Our girl was stunning!!!!!!! as shown below with shots courtesy of her Facebook page
Friday, October 5, 2012
Our girl was stunning!!!!!!! as shown below with shots courtesy of her Facebook page
Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston
Here is the piece in response to
I had hoped the former Executive Director of JASL would "say her piece" as well and now that she has--and I've read it--I just want to add a few things. This is important too because there are two very different opinions being slanted here and based on your (the reader's) persuasion, you're likely to believe one and nothing of the other. I have volunteered with JASL, particularly its GLABCOM Steering Committee, which, among other things, was tasked to deal with and come up with ideas for the LGBT community. I have never volunteered with J-FLAG but am very familiar with persons within its office.
The first thing to note is the most obvious: being a neighbour to the area in question means I witness a lot when both organizations (JFLAG & JASL) and various advocates are not there. Quite a lot happens that a lot of readers are not privy to and for too long I think that's been the case. I was there before, during and now after the rise and fall of both the ED and the housing project. I've been there during JFLAG's tenure of the handling of these MSMs. I've basically been there...
I'd like to start by giving my personal impression of the former ED. Our Steering Committee was very pleased when she was managing JASL finances as she was always willing to assist us and was at all meetings she needed to be. She was very attentive, bubbly personality and genuine. When she became ED there was a lot of celebration because it was felt that greater emphasis would be put on our specific tasks. GLABCOM, which was really just getting fully restarted thrived under her leadership.
After reading her recent blog post however I found it odd that GLABCOM was not mentioned once. It feels as if all the hours we spent dedicating our time to come up with solutions pales to the point of not even being recognized by her. She did not come up with the idea of a homeless shelter without assistance from us. Let me be clear on this point. We spent an entire Sunday once formulating so many ideas---a homeless shelter of sorts being one of them. We came up with a bank account idea, fund-raisers, personal grooming ideas, educational fairs, ect. In fact, one of the first meetings she held with these homeless guys came out of a meeting I had with three of them at a bus stop in New Kingston. I had passed them the morning going to work and saw them there en route back home. When I stopped to speak with them, they mentioned housing as a problem and that JASL (then run by the former ED) was not doing enough for them. When I asked if they had ever mentioned it before, the answer was "no". I went home the same night and saw the former ED before she left and mentioned it to her. She asked to see them and the very next day she did.
I mention this point to say that although it may have felt or been perceived that she was alone in the battle to start a homeless shelter, this was not so. Indeed, she was in the extraordinary Sunday meeting where we were looking at a rural area for the project. At no point was a city in the corporate area considered. What happened next caught virtually everyone off guard. A tenant moved out, leaving a vacancy that became filled by a housing project. Now, I understand the need to see an opportunity and move quickly but, here in the long run, the former ED must admit that this was very hasty planning. No neighbour was notified. I woke up on the Saturday after to a loud lawnmower noise by my window. When I opened the window, I asked the gentleman (who I know personally) what was happening, he simply said "we've moved in". That was the move in. So when she says in her post that she heard no vocal opposition I'm puzzled by what she means because if no one outside of herself and her organization didn't know about it, what was there to say?
When she finally gave us (the neighbours) answers as to what was happening, then the concerns came. She reassured us that it would all work out blah blah blah. Now, I had other concerns but as I am not a prying person, I let them slip. That was until the issues started to hit. For one, the mismanagement of the programme was immediate. I got entangled by way of a light bill that JASL's incompetent then-accountant---an idiot that the former ED allowed to harass me--paid my bill in error, causing the light to be shut off on the guys. JASL staff left the compound by latest 7pm, leaving these guys virtually on their own except for a type of house warden. The rules as far as I saw were iffy: no entertaining in the house but apparently outside was okay. No sex but yet the condom wrappers were always visible outside, where they were thrown. The loud, effeminate (pronounced too) behaviour and cross-dressing became all-consuming. This is a huge space where my other neighbour has a certain need for discretion aka heterosexual males.
