highlighted and the homo negative and homophobic violence met by ordinary Jamaican same gender loving men. The late founder of the CVC, former ED of JASL and JFLAG Dr. Robert Carr was also interviewed. At 4:42 that MSM was still homeless to 2012 but has managed to eek out a living but being ever so cautious as his face is recognizable from the exposed party DVD, he has been slowly making his way to recovery despite the very slow pace

Thanks for your Donations

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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