GRENADA – Book suggests homosexuality will be accepted in Caribbean soon

Grenada (CMC):

A university lecturer is predicting that homosexuality could soon be accepted as a way of life in the Caribbean.

Claude Douglas, a sociologist, has just released a new book titled, Homosexuality in the Caribbean: Crawling Out Of the Closet, which examines the rise of homosexuality in the region. The 60-page book covers issues ranging from biological origins and the gay tourist phenomenon, to the campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in the region.
“If we look at the evolutionary process of the society and see how the society evolves, we would see that yesterday’s deviants become today’s and tomorrow’s norms,” Douglas told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

“Let us take, for example, the wearing of earrings by men. This was actually tabooed in Grenada many years ago. Today, there are men who appear almost feminine, based on their attire, and this is a growing acceptance now.”
The book examines the libera-lism in Europe as it relates to homosexuality and how dependent territories in the Caribbean, such as Suriname, Martinique and Guadeloupe, have been affected as a result of the stance adopted by their former colonial masters.

More tolerant
For example, the author notes that in 2001, the United Kingdom was in the forefront of repealing laws in its overseas dependent territories, such as Turks and Caicos, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Anguilla.
“As the society evolves, people become more tolerant of certain behaviour that was sanctioned in the past; people become more accepting of certain behaviour. But it’s a reality that we would all have to deal with, whether we like it or not,” said Douglas, a lecturer at the St George’s University here. “It is coming. It is really coming and we have to brace ourselves to deal with this upsurge in homosexuality in the Caribbean, and Grenada, in particular.
“There is a whole tide of this rights movement throughout the world and it’s really taking hold in the Caribbean as well,” he added.
Decriminalisation of homosexuality has become a hotly debated topic in the English-speaking Caribbean and the issue of whether homosexual cruises should be allowed into Port St George was a major talking point for months in Grenada late last year.
Advocates include St Kitts and Nevis prime minister, Dr Denzil Douglas, and Guyana’s Health Minister Leslie Ramsammy who both suggested that decrimina-lisation could help curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Attorneys general in the Eastern Caribbean are due to meet in Guyana in November to review the laws on homosexuality.

Favour women
Meanwhile, Pastor Gerard Keens Douglas says he is concerned that new legislation being developed to protect victims of sexual harass-ment could favour women against men because it is being spear-headed by a feminist group, the Grenada National Organisation for Women (GNOW).
“I believe there is no doubt it’s going to be tipped towards the feminine position on the issue of harassment. I believe it’s definitely going to be biased and prejudicial in favour of women against men,” said the Pentecostal pastor.
GNOW has just completed a national consultation on sexual harassment to solicit feedback for inclusion in an initial draft bill.

Serious concern
While recognising the work of GNOW in the development of women here, Pastor Keens Douglas is calling on feminist organisations to abandon their old mantra that men are sexual aggressive predators while women are helpless victims.
“That would have been good in the 20th century and the 19th and going back, but from the 21st century, we have a new kind of female on the scene. The stakes have changed. What we have today are females who are thought to be aggressive, assertive, to get your way, don’t take no for an answer.
“And whereas, in the past, men were always perceived as the sexual aggressors, today, it has become a cross gender issue and that has to be of concern. And so, in framing a legislative agenda that’s biased against men, women are just as guilty. It really is of serious concern to me,” the pastor added.

Another Vicious Attack

At around 2:40am Sunday September 21, 2008 the above photographed victim was befriended by two males at a park in Kingston, pretending to help “her” out. While sitting at a bus stop initially near the park, the two males who were passing by presented themselves as keeping her company, around some time after the men offered to keep her warm, as it turned out this was a front to launch their planned assault on the victim.

The victim who is a pre-operative transsexual presents as a woman so the men believing the victim was female attempted to rape her.

