International Day of Action against Jamaica’s Buggery Law

also see from Gay Jamaica Watch: Independence Skewed & Still No Justice at 52 and Parliament seeks submissions for sexual offences bills

jamaica protest nyc

Originally prepared by Melanie Nathan

NEW YORK – On the 52nd anniversary of Jamaica’s independence from the United Kingdom, human rights activists renew their calls for the repeal of that country’s buggery law, which effectively criminalizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) life.  Violation of the colonial-era law carries a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment with hard labor.  However, the consequences reverberate throughout Jamaican society, helping to fuel widespread anti-LGBT violence.

The U.S. Department of State, the Organization of American States, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and Amnesty International have condemned the history of violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals in Jamaica and called for repeal of the buggery law.

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has failed to act to repeal the law despite indications during her 2011 campaign that she would work with the LGBT community.  Since then, activists have filed two suits against the law.

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In June, thousands of Jamaicans rallied in support of keeping the law and against the “homosexual agenda” after the government had been reportedly discussing the possibility of repeal.  Few voices openly favoring repeal have been heard within Jamaica.

Several activists at today’s protest have either been forced to flee to Jamaica or have family and friends under threat there.  Dwayne Brown, founder of Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand, said, “From the safety of our adopted sanctuary countries, we demand an end to the grave injustices perpetrated against our LGBT brothers and sisters.  Every day, they must fight for their lives.”

“Jamaica’s ‘Emancipendence’ celebration is an appropriate time to reflect on the realization of the dream of inclusion captured in our motto ‘Out of Many One People,’” stated Maurice Tomlinson, a prominent human rights lawyer forced to flee Jamaica.  “We are standing today, as Jamaicans in the Diaspora along with our allies, to affirm that ALL Jamaicans are citizens and deserve the full rights of our citizenship.”

Jason Latty, President of the Caribbean Alliance for Equality, said, “It is imperative for the survival and vitality of the Jamaican people that we move swiftly to repeal the buggery law.  My organization is outraged about the increasing acts of terror directed against LGBT Jamaicans.  A nation that does not respect the life and dignity of its people is a nation on the decline.”

Edwin Sesange, Director of the Out and Proud Diamond Group, stated, “This is the time for Jamaica to practice love for all.  The buggery law should be scrapped immediately before more lives are lost.  The government of Jamaica and its citizens should work towards achieving equality and justice for all its citizens, including LGBTI people.”Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.35.25 PM

“In Jamaica, people masquerading under the guise of ‘religious’ leaders have carried the banner for hatred and violence directed against LGBTI people,” said Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of New York and Executive Director of the Global Justice Institute.  “Ending the buggery law will help Jamaica celebrate the diversity of God’s creation and honor the value, dignity, and worth of all life.”

“We plan to hold internationally coordinated protests every Independence Day until all Jamaicans can be considered free at last,” concluded Dwayne Brown.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.23.45 PMProtests were also held in London- attended by Edwin Sesange, Director of the Out and Proud Diamond Group.

ENDS

Question is are some of the cases being put forward as homophobic actually are?

Crisis communication is so important but one had to wonder what is the use of such protest when we are not sure if the politicians are being reached in private deliberations with some effect as I am sure the folks on the other sides are also using diplomatic pressure to bear as well.

This protest also seems to be going against the JFLAG turn on the call for a full repeal instead to a more sensible middle road of decriminalization seeing that rape is not covered under the present structure. But as usual the late in the day turn by the goodly J has gone unheard in the noise following the June 29th antigay protests by religious groups.

see this post on the JFLAG change in position: JFLAG Clarifies its Agenda

(their actual position actually changed in 2012)

The narrative for antigay groups such as the recently formed Jamaica CAUSE and Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship or Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society is a full repeal and that is what they are campaigning on via public advocacy, so what are Maurice Tomlinson et al saying to the world that we want to continue a fight unclear as to what we actually want or is this another image suring tactic disguised as protest for rights? We need to be credible in these things and stop the fiddling around.

The aims of the struggle has to be specific and not one group saying one thing or going in one direction while others are on a frolic of their own. As for the quoted sections by the author the buggery law does not in effect criminalizes LGBT life as she puts it but an act as carried out by some gay, bisexual and even heterosexual persons, this vagueness as well in the public advocacy and foreign support though welcomed sometimes just seek to could the thrust and plant all other kinds of ideas in the minds of the public including anti gay voices.

Peace and tolerance

H

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Reverend Al Miller’s own moral conflict of interest & anti gay campaign

Reverend Al Miller’s own conflict of interest & anti gay campaign

Rev Al Miller a UWI campus demonstration

Has no moral authority as he is still tainted by two matters he is embroiled in. The back and forth in as far as moral authority to condemn or judge has been noted on this blog before via:

CHURCH STANDS RESOLUTE AGAINST BUGGERY BACKERS SAYS AL MILLER ………… LOVE MARCH MOVEMENT LACKS MORAL COMPASS SAYS LGBT VOICE

Secularism, Humanism and Atheism have also helped to cloud the local LGBT debate as I warned about in 2012/3; go HERE

Talk about conflict of interest, shaky integrity and selective morals as Reverend Al Miller has no moral authority to speak to any issue of right or wrong and interestingly homosexuality at that in my view at this time as his own actions that were in heard in court regarding the aiding of a fugitive in Christopher “Dudus” Coke after the authorities moved in on his so called empire in West Kingston in 2010 and he went into hiding only to be caught in the company of the said Reverend Miller in his car using a method of expression and entertainment for drag effeminate culture and transgender women in terms of cross dressing.  He has even gone as far as to rebuff comments of his continued role at Fellowship Tabernacle Church which he pastors in the aftermath where he claimed he would have done the deception of bypassing local police again in assisting Coke. See MORE HERE on that

Coke was dressed in a wig, glasses, light makeup and a dress with reported high heels shoes as the photographs that circulated after the entrapment made clear much to the amusement of the public from some time after and the questions began to fly as to the reasons why a pastor would aid this method of obvious perpetrated deception and in such a public fashion. It seems there are too many conflicts of interest on all sides here now engaged in a shouting match or drawn daggers over the Professor Brendan Bain sacking by the University of the West Indies from a project they managed called CHART as part of the HIV prevention strategy for CARICOM/PANCAP Pan Caribbean AIDS Partnership after the professor gave “expert” testimony in a case involving a gay man in Belize challenging the Buggery legislation there some two years ago.

Previously one of the Jamaican LGBT activist based in New York who has led protests in that state of the US has come into some fire as his delinquency in servicing a student loan prior to his departure was made public as his name and photo appeared in a full page ad of delinquent borrowers earlier this month which has made him a target on sections of social media for ridicule and mistrust and discredit as persons commented that he has no authority to speak or demand rights as his own lack of civil and personal responsibility is tainted thus disqualifying him for demand for any correctness. See more HERE

How is it on one hand Reverend Miller opposes most publicly the so called ills of the land as he describes them on his Word Power show on television while having two most public charges dogging him? His short absence from the aforementioned show and subsequent return may make some persons feel he is cleared but those who have been paying attention and are cognisant of ethical principles are not fooled by this public relations faux pas and why has the other so called “Purity” groups such as the LCF (headed previously by Shirley Richards) and the JCHS (headed by Dr Wayne West) have not called him out or disassociated themselves from him until he is in the clear? Coke was wearing a wig at the time of the nabbing as the Reverend was said to be helping Coke to get passed the local security to a foreign power that being the United States Embassy in a bid to escape the supposed shoot first ask question mentality of the local police used an excuse when confronted, the other matter that has baffled me to this day is the missing gun case where it was reported the Reverend left his firearm in his vehicles and went to pick some mangoes and upon his return his gun just went missing after which it was reported to the authorities and he was charged for not properly securing his weapon and has been in and out of court since.

