Steve Harvey Remembered (Repost & Updated)

Today is the fifth anniversary of the tragic passing of Steve Lenford Harvey aka “big nose” only few of us got away with calling him that. Here is an update of a post that has been carried on GLBTQJA Blogger edition and Gay Jamaica Watch for October LGBT History Month several years in succession.

Please let us reflect on this and other senseless killings of persons in Jamaica in particular despite sexual orientation as we need to stop this bloodletting.

Peace

Steve Lenford Harvey
Promoted to glory
30th November 2005

On the evening of November 30, 2005, at approximately 1:00am, Harvey and his roommates were robbed at gunpoint in their home, his roommates were bound, and Harvey was abducted. A gunman reportedly yelled “We hear that you are gay” to the trio. Harvey’s body was found two hours later, early the next morning, a few miles in the hills overlooking Kingston, with gunshot wounds in his head and back.
Steve Harvey’s killing has resulted in a far-reaching public outcry against the government of Jamaica, which has been accused of ignoring violence against homosexuals.
Several organizations, including the United Nations have demanded a thorough investigation of the homicide.
In March 2006, four people were charged with the killing.
It was in that same year he was selected as LACCASO‘s (Latin America and Caribbean Council of AIDS Service Organizations) project coordinator for Jamaica and was about to launch into bigger an better things.
A Life cut short.
His work with the MSM population was EXEMPLARY (yet to be duplicated)
The pic depicting a happier moment of him, “BIG NOSE” as some would tease him, he never liked it lol.
He lived for politics and current affairs, always debating with someone about his favourite political party and if he never agreed with you his face made it very clear lol.
We Miss You Boi!!!
(original photos from archives)
Here are newer photos from Jamaica AIDS Support for Life archives.
Peace and tolerance.
H
NB:
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Miss World (LGBT) 2010 a quick look

Miss World (LGBT) 2010 Trophy

Saturday November 27th through to the late morning on Sunday was never the same at Club Heavens as the Miss World contest slowly went on until a surprise winner was announced as Miss Jamaica Miley “Lipgloss Cryrus.

Things got off to a slow start as usual for Club Heavens as patrons have an annoying habit of arriving very late sometimes 3am in the morning to party. The seven judges at 3:47am Sunday morning took their seats in front the simply decorated stage which was not well lit but it served non the less. The DJs including yours truly were warming up the early patrons while the ladies were getting ready in the dressing room upstairs. Club Manager and long time organiser for the event going on its seventh season took the microphone and launched the proceedings. The contestants paraded to Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman” in relatively attractive pieces but it was hair and makeup that set the real divas from circus clowns as Miss Nigeria shone with her #60 base face powder touched with a light shade of red lipstick and perfectly done blue eyeshadow. Her closest competition in that category was Miss Jamaica whose darker complexion worked well with her Farrah Fawcett flipped wig perfectly perched atop her head. Her makeup was done smoothly as well as makeup artist Kookie Balenciaga saw to the girls’ eclectic looks while some contestants added their own embellishments.

The talent section was where the real showdown was to happen as Miss Jamaica proved herself by performing a newsroom piece complete with props that of a chair, a microphone and a pair of studious looking glasses. She infused humour in her piece by incorporating the suss/gossip element hinting to friends present at the function much to the delite of the audience as laughter erupted during her set. Other contestants performed traditional Jamaican dialect pieces and Miss USA performed a song live.

Top contestants/scores as per calculations following judges deliberations

Miss Jamaica – 756 points

Miss Nigeria – 543 points

Miss Dominica Republic – 430 points

Miss Argentina – 454 points

Miss USA – 356

Drawbacks:

The show overall was clearly too long and looked disorganised at some junctions as Master of Ceremonies Macey Grey had some difficulty getting the announced contestant to be on stage on time after three or more calls over the mic. The long-standing problem of audio trouble reared its ugly head again several times during the show and was distracting as microphone failure was a repeated problem. The audience became restless at points during the show as outside noise interference from talking patrons interrupted the flow, the drag performances in between were too long. While we can appreciate that Club Heavens has set itself apart as the drag impersonation entertainment spot more needs to be done by the Management to tighten up logistics and performance schedules plus time spent on stage by any particular group or person, they need to avoid the audience’s drifting as the goal is to entertain not bore paying patrons to death.

Other positives:

Miss Nigeria being the crowd favourite was gracious in knowing she was placed second as both winner and runner-up embraced with big smiles which was welcomed by the audience. Sponsorship was very heavy this year as public and private individuals came forward. There was some limited international media coverage from a French photographer of the show and Macey Grey in particular as the limited photo policy does not allow documenting in digital mediums of any patron unless by consent. The event overall ended hyped as the music selections removed the sluggishness that had set in due to the length of the show. The major irony of this is that the winner and runner ups were members of the homeless MSM group often written about by me on this blog and on my other two blogs on blogger, good to see that there are avenues that can help the men find ways to occupy their time while utilizing their creativity as many had written them off as trouble makers and undeserving of any meaningful rehabilitation assistance.

All in all Miss World (LGBT) 2010 was a moderate success and here’s hoping the organizers are able to bring the 2011 edition harder and fiercer.

