Police have a suspect in John Terry Case

Police say thay have arrested a man in connection with the murder of UK honorary British consul John Terry.

Mr. Terry, 65, was discovered inside by his gardner who alerted neighbours and then the ploice his home with a cord around his neck and severe head injuries in early September, a note found on his body read,

“This is what will happen to ALL gays.” The note was signed “Gay-Man”.

Neighbors said a man was seen leaving Terry’s home the night before the body was discovered and had also been seen asking for directions to take a taxi into the nearby resort city of Montego Bay.

Police spokesman Karl Angell said the 23-year-old man has been arrested but had not yet been charged with Terry’s murder.

“The police are making arrangements to interview the suspect in the presence of an attorney and will conduct identification parades in the next few days,” said Angell.

Two other men who were also briefly detained in connection with the investigation have been released according to Angell.

Gay right advocates in Jamaica had suggested Terry murder’s was a hate crime. Violence against LGBT is commonplace ion that Caribbean Island Nation and a 2006 Time Magazine report said that Jamaica could possibly be “The Most Homophobic Place on Earth”, pointing out that two of the island’s most prominent gay activists, Brian Williamson and Steve Harvey had been murdered.

However, local police said that the letter found at the crime scene indicated to them that the diplomat’s death might have been the result of a lovers’ quarrel.

“There have been attacks mainly in the Corporate Area but they have never ended in murder. There are openly gay people in Jamaica and they live quite openly and mingle freely,” said Head of Serious and Organized Crime, Assistant Police Commissioner Les Green in a statement.

Tourism, Jamaica’s number one industry, has been suffering due to the sluggish economy in the United States and Britain

Many in Jamaica’s tourist business feared that Terry’s high profile murder, which has been heavily reported on in the British Press and by the BBC, would kill a deal inked last month by the Jamaican Director of Tourism, John Lynch, with British Airways to resume flights to Montego Bay and along with it, any hopes of a recovery in the ailing Jamaican tourist trade.

parts from LEZGETREAL

LGBT History – Hated to Death Report 2004, Human Rights Watch

One of the darkest moments on our nation as a people in general and as lgbt people specifically was in November 2002 where the photographed male was brutally attacked by a machete wielding, stick bearing, cursing mob outside of Falmouth in Trelawny. He was chopped several places on his body but survived his ordeal, thankfully to tell the tale. Out of that came the most pronounced collection of data at that time regarding homophobic attacks in Jamaica and related stigma and acts of discrimination as compiled by Human Rights Watch. It caused the gay community to pause and look at itself. That reflective action is urgently needed again as we seem to have fallen into a false sense of security and complacency.

Hated to Death Report by Human Rights Watch

This report though dated is a must have for anyone seeking to understand some of the real attacks that have happened over the years. Click the report’s cover image above the get the PDF version. Many in the anti gay establishment refuse to believe that gays are attacked partly due to the lack of evidence they say to show that they have happened. There is no doubt that several other attacks have occurred that have gone under the radar (some listed here under recent homophobic attacks label) but the scourge continues unabated it seems as there is very little fair justice for GLBTQ people on the island there have however been slight improvements in police relations and the general discourse on the matter of homosexuality but not enough to make a serious paradigm shift in the national psyche.
Another dark chapter in the sad history of GLBTQ Jamaica.

How To Avoid Negative Thinking

by Kali Munro, M.Ed., Psychotherapist, 2001.

“…in spite of everything I still believe that people
are really good at heart.”

~ Anne Frank, 1944

Have you ever wondered why some people feel down and defeated when faced with difficult situations, while others feel challenged and hopeful? Or why some people get all worked up and angry over small inconveniences and disagreements, while others respond more positively? These different reactions are due to how people interpret events – whether they view things from an optimistic or a pessimistic viewpoint.

While we can learn from both optimists and pessimists, most of us need help being optimistic. This article explores both ways of thinking, and gives some suggestions on how to become more optimistic.

The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events will last a long time, undermine everything that they do, and are their fault. Optimists, confronted with the same situations, believe that defeat is a temporary setback, its causes are confined to that one situation, and it’s not their fault. While a pessimist may give up, an optimist will try harder to change the situation.

