Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

The Safe House Homeless LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ youth in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, 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 also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Friday, June 22, 2012

SGL community members attacked in Kingston ..........


Three men who are accused of being homosexuals were attacked and beaten in Craig Town, Kingston earlier yesterday by an angry crowd. According to CVM TV News, a crowd descended upon a house where three men and two women were caught in compromising positions. 

The men were attacked and beaten however the women were not touched. Two of the men managed to escape and the Police who arrived on the scene rescued the injured man from the clutches of the angry mob. One resident blasted the Police for rescuing the men stating if this is what tax payers were paying for the rescue of homosexuals.

Read more HERE

Coincidentally three of the persons involved in this episode were previously members of the dubiously closed Safe House Pilot project that was closed and the residents then displaced yet no help was really extended to them via the agencies that represent LGBT persons in Jamaica. Lest we forget these same agencies had an issue with the so called issue of the behaviour of the men at the time so all the residents were basically made to suffer the consequences without any agitations from the agencies opposing the closure of the all important and needed shelter services at the time.

Interesting the comments though from what seems to be members of the LGBT community, sadly this comes just as the same gender loving community is healing from the recent murders of 4 homeless msms in total and a popular community socialite whose throat was cut on June 13 plus other unconfirmed problems to do with homeless and displaced persons as well as other homophobic and lesbophobic incident reports, I guess it's the silly season early this year.

the comments from the Jones Town story read as follows:

"compromising positions'? the conducter them wah have the likkle school gyal dem a feel up pon the bus and a battery dem inna bus back.....that nuh compromising? Tax dollars? you worried bout tax dollars? u and ur ignorant self wah probably not working to get ur salary taxed, who have man a buy u things, wah tax nah come outta ur pocket a complain how tax dollars a spend? The ppl dem inna dem yard, wah unu a fass inna d ppl dem business for...u hear seh pickney or animal involve? nuh 5 adult of sound mind a do whatever...mine unu own business and leff di ppl dem.

This is outrageous...this is an epidemic especially in the west Indian community...if more of these men concentrated on building a more wholesome image of Caribbean culture,.and take care of their families and children,.we would be further ahead. Instead they maintain violence against homosexuals and women in some cases,.as well as uplifting a culture all about't there anything more to talk about. If u hate gays, to yourself...that's someone's child they were beating..smh. Thank you Garnett for standing up and saying this is wrong, as well as being a good example to your son.

How much stupid our society will get? if your str8, gay or whatever in the world you want to be, every person in this country is paying tax and deserved the same rights, freedom and justice. People think with your head! those gays/bi/lesbians could have been your blood brother or sisters/extended family.
For all the gay HATERS, just for one minute think.....if those persons that were beaten and attacked by mobs or citizens from the community, how would you truly feel about it knowing that this person you have grown up with and loved, is been killed for who they are? 

Its time we stop hurting each other. 
You know what is so interesting our str8 society? little did you know that Gays/BI/Lesbians are all over this country working for you, in the Hospitals, Lawyer, Doctors, Restaurants, Banks, Schools, Bus Drivers, Taxi Drivers, Gun man, Police, Government Ministers, Pastors, Church members....and the list goes on and on........Don't be quick to judge, yes the bible speaks about it.....its not your right to take judgement or anyone persons life. Let God judge each man for his actions.

So you're saying Jamaica doesn't have curry prion and all the negative aspect if the US? This isn't about politics it's about human rights. I'm not telling a man how to live. I know that if that crime was done here in the US someone would be arrested. You can't hate or hurt someone based on their sexual preference. And to show you how blind Jamaicans are: every song is about guns, "homosexuality" and murder. The only three artist that never did are Bob Marley, Berris Hammond and Garnet Silk. So if you want a homo free country why is ever artist talking about it. Don't you see they are forcing it upon you? No one have to accept anything but death and as human being we are entitled to live how we want. How different from Hitler are we if we kill segregate and hurt people because of their lifestyle? Time people start thinking for themselves.

Hating people for being Gay doesn't make me Jamaican....What people do in their damn bedroom is their own business and no one else's. Stop falling into this trap of associating hatred with being Jamaican. We are a people known for our loving nature and loving hearts..leave people alone....god alone can judge!

Why not get rid of the Don's and the GUN MEN that are going out at nites murdering people and taking home the blood money and goods for your nites belly and leaving one family in hurt and continuously pain......why not tell/call the police about that? NO you will never do that! Why? because your minds are corrupt and evil at humanity.

So the question is, Who did the Gays/BI sexuals/Lesbians troubled or killed? YOUR answer is "NOBODY".....


Sadly this comes so soon after the awful aforementioned murders but something strikes me about this episode, Jones Town is a relatively small inner city community and almost everyone knows everyone else, the persons are relatively long time residents according to reports yet this now has come? knowing how prying eyes in communities such as this make it their business to know what going on, I get the feeling something else triggered this attack. There is also an element of remnants of homeless issues cross cutting here as some of the persons involved have been identified as recently displaced persons who were given some space at the house where the attack took place.