Peace and tolerance

H

Bad news for HIV in Jamaica: HIV/AIDS Programme Hit By Funding Woes

Anastasia Cunningham, Senior Gleaner Writer

Dr Karen Hilliard (centre), mission director, United States Agency for International Development, responds to President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, Milton Samuda (right), during a meeting of private sector leaders to discuss establishing a foundation to ensure the financial sustainability of Jamaica’s HIV programme, at the Wyndham Kingston hotel, New Kingston, Tuesday. At left is chief consultant at the Jamaica Business Council

The announcement by the World Bank that due to the global financial crisis, within the next four years, they will stop external funding of Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS programme has thrown the business community into a crisis mode.

With the core productivity age group, 20-44, at the greatest risk, it has hit home that the economy could be in serious trouble and the productivity level of the country greatly affected if left unchecked.

This reality has caused the Jamaica Business Council on HIV/AIDS (JaBCHA), to seek to establish a J$1 billion foundation to support the national treatment and prevention programme. As the council’s chief fundraiser Earle Moore puts it, “A strong hurricane is heading our way and we have ample time to prepare for it.”

Human resources

Moore added, “If we don’t control the HIV epidemic, it will lead to reduced market sizes for businesses. There will be a decline in the total number of human resources available for production and investment, and managing human resources within our companies will become more difficult and complicated.”

JaBCHA has the strong backing of the Ministry of Health, Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), Private Sector of Jamaica, Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and USAID/ Jamaica. Several key organisations are already onboard, among them Jamaica National, LIME, GraceKennedy, Supreme Ventures, LASCO, Bank of Nova Scotia, Jamaica Broilers and Digicel.

Speaking at JaBCHA’s launch, on Tuesday, JEF President Wayne Chen said: “We are concerned about the increasing number of employees with HIV/AIDS, so we now have to take an enlightened approach to deal with it.”

JCC President Milton Samuda said, “if it is left unchecked, Jamaica will be faced with a crisis, so the private sector has to put heart and soul into it to prevent it. We need to do more for ourselves, instead of depending on others. We have to clean up our own mess. We have to fund the things that are of national importance.”

Wayne Cummings, JHTA president, said he wanted the private sector to take it one step further and “make a bold move. Remove HIV/AIDS persons from the list of persons who cannot get insurance.”

Mission Director of USAID/Jamaica, Dr Karen Hilliard said she was proud to see the greater business community come together to commit funding to fight an epidemic that threatened the productivity sector.

Dr Kevin Harvey, HIV/STI senior medical officer in the Ministry of Health, announced that there is a 2007-2012 National Strategic Plan in place to deal with the epidemic, which is estimated to cost over US$200 million.

Funding

Jamaica has relied heavily on external funding to support its HIV/AIDS programme. Over the last two years, the national HIV programme was funded largely by global donors to the tune of US$80.4 million, with treatment and prevention receiving 33 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively. Only one per cent of Jamaica’s National Capital Expenditure was allocated to the health service.

On the other hand, countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and St Kitts & Nevis finance their HIV/AIDS programmes primarily from domestic revenue. While The Bahamas’ programme is solely financed by the private sector.

Between 1982 and 2009, approxi-mately 1.6 per cent or some 27,000 Jamaicans had HIV, 14,354 of which had AIDS, 7,772 of that number have died. Men and women age 20-44, the labour force’s most productive years, accounted for 65 per cent of the reported AIDS cases. Kingston, St Andrew and St James had the majority of cases. Last year, 378 persons died of AIDS, a decline of 43 per cent, when compared to 665 persons who died in 2004.

anastasia.cunningham@gleanerjm.com

Jamaica Gleaner Company

Jamaicans for Justice on: “Exposing The Painful Truth”

Dr Carolyn Gomes,

Executive Director Jamaicans for Justice speaking after the recent United Nations vote to remove sexual orientation from the list of judicial killings supported by our Jamaican government and other states such as Cuba and strangely enough South Africa who originally was on a roll post apartheid and the new thrust for implementing rights to its citizenry.

Dr. Gomes wrote:

It was an interesting feeling to be in Geneva, Switzerland, and talk to a representative from a foreign country about Jamaica’shuman rights. Many of these representatives have never been here, and only know about our country through tourism advertisements and the classic reggae song One Love.

It was my duty to explain that Jamaica’s international reputation as the home of “no problem, man” belies its abysmal record of human-rights abuses which includes extrajudicial police killings, inhuman prison conditions, and cruel treatment of homosexuals.

The diplomats I met were surprised to hear about the extent of Jamaica’s human-rights infractions. And, indeed, that’s the main reason why I went to Switzerland.

Along with two of my colleagues, I met with foreign representatives who were attending the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). This is a process where the human-rights records of all 192 UN member states are examined. The UPR, started in 2008, requires each country to account for its human-rights record every four years.

Fulfil their human-rights obligations

The UPR provides each UN member state – including countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom – with the chance to explain the actions they have taken to improve the human-rights situations in their countries and fulfil their human-rights obligations in accordance with international laws.