These two major infractions apart from his outlandish calls that homosexuality is abnormal, reparative therapy is a cure and the Buggery Law must remain on the books makes him unfit to speak until he has cleared his name especially of the Coke matter as to why was he helping a fugitive to escape the law of the land yet it is the same principle of obeying or keeping the laws of the land of which he professes to speak and seek attention to himself. He has been at this struggle at the very stage from the parliamentary submission in 1998 by JFLAG (when they meant something) when he appeared with the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowhip’s Shirley Richards, the Charter of Rights Debate during it on again off again twenty plus years run before passage in 2009/10, abortion debates in and out of the houses of parliament and professes to use psychological references in addressing homosexuality with some authority without referencing any expert referral, study or position paper to do so. I find that ethics, integrity and indeed moral responsibility are dying forms of evidence to back credibility in public advocacy and here we have so much more evidence of those missing pieces which leaves me to wonder if we can use the same moral nihilism criticism levelled at the LGBT lobby overall by anti gay activist Dr Wayne West of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS.

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Reverend Miller must recluse himself from any outrage as it were until his name and reputation are cleared just as how these church folk make demands of conflicted politicians and public persons when they err and rightfully so.

I find hypocrisy and a feeling that persons are not tracking these valuable tenets for public life or advocacy so persons depend on the nine day wonder mentality we tend to have on matters on interest in the news constant recurrences. The same declining values in a sense as complained about by the church seems to have also affected the very loudest voices of the same group, we saw said hypocrisy play out with the call for tolerance by the former Prime Minister P. J. Patterson days go in light of the Bain matter I find that politicians tend to be so clear on values when outside of state power as also evidenced in Bruce Golding labour day opinion piece in the Gleaner fear mongering on gay marriage which he invented as a reason to deny rights in the Charter of Rights debate in 2009/10 to which the present PM sided with him as a matter of convenience and or pandering to religious groups as oppositions seem to always do, only weeks ago the JLP called for a referendum on buggery echoing a call from side protesting religious groups. Where was PJ Patterson when he was PM over the 16 of the 18 year run the PNP had in power when his own sexuality was brought under scrutiny and he demanded they stop as he was not gay.

See: Former Prime Minister PJ Patterson’s call for tolerance not genuine & sheer hypocrisy

In conclusion Reverend Al Miller is conflicted and cannot be seen as a credible voice in opposition to any moral matter until he clears his name likewise any LGBT activists also who are or seem tainted. The Jamaica Council of Churches, JCC stance in part is as follows “The church affirms its pastoral role and so appeals to the church as well as the wider religious community not to speak or act in ways that ostracise or incite violence or any other treatment of indignity towards persons who are homosexual as they too bearers of the image of God and for whom Christ died”

MUST SEE previous post:

REV AL MILLER SAYS GAY LOBBY IS USING THE GUISE OF TOLERANCE TO GET THE NATION TO ACCEPT THE “GAY LIFESTYLE”

and

Peace and tolerance

H

DSM-5 Falls Short on gender dysphoria revision, ICD 11 Update

image from GIRESUK (other images added as a visual aids for non experts on transgender issues understanding)

The following are aspects of the a presentation by a leading transgender and Gender Dysphoria Reform advocate, it is a summary by Kelly Winters Ph. D of recent changes to gender related diagnostic categories in the DSM-5, published last month by the American Psychiatric Association, and proposed changes for the ICD-11, scheduled for publication in 2015 by the World Health Organization.  It is based on proposed revisions to the ICD-11 presented by Drs. Geoffrey Reed, Peggy Cohen-Kettenis and Richard Krueger at the National Transgender Health Summit in Oakland last month and on discussions at the Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE) Civil Society Expert Working Group in Buenos Aires last April.

There are two primary issues in medical diagnostic policy for trans people. The first is harmful stigma and false stereotyping of mental defectiveness and sexual deviance, that was perpetuated by the former categories of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and Transvestic Fetishism (TF) in the DSM-IV-TR. The second is access to medically necessary hormonal and/or surgical transition care, for those trans and transsexual people who need them. The latter requires some kind of diagnostic coding, but coding that is congruent with medical transition care, not contradictory to it. I have long felt that these two issues must be addressed together –not one at the expense of the other, or to benefit part of the trans community at the expense of harming another.

also see from my sister blogs:  Being Transgender Is No Longer A Mental Disorder ?…………… and Gender Dysphoria Diagnosis to be Moved Out of Sexual Disorders Chapter of DSM-5 ……. The “D” Switcharoo? plus more HERE

The DSM-5 Falls Short, Despite Some Significant Improvements

The new revisions for the Gender Dysphoria diagnosis in the DSM-5 are mostly positive. However they do not go nearly far enough. The change in title from Gender Identity Disorder (intended by its authors to mean “disordered” gender identity) to Gender Dysphoria (from a Greek root for distress) is a significant step forward. It represents a historic shift from  gender identities that differ from birth assignment to distress with gender assignment and associated sex characteristics as the focus of the problem to be treated. This message is reinforced by the August 2012 Public Policy Statement from the American Psychiatric Association, affirming the medical necessity of hormonal and/or surgical transition care. In another positive change, the Gender Dysphoria category has been moved from the Sexual Disorders chapter of the DSM to a new chapter of its own. Non-binary queer-spectrum identities and expression are now acknowledged in the diagnostic criteria, and the APA Working Group has rejected pressure to add an “autogynephilia” specifier to falsely stereotype and sexualize trans women. Children can no longer be falsely diagnosed with this mental disorder label, strictly on the basis of nonconformity to birth assignment.

However, the fundamental problem remains that the need for medical transition treatment is still classed as a mental disorder. In the diagnostic criteria, desire for transition care is itself cast as symptomatic of mental illness, unfortunately reinforcing gender-reparative psychotherapies which suppress expression of this “desire” into the closet. The diagnostic criteria still contradict transition and still describe transition itself as symptomatic of mental illness. The criteria for children retain much of the archaic sexist language of the DSM-IV-TR that psychopathologizes gender nonconformity. Moreover, children who have happily socially transitioned are maligned by misgendering language in the new diagnosis.

More troubling is false-positive diagnosis for those who have happily completed transition. Thus, the GD diagnosis, and its controversial post-transition specifier, continue to contradict the proven efficacy of medical transition treatments.  This contradiction may be used to support gender conversion/reparative psychotherapies– practices described as no longer ethical in the current WPATH Standards of Care.

Finally, the Transvestic Disorder category in the DSM-5 is even more harmful than its predecessor, Transvestic Fetishism. Punitive and scientifically capricious, it only serves to punish nonconformity to assigned birth roles and has no relevance to established definition of mental disorder. The Transvestic Disorder category has been expanded in the DSM-5 to implicate trans men as well as trans women, with a new specifier of “autoandrophilia,” apparently pulled from thin air without supporting research or clinical evidence.

The ICD-11, a Historic New Approach

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The 11th Revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) is scheduled for publication in 2015 by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is a global diagnostic manual that contains chapters for both physical medical conditions and mental conditions. In contrast to the DSM-5, the ICD-11 holds promise for unprecedented forward progress on both issues of social stigma and barriers to medical transition care.  At the National Transgender Health Summit in Oakland last month, members of the ICD-11 Working Group for Sexual Disorders and Sexual Health confirmed proposals for  substantive changes in gender and transition related codings.

The Working Group has proposed a historic shift of transition related categories, now labeled “Gender Incongruence,”  out of the Mental and Behavioural Disorders chapter (called F-Codes) entirely. It is to be placed in a new, non-psychiatric chapter, called “Certain conditions related to sexual health.” The Incongruence title is distinct from DSM-5 dysphoria title, to clarify that this is no longer a mental disorder coding.  They have also proposed to eliminate victimless sexual paraphilia categories from the manual, including: F65.1: Transvestic fetishism. A similar category describing dual gender individuals, F64.1: Dual-role Transvestism, would be deleted as well. These changes have the potential for enormous progress in reducing both stigma and barriers to medical transition care, for those who need it.

When implemented, they would effectively obsolete the new psychopathology categories of Gender Dysphoria and Transvestic Disorder in the DSM-5.