She fought vigorously to be free of her attackers, however not before sustaining the injuries photographed where a knife was used to slash her throat, they tried to strangle her and ripped her blouse and pants off, It was at this juncture that upon realising she was a “he” they inflicted the slashing.
The security guards on the premises nearby were not very helpful, when she tried to seek help partially nude, after escaping her attackers, who by this time made off with her cash amounting to $JA9000.00, a cell phone and other personal effects, one guard apparently attempted to pull his firearm and told her to get away.
It was a commercial sex worker on the strip who saw her and assisted her by calling the police. They arrived and took her to the hospital and instructed her to file a report after getting medical attention.

She subsequently contacted JFLAG representatives who arrived at the hospital to her aid.

Breast milk purged of HIV virus

Cotton wool soaked in sodium dodecyl sulphate deactivates HIV virus

A simple nipple shield that prevents HIV transmission from a breast-feeding mother to her child has been devised by a Cambridge University engineer.
Stephen Gerrard, a chemical engineer, has helped devise the shield that can disinfect milk as it leaves the breast.
The device uses a detergent used by biochemists to denature proteins for analysis.
A layer of cotton-wool soaked in the chemical is added to a conventional shield and this deactivates the virus.
The layer deals with the virus without having to go through heat treatment which is the normal treatment to deactivate the HIV virus.
The International Design Development Summit (IDDS) in the United States brought together engineers and field workers to work on research projects aimed at developing prototype designs.
Non-toxic solution
Mr Gerrard, together with a team of five others, was assigned the task of creating a practical design for heating breast milk to deactivate the virus.
“We quickly established this may be too lengthy a process for many women in developing countries so they might not have the time for it,” he said.
“Research has shown that copper and copper compounds can work but another approach, carried out by a group at Drexel University seemed more promising.
“Their research has focused on sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), which can kill the HIV virus quickly and in fairly non-toxic concentrations.”
Their project could also have benefits beyond prevention of HIV.
“We were concerned that using our nipple shield could be stigmatizing, since it would identify a mother as HIV infected,” said Mr Gerrard.
“We’re considering marketing it as a way to deliver medicines or micronutrient supplements to aid breast feeding. For example, they can also be used for iron or iodine deficiency.”

Two gay asylum seekers deported from UK

In the past two days two gay men who claimed their lives would be in danger if they were returned to their home countries have been forcibly repatriated.
Ugandan John Nyombi was deported on a flight in Entebbe on Friday evening. His supporters in the UK say he is now in hiding from police.
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission issued an action alert on Thursday because of the escalating violence against LGBT people in Uganda.
Mr Nyombi’s solicitors believe that the deportation was “an illegal act of the UK Border Agency.”
Babakhan Badalov, known as Babi, was deported from Heathrow yesterday afternoon on a British Midlands Airways (BMI) flight to Baku.
A reknowned artist, he claimed his sexual orientation and his public opposition to the Azerbaijani government put his life in risk.
His supporters say his removal contradicts UK Border Agency rules as they changed the details of his forced removal at the last minute and did so on a Saturday.
They also claim a border agent said to Mr Badalov before he was deported: “You make us sick, you’re going back where you belong.”
Despite a campaign that successfully persusaded Azerbaijan Airlines not to transport Mr Badalov, BMI agreed to repatriate him.
Gay rights acitivst Peter Tatchell said he recently met Deputy Prime Minister Harriet Harman and she and Barbara Follett, Equalities Minister, agreed to “examine and assist in the correction of any unfair treatment of LGBT asylum applicants.”

Activists have called for a boycott of BMI.
gayasylumuk criticised the government today.
“Gay and lesbian Labour voters in particular consider changing their vote if the [LGBT asylum] policy isn’t changed before the next election,” the group said.
“This is one way to get the message through on their hypocrisy regarding lesbian and gay rights issues — when embassies in other countries are flying the rainbow flag they aren’t doing this in Tehran, Kingston or Kampala.”
Earlier this year the rainbow flag, a symbol of the LGBT community, flew during Pride in two eastern European nations from the British Embassy as a show of support.

No Borders South Wales

Click the image to go to No Borders South Wales to see the “Babi must stay protest” outside the UK borders offices on Wed the 17th September….since then however he has been deported despite the efforts by this wonderful group.