Above is the actual newscast and bearing in mind the cynicism of the residents that LGBT people are being protected more so than local residents are that may just add another layer to the already troublesome homo-negativity that pervades Jamaican society. Meanwhile the seemingly hypocritical expression by some activists via a Gleaner letter who now reside overseas that Gays Being Attacked Left, Right And Centre when these same activist's negligence towards displaced and homeless MSMs has caused this particular incident, the two main persons involved here were displaced msms who have been moving from friend to friend just to have a roof over their heads yet these groups and organizations use incidents like this to push themselves as concerned when they do no give a hoot about the really marginalized populations. As a former board member of one of the NGOs that closed a homeless shelter in 2010 why hasn't there been any serious moves to rectify the out of control MSM homelessness problems?

also see: 

The recent murders in the New Kingston area has once again brought the matter or homelessness squarely.

Here is an audio commentary on the incidents of recent:

(June 25th Update fixed)

Peace and tolerance


Thursday, June 21, 2012

The impact of Living out Loud as a Gay Jamaican


By Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn

Courtesy of Kweisi Abbensetts Photos

It has been a week since the first story broke about my marriage to my beautiful wife, Emma Benn, at Silver Sands Villa in Duncans Trelawney, a parish in Jamaica.  In one week, our lives have changed.  It started with an article in the Jamaica Gleaner, “Lesbian Nuptials at Silver Sands.”  When and how this information was leaked, we are still uncertain.  But this article immediately garnered attention, enough to overwhelm the comments section of the online article:  “Could it be true?  Did two women really get married on the island known to refute same-sex unions?  What an ungodly occurrence! They should be charged! The Villa should be fined!”  The questions and admonishments stirred like a typhoon in the middle of the ocean.  What was meant to be a private, intimate ceremony with family and friends, as a re-enactment of our legal marriage a month before in New York where same-sex marriage was recently legalized, became an overnight sensation in Jamaica.  We made history.

“It is illegal … in Jamaica,” a pastor was quoted saying.  “Marriage is not a union between any two people; it must be between a man and a woman.  This kind of thing is not the norm and is not something you would expect to see in a Christian country.”

But in the midst of the reactions following the breaking news, there was something bigger; something my wife and I happened to be caught in the middle of by chance.  It wasn’t our wedding, it was the timing.  For in recent months Jamaica had been engaged in dialogue about homosexuality when Portia Simpson-Miller, Jamaica’s current Prime Minister, shocked the nation by saying she will hire a competent person to serve in her cabinet regardless of their sexual orientation.  For a Jamaican Prime Minister to make such a statement in a public debate is an anomaly in a culture so rigid about same-sex unions.  After this statement, Simpson-Miller won the election by a landslide.  This was followed by President Obama on May 9, 2012, when he publicly expressed that he supports same sex marriage.  The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a very prominent civil rights organization in the US, followed suit when they too expressed their support of same-sex marriage.

By the comments I’ve received in response to the Jamaica Gleaner article and the article in Ebony Magazine, I realize that our wedding has encouraged positive discourse about homosexuality and same sex marriages throughout the African Diaspora.   I’ve gotten messages from people all over the world—people living in West Africa, South Africa, Singapore, Quebec, Jamaica, and the United States.   What my wife and I did was spark the flame.   The gasoline was already there.  And so was the match.    All we did was express our love before family and friends in a place I still call home.   A place known for its homophobia, yet still embracing us.  If we did not have the support of the venue, many of its staff and villa owners, and the local community, our wedding would have been impossible.  We may not have been the first to do this, but the attention resonated from the social movement that was already in effect.   A social movement that was already orchestrated by the higher-ups that eventually trickled down to two women having their wedding in Jamaica—one Jamaican and the other one African American.   Two women.   Two women of the African Diaspora.   From two countries in active dialogue about the issue of same-sex unions.  Two women.   One love.   And an act of courage.

Jamaica was ready.  America was ready.  The world was already poised, watching, waiting.

But what touched me most were the messages of support from gay and lesbian individuals living in Jamaica.   Many have expressed how inspired they were by our courage to do such a thing.  A nineteen year old girl wrote that she was on the verge of giving up on life after a long internal battle with her sexuality.  But after reading the article about us in the Jamaica Gleaner, she was able to see for the first time that there is a bright side at the end of the tunnel.   After reflecting on comments like these, Emma and I realized that we were now held in high regard by those who saw us as revolutionaries.  We realize that our story is bigger than us.

I recalled how alone I felt during my coming out process in high school and how important it was for me to see other lesbians as role models or even to see representations of us.  Like that nineteen year old girl, I used to be under the dark and desolate impression that I was the only lesbian in Jamaica; that I was the only person walking around with supposedly “unnatural” feelings for other women.  But during my freshman year of college I met another Jamaican woman, a Jamaican-born poet by the name of Staceyann Chin who captivated me by her fearlessness as an out lesbian.