There are also questions and shortcomings in the current  ICD-11 proposals.  While the proposed children’s coding of  Gender Incongruence of Childhood is no longer a mental disorder label,  any pathologizing coding of happy gender nonconforming or socially transitioned children, who are too young to need any medical transition or puberty-blocking treatment, is highly controversial among clinicians, families and community members.  The diagnostic criteria for children, like those in the DSM-5, still emphasize nonconformity to anachronistic gender stereotypes as symptomatic of sickness. The adult and adolescent criteria have copied ambiguous language from the DSM-5 that cast desire for transition, in itself, as pathological. Worse yet, false-positive diagnosis of happy post-transition subjects inadvertently contradicts rather than supports medical transition care.

The ICD-11 Working Group for Sexual Disorders and Sexual Health should be commended for advancing these historic reforms. However, it is important that Group members listen to the remaining concerns of community members and supportive care providers.  Adults and adolescents needing access to medical transition care, or pubescent youth needing puberty blocking medications, require a clearer description of the problem to be treated. Young children, who may only need information, monitoring and support, have very different diagnostic needs and diagnostic risks than adults and adolescents.

Betty Ann Blaine’s arrant nonsense request of Peter King Tapes

When I saw this today in the Jamaica Observer the fumes were visible emanating from my ears, how can a children’s advocate be so dumb to make such a call even if the allegations of homo-paedohile acts on supposed tapes previously owned by the murdered Ambassador Peter King and also the Russian ambassador as well on the same night at the former’s home?

Hear the Children Cry wants Peter King’s tapes released

Miss Blaine via the Observer postulated:

CHILDREN advocacy group Hear the Children Cry has called for the release of the tapes that were found at the home of slain Ambassador Peter King, seven years ago, which purportedly contained images of children being buggered.

Convenor of Hear the Children Cry Betty-Ann Blaine told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that at the time of the ambassador’s death in March 2006, 258 tapes were confiscated and the organisation was reliably informed that children were on those tapes.

“To this date, we have not been able to see those tapes, so here is the call we are making, reveal before repeal. Let us see those tapes,” Blaine said.

Blaine, who is also the founder of New Nation Coalition, was speaking to the Observer at yesterday’s eastern leg of Mercy Cry, an initiative which saw Christians from different denominations gathering at National Heroes Circles in Kingston to pray for the nation’s leaders and to ask for God’s intervention in the many problems facing the nation such as homosexuality and buggery.

“We want to see those tapes and I believe that we have a right to see those tapes if children are on those tapes and until we can see those tapes and understand what is happening with the buggery of our children, we will not support any amendment to the buggery law,” Blaine said.

She also expressed concerns about the challenge to the constitution of the buggery law and the amendment or repeal of the buggery law, given the fact that the buggery of children has increased exponentially especially over the last year.

“The statistics are that 74 per cent of our children have been buggered over the previous year,” Blaine argued.

Jamaica, she said, should not “touch the buggery law” at this time, as the degree of buggery in the island is unknown.

“We have an idea about our children but we know that buggery extends to young people and others,” she said. “How can we be looking to amend or repeal the law when we don’t know the extent of buggery in Jamaica?”

 ENDS

I another post I lamented that tapes surrounding his murder case and allegations of popular persons on those tapes in same sex orgies would come back someday soon somewhere in the anti gay agitation and now here we are again. Some talk show hosts have taken that call and attached a homo-paedophile construct to that implying that men of upstanding status are sodomizing boys in their homes. While there may be paedophiles in our society overall to use this old case to further push the anti gay agenda while erroneously conflating same gender sex with abuse. Jerry Small of Newstalk 93FM is one such talk show host who has repeated this construct and also added the murdered Russian Ambassador who was also at the scene that night he concludes a cover up was done to hide the men’s secret activities. I am not surprised that the Peter King matter would have returned as a basis to substantiate the homo-negative position. He accuses the Russian diplomatic core of covering this death as the men were abusing boys at the Jamaican ambassador’s home and thus the reason why he was murdered. Where is the evidence for such allegations and why if one is opposed to homosexuality and indeed buggery would one want to see two or more men engaged in sex acts?

There are enough sex and adult video stores around that are now carrying gay adult video so they can go and buy them. Furthermore if the court despite conjecture and rumour in the public domain of supposed tapes did not see it fit to find and have such tapes brought into evidence then who is to find and release these tapes and to what end?

Murdered Ambassador Peter King

The case as I remember it had adults and the accused was sentenced and is serving time, during the court case the gay panic defence was used to justify the reason for the accused actions (as typical in cases as this) and the testimony and evidence presented did not suggest or prove that young boys were at the home at that time or any time or any other homo-paedophile activity. Furthermore persons I am familiar with who would congregate at the avenue sometimes such as displaced or homeless MSM have said the late Ambassador King was very strict when it came to boys around him and was a disciplinarian yet aspersions are cast on a dead man with very little way to prove or disprove them.

We do not know if any such sex tapes exist and if (a big if) he was involved in any such activity with under aged persons which I doubt I condemn it but the man is dead what would that serve now; bearing in mind laws already exist to protect children and the remedies exists to see them through any such despicable acts done to them if true. One thing we must always remember abuse is abuse despite the gender of the offender, their sexual orientation is immaterial as sexual attraction to children is a diagnosable disorder with the necessary pharmacological and psychological courses of attractions to address paedophilia however homosexuality cannot be addressed in a similar fashion.

Meanwhile to further show the level of homophobia these pretentious puritans have here is an exchange between a Jamaican gay blogger that he shared along with Miss Blaine

Betty Convo part 1 Betty Convo part 2

follow that story HERE

All kinds of suppositions and speculations have festered over the years since his passing to suggest celebrities, politicians and now young boys have been seen on what is dubbed “tapes” as he was accused or recording activities in his home at the time. For the short time I knew him he seemed a disciplinarian and a no nonsense man although one cannot swear for anyone but if such evidence was there it would have come out long ago. But to use mere speculation and supposition to demand tapes of activities that Miss Blaine does not subscribe to borders on a voyeuristic deviance and grasping at straws to support their crumbling position. When a twenty plus year old male witness testified in the case back in 2009 he had convenient amnesia as when asked about himself being video taped in King’s house he could not recall.

In giving evidence in chief  another witness said that about 10 p.m. on March 19, 2006, he saw the accused Sheldon Pusey at King’s house. He said King introduced Pusey to him and Pusey said his name was “Douglas”. (familiarity) despite the gay panic defence was used to suggest King inappropriately came on to him, then if he knew that King was gay what the HELL was he doing at the man’s house in the first place?

He continues that Pusey was wearing only a pair of underpants and a pair of socks while King was wearing a pair of boxer shorts. The witness said he went to bed downstairs and did not wake up until the next morning when the police came to the premises and “hauled” him out of the room. He said it was at that time he discovered that King was dead.

A medical doctor testified that about 5 p.m. on March 19, 2006, he and a friend went to King’s house. He said he knew King for 25 years and while he was there, Pusey came to the house and King introduced Pusey to him as Sheldon. He said he spoke to Pusey briefly.

The doctor said Pusey was sitting by the computer. Pusey’s hands were on his (Pusey’s) thighs. “I remember his nails were glossy, it was something that jumped out at you. I remember asking him how his nails were so glossy, how he came to get them like that. I recall him saying it was banana stain he used on his nails to get them so shiny.” He said when he and his friend left King’s house at minutes to 8 p.m. on March 19, 2006, Pusey was still sitting by the computer.

also see from Feb 2009 Crown rests case in Peter King trial

UPDATE JUNE 26, 2013

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UPDATE JUNE 28, 2013

JFLAG comes with a late statement after all this time the woman has been at it and it is now when she is so louder than ever they finally come with a knee jerk response, pardon my unease with their performance but sheesh:

Peace and tolerance

H

Atty-at-law Gordon Robinson on Why Gay ‘Rights’? (Gleaner)

By Gordon Robinson

Gordon Robinson

I’m repeatedly asked why I so vociferously support gay rights, especially in the face of Jamaica’s deep-rooted fear of homosexuality (homophobia).