I'm not saying that effort was not made: there were daily check-ins and prayer meetings. Visitors came and gave them stuff. The former ED was always present and willing to meet. But, she didnt recognize a few things. One, there was no real male presence within this structure. Two, she was too emotionally attached to the programme, so much so that a lot of men who ended up crammed in the space should not have been there in the first place. Three, she didn't learn the word "no" fast enough. The behaviour of the guys got increasingly worse and when we had meetings with them, what kept popping up was one maxim: they were being encouraged by her to think that their vulgarity was empowerment. Because, she only views things in a combative way, hence, the "gayness" of the advocacy must always be full-throttle...blinding all who come in contact. That, i dare say, has been her true legacy as ED of JASL, not the effort to start a homeless shelter. A lot of the subsequent issues that have arisen stem from that moment where she conditioned them in that thinking.
She barely gives three lines in her post on the behaviour of the guys. Let me be clear on this: in any social setting, the disgusting behaviour IS not and WILL NEVER be acceptable. What is this behaviour? Well, the lying. The stealing of stuff, personal and from both offices. My neighbour lost panties that she hung on the line. Even the very house rules were disregarded once JASL staff left. The loud, vulgar chatting that disturbed everybody. The proposing of any male that came on the compound, either for sex or money. I have male family members and friends that visit me whenever and it was always worrisome that they've be hit upon. This was a rinse and repeat cycle for the entire time the project was there. When I hear advocates say, "but it can be tweaked", I then ask, "then why wasn't it?" JASL does not own the compound nor resides on it solely, therefore it was always unfair for neighbours to be expected to tolerate this for a sustained period of time especially when the programme was flapping around headless towards the latter stage.
Did she get the funding support needed to keep it going? I don't know. Could it have continued? She knows the answers to that. All experiments either end or evolve...they're not conducted on love only. Was it a great idea? Yes, and she has my unending support on that point. Did she heed advice? A resounding no. She is hard-headed...one needs to be in this line of work but when even friendly voices are cautioning you, you must stop to pause. I felt she lost sight of everything: JASL became a place no one really wanted to go to anymore...young gay men--some very shady, were employed by her or simply hung out. She likes to have young, effeminate types around but she forgot that this was still a business. She, as told to me, stood by one and heard one famous shady kind say a lot of bad stuff about me and didn't show the very same leadership qualities that she accuses others of. She and her motley crew (including the dishonest accountant) started to avoid contact.
Now, I've never run an organization, so I can't imagine the immense pressure she came under. Let me make that clear. But leadership at times means accepting blame where blame is due or to acknowledge when you need another type of help. It also means putting in line those you seek to help. If she had put different mechanisms in place, things could have been different. If the leadership is weak-willed then of course failure will set it. She wanted reform but to hold their hand as if they had a choice in the matter. She needed to have less guys in the project...a three bedroom cannot support in excess of 20 individuals. A middle-class environment is not a ghetto yard. You cannot have a gay thug with a criminal record among other persons on a compound. You cannot continue to baby persons who walk around with knives and acid. You cannot have only at risk, unemployed guys present where working class types were being totally ignored.
For two years, this continued. To the gay-rights advocates out there willing to ignore the behaviour issue, I wonder how many of them would put up with it in their neighbourhoods? This "behaviour issue" continues because now that she opened their eyes to "empowerment", its a lost cause. She says she has had personal trauma, which is regrettable but m'aam, you've helped to leave us with onging personal trauma here too. This set of guys have turned on practically everyone who has tried to help them. I heard only this morning of a dear friend who they held up after threatening him with acid. You name the organization that helped, they've all stopped now...not because of homophobia as advocates love to say, but because of disgusting behaviour that advocates want to gloss over as if it is not real or pertinent. Even the former ED's bar had to stop the guys from coming there eventually! What does that say!