Now, Emma and I are proud that our courage could give a voice to so many who truly love their culture and homeland, but who, marginalized, ostracized, and often living in fear, never feel that love reciprocated. Our story is not a lesbian story or a Jamaican story, but a story of love between two people that is so amazing, we just could not keep it hidden from the world. We know that we have not started this movement, but we are determined to give it the extra push it so desperately needs.


Meanwhile Today's Star News carried this story:

The activities of two female teachers at a high school in St Catherine have become a source of concern for other tutors, students and the general community.

"The two educators went to the U.S, and got married. Now they are back at school and it is a burden to many of us who are affiliated with the institution," a disgruntled teacher told THE STAR.

Information reaching THE STAR is that the women's story came to the fore after one of the newly weds started to boast to a man how her marriage status has changed. The Star was informed that both parties have posted the information about their marriage on social networking website Facebook.

"After that was revealed the school got full knowledge of it. They are lesbians and should keep it to themselves. It is not fair to the rest of us," a concerned staffer at the school said.

Efforts to speak with a school official on the matter proved futile yesterday.

Meanwhile, The Star was informed that some female students are being targeted by these misguided lesbian teachers.

While those who are concerned said they are trying to tolerate the sexual preference of everyone, they say the latest episode has placed them under undue pressure. "There are other isolated cases, how ever, this one is really affecting us to the extent that a teacher fainted upon hearing it," another staffer said.

When contacted, the police revealed that same sex marriage is illegal in Jamaica, however, since the alleged marriage occurred overseas, nothing can be done.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UN rights body hits out against violence based on sexual orientation


The United Nations Human Rights Council on June 17th 2011expressed grave concern at the violence and discrimination experienced by people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and called for a global study to document the suffering they face.

In a resolution adopted narrowly in Geneva, the Council asked the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to carry out a study by December that details “discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, in all regions of the world.”

The resolution calls on the study to also consider “how international human rights law can be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Twenty-three countries voted in favour of the resolution, 19 countries voted against, and three others abstained.

A month ago UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned that hate crimes against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people were on the rise around the world.

Ms. Pillay stressed that homophobia and transphobia were no different to sexism, racism or xenophobia.

“But whereas these last forms of prejudice are universally condemned by governments, homophobia and transphobia are too often overlooked,” she said.

Today’s resolution notes that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that everyone is equal and entitled to the same rights and freedoms, regardless of their race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

The text said the Council will convene a future panel discussion based on the facts contained in the study and have “constructive, informed and transparent dialogue on the issue of discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

bly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, in which the Assembly stated that the Human Rights Council should be responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in fair and equal manner,

Expressing grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity

1. Requests the High Commissioner to commission a study to be finalized by December 2011, to document discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, in all regions of the world, and how international human rights law can be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity;

2. Decides to convene a panel discussion during the 19th session of the Human Rights Council, informed by the facts contained in the study commissioned by the High Commissioner and to have constructive, informed and transparent dialogue on the issue of discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity;

3. Decides also that the panel will also discuss the appropriate follow-up to the recommendations of the study commissioned by the High Commissioner;

4. Decides to remain seized of this priority issue.

PrEP: time to rethink prevention, effectiveness and ethics?


By Marsha Rosengarten

PrEP: time to rethink prevention, effectiveness and ethics?

One of the more controversial interventions proposed for HIV prevention in those who test HIV antibody negative and perceived to be at risk is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – a daily pill comprising one or two antiretroviral drugs manufactured by Gilead Inc.  Besides the mixed results from multi-site randomised controlled trials (RCTs) seeking to establish the efficacy of PrEP (see iPrEX versus Fem-PrEP), concerns have been raised about PrEP’s potential to undermine condom use, its cost implications in locales where treatment provision is still lacking and elsewhere, its potential to cause unwanted drug side-effects as well as possible drug resistance in those it fails to protect.

Nevertheless, continuing new infections and evidence that high adherence produces a strong protective effect are mobilising many public health authorities to devise feasible implementation models.

Most remarkable about the growing interest in PrEP is the exclusion of the social sciences from major forums where this work is taking place.  One such example is a two-day forum held in the UK by IAPAC on the dual topics of treatment as prevention (TasP) and PrEP.  The only non-biomedical speakers listed on the programme were a psychologist (speaking on adherence), a bioethicist, activists and public health officials linked to various national epidemics.

Indeed it won’t come as a surprise to many to know that despite the millions of dollars to support RCTs for PrEP, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have so far declined to support a substantial programme of social research on PrEP.  In fact if we consider the bioethical requirements imposed on the conduct of RCTs for PrEP and other biomedical interventions, there is no ethical requirement for research on the social dimensions of the intervention during or post RCTs. This applies even when RCTs demonstrate candidate efficacy.

The multiple ways in which PrEP will unfold across the epidemic and the absence of social scientific approaches to grapple with this multiplicity is worrying. Without doubt it underscores the need for this particular blog and other forums designed to enliven the social science contribution and increase its visibility. But the absence of social science also raises the question of what sort of social research should be called upon in response to the biomedicalisation of the epidemic.

