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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peace and tolerance