No Let-Up On Gays (Gleaner Letter 05.04.11)

So we see the letter writing campaign has recommenced from the standpoint of Maurice Tonlinson’s agitations problem is why isn’t JFLAG itself doing the writing albeit the same Gleaner newspaper in a recent editorial related to the passing of the Charter of Rights and the exclusion of recognition and coverage to same sex attracted individuals.

Mr. Lewis’s outing in a sense has made him a recognizable voice now for issues on the lgbt front worse yet with his elevation to Executive Director of JFLAG a post that never existed before as he was the Programs Manager and spokesperson under the pseudonym Jason McFarlane.

One hopes it’s not Maurice alone that will be left to write openly to the newspapers, as for me my work on the ground is far too delicate to be outed again at this time (was outed before in 1996)  and the links I have made at those levels have to be delicately managed and kept in check which also means identity protection for now.

As for the two incidents referred to in the letter I recently became aware of them and have been gathering information on them as best as possible.

Here is the latest letter from Maurice:


I must commend The Gleaner for its editorial in last Friday’s edition, which called for an end to discrimination against gays.

However, I take issue with one suggestion in the editorial – that Jamaican homophobia is receding. There is absolutely no evidence for that assertion. In fact, the attacks against gays and lesbians in Jamaica are as virulent as ever.

By way of illustration, in mid-March, there were three reported attacks against gays in Montego Bay, one of which involved a student at a teachers’ college being chased by a group of men with a length of pipe.

In another attack, it is reported that a young man was chased from Barnett Street and beaten and is now nursing wounds at the Cornwall Regional Hospital. Neither of these individuals reported their attacks to the police for fear of being revictimised.

Jamaican homophobia continues to damage lives and embarrass us internationally.

I am, etc.,


Montego Bay


Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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