Although not wanting to diminish what has already been achieved to date by the social and biomedical sciences, it is worth pointing out that much of this work has relied on the presupposition of an ‘HIV prevention user’ who exists prior to and remains largely distinct from the means of prevention or RCT technology.  Always already conceived as independent of the means of prevention, ‘she’ or ‘he’ is assessed according to whether ‘she’ or ‘he’ does or does not utilize prevention. If not, it is because:

i)      She/he is deficient in knowledge or understanding necessary for adopting safe practices.

ii)    She/he is deficient due to asymmetries in power and situated in such a way to be without services that help mitigate against unsafe practices, for example: housing, food, education, safe forms of employment without discrimination.

iii)  She/he is deficient in responsibility causing her or him to be unable to act safely.

Leaving aside any preferences we may have for one or even two of these accounts of ‘the user’, all can be said to assume and, indeed, enact HIV risk as if consisting of ‘stand-alone entities.’ These entities— for example, users, bodies, knowledge, rights, HIV, condoms, drugs, routes of transmission and so on—are imagined as present in a stable form prior to the risk event and ontologically distinct. 

This thinking is especially prevalent in RCT design, sometimes even the explanation for failure. The MIRA trial (Methods for Improving Reproductive Health in Africa) found that women in the candidate arm who were asked to use a diaphragm with a condom in sexual intercourse were less likely to sustain condom use than women in the placebo arm who were recommended to use only condoms.  In other words, the combining of presumed distinct prevention technologies gave rise to women in the candidate arm being more at risk of HIV infection than those in the placebo arm. 

Here the ‘additional’ object (the diaphragm) did not enhance but, instead, diminished the capacity of the more protective object (the condom).[1] In sum, a logic of ‘stand-alone’ entities undermined prevention in the candidate arm, rendered ineffectual the statistical calculations necessary to a worthwhile trial and, it can be argued, raises the question of whether the logic of ‘stand-alone’ entities leads to a practice devoid of satisfactory ethics.

Importantly, the women in the MIRA trial, like many others negotiating the demands of HIV in the midst of complex and sometimes competing social relations, remind us that ‘objects’ such as condoms, diaphragms, pills etc. are not stable and distinct but emerge with heterogeneous effects in their relations with other phenomena.

Ironically, biomedicine also offers a reminder of the dynamic co-affective nature of the epidemic, even if those practicing it fail to fully comprehend their objects in this way: the virus is of consequence when it is with the human body or in a laboratory study, not when it is independent of other phenomena. Similarly antiretroviral drugs are made effective in their use; or through the monitoring of adherence; or through their capacity to induce ‘side effects’ and so on.  They, too, acquire their effect only in relation to other phenomena and, moreover, it is their effect that we are concerned with.

As a guide to how we might extend the social science of prevention, I want to propose a rethinking of prevention as that which is effective because it is ethical.  By hinging effectiveness to ethics, the relational aspects of intervention come into view.  Put simply, if prevention is to take place—in this instance through the uptake of PrEP—it must perform an aligning with the varying interests of those it is intended for and, at the same time, affecting. More specifically, it must weigh in on some affects—most likely those of pleasure although this is complex territory in itself —well over others—such as coercion and homophobia —and do so by appealing in such a way that the effective user is able to emerge as such.[2]

By anticipating ethics as immanent in the affective work of practice it also becomes possible to become sensitized to dynamics that work against prevention. Particularly pertinent here is the manner in which PrEP has emerged. Its controversial nature cannot be disentangled from the technology of the ‘efficacy’ testing RCT and the legitimation of this process by bioethics. The legitimizing of RCTs in their current form where only a delimited set of effects are of concern—those that may incur more risks than benefits within the parameters of the RCT—excludes precisely that which the more everyday use of the candidate may generate.  Here I am thinking in particular of concerns that PrEP may give rise to what is termed ‘risk compensation’ or may alter gender relations in such a way that women take responsibility for prevention as has happened with the contraceptive pill.[3] Crudely put, how has it come to be ethically legitimate to spend millions of dollars on the efficacy testing of a biomedical agent[4] without providing research into how it will affect the epidemic? Or, to turn the gaze on those who would otherwise neglect us and, at the same time, open for consideration the achievement of biomedical prevention more generally:  has bioethics usurped the role of social science as such by granting biomedicine greater license for its activities but less viability for its products?  

These questions and a host of others could become part of a different approach to prevention, effectiveness and ethics. To reiterate, by conceiving of effectiveness as an achievement of ethical design it may be possible to shift the logic of the stand alone as evident in the deficit individual and as exemplified in the MIRA trial   and begin to work with PrEP as a highly relational entity. Working with PrEP means attending to how it emerges, including how it does so through the design of RCTs and, possibly, as part of the everyday relations involved in its uptake.

[1] Rosengarten M, Michael M, Mykhalovskiy E & Imrie J (2008)‘The Challenges of Technological Innovation in HIV’ Lancet Aug 2;372 (9636):357-8.