The 2010 UPR that took place earlier this month marked the first time that Jamaica’s human-rights record was examined. I’m deeply honoured that the organisation I’m part of – Jamaicans For Justice – was able to brief several dignitaries beforehand about our concerns with Jamaica’s record.

At the UPR, the Government of Jamaica was represented by Marlene Malahoo Forte, minister of state, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. When she took the podium, she told the assembled diplomats that “We are moving in the right direction.” To emphasise her point, Ms Malahoo Forte repeated her statement at least nine times within 10 minutes.

Unfortunately, repeating a phrase doesn’t make it true.

Jamaica Gleaner Company

Wrong direction

The painful truth is that Jamaica is speeding in the wrong direction. Ms Malahoo Forte’s statement ignores two recent statistics: First, the number of police shootings in Jamaica has increased and will likely top 400 this year. Second, the number of children being held in places of adult detention – in itself, a direct violation of Jamaican law – has increased from the 68 reported to Parliament by Prime Minister Bruce Golding in February this year to more than 100 in October 2010.

More than 40 countries made 119 recommendations to strengthen and improve Jamaica’s record. I doubt that the countries evaluating Jamaica’s human-rights inaction were satisfied with the Government’s official excuse. I know I certainly wasn’t. And neither should you be.

Human rights aren’t a privilege that the Government hands out to the upper classes or the people with ‘good hair’. They apply to all of us, regardless of whether we vote for the Jamaica Labour Party or the People’s National Party, drink Red Stripe or Heineken, or prefer Gaza to Gully Side.

The UPR is a reminder of how far we have to go to improve our human rights. A great Jamaican gave the world the song One Love, and it has become a global anthem from Azerbaijan to Zaire. It’s time we start practising it in our own yard.

Dr Carolyn Gomes is executive director of civic action group, Jamaicans for Justice. Feedback may be sent to columns@gleanerjm.com

That special perfect one…..

Here is a take on the quest for a relationship as many LGBTQI persons seem to be on especially at this time of year, the questions and commentary in chat rooms and social pages are ever increasing on the issue of profiling, persons offering information on themselves and seeking dating partners towards a relationship or at best some long term cohabitation that involves the proverbial “spirit tek” which includes obligation to offer sex often enough to keep or consumate the union .


The Emotions – What Do The Lonely Do at Christmas

The seemingly endless search for that lover in our life is on many folks minds these days, the scene seems filled with persons asking to be introduced to someone and of course stating the pre-requisites for meeting the individual in the first place.

  • Are we too pre-occupied with this Mills and Boon or Harlequin romance typed lover perfect for all our human intercative wants that we fail in the pusuit to find such?
  • Are we blocking our own progress in finding this “perfect one” by insisting too much on what we wish to have and ignoring the realities that we may never in our lifetime find that one?
  • Are we prepared to avoid consumating the much sought after union with sexual intercourse as most persons do thus not really knowing the person we wish to cohabit with for the rest of our lives just living for the fun, nothing more?
  • Are we so desperate to find that person to match the heterosexual construct of intimacy and relationships in order to “fit in?”
  • Why do we go for sex more to justify that we are worthy to be intimate with someone or we do we seem to confuse romance and intimacy with sex?

Many persons nowadays are trapped in some way as hinted in one or more of the questions above, the frustration is seems even more glaring when it comes to the seasons such as Christmas where companionship needs seem to rise ever so high for romance and love. This search sometimes lead to depression for some folks and probably reckless and promiscuous sexual behaviour in the search for solace.

The inability for some folks too to accept people as people without restrictions and rigid guidelines to enter into a friendship hinders one as stated before thus advancing the feeling on loneliness and self worth more and more to desperation I fear.

With the absence of proper counseling services for LGBTQI persons at this time of year I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw serious psychological fallout as happened some years ago when a friend of mine attempted suicide after his parents divorced earlier in that year then his lover of four years left him for another man. Death maybe not present in many of the seekers minds but certainly loneliness as many of us do not know how to be alone sometimes and require a person present to fulfill us as we feel empty.

This is not tosay we must not have ideals about who we want as a partner sure one can be discriminating in a sense but if we become more accepting of each other and not let outside influences cloud our judgement sometimes we may overcome the blockages we place on urselves in the search for love.

Why not let love come to you? but as we are socialized in Jamaica as “spirit tek” most persons overall in so called relationships are not in love come to think of it and more just because it’s convenient to live together and sex is the icing on the cake, then no wonder people cheat as boredom sets in with the existing partner I fear. Don’t get me wrong the issue of seeking the perfect one is not relegated to LGBTQI people but we will stick to us for now for purposes of this post.

There aren’t any relationship skills interventions present anywhere here at this time which bothers me a bit, to find a professional these days costs and arm and a leg as much as $JA8,000.00 a session which most cannot afford, most of them from what I have gleaned do not go into same sex intimacy and relationship issues so maybe what one has to probably do is enter these sessions addressing ones partner as a member of the opposite sex and as we are not a reading population books won’t help most as the material may be too heavy for one to digest given the search is more important than reviewing the information that will assist.

What to do in the meantime?

The conversations in the chat rooms and social networks help some as they may deflect the descent into depression or senseless decision for sex as a distraction, the hookups ting don mek it. Hopping from bed to bed to avoid ones own struggle with loneliness doesn’t help.