At least it has shown us here that we need to fight for what we want ourselves.
Good example to us from No Borders South Wales
their motto :
Organising against migration controls and for freedom of movement for all!

Lesbians Take Over?

(as usual read the star news with a grain of salt)

Men have been taking a back seat at strip clubs as women are being given all the attention, investigations by THE WEEKEND STAR have revealed.
Many men say they are being outdone and in some cases outnumbered by strip club-attending lesbians. To add insult to injury, they allege that exotic dancers now seem more fond of women.
“It look like wi haffi go ban di lesbian dem or gi dem one club fi dem self cause is like dem a tek ova ya now. Dem did always a come a club but now a dem a run di club dem an a dem nuff a di dancer girl dem interested inna. Dem naw pay wi nuh whole heap a attention again,” an irate sounding Kirk Hewitt, a patron at a club explained. Hewitt, 39, claims he has been attending strip clubs for a long time, but, like this reporter, was quite surprised by the turn of events at a club recently.

Groups of women were seen gathered at various sections of the club dancing together. They were soon joined by the exotic dancers who would play with them, leaving the men by themselves.
The women would wine and grind on each other, touching and even kissing, much to the disgust of some men who openly showed their displeasure by shouting expletives and rude comments at them.
Similar situations were witnessed at several other strip clubs.
“Yu si dem my youth, if some woman nuh strong inna di earth none a dem naw go lef fi nuh man get,” Andre Garrick, another strip club patron said. “A pure group a dem par eno and dem have up dem money suh di go-go dem nuh business cause dem a get fi dem ting.”
Money is the reason
Other male patrons agreed that money was the reason for them being outdone by the women.
“Dem gal deh money tall eno, a pure big car dem drive and fi dem table always full a liquor, plus dem nah ramp fi all tip di go-go dem wid some big money…True we as some hardworking man now a try play tight wid our own, di go-go dem naw badda stress demself ova we,” another said.

But many of these women say they are just merely trying to have fun and are not trying to outdo the men.
“I go to strip clubs all the while, and it’s not a case where we are trying to overthrow men so to speak, it’s just a case where more and more of us are becoming more comfortable with our sexuality and want to have more fun,” one woman said.
“Men like to party, we like to party, men love to see dancers and we love to see them too,” another added.
When asked about her feelings on the issue, one dancer, who identified herself as Ginger, boldly replied, “Money talks bull… walks!”
Her views were echoed by other dancers. “A nuh seh wi naw pay di man dem nuh mind but a di woman dem a spend di money suh wi haffi go weh di money deh,” one added.

Clinical psychologist Dr Asquith Reid, said while money may be a pulling factor for this ‘girl on girl’ indulgence, as some females have claimed, people are generally just doing what they want to, be it in their homes or the strip clubs.
Reid said that immoral practices of this sort was nothing new but has got more widespread in recent times due to technological advances. “It seems more prevalent today because of the exposure that people now have to cable,” he said. “People are exploring these behaviours that they see, some may end up liking it while others may not.”
He noted that despite the behaviour of some of these women who trod the lesbian path or act in such a way in the clubs, they actually have heterosexual relationships at home.

Brazil’s President backs same-sex unions

By Tony Grew

Gay couples exist and we must give them legal recognition, the President of Brazil said yesterday.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also questioned why some politicians oppose gay rights but still take gay people’s taxes and votes.
The President said he is in favour of civil unions.
“We must stop this hypocrisy because we know they exist,” he said in an interview with a TV station.
“There are men living with men, women living with women, and many times they live extraordinarily well.
“They build a life together, they work together and I am favourable.”
The President, universally known as Lula, attacked opponents of gay rights.
“One thing that amazes me is why politicians who are against do not refuse their votes, why Brazil does not refuse their income tax.
“The important thing is for them to be Brazilian citizens, for them to be committed to the nation. I support the civil union.”
He said that Congress was working on the issue.
Homosexuality has been legal in Brazil since 1823 and civil unions are allowed in some areas.
However, homophobia and gay-bashing remain significant problems in the country of 184 million people.
In June Lula became the first nation leader to launch a conference with the sole purpose of promoting gay equality, where he announced his support for gay rights, and stated he will “do all that is possible so that the criminalisation of homophobia and the civil union may be approved.”
A proposal granting same-sex couples the same rights as married heterosexuals has stalled in Brazil’s Congress for more than 10 years, prompting some states to take their own action.
Southern Rio Grande do Sul state has permitted same-sex civil unions since 2004, and a Sao Paulo state court allowed a gay couple to adopt a 5-year-old girl in late 2006.
Rio de Janerio grants the same benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees.
The country’s Constitution refers to marriage as between a man and a woman, and marriage is a federal issue, though states may choose to recognise civil unions or other de facto same-sex relationships.
A series of court rulings have given gay and lesbian couples some rights in areas such as immigration, welfare, pensions and inheritance.