[2] See for example: Race, K (2009) Pleasure Consuming Medicine: The Queer Politics of Drugs, Duke University Press, Durham & London; Gomart, E. (2004) ‘Surprised by Methadone: In Praise of Drug Substitution Treatment in a French Clinic’, Body & Society, 10 (2–3): 85–110.

[3] Rosengarten, M. & Michael, M. (2009) ‘The performative function of expectations in translating treatment to prevention: the case of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP’ Social Science & Medicine, Volume 69, Issue 7, October: 1049-1055.

[4] Peters A JTP, Micevska-Scharf M, Van Driel FTM, Jansen WHM (2010) ‘Where does public funding for HIV prevention go to? The case of condoms versus microbicides and vaccines’ Globalization and Health 6, 23:1-10

Monday, June 18, 2012

Caribbean States called upon to adopt OAS Resolution

The Coalition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite, Transsexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTTTI) Latin American and Caribbean organizations (The Coalition) is calling on all Caribbean states to implement the Organisation of American States (OAS) Resolutions on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity.
During the 42nd General Assembly of the OAS which took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia from 3 - 5 June, 2012 a fifth resolution “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” was adopted. 

A result of long term advocacy of the Coalition, the resolution includes all the issues contained in the previous resolutions which call on Member States to introduce measures against discrimination and human rights violations and to implement public policies.

Additionally, the resolution requests that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) “prepare a study on legislation and provisions in force in the OAS Members States restricting the human rights of individuals by reason of their sexual orientation or gender identity and to prepare based on that study, guidelines aimed at promoting the decriminalization of homosexuality.” 

According to the Coalition “indifference, omission and complicity by many states in cases of discrimination and violence against the LGBTTTI community make those more severe and limit the enjoyment of the basic needs of our communities.” 

The Coalition noted that this situation is even more serious in the case of legislation in 11 Anglophone countries. 

It contends that in the Caribbean:

• 11 countries still criminalise consenting adult same-gender intimacy;

• two countries ban entry of homosexuals;

• one country imposes life sentences for consenting adult same-gender intimacy;

• homophobia contributes to the region having the second highest HIV and AIDS prevalence and incidence rates;

• there are no protections for domestic violence committed against LGBTTTI persons by their intimate partners or their families; and,

• Lesbian and bisexual women and invisible from any government data produced in the Caribbean.

With this in mind the Coalition states that Caribbean countries must adopt the fifth resolution of the 42nd General Assembly of the OAS and condemn all forms of hum rights violations against the LGBTTTI community, as well as take immediate steps to end all forms of discrimination against this vulnerable group.

USAID to launch LGBT Global Development Partnership Initiative

The event seems to have been rescheduled for the fall according to sources.

Few details are publicly available but this is something big.

On Monday, the United States Agency for International Development(USAID) was to hold a gathering at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC, to celebrate LGBT pride month and to launch their Global LGBT Equality Partnership.

USAID was launched by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to handle civilian foreign aid. It operates based on guidelines from the U.S. President, the U.S. Secretary of State and the National Security Council and its goal is to provide "economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States."

The Partnership would make it current USAID policy to make federal foreign aid available to agencies working to strengthen LGBT rights throughout the world although I assume it would limit it to a number of nations that meet certain diplomatic standards and to organizations that have the infrastructure to handle federal grants from the United States.

From the event press announcement:

Eighty-five countries and territories criminalize LGBT behavior, seven countries have a death penalty for same-sex sexual activity, and fewer than 50 countries punish anti-gay discrimination in full or in part. The partnership will enhance LGBT equality through providing a greater voice in civil society and political processes, increased access to services including police and justice systems and improved economic security.

The Partnership will cast a worldwide net but, speaking specifically about Latin America, a lot of the limited funding that LGBT-rights organizations get comes from local and European sources. One of the few exceptions when it comes to U.S. foundations has been the work of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice which has long recognized the benefit of supporting international LGBT work.

I know from sources that USAID has been laying the groundwork and already granted some awards. Details will have to wait another day.

The initiative follows a presidential directive last year to use U.S. foreign aid money to secure and protect LGBT rights throughout the world and the exemplary work done by the State Department under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on these same issues.

On a related matter, today the U.S. Department of State released the following pride month message from Hillary in which she addresses several of the Department of State's international achievements.

Non Discrimination

Foreign assistance agencies will work toward a goal of ensuring that USG implementing partners mirror USG non-discrimination practices for both employees and beneficiaries in the implementation of their programs. We issued a hortatory policy on October 11 for non-discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, marital status, parental status, political affiliation. USAID’s policy supports the human rights of all individuals. USAID’s inclusive policy simultaneously ensuring that faith-based implementing partners retain an exemption from the Federal prohibition on employment discrimination on the basis of religion when the organization receives financial assistance from USAID.