Talk talk talk I say this is one time where it may just help someone.

Peace and tolerance

H

J-Flag Gets meeting with the Pegasus ………… priorities please!!!

From the desk of Dane Lewis

JFLAG’s Executive Director

(November 25, 2010) J-FLAG was invited to a meeting with the General Manager, Hotel Manager and the Director of Sales and Marketing of The Jamaica Pegasus. This meeting was called in response to the issue of J-FLAG being denied the rental of meeting space on November 18.

In sifting through the issues, Eldon Bremmer, the General Manger stated that the reservation had in fact come to his attention and that he knew that access was being denied. He also stated that the decision was based on an unfortunate experience from a private party with members of the community.

The Management admitted that they handled the situation badly and recognised that a different approach was needed to address any concerns they had.

There was an error in judgment and action but this was not out of any mal-intent. They are committed to facilitating engagement with J-FLAG and have agreed on some ways forward. It was underscored by the management that J-FLAG would not in the future be prevented from booking the facilities.

The General Manager has promised to respond to us in writing, copying the partners indicated in our correspondence. We look forward to receiving same and sharing this with you if you do not receive it directly.

Sincerely,
Dane Lewis
Executive Director
Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays – J-FLAG
Tel/ Fax: (876)978-8988
Website: http://www.jflag.org
email: admin@jflag.org

ENDS

Pink Report Jamaica carried the piece as “Pegasus Bows JFLAG issues Letter”

My notes:

Get Equal vs HRC or vice versa in the USA? …… so it looks here as well in a manner of speaking.

It’s seems to be from the outside all about friends in the business impressing and praising each other than really getting down to business of working towards better solutions for the community at large, our situation here is just like a Human Rights Campaign vs The Get Equal group or vice versa in the United States with the war of words where the HRC is accused of hugging up politicians and more interested in  paper matters and cocktail parties with all the perks and Presidential access more than the real LGBTQI issues on the ground that require attention while the HRC defends its position by saying it’s doing the right thing for the community in the face of problems on the ground, problems show up and reveal the true nature of the situation but it is glossed or kept quiet to avoid embarrassment. The impression is they exist to defend the President and not gay people.

See more on the HRC/Get Equal issues with US gay rights and DADT here: http://www.inthelifetv.org/html/episodes/121.html

“………serving in the suites of power while the streets of activism are getting tired and fed up?

Again we see the zeal at which things are done by JFLAG on matters of this nature while lives are still yet displaced, well who cares? it was more important to go after a hotel that didn’t take their business by which case they have a right not to take business even if it looks discriminatory, so what? choices are out there, leave them and their ignorance & hypocrisy. We can’t force persons or businesses to accept us or our money they also have a right to choose, it’s their loss all we need to do is put the Pink Dollar where it is accepted.

Be it resolved I am not against the J but it’s how they do business fortunately I have some inside knowledge having volunteered and worked there for over the life of the group until 2009 and having been a victim of homophobia and going through a prejudicial justice system in 1996 I understand all too well some of the issues involved. As we seh inna yard “he who feels it knows it”

There are many other properties that offer just as good amenities for the business client searching for space for meetings, it’s just beyond me how we, Yes I say we, as advocates (sadly I am still perceived to be associated with the group after leaving, scarred eh? lol) find time for small things when the lives interrupted stay interrupted. This reminds me of how the office space of the J was more important than keeping a homeless shelter opened so they moved into it. Interpret my comments as beef or whatever the bigger picture is what counts in my book, for e,g. for the past weeks we have a section of the community in literal panic and still in that frame of mind as more unconfirmed bad news of violence against women comes forth even in the face of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, though unconfirmed the worry amongst some persons is real and evidenced in comments and phone calls and conversations among peers and friends some persons have opted to literally become hermits in their own homes and are seeking to relocate from certain areas where a series of awful incidents against women in general have been happening. But our advocates choose to go after a rich hotel as that is more important. The other really disappointing thing about happenings in general is that no one is calling the flaws out. The establishment if you will, then we complain to the rest of the world of stigma and discrimination at all levels when here we are selectively going through with contempt for persons who are either not as educated or from lower socio economic classes.

We have a group that clearly doesn’t represent the bigger picture and views of the increasing communities it serves.

SAD indeed.

Personal interventions are good but not nearly enough …. 13yo structure not that good either.

One would have expected JFLAG given its access to resources and funds however small would have been doing the things myself and a growing number of community members are pointing out, individual interventions are limited as we don’t have the skills (social) and funds etc to do what is really needed but it helps in a small way. We must not rest until the lives who really need the interventions and representations are happening the growing frustration in sections of the community when you look to the very group that is to serve as a light for everyone is real, for too long programmatic fluff and political correctness seems far more important than real work on the ground. Some do what and when they can but what’s the point of having millions of dollars in funding coming to one official organization for 13 years plus only for it to almost stop at the payroll and expense departments with little trickling to programs and social services for the community with successive persons beating their chests, most of whom now reside overseas leaving us to face the music.