Pros and Cons To Both Optimism and Pessimism

There are pros and cons to both optimism and pessimism. Extreme optimism can be off-putting and invalidating because it seems phony and can be a denial of reality and pain. Extreme pessimism can be depressing because it seems to only focus on the negative and catastrophizes events. A healthy dose of optimism can be uplifting and hopeful, while a healthy dose of pessimism can be realistic and wise. Achieving a balance of being realistic and hopeful can be a challenge.

Differences Between Optimists and Pessimists

There are many reasons why people become pessimistic, including child trauma, losses, or highly critical parents – yet many optimists have also experienced great hardships and traumas; Anne Frank is a good example.

The difference between optimists and pessimists isn’t a difference in life experiences, but rather in how people perceive and respond to adversity. For example, an optimist who is going through a hard time assumes that life will get better, while a pessimist believes life will always be difficult and painful.

These different approaches to life impact on health. People who are optimistic generally have better health, age well, and live more free of many physical problems associated with aging. Fortunately, optimism can be learned.

Ways To Be Optimistic

The first step to optimism is to identify the thoughts and beliefs running through your mind after something unpleasant happens. How did you interpret the event? Write out all of your beliefs and read them over. Then separate your feelings from your beliefs, because you won’t be challenging your feelings; what you feel is what you feel.

Next, write down all your feelings about the event and how you responded. Do this for a few unpleasant situations, such as an argument with your partner, a work conflict, and getting a parking ticket. You might begin to see a pattern in how you interpret and react to events, and this will help you to become aware of and to change patterns.

If you do have pessimistic thoughts, it can help just to be aware that you think that way. Next time your thoughts jump to something like “I never get my way,” “Nothing ever gets any better,” or “People are always mean to me,” try to notice that a pessimistic way of thinking is present for you.

The next step is to distract yourself from your pessimistic beliefs or dispute them. Disputing pessimistic beliefs will bring deeper, longer lasting results than distracting will, but distraction can also be effective, and sometimes easier.

Disputing pessimistic beliefs involves replacing them with alternative, kinder, and more realistic explanations. For example, if you have an argument with your partner, you might immediately think: “S/he never understands me! I’m always the one who ends up apologizing. This isn’t working out; we should split up.” In the heat of an argument, it’s hard to think rationally. But if you step back and think about the situation more realistically, you might find that your thoughts become more positive, and you may even be able to work things out faster. For instance, you might tell yourself, “We just had an argument, and while s/he wasn’t very understanding, neither was I. S/he’s understood me lots of other times, and will probably understand me again once we’ve both cooled off. We’ve always been able to work through our problems before. I know we can again.”

Maintaining a hopeful, positive, yet real perspective in the face of adversity can be a real challenge – one many are facing right now in the world – but it is essential to living peacefully and happily. Just as it is important to recognize what is unjust and unfair in our lives and the world, it is equally important to see the beauty, love, generosity, and goodness as well. Being gentle and loving with ourselves when we make mistakes, or when bad things happen is key to being hopeful and optimistic. And even if you’re not sure it’s possible, you can do it!

Other sides to Murder music – ‘Informer’ holds place of revulsion in Jamaican music (Gleaner article)

Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

ANY number of theories may be advanced for the revulsion expressed in Jamaican music for those who cooperate with the authorities, whether agents of the state or owners/controllers of capital.

With the creators of the music – especially the performers and songwriters – generally coming from the lower classes, which had restricted access to the legitimate avenues of income generation, maybe it is a case of the illegal being seen as the accepted way of getting cash or assets.

Or it could be that the densely populated communities and often crowded homes of especially the urbanised setting lead to a lack of private space and hence a dependence on the silence of onlookers to protect the privacy of individuals.

There could also be the friction between and in communities, where the police are not trusted, hence the person with an illegal firearm is seen as a protector – and someone to be protected by silence.

Whatever the cause or causes, there is strong revulsion against the ‘informer’ in Jamaican music, who is one of several characters sentenced to death in the lyrically exaggerated dancehall setting. (Among the others down for dancehall execution are child molesters, ‘idle shottas’, rapists, petty thieves and, of course, homosexuals).