We’re all products of our experiences. One of my best friends at secondary school was homosexual. Naïve as I was then, it was two years before I even suspected his sexuality. He was always, shall we say, ‘different’. For example, he seemed obsessed with his penis, which he said he measured every night and reported any lengthening at school next morning. He enjoyed teaching us penis trivia. His favourite factoid was that the penis has no muscles. That last bit earned him his nickname of ‘Musclecock’ (‘Muscle C’, or just plain ‘Muscle’ for short).

Muscle C, though average in traditional academics, was brilliant. He was extremely creative and an excellent young actor. He became president of the Drama Society. I was vice-president. We adapted an Alfred Hitchcock (no relation) short story into a play in which he played the lead (a professor who’d murdered his wife) and I played a largely inaudible police detective. He was a huge success. I was eminently forgettable. He became editor of the school magazine and produced the bestCampionite to that point, which can still stand against anything currently published. Again, I was his deputy. When he left after fifth form, I succeeded him in both posts.

SHOCKER

One Sunday, while in fifth form, he invited me to spend the day at his home. This was standard among school friends. My mother dropped me off that morning. That his parents, successful members of Jamaica’s upper crust, weren’t at home didn’t ring any immediate bells. He was a very dramatic chap who liked to feign sophistication, so when he made strawberry daiquiris as aperitifs, still nary a ding-dong entered my head.

Then he served lunch, including a pte de foie gras appetiser. Still, nothing dropped. Finally, when he invited me into his bedroom to see hisPlayboy collection, bright lights went on. Chuck Berry would have seen them earlier:

My ding-a-ling, my ding-a-ling,

Won’t you play with my ding-a-ling.

I called my mother and bolted from there like a bat out of hell.

Looking back, I’m not proud of my subsequent behaviour at school as I distanced myself from him. At the time, I knew no other way to react.

So, we drifted apart, and he left Jamaica to study Egyptology (kiss me neck!) at the exotic University of Cairo. He wrote me some brilliantly humorous letters, and I may have replied once but, by then, I’d moved on. I heard he’d returned home and was having trouble with his parents, who couldn’t understand him. They thought ‘gay’ was a disease and committed him to St Joseph’s mental ward. I visited him once. It was depressing to see my old friend so lost, confused, sedated and alone.

Sometime later, I heard he’d committed suicide. He was 20 years old.

Dramatic to the end, he poured gasolene on himself; lit himself afire; and ran into the street screaming, “I want to die,” with his father running behind him holding a glass of water. Or so I heard.

TICKET TO ASYLUM

When my parents first separated, my mother rented a room (called ‘boarding’ then) in a married couple’s (‘Freddy and Dolly’) home. She was friendly with Dolly. Freddy was a brilliant, creative producer/director in the early days of JBC TV. They’d appeared happily married for years until, one day, Dolly came home unexpectedly and caught Freddy in flagrante delicto with his boyfriend. She went directly to the asylum; didn’t pass ‘go’; didn’t collect $200.

These two very human situations indelibly etched themselves on my psyche. After years of introspection, I came to realise a few truths. If only Muscle’s parents were more accepting; if only we, including me, had been more respectful of his ‘being’ instead of constantly mocking him for ‘being different’, maybe he’d be alive today and Jamaican theatre much the better. If only society had allowed Freddy to ‘be’ without stigma, maybe he wouldn’t have felt the need to trick Dolly into a fake marriage. Maybe if society allowed him to marry his boyfriend, Dolly would’ve found Mr Right, and there’d be two happy couples instead of none.

Instead of spreading unreasoned fear by blaming dread diseases on promiscuous gays, perhaps we should consider creating a safe environment for gays to leave the closet and openly enter long-term, committed relationships, thereby reducing the promiscuity level. Maybe gays’ ‘promiscuity’ is inversely proportional to society’s tolerance.

Peace and love.

Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com. Also check out this 2008 article by him so he has been consistent: Point Counter Point Wake Jamaica

UNAIDS Director says the PNP offers hope for the repealing of the buggery law …… but some concerns exist

UNAIDS Regional Director of the support team in the Caribbean Dr Ernest Massiah says the return of the Peoples National Party PNP in Jamaica offers hope that the tide will turn where the repealing of the Buggery Law is concerned this he interprets as a pre-election commitment by the then opposition leader now ruling Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to review the legislation which I still see as a suggestion by her in answering the question posed by Dionne Jackson Miller in the leadership debate in 2011 in the run up to the general election in December last. He spoke at one of the sessions at the AIDS 2012 conference in the US.

He also said the organization had received encouraging feedback from three unnamed Caribbean Prime Ministers in private discussions and that when the time is right Mrs Simpson may be named as one of the three then.

I and some others in the community are unclear as to Mrs Simpson Miller’s answer and her real position (see audio below) as at the leadership debate and subsequent followup comments by her along with press releases from the PNP itself denying it promised to repeal any buggery laws. Have I missed something?

also see my post on December 30, 2011:
PNP Wins …………….Hope for LGBT People ???

here is one of the press releases hinted to above where the PNP had denied allegations from the ruling party then turned opposition now the Jamaica Labour Party JLP as they lost the election:

NO REPEAL OF BUGGERY ACT, SAYS PNP

December 27, 2011: The People’s National Party (PNP) has labeled as deliberate mischief making by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), suggestions that it supports a repealing of the Buggery Act. The PNP says that is not its position.
The PNP says the JLP has been circulating the false assertion about the Party’s position on the matter in a desperate bid to make the matter an issue of contention to gain political advantage.

PNP Campaign Director, Dr. Peter Phillips said at a press conference to wrap up the party’s campaign today that the PNP has no position to repeal the Buggery Act, and that the issue arose out of a question posed to party leader Portia Simpson Miller during the recent national debate with prime minister and JLP leader, Andrew Holness.

“This arose out of a question and there is no position taken by us of a repeal. We recognize that there are some persons, who for their own partisan political reasons, would wish to distort the Party’s position as it relates to the Buggery Act,” Dr. Phillips said.
He adds that the Party Leader has proposed a review of the Act, and not a repeal of it.
“During the review, every Member of Parliament will be required to bring to bear on the discussions, the views and the opinion of his or her constituents. At the end of the review, if a vote is to be taken, the vote will be a conscience vote, which means each Member of Parliament will vote according to the directive of his/ her constituents,” Dr. Phillips says.

This is in keeping with the position taken by the PNP President, who indicated at the national debate that the people of Jamaica should let their voices be heard on the matter through consultations spearheaded by Members of Parliament, so that a Parliamentary debate and vote on the issue would not be confined to the views of Parliamentarians alone, but rather, would be reflective of the views and will of the people in constituencies across the country.
Responding to questions posed by journalists about accusations leveled on the campaign trail by Daryl Vaz that the PNP had received funding from overseas-based gay rights groups, Phillips said such accusations were not true and a “total fabrication” as the party had in no way supported “any gay agenda”.

“This is a total fabrication of Mr. Vaz and his very active imagination and speaks to the desperation in that (the JLP’s) campaign,” said Phillips.
The PNP will end its election campaign today with a tour of western parishes and culminate with a meeting in the South West St. Andrew constituency of Party Leader, Portia Simpson Miller, followed by a gospel concert at the party’s 89 Old Hope Road headquarters.

Executive Director of JFLAG Dane Lewis at the time had said that the Prime Minister missed an opportunity to make a bold declaration on securing rights for all Jamaicans, he continued on a telephone interview that “We’re very encouraged by the bold statement from a Jamaican politician the opposition leader Miss Portia Simpson Miller, I am very disappointed that the Prime Minister with an opportunity to make as bold a statement chose the lower road. It is going to take a conscience vote it’s gonna take the leaders of this country to make some bold steps to recognise the rights of all Jamaicans.” He also said he trusts the sincerity of the opposition leader, he doesn’t think it’s a ploy to win the votes of the gay community days before an election.  He said too that it was not about threats on withholding aid by UK and US governments who have now tied aid to LGBT rights.

