In part one on sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch the home of this annual feature the focus was on MSM and transgender to a certain extent, seeing that women never normally feature in forced evictions and or homelessness under the LGBT populations label. However as hinted in part 1 the growing challenge with women is evident more so than ever coupled with the under reporting or late reporting sometimes years after the fact; persons feel the available systems and or NGOs will not be able to identify with their issues so they supposedly suffer in silence or keep the information in a close network of friends.
Apart from the two women who have been struggling to find permanent accommodations linked to the ongoing weed whacking project in St Catherine most same gender loving women who find themselves in challenges tend to rely on a closely knit network of friends; as mentioned before on this blog women being the naturals social creatures they are tend to recover from these matters way better both generally and SGL specifically, the trust factor is way stronger between lesbians and bisexual women to a certain extent despite biphobia and bi-invisibility as highlighted in a previous post on Bi-visibility Day.
Unconfirmed reports also speak to an arson matter in St James as well after thugs have been demanding the woman and her roommates should move as they (the thugs) want the house, coupled with that are reports of persons being either forced to sell their properties under some form of duress or undue pressure via visits to push the deal/sale through and sadly supported by high powered attorneys-at-law. The hesitancy in reporting those issues is quite stark specific to that case as the feeling is the NGOs and those who serve them are too young to understand the complexities or may not be able to identify with the issues as the class divide comes into play as it does and have been doing for decades.
Numbers suggest an increase in reports as some five reports involving women as outcomes of forced evictions and death threats, as per usual confirmation is a challenge but sources in the police have been helpful.
Lesbian in her twenties in St James forced to relocate from her home nearing Glendevon in St James and other residents as well as thugs declare war on other lotto scammers and a recent deportee who is intent on cleaning up the area of all ‘fish’ (derogatory term for effeminate men) and ‘man royal’ (derogatory term for masculine acting women) an earlier shooting of a man and his friend in nearby geography seems to suggest a festering of this recent surge in shootings in broad daylight; the pressure from the police, US diplomacy (with an FBI office now fully present) and or the lotto scam task force seems to be causing in fighting with factions employing gunmen to protect their interest; avenues for scamming dry up and LGBT persons either directly involved or not but are identified as such can and have been finding themselves in challenges.
LGBT event planning to a certain extent has not escaped the effects of the growing crime tinged with homophobia, a small bar and club (not Bubbles Bar private membership that I am a resident DJ at in Discovery Bay) operated by an older lesbian for her friends and visitors by the old and short lived Calabash Club location has had to close its doors and extortionists have paid her visit and claimed they are aware of the patrons who support her whilst demanding some $100k a month in exchange for protection. The operator has since closed since July especially after a shooting incident several miles away of a sixteen year old scammer at a birthday party he paid for of a two year old; the alleged perpetrators were part of the crew who attempted to extort the woman.
A small guest house also was visited by three men aboard a white car some time ago according to a Facebook post now deleted in August which caters to a myriad of guests including LGBT visitors looking for rustic scenery was forced to employ stronger security measures as the men were demanding money, deep mistrust with the police only adds more fuel to the issues, the rotation of police personnel only confirms that mistrust so impacted folks simply move so as to avoid any problems.
A recent shooting incident in early September of a male call centre employee who was gay has only sought to muddy the waters regarding what is really going on in Western Jamaica, he was cut down as he exited a taxi and had been according to reports a target of verbal abuse, threats and pressure to either get involved in scamming or do more for the thugs who were aware of his association to the call centre business.
I found myself despite financial challenges offering some temporary accommodation to two persons since this year in one month stints each. They both encountered difficulties culminating from prolonged tense relations with community, family members and in-laws.