The revulsion against those who see too much did not start with dancehall music. In the Trojan Records release Peeping Tom, Toots and the Maytals lament the ever-present peeper with:

“Tom round the corner, Tom in the tree

Tom round the lane, Tom up the hill

Tom in the house, Tom down the street

Everybody cry out for Peeping Tom.”

At the beginning of the 1980s the reviled persona was named outright in dancehall, but not in the context of cooperation with the police. Lady Ann’s 1983 Informer spoke about the interference with her intimate relationship with:

“Certain bwoy ‘pon de corner, informer

Certain bwoy ‘pon de corner, informer

‘Ca ‘im a fight ‘gains’ me an’ me lover”

However, her chant of ‘murderer’ is more an exclamation of dismay than a lyrical judgement. Lady Ann deejays:

“Say informer inna de area – murderer

Him and a-watchin’ and a-peepin’ – murderer”

In the late 1980s, singer Admiral Tibet issued the general warning “leave people business alone/leave people business and mind your own”.

By the early 1990s, though, with digital dancehall well under way after the Sleng Teng rhythm-making revolution and an explosion of persons recording, the informer was squarely in the lyrical cross hairs and many a deejay hit out against them.

The death sentence was proclaimed liberally, but in New Gun deejay Bounty Killer not only delivered the judgement, but also declared lawmen off-limits. In the chorus he deejayed:

“New gun with shot bad bway a burs’

All informa, a dem a dead firs …

To be a informer that is not a nice work

Yu time no deh far yu life it don’t worth

A dead yu ago dead an go unda de eart’

Cause yu inform pon man a Park Lane an Dunkirk

Bout dem rob bank an butt up bank clerk.”

He went on to define the informer and make his position on the law officers clear:

“Informer give information

To police personnel an soldier man

I no sey yu fe shot policeman

Dem a do dem work an policeman no wrong.”

Canadian deejay Snow took up the ‘informer dem’, though in a less menacing way, as he simply referred to the informer and stated that “you know a Daddy now dem a go blame”.

The ‘informer’ was also despised in the workplace setting, with the same judgement being passed. Heading past the mid-1990s singer Wayne Wonder did his own ‘Informer’, this one about the ‘hustling’ on a work site:

“I’m in a factory working

Hustling on the side

See the informers lurking

Trying to break my stride

How you fi stop man hustling

Trying to swallow my pride

I gat pickney fi feed an a ooman a breed

An you nearly mek me lose my life

Informer muss dead.”

And the informer has continued to get flayed lyrically in dancehall, popping up even in the live clash setting.

At the much-vaunted clash between deejay Vybz Kartel and singjay Mavado at Sting 2008, when Mavado, who was on stage first, saw Kartel coming on stage in a soldier uniform, he announced to the crowd – and Kartel – that his rival was an informer.

CONTINUE HERE or CLICK THE GLEANER LOGO on top for full article

Want to DIE? If not, HELP STOP MURDER MUSIC m4m 18 (Toronto)

A call from Toronto’s Craiglist forum to join new Facebook page against murder music in Canada

By an anonymous writer:
“Elephant Man, one of the infamous Reggae singers whose songs ask listeners to brutally murder homosexuals, is coming to Toronto. Google can fill you in on the details. Whether or not he sings the anti-gay songs in Toronto, we need to stand up and let him and his promoters know that we will not tolerate hatemongers in our city. This concert encourages people to listen to his music – all his music, not just the songs he plays here.

There is only one thing that can come from this: more violence against gays. This is unacceptable. You can fight this by joining the Facebook group “MURDER MUSIC COMING TO TORONTO, NOT ON MY WATCH” You can also contact Infrastructure Minister John Baird, since Down view Park falls under his jurisdiction.

Action Promotions is putting on the show, and though I doubt they give a shit it couldn’t hurt to flood them with calls. CL doesn’t allow websites or phone numbers, so you’ll have to get this information from Google or the Facebook group page.

It’s important that we don’t give up. If we fail to get Elephant Man removed from the show, we need to show him and his homophobic supporters that we are not afraid. Show up at the park with your lover(s) and stage a kiss-in, protest, and whatever it takes to show that we will not go away until his threats to our community stop.”

