Celebrate Bisexuality Day 10 years old


Sorry if I missed out on this, so many things happening here but yesterday September 23 was Bisexuality Day’s 10th Anniversary. Here is a piece from Pink News on it.

People around the world have marked the tenth anniversary of the Celebrate Bisexuality Day, an annual event intended to demarginalise the bisexual community.
Launched by American bisexual rights activists Wendy Curry, Michael Page and Gigi Raven Wilbour, the campaign sought to draw the community out alongside the rest of the LGBT concepts after fears of its greater marginalisation.

One of the original activists said: “Ever since the Stonewall rebellion, the gay and lesbian community has grown in strength and visibility. The bisexual community also has grown in strength but in many ways we are still invisible.
“I too have been conditioned by society to automatically label a couple walking hand in hand as either straight or gay, depending upon the perceived gender of each person.”
Events in aid of Celebrate Bisexuality Day have taken place in America, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom displaying the Bi Pride flag designed by Page.

State of our justice system … in real terms – Concrete chunk falls from second floor of Supreme Court building

TWO police officers on the first floor of the Supreme Court building narrowly escaped serious injuries yesterday when a chunk of loose concrete from the second floor came crashing through the ceiling, shattering just inches from where they sat.

A part of the blown-out ceiling fell on one of the cops.

The Supreme Court building on King Street, downtown Kingston. (Observer file photo)

The incident occurred around midday at the entrance to the Number 6 courtroom where the cops were waiting for the cases in which they were involved to be called up.

“I just heard a loud bang and the ceiling caved in and some of the debris crashed on his head,” said Corporal Garnett Shand of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, pointing to his colleague Sergeant C McLoud of the Hunts Bay Police Station.

“The Bulk of it missed him by inches,” said a startled Shand. “This is hazardous. You can come to court and get your death. The policeman narrowly escaped death today.”

A shaken McLoud was thankful that he was not harmed.
“If I had been sitting like this,” said McLoud while demonstrating by leaning forward, “Mi head would a lick off.”

Yesterday’s incident is not the first of its kind at the Supreme Court. About two years ago a chuck of concrete broke off in the jury room and crashed onto a couch, frequently used by jurors and other court workers. In another incident, another piece of falling concrete badly damaged an item of furniture.

The aging Supreme Court building, located on King Street, downtown Kingston, recently underwent multimillion-dollar refurbishing.

One concerned worker yesterday called for an audit of the work done, while another said that the ceiling should be removed and the concrete above checked for fault.

“What they need to do is remove all the ceilings and check the concrete because a loose piece could be over our heads now,” said the worker, who asked not to be named.

There was no comment from the Supreme Court’s administration.

The Observer newspaper was, however, informed that structural engineers will be called in to check the entire building for faults.

This also represents to me the state of affairs in our so called justice system generally where cases languish in court, witnesses are n’t properly protected, other court houses islandwide are also in a bad conditions or worse and have had to be closed, not to mention the cost overruns and faulty construction of the brand new unopened court house in Port Antonio.
The bungling mess presently in the new Computerised ID parade system (UK funded) where no gazzetted legislation is present however it was lauched on a “go ahead” legal opinion now being reversed with more than 53 cases that require ID parades to proceed now on hold and the suspects rights more or less being held to ransom.
As a popular talk show house says “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loose open the world”

H
(parts of this post are from the Observer article by Paul Henry 24.09.09)

Outweekly Jamaica Protests homophobic treatment by Hilton Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica

Saturday Night’s (Sept 19) peaceful protest outside the Hilton Kingston Hotel, young LGBT activists and volunteers showed there frustration in silence, by standing outside the Hilton Hotel with a big “bright rainbow flag,” to draw more attention to the Hotel’s treatment of Jamaican LGBT citizens.

The decision to have a peaceful demonstration outside the Hilton came only weeks after a member of the lgbt community was attacked and drag outside the hotel from members of the security team, for not having enough money to pay for the dinner he ordered.

On August 7, 2009 a board member of The OUTWEEKLY group, was stopped, verbally harassed and asked to leave the Hotel because he was perceived to be a homosexual. “The Hotel don’t have enough water for u fishes” (there is no space at the hotel for homosexuals), “its time we start killing out you faggots, too much of you guys now.” Say members of the security team.

This marks the latest campaign brought against the Hotel, with letter writing, text sending and “the snow ball technique,” we where able to see a reduction in visit from members of the lgbt community. If our letters remain unanswered by management at the Hilton Hotel, we will be force to take more drastic measures in dealing with homophobia at the Hilton.