USAID/OFDA promotes non-discrimination among disaster-affected populations as a core component of protection by recognizing LGBT individuals for their distinct needs among vulnerable groups within an affected population. USAID/OFDA has issued an Annual Program Statement (APS) for sexual and gender based violence, in humanitarian assistance settings, that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, in the areas for which organizations may submit proposals.

USAID has included LGBT concerns in our discussions regarding our programs in the following regions:
LAC (Colombia, Honduras, Jamaica)
AFR (Uganda, Mali, Malawi)
Asia (Pakistan through the film “Bol”)
E&E (Macedonia)

Through email conversations, meetings with civil society activists, and reading cable traffic, we are aware of LGBT concerns in the following USAID-presence countries:
Africa (Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Namibia, Malawi)
Asia (India, Nepal)
E&E (Russia)
LAC (Haiti, Jamaica, Honduras, Colombia, Nicaragua, regionally through a conference in St. Lucia through ARC International)

Give Gays Minimum Human Rights Now, Urges US

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Baer.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Baer.

Andrew Wildes, Gleaner Writer


A NEWLY established United States foreign policy is demanding that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals in countries such as Jamaica be afforded a certain minimum standard of human rights.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Baer, who has responsibility for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) rights, told The Gleaner that the policy is intended to ensure people are not discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

Baer said the US Department of State will not leave it up to the Jamaican society to decide at its own pace if and when it will acknowledge the basic human rights of homosexuals.

"No! They shouldn't," the deputy assistant secretary of state responded when asked whether individual nations should be left to decide for themselves on LGBT rights.


"They shouldn't be left to decide on their own, the same way they shouldn't be left to decide on their own whether women should be beaten up or imprisoned for being women or whether somebody of a particular religious group ought to be beaten up or imprisoned for being part of that religious group."

The US is, in effect, advocating a global minimum standard. Baer expects that the nitty-gritty issues "will be determined ideally through democratic governance and through citizenship participation".

"There are certain minimum standards that all societies are meant to protect for each person and people shouldn't be thrown in jail or killed for who they are," he added.

At the same time, the deputy assistant secretary of state says LGBT rights are no longer a bottom draw, back door issue for the Department of State.

"There was some engagement before Secretary Clinton, but certainly Secretary Clinton has made it institutionally front and centre," said Baer.


Two years ago, Clinton sent a cable to all US ambassadors across the world saying, in Baer's words, "I want you to engage on these issues the same way you do on the rights of people with disabilities, or women, or religious or ethnic minorities - this is part of our human-rights policy."

Baer took pains to note that Clinton's speech on the subject seven months ago was misunderstood. On International Human Rights Day, Clinton argued that the human rights of LGBT people are no different from the human rights of any other individual.

"There has been a misunderstanding ... that in that speech she also articulated that there was some sort of new conditionally possibility with US assistance based on this," Baer said.

He continued: "What she said was that we would use our assistance policies to help further these human-rights objectives ... . What she was getting at was an affirmative ticking ... . That means paying attention when you are designing a programme and making sure you are being fully inclusive, that populations that are at risk, that are marginalised in societies are included and are at the table. That's an affirmative policy goal that is part of our assistance."
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Podcasts You may have missed or want to re-listen

A look at the fear of the feminine (Effemophobia) by Jamaican standards & how it drives the homo-negative perceptions/homophobia in Jamaican culture/national psyche.


After catching midway a radio discussion on the subject of Jamaica being labelled as homophobic I did a quick look at the long held belief in Jamaica by anti gay advocates, sections of media and homophobes that several murders of alleged gay victims are in fact 'crimes of passion' or have jealousy as their motives but it is not as simple or generalized as that.

Listen without prejudice to this and other podcasts on one of my Soundcloud channels

More uploads

Aphrodite’s PRIDE JA tackles gender identity, transgender misconceptions .....

Nationwide New Network, NNN devoted some forty five minutes of prime time yesterday evening to discuss the issue and help listeners to at least begin to process some of the information coming from the most public declaration exercise as done by Jenner. Guests on the show were Dr Karen Carpenter Board Certified Clinical Sexologist and Psychologist, ‘Satiba’ from Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica of which I am affiliated and Lecturer (Sociologist) and host of Every Woman on the station Georgette Crawford Williams (sister of PNP member of parliament Damian Crawford); one of the first questions thrown at Satiba by host Cliff Hughes was why has Jenna waited so long at 65 years old to make such a life changing decision?

Satiba responded that many transwomen have to hide their true identity in life .... given her life when she was younger she was a star athlete she would have been under tremendous precious to stay in from the expectations by the public and her team etc, also owing to the fact that she had a family as a man with children one may not want to upset the flow at that time until the kids are old enough. There is a lot of burden of guilt that some persons carry in weighing the decisions of coming out or transitioning so suppression of one’s true self is the modus operandi.

Dr Carpenter cautioned after a heated exchange:

“We really must remember as professionals we must stay in our lane I will never pronounce as a Sociologist cause I am not a Sociologist ............When we have an opportunity to speak publicly we must be careful of what we say unless it is extremely well informed......”

Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website

Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website on December 1 2015 on World AIDS Day where they hosted a docu-film and after discussions on the film Human Vol 1

audience members interacting during a break in the event

film in progress

visit the new APJ website HERE

See posts on APJ's work: HERE (newer entries will appear first so scroll to see older ones)

Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Homophobia - What are we afraid of?

Former host of Dr Sexy Live on Nationwide radio and Sexologist tackles in a simplistic but to the point style homophobia and asks the poignant question of the age, What really are we as a nation afraid of?

It seems like homosexuality is on everyone's tongue. From articles in the newspapers to countless news stories and commentaries, it seems like everyone is talking about the gays. Since Jamaica identifies as a Christian nation, the obvious thought about homosexuality is that it is wrong but only male homosexuality seems to influence the more passionate responses. It seems we are more open to accepting lesbianism but gay men are greeted with much disapproval.

Dancehall has certainly been very clear where it stands when it comes to this issue with various songs voicing clear condemnation of this lifestyle. Currently, quite a few artistes are facing continuous protests because of their anti-gay lyrics. Even the law makers are involved in the gayness as there have been several calls for the repeal of the buggery law. Recently Parliament announced plans to review the Sexual Offences Act which, I am sure, will no doubt address homosexuality.

Jamaica has been described as a homophobic nation. The question I want to ask is: What are we afraid of? There are usually many reasons why homosexuality is such a pain in the a@. Here are some of the more popular arguments MORE HERE

also see:
Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation

Sexuality - What is yours?

Promised conscience vote was a fluke from the PNP ........

SO WE WERE DUPED EH? - the suggestion of a conscience vote on the buggery law as espoused by Prime Minister (then opposition leader) in the 2011 leadership debate preceding the last national elections was a dangling carrot for a dumb donkey to follow.

Many advocates and individuals interpreted Mrs Simpson Miller's pronouncements as a promise or a commitment to repeal or at least look at the archaic buggery law but I and a few others who spoke openly dismissed it all from day one as nothing more than hot air especially soon after in February member of parliament Damian Crawford poured cold water on the suggestion/promise and said it was not a priority as that time. and who seems to always open his mouth these days and revealing his thoughts that sometimes go against the administration's path.

I knew from then that as existed before even under the previous PM P. J. Patterson (often thought to be gay by the public) also danced around the issue as this could mean votes and loss of political power. Mrs Simpson Miller in the meantime was awarded a political consultants' democracy medal as their conference concludes in Antigua.

War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

A war of words has ensued between gay lawyer (AIDSFREEWORLD) Maurice Tomlinson and anti gay activist Dr Wayne West (supposed in-laws of sorts) as both accuse each other of lying or being dishonest, when deception has been neatly employed every now and again by all concerned, here is the post from Dr West's blog

This is laughable to me in a sense as both gentleman have broken the ethical lines of advocacy respectively repeatedly especially on HIV/AIDS and on legal matters concerning LGBTQ issues

The evidence is overwhelming readers/listeners, you decide.

Fast forward 2015 and the exchanges continue in a post from Dr Wayne West: Maurice Tomlinson misrepresents my position on his face book page and Blog 76Crimes

Tomlinson's post originally was:

Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II

Following a cowardly decision by the Minister(try) of Education to withdraw an all important Health Family Life, HFLE Manual on sex and sexuality

I examine the possible reasons why we have the homo-negative challenges on the backdrop of a missing multi-generational understanding of sexuality and the focus on sexual reproductive activity in the curriculum.

also see:


Calls for Tourism Boycotts are Nonsensical at This Time

(2014 protests New York)

Calling for boycotts by overseas based Jamaican advocates who for the most part are not in touch with our present realities in a real way and do not understand the implications of such calls can only seek to make matters worse than assisting in the struggle, we must learn from, the present economic climate of austerity & tense calm makes it even more sensible that persons be cautious, will these groups assist when there is fallout?, previous experiences from such calls made in 2008 and 2009 and the near diplomatic nightmare that missed us; especially owing to the fact that many of the victims used in the public advocacy of violence were not actual homophobic cases which just makes the ethics of advocacy far less credible than it ought to be.

See more explained HERE from a previous post following the Queen Ifrica matter and how it was mishandled

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.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.

Some Popular Posts

Are you ready to fight for gay rights and freedoms?? (multiple answers are allowed)

Did U Find This Blog Informative???

Blog Roll

What do you think is the most important area of HIV treatment research today?

Do you think Lesbians could use their tolerance advantage to help push for gay rights in Jamaica??

Violence & 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: or

Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
  • 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

  • Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere

  • Welcoming, examining and implementing 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 for your support.

Tel: 1-876-841-2923


Information & Disclaimer

Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.

This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alleged gays in Jamaica.

Faces and names withheld 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 practitioner

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 Cases

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 or call 1-876-841-2923

Peace to you and be safe out there.