An ever-increasing number of unruly homeless and nomadic MSMs, a worried, dazed and confused lesbian and bisexual community and a disillusioned transgendered set of persons and a refusal by the J to listen to all views contending even dissenting voices is not a good image for an advocacy group on the ground but the problem is these issues are glossed over with fanciful letters and press releases to look good to an ignorant international community who readily believe based what they have been fed or made to understand all these years.

The moment JFLAG or any more formally arranged structure develops meaningful interventions and conversations towards solving the real problems affecting LGBTQI people I am all ears and hands and make myself available no matter how small, we have to do something to curve where sections of the community is heading.

As we say in Jamaica … it look sticky.

Peace and tolerance

H

View JFLAG’s letter to the Pegasus HERE

Ragashanti contributing to growing public lesbophobia? part 2

In part one of this look at the re-birthed radio phenomenon Ragashanti and his tambourine crew whose real name is Dr. Kingsley Stewart (Anthropologist) I examined briefly the series of written and radio commentary directed towards the lesbian community in the name of jest.

See PART 1 from GLBTQ Jamaica on blogger (excerpted)

“There are real concerns that his continued push with these sensationalized stories are having an impact in the recent rise of incidents towards lesbians ranging from forced evictions to alleged corrective typed rape.

In recent months there has been a sharp rise in serious concerns by members of the lesbian and bisexual women communities about the path being taken by radio personality Ragashanti and his tambourine crew on his new home atNationwide Radio. This is coming on the back drop of several unconfirmed reports of several cases of rape and sexual abuse including corrective type incidences across the country with two suspected murders. Please bear in mind the incidents have not been confirmed to be outrightly lesbophobic but the word on the street just by observation suggests people are talking about lesbian lifestyles more disparagingly in a long time.
Usually in Jamaica lesbians never experienced such a backlash either on the airwaves or otherwise and as Ragashanti is widely listened to between 1pm – 5pm following the controversial cut from Newstalk 93 FM where he was unceremoniously booted. There was a problem with the content of the program he hosted there at the time but he has found a place at his original home at Nationwide.”
Here is another slew of innuendos and sensationalism from Ragashanti’s suss column as appearing today:
Crazy big up to mi tambareen fambily an mi mix-up an Blenda massive. Mi seh di lesbian mix-up topic did shot like wow! All now unu jus a rinse di tings dem. Yow, a whole heap a lesbians deh a Jamaica! Fi real!

Aywayz, mek mi shot dem lesbian mix-up ya weh fahwud inna mi inbox.

Lesbian Wifey an Matey War

“Raga, big up uself! Dis is Lady Mizterius. Mi wah big up di lesbian gyal weh dust har matee wen d woman carry di two a dem go a waan club ova Portmore. Wen d wifee hear a matee tune bus she get up an gi d gyal sum rahtid lick! A police escort dem outta di club.”

Mad! Noooo sah! A how da matey deh brite suh? How shi fi a walk out like shi a wife wen di wife stan up right deh wid har? Mi seh wen nuff a dem hear Liquid song ‘Wifey walk out an Matey stan up’, nuff a dem get too hype. An see it deh now, di wife beat her out. A weak! An mi can jus imagine how it mussi sweet di lesbian weh carry di two a dem go a di club. Draaaamerrr! Nuff a dem nuh waah banana again, a jus straight cho-cho dem a pree!! Raaaaeeeeee!

Montego Bay Lesbian Drama

“Hey Raga. I am from Montego Bay and I used to attend a prominent school, where a lot of those kind a species attend (lesbians). However I was approached by one, who asked me what’s my flavour? I didn’t reply, I just walked away. Another day, my friend and I were sitting and just hanging out together. While talking to her I observed her telling someone to come to her, so I asked her who was she talking to? She replied and said, “nuh deh bwoy deh” so I ignored her reply and continued talking.

After we had finished talking and ready to go home, two girls approached us and then my friend said to me, “A deh bwoy deh did a call mi,” and I said to her, “Afta anno bwoy dat.” When the two girls came over, one of them started talking to my friend but she wasn’t answering, so the girl said to me ” my girl, mi friend like yuh enuh” so i said “who?” When I turned around it was her companion, so I replied to her saying “my girl, mi nuh lesbian!, mi straight!”. The girlstarted cursing and saying that no straight girl isn’t in Montego Bay. I was so upset with her so I looked at her and said ” if yuh kno wah good fi yuh, yuh come outa mi face” and I walked away.”

How di baxside shi fi a say no straight girl nuh eena MoBay? Shi BROIITE eeeh! A wa tek har? Mi know nuff straight woman fram Bay. But that just speaks to her attitude that she should have lesbian access to all women. She’s quite likely the type of lesbian who wants respect and justice as a lesbian, but do not want to give heterosexual women the same. Thankfully, indications are that most lesbians are NOT like her, cause shi a luu wid dem pap dung talk deh. Watch yuh back an yuh front. DWL!

Wrenking Lesbian

Raga mi know this girl we use to go high school together. So mi buck har inna wah taxi and she ask mi wah mi name so mi tell har wa wrong name. Raga yuh can believe sey the gal say she wah mek sure sey mi reach home safe. The gal mek the taxi pass har house and come a mi yard. She all did a ask mi fi mi number so mi give har wah wrong number, cause mi nuh wah she hold mi dun inna the taxi. So everytime she see mi she a ball out the wrong name..lol Raga mi nuh kno why them always deh approach mi?