Here is the other press release that came on December 21st from the PNP denying they made any promises to repeal Buggery.

PNP HAS GIVEN NO COMMITMENT TO REPEALING THE BUGGERY ACT

Kingston, December 22, 2011: The People’s National Party notes that following Tuesday’s leadership debate, some persons have been suggesting that PNP President Portia Simpson Miller, has given a commitment to “repealing” the Buggery Act. The PNP uses this opportunity to state clearly that Mrs. Simpson Miller gave no such commitment.
The PNP President said it was time that the Act be “reviewed” and all members of the House of Representatives provided with an opportunity to vote on the matter based on their conscience.
It would be expected that in such a vote, Members of Parliament on both sides of the House, would take into consideration the views of their constituents.The PNP President remains committed to her pledge to make appointments to a Cabinet led by her on the basis of competence.

here is New Nation Coalition Founder Betty Ann Blaine questioning the PM’s on buggery earlier this year among other audio including my response as well:

Bear this in mind as well, after digging my archives I found the presentation by Mrs Simpson Miller in 2009 (poor audio though) where she sided wholeheartedly with the then Prime Minster Bruce Golding (his speech linked) on the banning of gay marriage, gay marriage rights by the way was never asked for by the LGBT advocacy structure at that time but it was dishonestly pushed on the agenda during the Charter of Rights debate then as a smoke screen to deny us recognition in the Charter. The clause that had discrimination as an infraction then was also removed from the draft prior to this speech after successful lobbying by none other than the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship with support from none other than reverend Al Miller.

She said on October 20th 2009 – Mr Speaker when we accepted the final report from the joint select committee that were looking at the bill we were completely satisfied with their recommendation of a provision to restrict marriage and like relationships to one man and one woman within Jamaica and that the provision should be specifically spelt out so that there could be no ambiguity ………. yes one man one woman (laughter in the house) and if you are Jamaican and go overseas the same applies ………..

Has Prime Minister Simpson Miller changed her mind or is evolving as President Obama did and is moving towards having the review done and will she get the need support as per conscience vote to make the repeal possible or at best decriminalization from her 59 members of parliament especially folks such as A.J. Nicholson and first time MP Lambert Brown who opposed condoms in prisons saying it was homosexuality being snuck through the back door? Mr. Brown said. “Those who are promoting condoms in prison are using the back door to promote homosexuality which is illegal.”

also see these two posts I had done where another first time MP poured cold water on the buggery review suggestion: PNP’s Damion Crawford on Homosexuality’s legality ………. and
PNP’s Damion Crawford says it’s highly unlikely buggery review will happen …….. it’s not important now he concludes

for your review here is the actual debate video below and her answer to Dionne Jackson Miller also click here to see her blog: http://newsandviewsbydjmillerja.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/jamaica-and-gays-are-we-homophobic-or-not

here is a follow up video from TVJ where Mrs Miller defended her answer in the debate and the JLP’s accusation of the PNP repealing buggery originally aired December 24, 2011:

Who will assist with any backlash that may occur (if any) especially on the ground in terms of violence and frontline activists not to mention persons perceived to be gay who may be targeted?  we must expect anything I say as previous experience has taught us such as the Canadian group EGALE tourism boycott suggestion which led to some resistance and incidents towards LGBT citizens and a spike in the numbers of homo negative episodes, I am not comforted by the revelation by UNAIDS this should have been kept close to their chests and proceed with the talks.

Time Magazine while naming her as one of the 100 most influential for 2011/2 said on their site: “………Portia is promoting full civil rights for gays and lesbians, a courageous move in a country with a violent history of homophobia”

0,32068,1567265756001_0,00.html

Just come clean and done nuh and mek we know what is what Portia. I do not see it as a commitment or a promise as others do but instead just her opinion at the time of being questioned and a good political tool at the time to win the election given the lethargy to politics after the drawn out JLP run with the Manatt Dudus commission of enquiry in particular.

Peace and tolerance

H

JFLAG’s needs to accept some responsibility for the Trafalgar Murders ….. homelessness not properly addressed

Calls on the PM to act despite her seemingly tolerant stance especially in today’s economic reality with austerity and political careers on the line are certainly going to be ignored, sorry but that is the reality in my view well crafted press releases and letters to the editor as the one in today’s Jamaica Observer without any serious interventions in the very community it says it represents is so evidencial of the lack of interest in addressing lgbt homelessness and displacement overall over the 14 year plus life of the J. Where are the residential/rehabilitation typed facilities for the homeless and displaced sections of the lgbt population that are urgently needed, why did we have to wait till a murder makes mainstream news to finally hear from JFLAG on such issues?  In as far as a timeline we saw this matter of homelessness during my more active times on the streets especially in the younger msm populations explode in 2007 and after due to a party dvd that went public thus exposing many persons who had to flee their communities to Kingston predominantly as the event took place in St Ann at the time, two persons were said to have lost their lives soon after due to the exposure.

The very title of the press release and subsequent letter GAYS SADDENED BY RECENT MURDERS, CALL ON PRIME MINISTER TO ACT suggests a kind of aloofness as if JFLAG is not a homosexual representative group, after all the use of the word “Gays” usually connotates a kind of contempt from homophobes or persons on some anti gay agenda or separatism, why use that in addressing this emotive matter? the section that described the group as “these people” is a bit troubling to me. No political party is going to take on that right now as was hinted to by a member of parliament (see PNP’s Damion Crawford says it’s highly unlikely buggery review will happen …….. it’s not important now he concludes) as far as I am concerned we will have to address our issues ourselves for now with all the access to resources we have especially in the programmatic arenas and again I ask where are the behaviour change experts in the field?

Police investigators at the crime scene on Trafalgar Road in St Andrew the morning of June 13th. – Norman Grindley

All this madness happening in pride month makes me wonder what is there to be proud of at this juncture of our history?

Here is the Observer letter that was published today:

Gays call on PM to listen to their cries

Dear Editor,

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is deeply saddened and concerned by the recent murders of gay men within the last three months. We, the community and allies, send our condolences to the loved ones, friends and families of these people.

We are concerned about the high levels of crime and violence across Jamaica. We condemn these and other grotesque murders of people, which continue to threaten peace, citizen security and justice in Jamaica.

Members of the LGBT community have reported to J-FLAG that eight gay men have been murdered within the last three months bringing to the fore the reality that despite progress towards greater tolerance, the LGBT community continues to be at great risk of violence.

Among the most recent attacks against the gay community was the savage killing of two young men. The men were apparently brutally murdered with blunt instruments in the vicinity of the intersection of Trafalgar Road and Lady Musgrave Road. People who are homeless frequented this area. Among them are young gay men who have been made homeless because of the continued intolerance of homosexuality in Jamaica.

While the motive for these latest senseless killings remains unclear, we expect that the government and police will thoroughly investigate all crimes, thereby mitigating their impact on all Jamaicans, regardless of socio-economic status, disability, health status, sexual orientation or gender identity. We stand ready to partner with the police to bring justice and respect to those whose right to life has been violated.

We also ask the Jamaican public and media to allow the police to conduct their investigations and resist the urge to judge the victims or the motive of their deaths. Let us instead recognise the inherent dignity of every person and respect that should be accorded to every living being while demanding the same justice for these men that we all deserve.

We call on the prime minister and the ministers of national security and labour and social security to listen to the cries and needs of members of our community who continue to be subjected to discrimination and violence, have nowhere to live and no food to eat because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

As we work collectively towards achieving Vision 2030, we invite all Jamaicans to embrace our common humanity and demonstrate respect for the lives of all people as we help make Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.