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 outmaneuvering 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 violated. 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

What to do

a. Make a phone call: to a lawyer or relative or anyone

b. Ask to see a lawyer immediately: if you don’t have the money ask for a Duty Council

c. A Duty Council is a lawyer provided by the state

d. Talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police

e. Tell your lawyer if anyone hits you and identify who did so by name and number

f. Give no explanations excuses or stories: you can make your defense later in court based on what you and your lawyer decided

g. Ask the sub officer in charge of the station to grant bail once you are charged with an offence

h. Ask to be taken before a justice of The Peace immediately if the sub officer refuses you bail

i. Demand to be brought before a Resident Magistrate and have your lawyer ask the judge for bail

j. Ask that any property taken from you be listed and sealed in your presence

Cases of Assault:An assault is an apprehension that someone is about to hit you

The following may apply:

1) Call 119 or go to the station or the police arrives depending on the severity of the injuries

2) The report must be about the incident as it happened, once the report is admitted as evidence it becomes the basis for the trial

3) Critical evidence must be gathered as to the injuries received which may include a Doctor’s report of the injuries.

4) The description must be clearly stated; describing injuries directly and identifying them clearly, show the doctor the injuries clearly upon the visit it must be able to stand up under cross examination in court.

5) Misguided evidence threatens the credibility of the witness during a trial; avoid the questioning of the witnesses credibility, the tribunal of fact must be able to rely on the witness’s word in presenting evidence

6) The court is guided by credible evidence on which it will make it’s finding of facts

7) Bolster the credibility of a case by a report from an independent disinterested party.

Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today


CVM TV carried a raid and subsequent temporary blockade exercise of the Shoemaker Gully in the New Kingston district as the authorities respond to the bad eggs in the group of homeless/displaced or idling MSM/Trans persons who loiter there for years.

Question is what will happen to the population now as they struggle for a roof over their heads and food etc. The Superintendent who proposed a shelter idea (that seemingly has been ignored by JFLAG et al) was the one who led the raid/eviction.

Also see:
the CVM NEWS Story HERE on the eviction/raid taken by the police

also see a flashback to some of the troubling issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless GBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE


see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

May 22, 2015 update, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston

THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts

THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts 

The Prime Minister (Golding) on Same Sex Marriages and the Charter of Rights Debate (2009)

Other sides to the msm homeless saga (2012)

Rowdy Gays Matter 21.08.11 more HERE

Ethical Professionlism & LGBT Advocates 01.02.12 more HERE

Portia Simpson Miller - SIMPSON MILLER DEFENDS GAY COMMENT 23.12.11

2 SGL Women lost, corrective rape and virtual silence from the male dominated advocacy structure

Al Miller on UK Aid & The Abnormality of Homosexuality 19.11.11

Homosexuality is Not Illegal in Jamaica .... Buggery is despite the persons gender 12.11.11 MORE HERE 

MSM Homelessness 2011 two cents

Black Friday for Gays in Jamaica More HERE

Bi-phobia by default from supposed LGBT advocate structures?

Homeless MSMs Saga Timeline 28.08.11 (HOT!!!) see more HERE

A Response to Al Miller's Abnormality of Homosexuality statement 19.11.11

UK/commonwealth Aid Matter & The New Developments, no aid cuts but redirecting, ethical problems on our part - 22.11.11

Homophobic Killings versus Non Homophobic Killings 12.07.12

Big Lies, Crisis Archiving & More MSM Homlessness Issues 12.07.12

More MSM Challenges July 2012 more sounds HERE

GLBTQ Jamaica 2011 Summary 02.01.12 more HERE

Homosexuality Destroying the Family? .............. I Think Not!

Lesbian issues left out of the Jamaican advocacy thrust until now?

Club Heavens The Rebirth 12.02.12 and more HERE

Should gov't provide shelter for homeless msm?

National attitudes to gays survey shows 78% of J'cans say NO to buggery repeal

1st Anniversary of Homeless MSM civil disobedience (Aug 23/4) 2012 more HERE

JFLAG's rejection of rowdy homeless msms & the Sept 21st standoff .........

Atheism & Secularism may cloud the struggle for lgbt rights in Jamaica more HERE

Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II and more HERE

MSM Community Displacement Concerns October 2012

The UTECH abuse & related issues

Beenieman's hypocrisy & his fake apology in his own words and more HERE

Guarded about JFLAG's Homeless shelter

Homophobia & homelessness matters for November 2012 ................

Cabinet delays buggery review, says it's not a priority & more ...........................(November 2012) prior to the announcement of the review in parliament in June 2013 More sounds HERE

"Dutty Mind" used in Patois Bible to describe homosexuals

Homeless impatient with agencies over slow progress for promised shelter 2012 More HERE

George Davis Live - Dr Wayne West & Carole Narcisse on JCHS' illogical fear

Homeless MSM Issues in New Kgn Jan 2013 .......

Homeless MSM challenges in Jamaica February 2013 more HERE

JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness 2013

Poor leadership & dithering are reasons for JFLAG & Jamaica AIDS Support’s temporary homelessness May 2013 more HERE

Response To Flagging a Dead Horse Free Speech & Gay Rights 10.06.13