Never judge a man by his feet

The Western Mirror……………..

One day a lady went into a bar. As she sat down she saw this cowboy sitting across from her with his feet up. She was astonished at the size of his shoes, so she said to him, “Is it true what they say about men with big feet?” He replied, “don’t you want to find out?” She said yes and after getting to know each other better she invited him to spend the night with her at the hotel she was staying in.The next morning the cowboy woke to see the lady dressing. On the bedside table was an hundred dollars. Grinning he looked at her and said, “Now do you believe what they say about men with big feet?”She replied, “I don’t know, but please take that money and buy a pair of shoes that fit.”
There is a current debate about men and their “size”. We think it is time that Health Reflections shed some “light” to this debate. It has long been held by women and men of different cultures that a man’s shoe size has a direct relationship to his penile size. Because of this men with small feet sometimes find themselves the victims of jokes questioning their penile size while men with large feet are proudly presented as representing the well-endowed male. Maybe thankfully the real facts seldom come to light. What does happen is that this bit of folklore has become more firmly established as a fact in many people’s minds. It is true to say that many persons do not actually know what the average penile length is. Most men at some time in their life will question their adequacy. Because of this they may consider purchasing products that are advertised to increase penile size.
In fact there is no shortage of websites and magazine ads promoting these products. Sadly most approaches advertised do not work and use of these items can lead to even more frustration and some of the pills advertised can actually be quite dangerous. One study in California has shown that the average length of the erect penis is 5.1 inches and its girth is 4.7 inches. Another study also done in the United States revealed that only about 0.1% of men have an erect penile length of greater than 9 inches.Suffice it to say, the true measure of a man may be complex. It now seems however that researchers have finally gotten around to clarifying the relationship between penile length and shoe size. These researchers say they’ve come up with at least one way to make it easier to judge a man’s penile length. Forget what you might have heard about judging a man’s member by the size of his shoes and consider taking note of his index finger if you’re looking to hedge your bets.
Two British urologists measured the stretched penile length of 104 men and attempted to relate it to their shoe size. Despite the widespread myth, however, they found there was no significant correlation between the men’s shoe size and penile length. But just as one myth about men’s manhood is put to rest, another one may now take its place. A group of Greek researchers has found a link between penis length and another part of the body — the index finger. Some women I was having a conversation with first brought this fact to my attention. They did not know about this research but one of them was convinced that her experience was that she could better judge a man’s penile length by the length of his fingers.Researchers measured various aspects of the genitalia of 52 healthy men under 40 and matched those measurements to other characteristics of the men, including their age, height, weight, body mass index, waist/hip ratio, and index finger length. The only measurements that were significantly related to each other were penile length and index finger length.
The longer the index finger was, the longer the penis was likely to be and vice versa. And for men who might be wondering how they measure up, the studies also calculated the average penile length among the participants. Both studies found the average stretched penile length was about 5 inches, give or take about an inch. So men next time you see your lady friends intently examining your hands, don’t be deceived into thinking they are merely examining those strong beautiful hands. They may just be trying to get a measure of the man you are.
If you know what I mean…

Dr. C. Watson MRCOG FACOG MBA DFFP is Medical Director and Director of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at MoBay Hope Medical Centre, which is located at the Half Moon Shopping Village, Rose Hall, Montego Bay. Dr. Watson also consults at the Montego Bay Hospital, Mt. Salem.