Writing letters to the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Ministry of Tourism, picketing events and promoter who choose the Hilton Hotel to have there events and business meetings are some of the steps we are going to take against the Hotel.

The Campaign aims to create an atmosphere free from discrimination and fear, to promote love and understanding for everyone who decides to visit or stay at the Hiltons regardless of sexual orientation.

posted with permission – Outweekly Jamaica

Situational Homosexuality or Behavioral Bisexuality

Situational, or “emergency” homosexuality is commonly defined as sexual activity with partners of the same sex that occurs not as part of a innate same gender love or orientation but because the participants happen to find themselves in a single-sex environment for a prolonged period.

Some single-sex environments that frequently become venues for situational homosexuality include prisons, military bases, ships at sea, convents and monasteries, athletic teams on tour, and boarding schools and colleges. Situational homosexual behavior is so common in these venues that in some cases nicknames have been created for those who indulge in it; for example “rugger-buggers” on rugby teams, “jailhouse turnouts” in prisons, and “lugs” for “lesbians until (college) graduation.” or in a local context “the shop” “bugga house” or other less common names but known to those who practice this kind of same sex contact.

The idea of situational same-sex sexual activity is not a modern one. An essay by Josiah Flynt, published in 1899, told of situational sex among the male American hobos with whom he traveled. From the armies of Alexander the Great to the trenches of World War I to Desert Storm, male soldiers have taken comfort in each other’s arms; and from harems to convents to boarding schools, women who were forcibly separated from men have been finding each other for centuries.
Situational homosexual experience can range from the frightening, such as prison rape and sexual domination, to the comfortable, such as the lesbian experimentation that occurs within the relative safety of a college campus.

Behavioral Bisexuality


Sometimes called “behavioral bisexuality,” the concept of situational homosexuality is a complex one. At its heart is the notion that the participants in same-sex sexual activity would not have done so were it not for their unusual situation and that they therefore are not really homosexual.
Since gay identity and life style are neither approved nor accepted by most societies, it is difficult to determine accurately the reason behind an individual’s choice of heterosexual identification. While someone might insist that he or she chooses to be straight, it is impossible to know how much social pressure may be affecting that decision. Likewise, bisexuality is often disapproved by both gay and straight society, and bisexuals may be pressured to “choose” one sexual preference or another.
The question, thus, remains whether those who engage in situational homosexuality might be more generally bisexual if bisexuality were a more socially accepted choice.
Moreover, the concept of situational homosexuality raises other questions as to what extent sexual behavior expresses internal needs and desires and to what extent it is a response to external circumstances.
The Relationship of Situational Homosexuality to Homophobia
In many cultures, situational homosexuality is tolerated, while homosexuality as a life style is not.

Some social analysts believe that the concept of situational homosexuality is used to reinforce homophobia and biphobia by allowing those who perform homosexual acts in same-sex environments to continue to define themselves as heterosexual.
Often participants in same-sex activity in single-sex environments are differentiated between “true homosexuals” and those who retain the assumption of heterosexuality. In such cases, it is usually the “true homosexuals” who are stigmatized, while their partners are not. In making such a distinction, homophobia is reinforced even as same-sex sexual activity may be tolerated.
Although situational homosexuality is often both tacitly expected and to some degree tolerated, it is also expected to remain clandestine. When such homosexual activity is made public, even in venues where virtually everyone knows it is happening, punishment is usually swift and severe, though often the brunt of punishment is borne by the participant who is considered the “true homosexual” rather than the presumably heterosexual partner who ostensibly participates in same-sex activity only because of his or her situation.

Shirley Richards spews more homophobic garbage (letter to the Gleaner 23.09.09)

Again this woman, a member of the lawyer’s christian council who gave submissions in the sexual offences bill debate is at it again …. hiding behind her pen and not giving a return email for anyone to respond, I wonder if she realises that just by getting this kind of letter published is a homophobic act itself. interestingly the post below this was submitted to the Gleaner as well by it’s author, he was ignored.

the letter reads
Jamaicans homophobic? That’s a lie!

The Editor, Sir:
I write in response to an article which appeared in your September 16 edition, written by attorney-at-law Gordon Robinson under the heading, ‘Is this governance? Or is it the Guy Lombardo show?’