Dane Lewis

 

Executive Director, J-FLAG

 

PO Box 1152

 

Kingston 8

 

admin@jflag.org

ENDS

I hope that this murder is NOT paraded as a homophobic murder by the establishment as it is not as the alleged killer is also a member of the community. Intra and Inter community reasons are said to be the cause here with homelessness playing a major role.

Albeit the closure of the Safe House Pilot Project which was set up by a previous Executive Director of JFLAG’s parent Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, JASL still has a bad taste in many person’s mouths including the very men at the time who were made homeless again for reasons among which was the so called bad behaviour of the very men who were housed therein in 2010. JFLAG during the tumultuous time said or did nothing to stop the subtle eviction as one would have expected from any independent non aligned advocacy structure would have done on behalf of its representative groups that is claims to speak for. Fast forward to June 13 and all the mess and fallouts and even other deaths not so reported by the mainstream press in between as these two victims have recieved, it took this for JFLAG to finally talk about homelessness? while pretending to be so concerned about the group when bloggers, other activists, influentials and even other NGOs have been questioning over the years since the closure of the Safe House Project aforementioned where is the group during the struggles of the men to survive on their own despite their “bad behaviour?” especially the fact that the men were not far away from the offices of the organization whilst attacks, chases and beatings persisted with very little concern shown.

Let us also not forget: Rowdy gays banned by J-FLAG, JASL ………

Yes there is some truth that the men do call unto themselves uneeded heat as they can be loud and extraverted especially the effeminate members of the population which has led to some homo-negative press and homophobic violence but aren’t the two organizations above equipped with qualified behaviour change experts who ought to have at least understood anticedences when it comes to “bad behaviour hence leading to proper interventions?”

Why did we have to wait until two young promising lives are snuffed out before we see some media shenanigans from JFLAG? these two brothers were younger members of the displaced community who were alleged to be involved in commercial sex work as well. It smacks of a kind of opportunistic activity here by the J to use this issue as it has with other media episodes on LGBT life to present itself as concerned when the realities clearly indicate otherwise.

Why are most things just a press release or a set of letters to the editors and very little grass roots work to address inter and intra community issues?

Let us not forget the politics surrounding the two organizations named and the interior set up, it is important to note that they are all interlinked hence the description coined by some as the incestuous mess, could this be another reason why we can’t see any proper interventions to address homelessness separate and apart from the seemingly manufactured excuse that both groups do not have the resources to do that kind of work not to mention the apologists who are quick on the draw since these two murders and some question of accountability being brought into the subsequent discourse on social media and on the party scenes.

The other issue as well that the J has been getting some flack whether it knows it or not is the matter of gay for pay as alleged in another gruesome murder of a community member just a day before the Trafalgar matter where some have been asking where is the presence on the ground in knowing community members and or at least the cruising communities so as to identify and if not have preemptive workshops on how to negotiate sex with the hypermasculine DL segment of the MSM populations. Certainly JFLAG and other representative groups need to step up their game this is not the late nineties when the community was gullible and hid behind the body as it spoke on our behalf supposedly, things and times have changed drastically some for the better some for the worse and the representation needs to change with it while becoming really effective and not just a press release factory in what some say is a kind of intellectual duplicity.

JFLAG (and its affiliate Jamaica AIDS Support for LIFE) needs to accept some responsibility in the Trafalgar murders, simply put it has failed miserably in addressing homelessness and displacement especially in the last two plus years since the closure of the pilot Safe House Project, it kept disturbingly quiet when the ultimatum was issued and project was closed and the first of two civil disobedience actions by the men although it was clear the men in the shelter at the time would have been made homeless yet again coupled with new additions as more young msms become displaced hence homeless afterwards due to forced evictions and homophobia, not to mention the use of the very space that was the shelter to become the J’s present office. It cannot function independently of JASL or even the sister group Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition as the principals of these two groups have some connection to the J in some instances showing clear conflict of interest so matters that are deemed not important in their eyes at the time just simply do not get attended to, a fact known to many who have gone through the systems. The belief or perception also that the “bad behaving men” are somehow unworthy of any serious support is tacitly supported by the J it seems as they are silent as per usual on matters of homelessness except one sluggish radio interview in 2011 in radio Jamaica’s Beyond The Headlines where the group’s Executive Director then alongside the current ED of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life tried to paint a picture as if they tried other programs such as a gardening project to which the men barely responded, this suggests to me a mindset that the men must accept any little thing that is handed to them no matter how insignificant or paltry it may seem but the question comes again where are the behaviour change experts who know that this population needs more than just a handout or patchwork half house typed facilities without the proper basic psycho social support?

To suggest that it cares about the plight of persons despite socio economic status smacks on a kind of hypocrisy that exists overall in the LGBT community, we know fully well the elitism and classism that runs counter to all that is to be wholesome and these factors even affect how business is done, the vast majority of activists in its midst have never been exposed to the real life issues surrounding stigma and especially displacement/homelessness so they do not exert any willingness to engage such populations, as one community member said it recently near the murder site educated upper middle income folks speaking on behalf of ordinary people …………. this suggests a disconnect in my view, a problem that must be addressed if there is to be any movement in real grassroots work amongst the least of us.

Many persons including myself would love to support any properly thought through and laid out programs to address homelessness in particular but given just some of the challenges as hinted to above how can we get there without some serious paradigm shifts happening? ……………… while our brothers (and sisters as the case maybe) languish and suffer sometimes in silence, if this matter did not get the media spotlight we probably would not have heard a thing from the J, apart from the 8 persons tragically taken from us since this year some of which have made mainstream news there were two other murders in the New Kingston area as well at the other base where substance abusers and homeless persons also use, this was confirmed just days before the Trafalgar matter made news but was not highlighted in the press.

see more on that HERE: Homeless population continues to spiral ….. and Murder, Homelessness and fallouts …………….

Other community influentials have become weary as well due to all the issues surrounding the men over the years so they too have contributed to the aloofness towards to populations, the scholarship program started by some have since wained and the feeding programs have died in the water, the recent Green Gables troubles with the subsequent mobbing in front of the popular theatre and the added Chicken n Things incident has not helped any. The murder also of one of the private donors towards some support for those who want to return to some sort of schooling has greatly affected what little avenue was available to assist if not one member of the group.

So much to ponder on regarding our homeless populations and where to go, the ethical and moral considerations are not too far behind, if we are to be credible with all the letters, thesis, scholarships and impressionable radio interviews will all be for naught if we do not treat with balance the real marginalized amongst us, how can we ask for tolerance from the mainstream when we are so contemptuous of our lesser populations, we already have enough on our plates from the anti gay establishments then this towards our own?

here is a synopsis in audio:

Peace and tolerance

H

Alleged Lesbian Coercers in school – Should Get Proper Help – Expert ………

In a follow up to an explosive story being pushed as if the teenaged same sex active females are predators by a previous Gleaner story at a prominent high school has come a response by the paper quoting some suggestions by experts on how to handle the perceived problem, what is instructive is the seeming panic and paranoia setting in yet when initiation and perceived abuses happens in coed institutions and in full view of the public as we see everyday the experts, school and principal bodies and administrations were quiet all these years as they continued but as soon as the “homosexual problem’ turns up everyone cries wolf.

What hypocrisy, one wonders if it weren’t a prominent high school we would be having this fear masked as concern? look through the smoke people and decide for yourselves. Isolated incidents should not be presented as a wide practice by same gender loving people.

Here is the article from today’s Gleaner:

Girls Should Get Proper Help – Expert

Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Staff Reporter

At least one expert is advising that professional help should be given to the younger girls who were victims of sexual attacks by their older schoolmates at some schools as the issue could have a major psychological impact on the students’ lives.

Psychologist Dr Karen Richards told The Gleaner yesterday that action should also be taken against the perpetrators highlighted last week at an all-girls school in the Corporate Area, as the attacks should not be taken lightly.

“Counselling and some form of professional intervention should be made available should the child be willing to engage. The parents may need some input, helping them to know how best to deal with it and the individual child might need some support,” Richard said.