Location: Toronto

Remembering Mickey J

Remembering Mr. Michael Johnson, ally, friend, defender of anyone who was downtrodden, disciplinarian, adept management skills and a beautiful same gender loving human being.

He is best remembered for his pioneering work with Jamaica AIDS Support for Life in the Targeted Interventions Programs that linked MSMs and Commercial Sex Workers for access to ARV treatment and care and the Jamaica male netball team which included men from all walks of life and orientation believe it or not straight men too. He advocated tolerance. He was integral in seeing the team’s development and managed the affairs with a firm but fair hand.

Many of the successes the team gained overseas are credited to him and others. He was a staunch defender of rights and fairness as outlined in a testimonial report some years ago where a group of msms were harassed by police officers where he was asked to intervene.

“………..The lead member of the group then called Jamaica AIDS Support collect and contacted the then Director of Targeted Interventions, Mr. Michael Johnson. Mr. Johnson came to the scene. One policeman looked at him and announced “a di battyman leader dat.” Mr. Johnson asked the policemen what was the situation because he had gotten a call to say that the police were harassing the group. One of the officers said he was not to use the word “harass” because they were only doing their job. Mr. Johnson again asked what was happening. The policeman then said he recognised Mr. Johnson from his other job at a bank. Mr. Johnson confirmed that he did work at a bank.
The policeman then began referring to Mr. Johnson as “sir,” and offered to take him aside and explain what was happening. He told Mr. Johnson the group was “loitering” and pointed to one particularly effeminate member and said that what he thought that member was doing he thought the whole group was doing and that he cannot support “man with man because God never mek man with man.” He said the only reason he was not arresting the group was because they knew Mr. Johnson. The policeman told Mr. Johnson that what Mr. Johnson needed to do was to talk to the group about being gay, and the fact that being gay is wrong and against the law, and that the next time they were not going to give them a break. Their last comment was to point to the effeminate group member they had singled out and say that they had marked him as the ringleader and a marker of homosexual activities and so anyone he was with they would know was a homosexual and so liable for arrest……..” continue here

Upon returning from a successful netball tournament trip from one of the Caribbean islands he took ill with a mysterious virus and later succumbed to his unease in 2001. It was a shocker to the community as a wonderful leader was suddenly snatched from us. His work with the special Targeted Interventions project of JASL was also exemplary, he was a no nonsense man and everyone knew you had to be on your Ps and Qs when he was in office and you visited the space. He insisted on correct behaviour but was attentive to his clients and the general public who also access services at the organization.

MJ sadly missed but left an indelible mark on our GLBT landscape.


LGBTQ History Month – Health Interventions, GLABCOM

GLABCOM – Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Community was an arm of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life’s Targeted Interventions Department, the only private organization of it’s kind that interfaces directly the MSM community directly with programs and activities specifically targeted for HIV/AIDS reduction and safer sex. The GLABCOM project was started to act as a bridge between the groups and the organization through its Steering Committee to tap into the pulse on the ground of the concerns of the groups involved. Many MSMs in particular choose not to access the public health facilities due to fear of stigmatization and homophobia so the GLABCOM outreach helped greatly in this regard.

It sought to also assist with social intervention activities with the support groups primarily MSMs and Lesbians. Mostly MSMs however attended the bi-weekly meetings and peer educator groups and the breakdown of communication between the lesbian and gay groups was said to be the cause of the activities being scrapped in 2009, see full post on the reasons that ended the run and the replacement Gay Mens Association of Jamaica (GMAJ)
GLABCOM officially ended June 2, 2009.
Many had come to know the meetings across the various locations island wide and would attend if not to learn from the seminars and exchanges or to just meet others to socialise. The behaviour of some of our members too was cause for concern as safe spaces are hard to come by so persons were encouraged to protect the space by displaying proper conduct. Many persons benefited through the support services and counseling afforded to members who attended meetings or the planned clinic days to see the General Practitioner who would come in. Please support any of organization that help to provide these services to our marginalised groups here in Jamaica.