LGBT History Month: Allies – Posthumous Recognition ’11 Part 1

In remembering some of the Allies of the community and outside the community as well folks we lost in this year and times before, here are two individuals who were fearless in their own right and contributed much over time in their various forms. Unfortunately one Paul Bailey was murdered earlier this year in St. Ann under strange circumstances and the case is yet to be properly solved as a trial has commenced with the suspects, he will be remembered for his ability to galvanize the members of the MSM communities outside of Kingston for advocacy and HIV/AIDS work especially on behalf of a functioning Jamaica AIDS Support at the time. He was also a party promoter occasionally as he would host events at his homes or at selected venues in that part of the country. His surprise death has still a chilling effect on some who were close to him who were not expecting this shocking news. On the  night April 15th the news quickly made the rounds in the community as it became apparent, he was said to have had multiple stab wounds also, last reported as seven and his throat slashed. The North Coast Times as strange circumstances at the time but it was surmised as a meeting gone bad with himself and a possible hookup.

Rest In Peace Paul as in your own way you have served us well.

 

In loving memory of my dear beloved friend & brother, who departed this world a decade ago today. Donald, when u left we lost an angel, you were the most genuine, honest, loving, caring being I’d ever known, and im honoured to have been able to call u my friend. You always made us laugh, miss that goofy infectous laugh of yours, id give anything to hear u laugh just one more time. Your candle burnt out way too soon, but your memories never will. Love and miss you loads D, RIP my friend. As penned by a close friend of his.

DONALD STANFORD THOMPSON
Sunrise 17/10/72 – Sunset 13/04/01

Party promoter, a willing helper to those in trouble, he assisted greatly at a moment’s notice sometimes those who were homeless or displaced in the early nineties long before a JFLAG or other such organizations were formed to deal with the issues. He was also an avid experimenter of cross dressing and dabbled in the art form for a while before his death on Good Friday morning of Aprl 2001. He suffered greatly at the hands of complications due to HIV/AIDS long before the new generations of anti retro-viral therapy and was an integral part of my own legal troubles and displacement in 1996 when he offered help and a roof as I sorted out my life then, he would often attend my court dates in the early parts of my time in Kingston and introduced me to Brian Williamson formally as a DJ as then I was spinning in the mainstream.  Many other persons gay and non gay can attest to Donald’s hand in their lives though seemingly small but important when one reflects on the deeds of kindness.

 

Micheal Melbourne, long time friend, ally to the community, philanthropist, art dealer, club owner/manager and an activist in his own right, was taken from us in October 14 2001 to be precise brutally by assailants in his home. He was known as the bubbly manager of the then Entourage LGBT nightclub in Kingston as owned and operated by late activist Brian Williamson who was also  murdered in 2004, a fate that seems to follow open hearted persons in the community and it begs the question were they duped into scenarios and towards persons with ulterior motives that lead to their own demise?

Michael was also known for his contributions financially and otherwise to non governmental organizations and was very active during the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Jamaica.

Remembering, if only briefly contributions from unsung individuals.

http://soundcloud.com/glbtqja5/lgbt-hist

here is an older audio post LGBT History Month Jamaica I had put together on some of the happenings gone by, if you know of any important dates I might have overlooked please email: lgbtevent@gmail.com

Peace and tolerance

H

Foreign aid for African countries with anti-gay rights records to be slashed, pledges David Cameron

By DANIEL MARTIN of the Daily Mail

David Cameron has pledged to slash aid to African countries with poor records on homosexual rights.

The Prime Minister will tell struggling nations they will receive funding ‘fines’ if persecution of gays continues.

The Government has already cut aid to Malawi by £19million after two gay men were sentenced to 14 years hard labour. The southern African nation also plans to bring in tough anti-lesbian laws.

Malawi has received £200million from Britain over the past three years.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell could also reduce aid to Uganda and Ghana unless they drop laws against gays.

Uganda, which is due to receive £70million in 2011, plans to punish homosexuality with the death penalty

The president of Ghana, which gets £36million a year, has promised to bring in measures to ‘check the menace of homosexuality’.

However, no mention has been made of cutting aid to Zimbabwe, which got £69million last year. Gays there still face persecution from security forces.

Jailed: Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were convicted of unnatural acts and gross indecency, and sentenced to 14 years hard labour

Jailed: Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were convicted of unnatural acts and gross indecency, and sentenced to 14 years hard labour

In May, Malawi’s first openly gay couple, Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were jailed for 14 years. They had been arrested after holding an engagement ceremony in December.

Just days ago, Mr Cameron told the Conservative Party conference that it was right to legalise gay marriage.

A spokesman for Mr Mitchell said: ‘The Government is committed to combating violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all circumstances, in this country and abroad. We take action where we have concerns.

‘We only provide aid directly to governments when we are satisfied that they share our commitments to reduce poverty and respect human rights.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2047254/David-Cameron-Foreign-aid-cut-anti-gay-countries.html#ixzz1aO4ZCu2E

ENDS

My two cents

But what will that do though in the long run if most states and including Jamaica outside of the region mentioned in the article have a strong beliefs or perception that homosexuality is an import and that actions such as this are forcing the hand of countries with “christian principles” and “high moral values” to capitulate to the powerful gay lobby from first world nations yet The Prime Minister David Cameron is not gay but could be viewed as a puppet in the scheme of this with the pressure coming and positions from the European Union side of things and other bodies such as the United Nations on sexual orientation.

Is forcing countries to comply the way to go?

Or hitting them economically?

I don’t think so, certainly other diplomatic methods can be employed but what about the notion that anti gay forces in the United States are in effect exporting homophobia and funding anti gay and religious fanaticism especially in parts of Africa in recent times. What does Mr. Cameron et al have to say or do about that?, these powerful backers behind such moves are said to be numerous and are some of the biggest companies and individuals allegedly. Will the UK also criticize those backers and demand they stop this kind of clandestine support or be made to stop? Can or will the UK Prime Minister stand up to the police man of the world and call it for what it is? Are we going to solve the issue of tolerance this way folks? I don’t think so, the hitting of the economic prosperity of these non compliant states as it were may only serve to bring more harm to the voices and populations on the ground who are made to pay the price as involuntary martyrs for this kind of pressure.

While I can understand the need for rights and recognition to be extended to the common man this incessant push to seemingly impose it on the rest of the problematic states is unjustified for now, I say more dialogue bearing in mind also other countries who may have similar anti gay positions and laws with dire societal consequences are watching this and may feel justified in tacitly supporting homophobic acts even more so whilst becoming hardlined on budging from their no ease on buggery positions. We saw the recent comments but the Antiguan and Barbudan Attorney General on the law there on the strength of a legal challenge mounted by a group in Belize named UNIBAM

This debate has no end soon so let us see.

Peace and tolerance

H