Monday, May 13, 2013
at 6:04 PM
A twenty three year old Jamaican lesbian residing in New York is still recovering in a medical facility in the United States following an attempted suicide at the end of February 2013 after a series of hateful written correspondences over a four year period after she left Jamaica to take up studies between the aggrieved lesbian and her mother. The letters according to a well respected source close to the matter who asked that I share this and who was willing to have certain aspects of the ordeal known were quite fine during the first few exchanges but as time progressed the young woman who had been contemplating coming out way before her departure from Jamaica was worried about the reaction from her mother and other sister at that time. She has been having some difficulty swallowing and so her time in the hospital has been extended as news spread of this case many including myself are still in shock after learning of this as she is personally known to me.
Born and raised as a church going sibling she did all the expected activities that well behaved and obedient child should do but felt something apparently gnawing at her inner core, the source continued. It was not until in her teens that she soon realised that her same sex attractions grew far stronger than she could ever imagine and even went as far as praying to seek remedy and a healing cure for this scourge as it were. I can remember my own attempt literally hours on my knees in my bedroom praying to God to be rid of this desire for men and my feeling of shame and guilt as well. I went as far as subscribing to the early ex gay notions of homosexuality being caused by an absentee father (even physically present in the home) and so it was also with this young lady, she at one point bought into the idea in her search for reasons that it was because she did not have a strong father figure hence her desire for women.
Finally the struggle was too much to bear and as most do come to the realization that this is me and I cannot change who I am. Her mother’s hounding of why she did not have a boyfriend soon cropped up and the other predictable condemnations including the use of passages to instruct her that it was her job to reproduce or to procreate (excluding the lesbian knowledge bit) her mother even went as far as to suggest pastoral intervention to supposedly preselect a man for her in the church as she was to remain in the church as her mother’s insistence even in adult life. It was a relationship however with a female music teacher that became rather close in her nineteenth year that caught the attention of some who in term somehow got word to her mother where the descent began. While she resided with her she eventually moved out to attend a tertiary institution and soon found herself receiving late night phone calls with an angry mother on the line demanding to know if she was a lesbian and the whole nine yards. Time passed and the relationship between the mother and the young woman grew tense but they kept contact non the less though becoming more infrequent.
Her departure to the states was eminent and her mother made it known that she knew she was about to go overseas and live her so called “dirty” life which was where the source claimed the real hurt began. Instead of encouraging her daughter to be successful a mother decides to instil shame and hurt on a daughter who was carving out her life and career goals. The letter exchanges commenced along with emails and phone calls and without fail the young lady would be reminded of the Sodom and Gomorrah story, the abominations and so on.
Reparative therapy at one point was also hinted to and that was where the estrangement and withdrawal begin with the young woman who felt she could no longer carry this burden of trying to please her mother. The damning written piece however came in Christmas of 2011 where her mother in a lengthy hand written piece which suggested motive and time to gather her thoughts on what she wanted to express made it clear that she did not support her lesbian lifestyle and that God was going to punish her and other damaging condemnations. Judging by the outcome here the road to the young lady’s decision to end her own life had been paved but what came through also from the source is that she hardly sought any assistance on the face of it from anyone, not even her close circle of friends who are reeling from the shock of the news that she would take such a route of finality. Her return letter just before the suicide attempt was typed, printed and mailed to her mother a copy of which was seen by the source who paraphrased that the young woman said she was hurt by her mother’s shaming words and she wanted nothing more to do with her as she was only her mother by blood, nothing more.
She attempted to use a leather belt she had in her closet tied to a ceiling fan and a chair as support for deliberately kicking the chair from under her however the attempt failed as she had a visitor some ten minutes after the fact who entered her flat and made the shocking discovery and called for help to take her down where she was rushed to the hospital. Her mother upon hearing the news sounded a bit indifferent according to my source but has been keeping in touch non the less. Question is how many other LGBT people, Jamaican and otherwise who are going through this kind of rejection and have gone as far as self mutilation or suicide as a solution? To think also presently we have no serious permanent systems in place of psycho social interventions within the advocacy structures to address the specific LGBT rejection fallout similar to this case. It in November 2012 that a case was brought to my attention of an attempted wrist slitting by a young man who had reported became fed up with his own issues as well.
With signs of trouble hard to detect the experts however tell us that we can still see them if we pay very close attention to ones behaviour but who has time to be scrutinizing every move another makes? Ironically the son of American self help guru Rick Warren the man who influenced the world with his book and speeches took his own life earlier this year Matthew Warren ended his life by the gun yet Mr Warren Sr. did not see it coming. Words do can hurt as this case points to especially when it comes from relative as a mother who we seek validation in who we are even as adults. I am wondering if her mother is now considering more improper words by now condemning her that she committed another sin especially one that is deemed unpardonable in scripture. Samson’s suicide as it were where he destroyed the temple is not a sin in my eyes that’s a more a case of martyrdom or a form of heroism to me, after all he was protecting his nation on the face of it. Also in a mental sense or diminished responsibility ones state can also be a determinant factor one cannot be held responsible for an act such as that given the state they may have been at the time of the attempt. The other family members seem not to have factored post the attempt, at no point was her sister mentioned in any detail which suggest there could be possible estrangement between them as well. The woman’s father had passed away some years ago.
Hope is what is needed overall as I asked it is just worrisome as to how many others out there are suffering in silence and that is preventable or at least some intervention be brought to the fore. We have had no serious forumatic activity in this regard to help community members get over this hurdle, the expectations that many of us had of a matured LGBT positive social activities and interventions after some thirty plus years in total of agitation we would have seen systems put in place to respond to immediate service needs for cases such as this. No suicidal hotline for things like this locally either which makes me ask where does one go for answers and help?
Fingers crossed, prayers going up and high hopes abound and we hope she pulls through and reach some resolve, reconciliation and reunification with her mother on this matter, I hope her mother evolves at least on her thinking towards rejection of homosexuality and realises her words have power. Thanks to her friend who shared aspects of this story and hence the approved post you now see. There are so many stories out there to tell by so many of us to bring some reality to bear.
Hope remains while company is true.
Peace and tolerance
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
Heteronormative Role Play, Power Differentials & Intimate Partner Violence in LGBT Groups 07.11.15 by Djhowiejam on Mixcloud
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
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.
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.
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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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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.
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
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.
The police 119
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
VACANT AT LAST! SHOEMAKERGULLY: DISPLACED MSM/TRANS PERSONS WERE IS CLEARED DECEMBER 2014
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.
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
GLBTQJA (Blogger): 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
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 ...my 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