One has to express agreement with Robinson regarding what could appear to be delay on the part of the Government in the matter of dealing with a current extradition request. In the interest of transparency and good governance, the Government ought to provide the nation with such details, as are possible, in the circumstances at the appropriate time.

Fanning the flames

In the very same article, Robinson accused the prime minister of fanning “the flames of violence against homosexuals”. This is a dangerous strategy as it means that those of us who dare to speak out against this and other moral wrongs run the risk of being tagged with crimes for which we bear no responsibility, directly or indirectly. Whoever murdered John Terry, irrespective of the motive, must be brought before the courts and tried. The same goes for all other murders.

Note, however, how powerful the homosexual lobby is. They have managed to change the meaning of certain words to suit their agenda, including the words ‘gay’ and ‘homophobic’. Young people reading historical records of individuals who lived decades ago, and who were described as ‘gay’ in their own lifetimes, will have only one understanding of that adjective in relation to that individual.

Principled stance

So it is that Robinson and others would like us to accept that we are a ‘homophobic’ people. Don’t accept that label Jamaicans! We are a people who are taking a principled stance in relation to the homosexual lifestyle. That does not make us homophobic! However, as a people we would go further and apply this principled stand to other areas of sexual conduct!

Robinson and I can, however, agree on at least one thing, that is that the law must take its course in regards to both the matter of Terry’s murder and also in regard to the matter of the current extradition request.

I am, etc.,

S. RICHARDS

Kingston 10

Caster Semenya or Buju Banton

(This piece is written and contributed by Shum Preston, a trade unionist and human rights activist from San Francisco, California. Mr. Preston married his husband under California state law, and they are the proud fathers of 4.)

CASTER SEMEYA or BUJU BANTON??
The next time Buju Banton sells an online download of “Boom Bye-Bye,” will he spare a thought for Caster Semenya?
Caster Semenya, as the whole world has learned, is the young South African runner whose privacy was recently violated when her medical records were leaked to the media. The nation of South Africa has honorably rushed to her defense, as various international sporting rivals appear ready to attack her for having some male traits, a situation sometimes called intersex.
Ms. Semenya is a beautiful part of the human spectrum, and deserves nothing less than the freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I hope and believe that she will achieve that. But my heart is heavy because I know that around the world many people just like Caster Semenya will end up assaulted, attacked, battered, bashed, abused, beaten and yes sometimes killed because they’re different.
The batty boys that Buju Banton fantasizes about murdering in his controversial song “Boom Bye-Bye” often look not much different than Caster Semenya. They might be intersex or gay, lesbian, all-sexual, transgender, or whatever other word you might want to use to describe their part of the human rainbow.
That violence takes a terrible toll on my brothers and sisters. Literally thousands of them have been killed in my home country, the United States. I mourn our martyr Brian Williamson, the murdered head of Jamaica’s J-Flag group. My blood runs cold thinking of the two young men who were hanged in Iran.

It is genocide. There is genocide in Darfur, and genocide across the globe as these beautiful people are targeted for death because of who they are.
And what role does Boom Bye-Bye play in the genocide of sexual minorities in our world today? Who knows? But Boom Bye-Bye has emerged as history’s most notorious call to kill queers. It has achieved iconic status. Its message of shooting, burning with acid, and setting on fire batty boys has been sung and heard millions and millions of times.
And Mr. Banton still makes money from that message by selling it online. That’s not a youthful mistake, or something in the past. That’s selling the glorification of genocide so a pop star can get even richer.
I have rarely been as impressed with a country as I have been by the passion and compassion the nation of South Africa has shown in its defense of its daughter Ms. Semenya. They are blessed that Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu overthrew the British colonial “Buggery” laws and made sure that nation’s constitution protected the rights of all sexualities—from Batty boys to Caster Semeya.

Buju Banton has made pretty clear with his media statements that he doesn’t care what I–a gay man just trying to live my life—think. Whatever.
But I hope Mr. Banton can spare a thought for Caster Semenya and all her brothers and sisters around the world.
Because I hope and believe that if he does, Mr. Banton will either stop selling that song—or perhaps begin to undo the damage he’s done by making very clear publicly that no one should be bash and kill the world’s sexual minorities.

mikeandshum@yahoo.com

AIDS, a Caribbean Crisis …. the trouble with msms


Photo taken at a meeting of Jamaica’s underground gay church, known as the Sunshine Cathedral, which holds clandestine meetings several times a month.