Mi a DWL wen yuh say yuh neva waan shi hol yuh dung inna di taxi! So wait deh yuh really tink shi woulda jus tek it right deh so inna di cab? Nooo sah!! Shi woulda cold fi do dat. Anywayz, mi really nuh know wa fi tell yuh is di reason why lesbians always a approach yuh. Is eida dem tink yuh have a gay vibe bout yuh, or yuh a propa-propa goodaz weh jus hot suh, or yuh come ova as smaddy weh weak an woulda easy fi overpower. But you fi careful an watch yuh back an yuh front too. LOL.”

ENDS

Reach Ragashanti at mixupraga@gmail.com or PO Box 5866, Liguanea PO, Kingston 6.

As I asked on the blogger edition post in part one is this ratings at any cost for Nationwide as the new kid on the radio block? and to think the owner of the station is known to be a tolerant public supporter in the discourse on LGBT issues as the station carries entries on the issues periodically but to also carry the almost if not covertly inciteful presentations by Raga the motive couldn’t be otherwise. Ragashanti I need not remind you was unceremoniously booted from his former home at NEWSTALK 93FM owned by the University of the West Indies where he, Raga complained of elitism causing the forced removal from their airwaves.

I am very concerned myself as the sisters are as the power and pull Ragashanti has now as his show grabs the most listener-ship between 1pm and 5pm out doing RJR’s Fluffy Diva, HOT 102FM’s Richie B and even veteran disc jock Barry G, the man who single-handedly shaped afternoon radio format as it is now. Impressionable teens and young adults listen intently to Ragashanti this may set the stage for a whole new thinking towards LGBTQI people and how we are treated in real terms although he stressed that his show is for entertainment purposes only.

Yes Jamaicans love suss and mixup but not everyone easily differentiate the two and knowing how thin the line of tolerance is versus anti gay sentiments it may be so easy to stir up opposition to LGBT lifestyles with the ever weird misconceptions about us. There are LGBT people who readily support the show ironically and defend Raga to the ground, Ragashanti himself seems hip on the latest language and culture of Yard gay life as well as he uses the effeminate tones intermittently on his show.

A second question that comes to mind is Ragashanti going off on an intellectual masturbatory trip given his anthropological discipline? if this is so then it’s a dangerous way to go about it.

UPDATE March 22, 2011
Ragashanti program has since been stopped by the Broadcasting Commission on the grounds of problematic statements going on air, there is now a debate on the role of the commission versus what is acceptable broadcasts and the morality police. Here are two articles on the matters:

Peace and tolerance

H

J-FLAG refused permission to host a meeting at The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel

Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays snubbed by The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston Jamaica.

Jamaica Pegasus on Knutsford Boulevard

On the 16th of November 2010, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) were refused permission to hold a meeting on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) issues at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. On the 11th of November a booking had been made by J-FLAG, with the aforementioned hotel, to host a meeting with other similar organisations and stakeholders with a view to examining the role of human rights in respect of the LGBTI community in Jamaica. J-FLAG is a human rights lobby group working towards a Jamaican society in which the human rights and equality of LGBTI persons are guaranteed.

The meeting was due to take place on the 18th of November, however on the 16th of  November Mr Dane Lewis, Executive Director of J-FLAG, received a phone call from the hotel Director of Sales and Marketing who explained that because of the nature of work carried out by J-FLAG, the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel was not willing to allow such an event to take place on its premises. In the past the Jamaica Pegasus has hosted different groups including LGBTI persons, however this refusal marks a change of policy with regard to hosting LGBTI persons and organisations.

This refusal by the management of Jamaica Pegasus Hotel to allow a meeting organised by J-FLAG to take place on their premises is discriminatory towards LGBTI people and organisations, and is linked to their legitimate work in the defence of human rights, in particular LGBTI rights. Front Line Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Canada another human rights and LGBTQI rights organization is concerned that this event highlights a broader undercurrent of intolerance and hostility within Jamaican society towards members of the LGBTI community.

This should not surprise anyone though we have seen refusals before by other hotels and possible meeting spots who are approached hence most times meetings are booked in other names such as Jamaica AIDS Support for LIFE albeit it’ s JFLAG’s mother organization anyway as it was formed due to the inability of JASL to handle the advocacy issues they were seeing in the early nineties coming to hand via their LGBT clients.

One wonders what the Pegasus Hotel would loose as I am sure the J wouldn’t allow any eventualities to cause a damper on their proceedings or is it due to the new Jamaican ownership as the hotel was sold by Government recently in order to shed some of the debt and expenses from government hands.

Could a disturbance on the property by some MSMs who were staying on the property earlier this year a factor? allegedly there was a private party that ended up in a fight where persons were asked to leave by the host.

Previous demonstrations by JFLAG across the street a factor?

Bearing in mind that most of JFLAG’s recent public agitations in 2010 were just across the street from the hotel that faces Emancipation Park (or penis park as is comically known due to the large nude statues to the north-east of the landmark by the fountain, could that be a factor?