“We can’t excuse these practices as just kids together establishing their boundaries, having fun. No, these are assaults and these are things that you could never do in a workplace, you could never do out there on the streets without finding yourself in trouble with the law and the law therefore must reflect that to these children,” she argued.

Rite of passage

In explaining the behaviour of the students involved in the act, Richards said the youths are at an age where there is often a rite of passage.

“The students use the activity to prove themselves as worthy by submitting the most to this abuse. It is really a rite of passage to belong to the group. You have got to suffer and those in the group determine what kind of suffering those out of the group must go through in order to be a part of the group,” she said.

Richards said she has had cases where children have been sexually assaulted by older children but the cases had to be examined carefully as oftentimes the perpetrators have themselves been victims of sexual abuse.

In the meantime, the Paediatric Association of Jamaica said assistance must be provided for the students involved because, as adolescents make the often difficult transition into adulthood, they have many developmental issues to face, one of which is developing their sexual identity and learning how to have age-appropriate relationships.

Experimental behaviours

“During middle adolescence (approximately 14-16 years of age) in particular, many adolescents as they try to understand themselves, may become involved in experimental behaviours with either the opposite or the same sex.

“During this time, adolescents can benefit tremendously from the presence of understanding adults who can appropriately guide them as they make choices, and help them to learn from their decisions,” the association said.

The group recommended the creation of an open forum to foster useful discussion and solutions for the students.

“This may benefit adolescents who find themselves uncertain with respect to their sexuality and earnestly seeking some kind of guidance in what can be a really difficult time,” the group added.

The association said it was the responsibility of the state, school and parent-teachers association when they accept the care of the children to provide a safe environment.

“This would allow our children to mature, and achieve their full potential to the benefit of themselves, their families and the nation. The vulnerable must be protected and the perpetrators counselled and healed,” the group added.

nadisha.hunter@gleanerjm.com

ENDS

I am pleased however someone mentioned the experimental stage and rites of passage as I hinted to in layman’s terms in my previous posts since the story broke both HERE and on my sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica on Blogger, see
Principal Association to address “lesbian issue” in prominent high school.

In talks with a qualified psychologist in the community yesterday she suggested that she was concerned the girls were being placed in a light of being predators she also said ”  ……if you’re trying to fuel and poison the environment against lesbians, then suggesting that they’re abnormal, freakish and need to be punished via the law or even kicked out of school is the way to go.”

She proposed that  what needs to happen “is a very frank conversation with girls about their sexualities. Children are not taught about why coercion and violence is not ok in the first place. They learn that it is thru how they see adults interacting. So there’s no reason for most to see that “holding someone down” is not fun and games, but violence. They also don’t know how to respect and protect themselves at the same time. 

So when a topic is made taboo, it means that the obnoxious kids get even more power from rebelling and from making everyone afraid. 

I think the situation is somewhat exaggerated but also complicated. I suspect that some of the girls are afraid of “lesbians” because of what they hear around them. And some of the girls who are not lesbians but who are harassing the others are just bullies. The way people tell stories is very confused and you have to ask the right questions to get at what really happened. For the principals to call in the authorities shows how stupid and prejudiced they are; they want to punish the girls for being “out of order” ie. homoreotic behaviour. Look how long it takes for any principal to act on the boys feeling up and being inappropriate with girls!!!

It’s just amazing to me how students AND staff at a school can be so clueless about adolescent development and how to solve conflicts. Tells me that the content of education is definitely lacking all around.”

A similar suggestion I had questioned in my blogger post linked above.  I think this issue and sexuality in general needs to be looked at squarely at the Ministry of Education policy level devoid of panic and fear but while cognisant of the possibility of sexual abuse indeed.

 Children’s advocate Diane Gordon Harrison

Meanwhile the Office of the Children’s Advocate OCA in a release said they have grave concerns about younger girls being preyed upon by older ones, the prevalence of homosexuality has serious implications, they continued that while the newspaper article spoke to the problem in all girls schools it is concerned about anecdotal mention of homosexual activity in all boys schools such sexual behaviours exposes children to serious implications which they may not be aware of, the Children’s advocate Diane Gordon Harrison says there needs to be a public education campaign to sensitize children to these risks, there are legal implications and consequences that can flow when students engage other students in sexual activity.

They also are recommending an open discussion on sexual activity in schools by stakeholders and some form of policy imperative to follow.

Way back in 2006 allegations were that adult lesbians were visiting schools and at that time the JFLAG representative was reported to have said that no disciplinary action should be taken against the gay girls. “They should counsel them if this is what they are, but advise them that certain things are prohibited.”

However, the JFLAG repre-sentative condemned the actions of lesbians who are allegedly visiting the campuses and openly displaying their orientation.

“No one should do that. You can’t stay on the premises and do that. I don’t agree with older women going onto the campus to entice girls to do whatever with them.”

However, she said that if that is being allowed to happen on campus, school security is not performing up to par.

She disclosed that her organisation approached several schools “to give information and seminars, but they wouldn’t have it.” She believes that if permission were granted to stage the seminars, the girls would be better able to deal with the uncomfortable situation.

see: Lesbians in schools – Growing number of homosexuals in Corporate Area all girls’ high schools  

and also see High school girls gone gay!   

also see a previous post on Homosexuality in schools in St Lucia where a similar set or circumstances presented themselves with lesbian activity in a high school and how mature the response was: Homosexuality in schools in St. Lucia

Peace and tolerance

H

3 more brothers displaced teetering on homelessness ………..

Originally posted on sister blog GLBTQJA on Blogger as three displaced brothers teetering on homelessness, the fire victim has since landed a job for now and is adjusting the other two gentlemen are still on the periphery.  My concerns are still there and is bothersome indeed.
 

So in the aftermath of the homeless MSMs second civil disobedience on August 23 and 24, 2011 at the locations of the two oldest organizations that serve or are supposed to serve this grouping who by the way now are equipped with a canine security team on the property to supposedly stop the “savages” from entering the plantation in an almost apartheid type of elitism right before our eyes news comes of more men who have sex with men who are struggling with finding a stable roof and income after falling on difficult times. Also of interest is the security detail that is on call 24 hours a day as well is still in place. The three new displacement cases are not all homophobic in origin but still makes us question who or why are we seeing so many new cases with the existing homeless populations some of whom are banned still from Jamaica AIDS Support for Life and JFLAG offices as no formal release has come to suggest same has been lifted. 

Permit me to just briefly touch on the circumstances that prevail with each case whilst thanking the persons who responded to taking them into their homes (in the case of those who were fortunate) and that audio post (see top of blog a soundcloud embedded link) where I asked if persons would do same? One brother lost his job and fell on hard times as his home on the other end of the island where he resided was destroyed by fire earlier this year he has been struggling ever since to recoup his losses and find employment. Thankfully he has been given a short stay at a friend’s house in Kingston while he actively seeks employment, we only hope he doesn’t jeopardize that kindness as we have seen in previous cases with other brothers who land in the same predicament. He had made contact with the J on the issue but has not received any positive word on any interventions yet. A special thanks to the member of the Underlined Response who also provided some temporary shelter as he was limited so to do but the young man was grateful just the same as he was able to rest and at least temporarily ease his mind. Since the original post on GLBTQJA on Blogger he has removed from that temporary stay to a flat and a new job after much toil and some assistance from friends including myself which is good news.

 Brother number two also has lost his job but has not been so lucky in getting a short stay at best as he has been bouncing here and there in the public domain. He too also has been having some difficulty securing a steady income and a roof since he had to leave the last place he rented among other things, these circumstances also are echoed in the case of the third person from this post. Both men are struggling but some of us who are concerned are limited or restricted and either do not have the accommodation to temporarily assist or are too scared to do so after being bitten with bad experiences before in the name of assistance. The former is my reason as I have moved from my old address in Kingston where I have helped persons before by providing overnight stays and a shower and so on where I could, unfortunately the landlord wanted the place for his family or so he said at the time. 