In my view, neither JASL nor JFLAG is perfect---and Lord knows I've cussed them daily for stuff but at the end of the day, they serve some purpose. Are they incompetent I think some persons there are surely. Do they care about MSMs? They have to but JASL now especially isnt what it was 10 years ago. If anyone out there can do better then please come forward and show the way. If not then one has to work with the system. I've never seen JFLAG refuse entry to the guys here. In fact, it took a lot of complaining to get JFLAG to even partially admit that the status quo could not hold. It is dishonest of anyone to leave with an impression that neither organization has done NOTHING to help these guys. Maybe it has not done enough but that is something left to their conscience.
That's my say for now. If anything else needs to be added then I shall surely do so it the future.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Coming Out Day is an internationally-observed civil awareness day for coming out and discussion about gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. It is observed by members of the LGBT communities and their supporters (often referred to as "allies") on October 11 every year originally in the US but spreading wordwide, or October 12 in the United Kingdom.
Coming out / being "open"
NCOD founders Rob Eichberg, Ph.D. and Jean O'Leary encouraged all people, of all sexual orientations, to "take your next step" in living openly and powerfully on October 11th.
It is highly encouraged for participants on this day to wear gay pride symbols, such as the pink triangle (gay men), the black triangle (lesbians), the Greek letter lambda, and rainbows in jewelry and on clothing.
The day was founded by Dr. Robert Eichberg and Jean O'Leary in 1988,acting on behalf of their organizations, The Experience (www.ExperienceYourPower.com) and National Gay Rights Advocates in celebration of the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights one year earlier, in which 500,000 people marched on Washington, DC, United States, for gay and lesbian equality. National Coming Out Day events are aimed at raising awareness of the LGBT community among the general populace in an effort to give a familiar face to the LGBT rights movement.
In the United States, the Human Rights Campaign manages the event under the National Coming Out Project, offering resources to LGBT individuals, couples, parents and children, as well as straight friends and relatives, to promote awareness of LGBT families living honest and open lives. Candace Gingrich became the spokesperson for the day in April 1995.
Despite its name, National Coming Out Day (so called because it originated as an event in the United States) is in fact observed in many countries, including Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Croatia, Poland and the United Kingdom (in the UK it is celebrated on October 12). As of 2008, the Netherlands also has Coming Out Day on October 11.
For Jamaicans here on the rock that may not be so easy given the sensitivities involved and our active homophobia, one could maybe come out to close family members and friends and hope they keep it close to their chests or if one resides overseas and can literally insulate themselves dependent on the social class they are in as homophobia is far more pronounced in lower socio economic circles.
If you feel you want to observe this day in your life please be cautious and review the information so expertly provided out there.
Also it is LGBT History Month for all of October more posts to come on that in the meantime see the LGBT History tab below this post or go to GLBTQJA Wordpress
CLICK HERE for posts from GLBTQ Jamaica and scroll down.
or HERE for previous entries on Gay Jamaica Watch's blog
It was earlier this year our local diva Diana King came out to the world.
See more here: Diva Diana King Comes Out or HERE where she further spoke to her decision.
Breast Cancer Awareness month is also recognized and here is a post from 2011 where a Jamaican lesbian shared her struggle with the disease and overcoming some of the challenges.
See: Breast Cancer Month: A Jamaican Lesbian’s survival story …………….
Male Breast Cancer
Additional listening on the happenings of the Club Heavens rebirth earlier this year making it the longest serving club until the recent raid by cops supposedly looking for lotto scammers. It is hoped it may reopen soon to continue the tradition of serving wonderful events.
And an old post on some of the historic happenings locally
Peace and tolerance
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Thanks for your Donations
thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venure 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.
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
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- Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner
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Information & Disclaimer
Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.
This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.
Faces and names witheld for the victims' protection.
This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.
This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.
Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.
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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 email@example.com
Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist
c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation
e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports
f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)
g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible
h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions
j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it