Recent protest by Emancipation Park infront of The Pegasus

Do they fear that the J maybe planning a protest on their premises so in fear they (The Pegasus) refuse to do business

Sorry to hear of this JFLAG even though I criticize them heavily about some of their actions or lack thereof here right is right and wrong is wrong and THIS IS SOOOOOO WROONG. Frontline carried the story parts of which are excerpted in this post.

The Pegasus like any other business is free to decide who it chooses to do business with but on clear grounds of discrimination is totally wrong knowing fully well that other private uptown LGBTQI citizens use the restaurant, attend the Jazz offerings they have and support other goods and services offered and the accommodations which include overseas guests for the very meetings that JFLAG host elsewhere MAYBE A FULL BOYCOTT IS IN ORDER, I remember my days there booking international activists and speakers who arrive to meet with the J and other local groups and organizations.

But knowing how we are in Jamaica, A FULL BOYCOTT? that is not likely to happen as most will just brush it aside and say “it’s not affecting me” and continue to play the hypocrite and patronise them.

All these questions and suggestions out there one could get lost in the maze.

The criticisms and questions arise again of the J

Another side to this maybe why would a non profit want to use such an expensive property to host or conduct a meeting even if it is funded by a source? these are precisely some of the criticisms over the years from sections of the community towards JFLAG when there are inter and intra community needs and interventions that are urgently required or ought to be developed. The homelessness issues are still very much present with an ever unruly and younger population of MSMs in particular, the fact that we have male netball teams that needs just basic assistance to develop themselves and achieve the wonderful results they can just as years before, where recently they needed some financial help to travel overseas and virtually nothing came through for them, yet thousands of dollars are spent on elaborate meetings with no serious results that impact the grassroots activism that is required, then we have a group that says it’s for advocacy?

When if ever did JFLAG ever undertake to really look at Intersexuality or is it just saying the right words to look active? as for the transgendered question that too is a joke as recently on their finally renewed website the transgender tab has NO information under it and the old references and data have all been removed. The two main trans figures are languishing literally with no secure income or serious interest shown in them.

Who is really calling the shots at the J, when we see recent public agitations led by AIDSFREEWORLD Consultant and Attorney-at-Law Maurice Tomlinson who has put his life and reputation on the line with others seemingly working under his shadow to look as if somethings are being done. Smaller, cheaper, comparatively comfortable and less exposed properties are around to accommodate meetings, workshops and seminars as we used to do in the old days in other parts of Jamaica to avoid things like this from happening, some say it serves the J right upon hearing this rebuff news, but the J needs to consider where its financial and other priorities lie. To seem to be interested in elaborateness than activism does not auger well for the trust required from the communities THEY SAY THEY SERVE.

The long held perceptions in the LGBTQI community that certain groups and individuals are all for themselves is as real today as it was from times past, the J needs to break it by performing with serious and meaningful results.

GET OVER THE PROGRAMMATIC FLUFF PLEASE and get down to work, the disconnect sections of the community feels is too real to ignore anymore.

Let’s see what they are going to do now, hope not some press release again as they have perfected that to the letter.

Peace and tolerance

H

UPDATE November 24, 2010

In a post on Pink Report Jamaica JFLAG is set to launch a boycott of sorts on the hotel by diverting business from other rights groups to host or have meetings there. While energy is wasted on that there are real issues on the ground that need looking at I suggest have the meetings elsewhere and ignore the Pegasus we have several other hotels that are juts as nice as it seems nice hotels and fancy meetings are more important than some work for the community. Here we continue again. Agree or disagree.

See the post on Pink Report Jamaica:

Gays Flex Muscle:J-FLAG targets Pegasus for Possible Boycott

 

Human Rights Day 2010 – December 10th theme: “Human rights defenders who act to end discrimination.”

December 10th marks the 62nd anniversary of the acceptance by the UN General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UNHR Site

OHCHR header

The theme for Human Rights Day 10 December 2010 is human rights defenders who act to end discrimination.

Human rights defenders acting against discrimination, often at great personal risk to both themselves and their families, are being recognized and acclaimed on this day.

Human rights defenders speak out against abuse and violations including discrimination, exclusion, oppression and violence. They advocate justice and seek to protect the victims of human rights violations. They demand accountability for perpetrators and transparency in government action. In so doing, they are often putting at risk their own safety, and that of their families.

Some human rights defenders are famous, but most are not. They are active in every part of the world, working alone and in groups, in local communities, in national politics and internationally.

Human Rights Day 2010 will highlight and promote the achievements of human rights defenders and it will again emphasize the primary role Governments must play in enabling and protecting their role. The Day is also intended to inspire a new generation of defenders to speak up and take action to end discrimination in all of its forms whenever and wherever it is manifested.

The story does not end after 10 December 2010. The focus on the work of human rights defenders will continue through all of 2011.

Meanwhile from AMNESTY

 

Objective:
Celebrate Human Rights Day by using the proven tool of writing letters to save lives.

Each year hundreds of thousands of people across the world mark International Human Rights Day on December 10 by taking part in Amnesty International’s Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon – the world’s largest letter writing event. We write letters to demand that the rights of individuals are respected, protected and fulfilled. In doing so, we show solidarity with those suffering human rights abuses and work to bring about real change in people’s lives.