Even as this issues attend reports of forced evictions are around, mistakes on social media and or poor monitoring if not scuttling of online profiles lead to unintended outcomes. The use or misuse of older homeless persons for all kinds of things by some is so distasteful including photo shoots by foreign photographers; while the men as subjects for the most part remain homeless struggling to eek out a living mostly by commercial work and said photographers and so called pro-lgbt artists get paid via royalties but somehow it does not trickle down to the homeless used as subjects in their work. Repeated clashes with female commercial sex workers especially with the CSW explosion overall in New Kingston yet again proves the urgent need for proper interventions from both governmental and NGOs who are as in recent times very well funded yet not on the ground results. Said clashes also have traversed to Portmore’s infamous hip strip as we say ‘more water than flour’ groups and individuals clash for ‘business’ and with the appearance of a novelty of cross dressers openly operated assigned females feel threatened in a sense coupled with transwomen as it were who use inappropriately birth control pills and so on to feminize their look as they cannot afford legitimate hormonal courses.
Kingston's Mayor Burke receive Death Threats... so she claims yet with all her optics with JFLAG and such claiming she is concerned she cannot deal with homelessness citywide; some over a 1000ft westwards from her Church Street Mayor's office, infront of all places the Supreme & Appeals court also seen as the hallowed halls of justice buildings as seen below.
homeless man on bench
How is she therefore going to address MSM/transgender homelessness that requires specialist interventions when the very JFLAG isn't showing any forward momentum on this for so many years?
Proposals sit idly, unused with good recommendations conceptualised by then eager volunteers but as is the issue on a national scale reports abound but the action items or recommendations do not get the light of day. It seems as if some just want to use the homeless for superficial reasons for photo reels on Facebook yet no real change comes by way of the impacted persons. Asking a homeless person to be a part of some online campaign as this person as to either suck a dick to find the next meal or such whilst offering mere tokenistic gestures by way of feeding programs that only foster a dependency is so unethical. If the populations feel that Aunty so and so or Uncle so and so are coming with a care package or cook food then how can the groups feel to move towards some self efficacy? A recent so called small business effort where snacks and such were offered for sale to some of the persons has since fizzled and I am worried that such dependency driven responses can lead to entitlement issues later and as history has taught us breaking of attention can have disastrous effects.
The wave of outlets who claim to be registered as NGO such as Dwayne’s House, Larry Chang Centre names after JFLAG co-founder whom I and some others have lost faith in and Colour Pink where it founder found it necessary to run away from Jamaica all seem dead in the water. One can understand the funding constraints and resource challenges but sheesh all of them are linked to powerful NGOs yet no cohesive response, again as asked in my opening on this entry why this so, why is isn’t there any serious interest? The focus seems to be the more combatively attractive law reform focus or atheism to justify opposition to antigay religious fanatics while a visible outcome of the very homophobia outfits so designed to address just keep homelessness on the periphery. Instead such stay in the comfort of social media as it is way easier to manipulate whilst lulling persons into a false sense of security with superficial hash tags, tweets and such that really matters none in the final analysis.
Mayors have made grandstanding pronouncements on social media and elsewhere of concerns for LGBT homelessness whilst carrying out removal exercises of same, yet we are to believe that a mayor like their predecessors who could not address city wide homelessness as it exists some 1000 ft literally from the office in Kingston expects us to believe that a marginalised group often underground and who require specialist interventions will be addressed by said office! Even as the group the mayor was seen at and made the announcement is not interested in direct interventions, who do these folks, think they are fooling?
Finding good solutions as these many years has shown is still problematic when the persons who control the cogs of HIV and LGBT advocacy simply do not care, they do not have to worry about where the next meal will come from or whether if it rains or a storm as we are in the hurricane season will re-displace them, as for the rest of the LGBT populations some have dismissed homelessness as someone else’s problem. But hope remains while company is true as some forward thinking is still resident out there, despite the slow disappearance of those who would help due in part to the media pigeon-holing of the Kingston populations some are seeing the issues for what it is, urgent.
Peace & tolerance
the CVM NEWS Story HERE on the previous eviction/raid taken by the police
Housing Minister seeks funds for Shelter from NHT Money ....... Will the LGBT Homeless be Assisted?
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
must read: And we continue to reap the world-wind for not addressing homelessness when it was manageable