How AIDS became a Caribbean Crisis
Widespread homophobia has intensified the epidemic in Jamaica, where the HIV infection rate is an astounding 32 percent among gay men.
by Micah Fink

We may be accustomed to thinking of AIDS as most rampant in distant parts of the world like Africa, India, and South Asia. But these days the epidemic is flaring up a bit closer to home, in the Caribbean. Indeed, AIDS is now the leading cause of death among adults there, and the Caribbean’s rate of new infections is the second highest in the world, following just behind Sub-Saharan Africa.

A major factor in the region’s susceptibility to the epidemic is its pervasive atmosphere of homophobia, which makes education and outreach efforts nearly impossible. Jamaica, which lies near the middle of the Caribbean and, as of last year, was found to have an astounding 32 percent HIV infection rate among gay men, offers a case study in how anti-gay attitudes have helped spread and intensify the epidemic’s impact.

In Jamaica, homophobic attitudes are reflected in everything from laws that criminalize anal sex, to the lyrics of popular dancehall music that celebrates the murder of gay men, to widespread acts of anti-gay violence, and a gay culture of sexual secrecy and high-risk behavior. Each of these factors is intensified by a religious context that defines homosexuality as a mortal sin and points to the Bible for moral justification in violently rejecting the concerns of the gay community.

According to Dr. Robert Carr, widely recognized as one of the world’s leading researchers on cultural forces and the unfolding of the AIDS pandemic, local awareness of the disease was initially shaped by the international media: “AIDS was seen as a disease of gay, White, North American men. And people were really afraid of it.”

“There were no treatments available in the Caribbean at the time,” he says, “so AIDS really was a death sentence. You had people with Kaposi’s sarcoma, people with violent diarrhea, who were just wasting away and then dying in really horrible and traumatic ways.” The terror induced by these deaths, combined with an already intense local culture of homophobia to produce a violent backlash. “To call what was going on here ‘stigma and discrimination’ was really an understatement,” he says. “In the ghettos they were putting tires around people who had AIDS and lighting the tires on fire. They were killing gay people because they thought AIDS was contagious. It was a very extreme environment, and really horrible things were happening.”

Jamaican male sexual identity, and Caribbean male identity more broadly, has long been defined in opposition to homosexuality. “A lot of Jamaican men, if you call them a homosexual, the term is “battyman,” will immediately get violent,” says Dr. Kingsley Ragashanti Stewart, a professor of anthropology at the University of the West Indies. “It’s the worst insult you could give to a Jamaican man.”

Dr. Stewart, who works with young men from the ghettos and himself grew up in a poor inner-city community, says that homophobia influences almost every aspect of life. It has even come to shape the everyday language of ghetto youth. “It’s like if you say, ‘Come back here,’ they will say, ‘No, no, no don’t say ‘come back’.’ You have to say ‘come forward,’ because come back is implying that you’re ‘coming in the back,’ which is how gay men have sex.”

Dr. Stewart says that the word “fish,” the current slang for “gay,” has become so sexually charged that many young people say “sea-creature” to avoid any compromising linguistic associations. And young men from the ghettos will go to great lengths to avoid saying the number “two.” “It’s become associated with going to the toilet (as opposed to ‘number one’),” and hence, by an almost magical association, with homosexuality. The principal of a large public school in Kingston confirmed this phenomenon, noting that teaching mathematics is particularly problematic when the majority of students refuse to use one of the cardinal numbers.

Then there is the criminalization of the “abominable act of buggery,” as anal sex is defined in Jamaican Law, and which is punishable with up to ten years hard labor. “The reality in Jamaica is that men who have sex with men, for fear of being prosecuted and being found guilty under the sodomy law, pretend that they’re not gay,” says Miriam Maluwa, the UNAIDS country representative for Jamaica, explaining how what she calls “legalized discrimination” has driven the HIV epidemic underground. “[Gay men] marry fairly rapidly, they have children fairly rapidly to regularize themselves, and that is really a ticking bomb. So we are really talking about this targeted group, having quite high levels of infections, which is interacting sexually with the general population.”

Experts are increasingly convinced that getting AIDS under control here will require putting out not just general public health messages to the whole population, but targeted ones, directed at those most at risk. “A good starting point,” Maluwa suggests, “would be to openly design programs [for the gay population], just like we have programs to address the general population, to address children.” And these programs, she contends, should come complete with “adequate commodities, such as lubricants and condoms.”

But the social and political environment makes such targeted public health assistance nearly impossible—in part because the gay community is afraid to come forward to receive it, and in part because the (frequently violent) intolerance gays face makes AIDS a relatively less pressing concern.