The Ups and Downs of Asylum Seeking – Gay asylum seeker detained in Cardiff

An Azerbaijani artist who is claiming asylum in the UK was detained yesterday at his weekly sign-in at the UK Border Agency Offices in Cardiff.
Babakhan Badalov (Babi), who is gay, arrived in the UK in 2006 claiming he was repressed and persecuted in his home country.
His appeal against the refusal of asylum was rejected at the end of July and has been in the process of filing a fresh claim with new evidence of the danger he would face back in Azerbaijan.
“Alarming new witness statements detailing Babi’s history of violent persecution have also recently came tolight, which would allow him to make a very strong fresh claim for asylum,” said the campaign group No Borders Wales.
Azerbaijan legalised homosexuality in 2000.
However, the Muslim country is still a very conservative society and homosexuality remains an extremely taboo subject.
The 49 year-old internationally-renowned poet and artist said his work got him into trouble with the law.
He was often critical of the government and members of the regime.
He claims his sexual orientation also caused him both physical and mental grief and he endured years of bullying.
Babi’s family’s denial of his sexual orientation even led to one of his brothers threatening to kill him as he had shamed the family.
After fleeing to the UK, Babi was detained in four different detention centres for thirty-two days before being moved to Cardiff.
He is currently being held at a police station and will likely be moved to a detention centre.
Friend and activist Hywel Bishop, who visited him at the police station, said:
“I’ve never seen anyone so scared. If Babi gets sent home he faces persecution from the state for his radical art, beatings from the local community, as well as the threat of honour killing from his family because they can’t live with the fact that he’s gay.”

New guidelines suggest gay men should have annual HIV test (UK)

By Tony Grew

Sexually active gay men should be tested every 12 months, new guidelines on HIV testing have recommended.
The UK National Guidelines for HIV Testing 2008 aim to increase HIV testing in a wider range of healthcare settings and reduce late diagnosis.
Recent figures show that more than 30% of gay or bisexual men living with HIV do not know they are infected.
47% of HIV infected gay men who visit a sexual health clinic leave without being tested for HIV.
The new guidelines state that “HIV is now a treatable medical condition and the majority of those living with the virus remain fit and well on treatment.”
Late diagnosis is the most important factor associated with HIV-related morbidity and mortality in the UK, and it recommends that patients be “offered and encouraged to accept” HIV testing in a wider range of settings.
Other recommendations include routine HIV tests for patients with specific indicator conditions and doctors, nurses and midwives being able to obtain informed consent for an HIV test in the same way that they currently do for any other medical investigation.
National AIDS Trust, the UK’s leading independent policy and campaigning charity on HIV and AIDS, produced a report earlier this year showing the symptoms of early-stage HIV infection are routinely being misdiagnosed by doctors.
It found that in one Brighton study, almost half of those who sought medical advice for what eventually turned out to be HIV symptoms were not diagnosed correctly.
Symptoms of early-stage HIV include sore throat, fever and rash and will show within two to six weeks of infection in 70-90 per cent of cases.
The report also found that 30-50 per cent of new HIV infections are thought to be passed on by people in the early stage of infection, making the need to catch new cases early in order to prevent the spread of HIV a priority.
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT, said:
“Today in the UK people still become seriously ill or die HIV because they have not been diagnosed with HIV early enough. And many may be putting partners at risk of infection as they can live undiagnosed for a number of years.
“The new guidelines are a welcome step forward in encouraging doctors and health workers to prioritise diagnosing HIV and increase testing.
“Healthcare workers must be knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of HIV and be prepared to carry out an HIV test.
“Gay men have a crucial part to play in breaking down stigma around HIV testing. One in 20 gay men in the UK are living with HIV.
“We strongly support the recommendation that all sexually active gay men have an HIV test at least once a year.”
The new guidelines were published by the British HIV Association (BHIVA), British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and British Infection Society (BIS).