As the public march progressed for the Endometriosis awareness day activities in New Kingston yesterday this was what was captured by a passer-by of some of our homeless/displaced gay/bi and transgender youths by the gully adjacent the old Super Plus Store next to Island Car Rentals, as you may have realised on this and on sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch, GJW the coverage on this particular group and their predecessors has been extensive for the past five years.
Of course the more privileged gay persons and snobs in our community may turn their noses and say the men are an embarrassment to the LGBT community while on the other hand some others (hypocritically so) may say they serve a purpose as they remind every day Jamaicans that gays exist but certainly this would not be the ideal image one would want to go out there. The toss up between public order, decency and survival has been a challenging one for this group as their numbers increase and while myself and others have not forgotten than more powerful advocates and agencies (namely Jamaica AIDS Support and JFLAG) turned their backs on this set of persons for many years (the closure of the Safe House pilot 2009 comes to mind) more could have been done if there was real interest in seeing a solution enacted to address this, instead we are left with images like this repeatedly.
It was earlier this month I blogged on GJW the following: New Kingston homeless MSM raided again by police a story that almost went unreported if it weren't for vigilant persons, the announced Dwayne's House homeless idea is still in the works as the men continue to occupy the gully.
The actual gully some years ago prior to its occupation now fully by the men as before it had the occasional substance users and female commercial sex workers therein.
Some of the comments from Facebook about the initial photo above make for disturbing feelings such as:
the previous Jamaica AIDS Support for Life office site (Upper Musgrave Avenue) where the Safe House pilot sat and was closed: Homeless MSM to feel the pinch as JASL issues ultimatum December 2009 where it all started downhill.
The toss up between MSM homelessness & public order makes news again
Shelter Coming For Homeless Gays reports the Gleaner
Kingston’s Homeless MSM challenges scream for proper attention
Unruly gays worry store owners ...........................
Homeless MSM in New Kingston arrested in raid for stolen goods
'Don't come back here' - Maxfield residents warn gay man after publicized eviction
The Safe House Background
Homeless impatient with agencies over slow progress of promised shelter