How to Get Involved:

It’s easy! Follow these 5 simple steps to success:

1. SIGN UP to Write for Rights! Participate as an individual, or host an event and invite friends, family, and members of your community to join the call for human rights. Check out our Write for Rights map to find an event near you.

2. SPREAD THE WORD! Tell everyone that you plan to Write for Rights by sending an email or posting on Facebook or Twitter.

3. Get your RESOURCES. Everything you need to participate in Write for Rights is now available, including case summaries, sample letters, promotional materials, and helpful tips for holding a successful Write for Rights event. If you’d like hard copies of these items or have questions, email us: writeathon@aiusa.org.

4. WRITE and MAIL your letters. (December 4-12 are the key dates, but feel free to start earlier or later.)

5. TELL US HOW IT WENT! We want to hear from you: did you meet your letter pledge goal? Do you have great ideas on how we can make next year’s Write for Rights even better? Be sure to complete the very brief online evaluation form or send us an email: writeathon@aiusa.org.

This year, we will select winners in the following categories, who will be mailed a grab bag of special Amnesty prizes:
• Best picture of a Write for Rights activity
• Most letters sent
• Largest Write for Rights event
• Most unique location of a Write for Rights activity

Discordant HIV Levels in the Brain and Blood Are More Common Than Expected says US study

Source

Up to 10 percent of people on antiretroviral (ARV) therapy have active HIV replication in the brain and spinal fluid despite having undetectable HIV levels in the blood, according to a study published online November 4 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. This could explain why low-level inflammation and cognitive decline persist in people being successfully treated with HIV drugs. It may also have implications for treatment recommendations and the ongoing study of different treatment strategies.
A number of studies in recent years have documented two key findings about HIV in the brains of people taking ARVs. First, that HIV reproduction in the brain and central spinal fluid (CSF) is sometimes different from what occurs in the blood; and second, that immune inflammation and cognitive decline are frequently detected in people who otherwise have very good control of their HIV on ARV therapy.

Another key factor that some researchers believe can significantly affect HIV’s activity in the brain and CSF is the ability of individual drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier. Some ARVs cross easily, while others have poor penetration into these compartments.

In an effort to explore the interaction of these three factors—differences in viral replication in blood and brain, signs of immune inflammation, and the brain penetration potential of a person’s regimen—Arvid Edén, MD, from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, in Sweden, and his colleagues examined blood and CSF samples from 69 HIV-positive people taking ARV therapy.

The blood and brain samples were taken between 2002 and 2010. To be included in the study, in which CSF levels were obtained by a lumbar puncture, a person needed to have been on ARVs for at least six months and to have had undetectable HIV levels in the blood for at least three months.

All of the people were taking either Sustiva (efavirenz), Norvir (ritonavir)-boosted Reyataz (atazanavir) or Kaletra (ritonavir plus lopinavir). These drugs were combined with either Viread (tenofovir), Ziagen (abacavir) or Retrovir (zidovudine), plus either Emtriva (emtricitabine) or Epivir (lamivudine).

Edén and his colleagues found that 10 percent of the participants had detectable HIV levels in CSF, many more than they expected. When the team compared the characteristics of those with measurable virus in CSF with those who did not have measurable virus in CSF, they found that people with measurable CSF levels were more likely to have been on ARVs longer, to have had periodic increases in HIV in the blood (blips), and to have taken a treatment interruption.

Edén’s team also found that people with measurable CSF HIV levels were more likely to have high levels of brain inflammation, as determined by measuring neopterin levels.

The makeup of the ARV regimen was not statistically meaningful in regards to discordant viral load responses in the blood and brain. However, there was a trend toward an increased risk of HIV replication in the brains of those who took either Viread or Ziagen compared with those who took Retrovir.

Interestingly, a new method of calculating the likelihood of good ARV control of HIV in the brain, called the central nervous system penetration effectiveness (CPE) rank, was not a good predictor of neither discordant blood and brain HIV levels nor the likelihood of brain inflammation.

Though the brain penetration of the regimens did not significantly affect the likelihood of having discordant HIV levels in the blood and brain, other studies have found that it does. In an accompanying editorial, David Clifford, MD, from Washington University in St. Louis, said this issue needs critical attention, as the most commonly used ARVs today often have only minimal to moderate brain penetration. “If these findings are replicated by others, suggesting 10 percent failure rate of current therapy in the critical CNS compartment, this would be a serious shortcoming for present therapy,” he warned.

“This topic also touches on the interaction of HIV with aging, particularly as it affects the brain and cognitive status,” he continued, noting that cognitive decline from HIV replication and activation could hasten or worsen age-related cognitive problems.

“If control of virus in the brain becomes increasingly difficult to maintain over time,” he concluded, “this implies that increasing neurologic symptoms associated with the virus might augment the cognitive decline of aging, resulting in much more serious late-life neurological issues for HIV-infected patients.”

Ultimately, both doctors, along with Edén’s colleagues, emphasize that this is a very important area of exploration that demands larger studies going forward.

See also:

“Cerebrospinal fluid”