Many of the other youngings from the older population of homeless persons (some from as far back as 2009) who were involved in that infamous civil disobedience actions against the Jamaica AIDS Support and JFLAG have been getting by but just that and with the position of the Crisis Intervention Officer has been made vacant as she has left for Amsterdam under what some say is the regular use of the underground railroad system to seek asylum there maybe further ignoring or aloofness by JFLAG towards the men. New kid on the block the Underlined Response has been trying with a short term tin drive for canned items and clothing etc plus some fund raising from their recent Pride Fest event but that is far cry from what is really needed, whilst there has been complaints that the funds raised have not been handed over as yet, some of us do contribute money where possible. We need some sort of transitional housing interventions going. Again we have to bring to book the stewardship of the two aforementioned agencies that are the oldest in terms of formal outreach setups for same gender loving people yet as the oldest they have not been setting a proper example in this regard and towards this population when we knew from as early as 2007/8 of the increasing numbers of men who have sex with men tittering from displacement to homelessness and back again, especially from that private party DVD that went public and sold nationwide. After 13 years in existence being formed out of  JASL in December 1998 JFLAG was set up to not only deal with the buggery law and other legal matters with a hotline that has been defunct for more than ten years but also the frontline services that its parent could not do as it primary focus was HIV/AIDS in the mainstream but not limited to that. Bear in mind that Jamaica AIDS Support for Life JASL was founded mostly by gay men in the heyday of the AIDS epidemic in 1991, seven years later came JFLAG out of GLABCOM (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Community) which was an interface activity for Jamaica AIDS Support for Life’s targeted interventions strategy but with no real advocacy autonomy at the time to act as it was purely centered around HIV issues but the other problems were encroaching hence the other J’s formation.

If this is all we have to show from our once highly respected, trusted and vigilant advocacy structures after so many years then we are going nowhere it seems, are they suffering from burn out? but we need to do our own bit in our various quarters and build if ever so slowly, we cannot continue in this modern day and age with no radical front-line support services inclusive of psycho social interventions chief among them a resident social worker and psychologists to guide these men to the road to recovery.

Other suggestions from my standpoint include:

  • Help out where you can
  • Tell someone who you think that can assist
  • Talk to someone who falls in this category, sometimes a kind word does wonders
  • Contact new movements such as the Underlined Response theunderlinedresponse@gmail.com
  • Make contact here via lgbtevent@gmail.com
  • Start a donations drive or donate where possible to reputable persons and the UR
  • Donate via the Paypal buttons on this blog or on Gay Jamaica Watch 

We are going to have to start dealing with these issues ourselves as clearly the representatives are not interested in helping lives interrupted.

here are some hard hitting commentary and older posts on the matter from my other blogs and here

more posts to review
From the pen of one of our homeless brothers ……..

Also see other related posts

Hypocrisy, Continued damage control via stands or a genuine call for inclusiveness in western Jamaica?

Settle the Score on CVM TV’s Live @ 7 (26.08.11)…the JFLAG ad campaign

Attempted censorship from the advocates towards views on the JFLAG Ad campaign??


Peace and tolerance

H

The K12 threat came and went …was it real or used as a diversion to more pressing matters? (repost)

Originally posted on GLBTQJA Blogger

From as early as August 14th to the 15th messages such as those below were circulated all over the internet but mostly on Facebook via various groups with a frenzy being kicked up and almost a state of panic which was unbelievable as the very advocates themselves sounding afraid, then to think that a similar rumour several years ago sans the network pages and blackberry services for instant messages in late 1999 (purported JFLAG march) when angry persons mostly men bought out every machete and cutting or chopping implements they could find to wait for would marchers in Half Way Tree to chop them up. It became apparent as early as midday to some especially me that this K12 threat however was going nowhere. But take a look at some of the postings from the scouring advocates;

Circulated messages to include those from the illusive K12 group

“What is happening..? Me a see too much Battyman and Lezbian in a HWT and Barbican, how the fuck dem a move so daring!? Dem naw hide nuh more..man a look man and gal a suck out gal tongue In a public, the upcoming generation a see dem ting ya an a get confused! We need to take a stand..we need to start beat dem again and run the waste material dem. Bargain Mall has become the main hang out spot for them, we need to take that step in getting back our country.. send this BC and let us Unite!! On 19/8/11 K12 group will be beating all Homosexuals that visits the Bargain mall! We are taking back our country step by step! Play your part and Re-Broadcast to all “straight” contacts if u wish to participate contact the K12 unit at 372-0290.. –K12– –K12– –K12– –K12– Make K12 apart of your name if your against homosexuality.”“Our plan is to attack and beat any boy who dress,look fishy or we suspect or know seh a fish. Just by their action (walking,talking,movement)… Also we will be using the silver metal ring and black and colour hand band to identify the battyman and lesbian them”- Inside Source of K12 Group The group calling itself K-12 has begun attacking community members. We want to encourage persons who frequent the Half-Way-Tree area to beef up personal security. Be aware of your surroundings and those sharing the space with you. If you see anything please alert 119 or the nearest police stations HWT 926-8184-5 and New Kingston Police Post 926-3508People on the street are angered…bad…I dont think I have ever seen it like this…any feedback on the reports to the police…this fall out was anticipated…can you advise of the ‘plan’ (I think I asked this before) what do we tell ppl to do? (the advocates did not respond to this question)

a group calling itself K-12 has begun attacking community members. Members that frequent the Half-Way-Tree area and the Jamaica Aids support for Life Compound are urged to beef up personal security. Fem boys and butch lesbians seem to be especially vulnerable to attacks. if possible please utilize On Time or El-Shaddai taxi service until the threat level has receded.

ENDS

My comment at around midday on social network Facebook hinting to a lower threat level than banded about was greeted with cold water as well as it came apparent that this was no usual threat and I hinted it could be a hoax either by some weirdo who in the midst of a public debate on a the rejection of the JFLAG ad or someone else trying to divert the attention of the homeless MSM issue which just about made the news at the same time via a letter to the Gleaner editor complaining of their behaviour at a certain spot in Kingston much to the dismay of many and I fear until proven otherwise that some move was made to spread this as fast as possible as no member on the streets in particular knew of this K12 even as late as Friday night when myself and others walked the Bargain Mall where this doom was to have started and surrounding areas.
At one point a misguided individual clearly inexperienced referenced the injured man (photo to the right) as a victim from K12 where it turned out to be an incident that occured on the other end of the island totally unrelated to the K12 phenomenon, this of course was where some red flags started to go up for some persons. Why this rush to judgement without proper verification? meanwhile all of Friday night myself and others were on the lookout none the less for this K12 and we saw no suspicious moves to suggest the threat was real in the area named, the phone number listed rang on some attempts and went to voicemail at other times
some questions come to mind:
were we duped?
who did the duping?
were these K12 persons linked to a major university?
why was it that the only persons who knew of this were from the advocates on Facebook not on the ground?
are you surprised that such a major community threat did not reach the homeless men who sit openly in New Kingston despite their high visibility in the news?
was this used as a convenient distraction to over shadow the homeless MSM issue that the advocates feared would have led to an embarrasing situation as it has now become since today?
Bargain Mall in Half Way Tree where the beatings were to have commenced on August 18th
Speculation is rife but may soon die as the homeless issue has become centre stage now following the damning Jamaica Observer article finally bringing to public attention the rejection of the advocates in serving the most marginalized of the community.
here is an earlier audio commentry I did on the issue:
As the Jamaica Observer piece is digested and the focus now goes to that K12 remarks are now basically dead as very little if any references have been coming forth from the very persons who were frantically warning before. Very suspicious in the eyes of some including myself but I did not come up with this speculation on my own, the very persons who were in the Half Way Tree area and the homeless men some of whom I spoke to on Friday night after CVM TV interviewed some of them for a feature they are preparing.
Let us watch closely my friends meanwhile here is my account from walking the block on Bargain Mall and its surroundings:
Peace and tolerance
H