At AIDS Support For Life, a not-for-profit health and advocacy group based in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city, I spoke with staff and patients, including one handsome young gay Jamaican man in his early twenties who told me how his boyfriend was stabbed to death on the street for being gay – and how another close friend was locked inside his parents house by a crowed of homophobic neighbors and burned alive.

“If it were AIDS that were killing us,” he said, “I would use a condom. But it’s people, not AIDS, that is killing us. AIDS has nothing to do with it.”

Homeless MSMs harrassed on streets by police

Allegations of harassment of gay adolescents and men by the police have once again surfaced. Last week on two nights in a row taxi drivers(not gay)and other msms who witnessed the happenings have reliably informed me that they witnessed police searching and ruffing up men and loiterers on the streets especially in certain business districts of Kingston. A police source however said that there is a drive afoot to clamp down on windshield wipers, pimps, ganja sellers, phone card sellers, prostitutes and dope dealers on the streets who peddle their wares illegally or try to solicit business openly.

In the drive to do so the cops seem to be employing a very hard handed approach to this.

Thursday September 17, at around 11pm two males known to some in our community were accosted and searched randomly by three officers who all had m16 guns drawn and using expletives at the men, they were overhead accusing them of being battybois, when the young men protested and said they weren’t the cops asked then why were they in that particular area. The area in question is a known strip for commercial sex activities carried out by predominantly females. The following night another set of guys this time, one who is known to be struggling after he was threatened in his rural community of his birth to leave as he was a faggot, he now resides in Kingston as a drifter were also searched, hit over the head with a baton and harassed vigorously by the lawmen.

While I can appreciate the need to rid the streets of the negative elements, randomly targeting males and accusing them of being battybois is not my idea of how to go about it, I had thought we were leaving that kind of behaviour behind with the small progress made under this new police administration with police community relations and lgbt people, we were beginning to see positive signs of properpolice conduct towards gays, one tiny step forward, three big steps back it seems, the other part to this equation is what can be done to provide safe houses or shelter for these homeless gays. The gay community itself loathes and fears taking in any of them in as persons feel they can’t be trusted as others who have been assisted but erred have made it bad due to breaking the trust extended to them by stealing and other awful happenings. As it stands there is very little in the way of interventions for this most vulnerable grouping. Can anyone help or suggest how we can begin to tackle this eyesore on our landscape and redeem these young males before they fall through the cracks and either end up dead, become drug addicts or perpetrators of violent crimes.

Help or suggestions anyone!
See also:
Homeless MSMs in Jamaica
Gay Party DVD Reveller on the Run

Peace
H

Muslim culture and gay sex in Barbados ….. a glimpse

the article below was sent me to by one of my many readers from Barbados, interestingly the line that got me was the very first sentence about muslim religion and body exposure, read on…..

Guard admits exposing himself

Published on: 9/15/2009.
IT IS FORBIDDEN, a Muslim revealed yesterday, for a man of that religion to expose from his navel to his knee in public.

But that is exactly what Shiraj Raja was doing, in addition to some other things in their month of Ramadan, when an island constable caught him at Hilton Beach on Sunday.

Raja, 26, a security guard of Kensington New Road, St Michael, was in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court yesterday, where he admitted wilfully, openly, lewdly and obscenely exposing himself on Hilton Beach, a place of public entertainment.

“I was sitting down on the beach and a man get out of a car and asked me to do that,” Raja said.

However, it was the facts of the case that left the court abuzz.

Prosecutor Acting Station Sergeant Junior Kirton revealed that an island constable was patrolling the beach around 10 a.m. when he saw Raja and another man behaving suspiciously.

The island constable watched as the unknown man and Raja engaged in oral sex before masturbating.

He shouted at them and they ran off, but Raja was subsequently caught.

“I am speechless and I am not usually lost for words,” Magistrate Pamela Beckles said.

Hours later Raja’s surety, also a member of the Muslim community, told the court: “I feel he’s got problems.

“This is a shock for the Muslim community [that] in the blessed month of Ramadan he is doing something like this.”

The surety further explained that Raja was also the first person to get divorced in their community. He had been married all of three months.

“I will fine him and let your community deal with him,” Magistrate Beckles told the surety. “But get some counselling for him.”

The magistrate fined him $1 000 by September 25 or six months in jail.

The magistrate also released him with a surety of $1 500 until September 25.