OHCHR: Discriminatory Laws and Practices & Acts of Violence Against Individuals Based on their Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

The United Nations has produced its first ever report on LGBT rights. The UN Human Rights Council requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to prepare the report in a resolution in June of this year.

That resolution was led by South Africa and the brave Cameroonian lawyer and LGBT rights defender Alice N’Kom said:

“I am so proud that this breakthrough was initiated by an African country, and that South Africa is standing up for human rights. Not only were they leaders at the United Nations in pushing for the passage of this historic resolution on LGBT rights, they are also setting an example for all African countries and sending a simple message : homophobia is not an African value.”

The pro-LGBT Ugandan Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo said:

“They have created an “indaba” – a listening process that is familiar to Africans. They have provided the safety for many thousands of people to open deep wounds again and share their stories, experiences and aspirations.  Their courage is to be commended in the hope the next generation may not have to suffer the indignities of our blood-stained past.”

“This work represents the possibility that we can to learn to respect each other, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.  We can learn to forgive each other for our complicity in silence or for acts of violence in word and deed against LGBT people.”

“There is another African tradition whereby the spilling of the blood of another is regarded as a major taboo and should be avoided by all faithful people. The spilling of blood caused by homophobia should become our global taboo. This report is a small step towards new possibilities and hopes.”

The findings of the report are due to be presented and discussed by governments at the Human Rights Council in March 2012.

Among its most important recommendations is a call for the decriminalization of same-sex relations between consenting adults. It also notes the particular experiences of lesbians and other women who suffer violence, killings, rape and abuse, often at the hands of family and community. The report includes a call for protection and recognition of the self-identified gender of trans persons.

On refugees and asylum seekers:

  • The UN urges governments to recognize persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for refugee status, and to train asylum adjudicators and government officials to be sensitive to the unique challenges faced by LGBTI refugees.
  • The report recognizes the extreme vulnerability of LGBTI refugees at risk of violence both before they flee their homelands, and during the refugee status determination and resettlement process. It also calls for a more consistent approach for safeguarding the human rights of LGBTI refugees.
  • The report urges governments not to return LGBTI refugees to countries they have fled where their freedom will be threatened because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Jessica Stern, Acting Executive Director of The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission said;

“The report is a tribute to all of the activists who have fought for recognition of homophobic violence and transphobic discrimination over decades, often in the face of extreme hostility. It will serve as an invaluable aid to each one of us who seeks to advance LGBT rights – not only at the United Nations but in cities and towns around the world.”

The release of Pillay’s report follows another landmark at the United Nations, which was the 10 December international consultation organised by UNESCO to address bullying against LGBT students in educational institutions. This took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and brought together experts from UN agencies, NGOs, ministries of education and academia from more than 25 countries around the world.

All participants of the consultation agreed on a joint statement. Chinese and African representatives at the event noted the importance of both sharing experience as well as evidence gathering to develop a “solid foundation when approaching schools and policy-makers.”OHCHR: Discriminatory Laws and Practices and Acts of Violence Against Individuals Based on their Sexual Ori…

2 SGL Women lost, corrective rape & virtual silence from the male dominated advocacy structure

UPDATES TO COME WHERE APPLICABLE

Hearts saddened a many as awful news spread first of a missing same gender loving sister in western Jamaica earlier this week on Tuesday November 28 by Wednesday morning it was corroborated but her body was not found, she was missing for several days and her phone went unanswered but by that same evening news of another murder was in the air mainly on Facebook and Blackberry messenger services of an up and coming dancehall DJ and song writer who has been making her mark with promotional materials on sites as Youtube, Vimeo and other platforms. She was also a feature at the gay bar Oasis Couture and at the Pride Fest earlier this year popularly known as Lava K.

Lava K was allegedly murdered by her child’s father after an altercation on Tuesday afternoon at their home after he requested to see the child after being absent for several years. According to a second hand posting of her brother’s account of the incident which stated the following: (verbatim)

“This guy got kemesha matthews pregnant and through 9 month of pregnancy he never came or call once,baby born and is 6 weeks old now he called her and told her he want to come c the baby and she said yes,he came 9 o`clock in the night and was there,my mother,kimesha and him was in the house,kim said to him it is getting late,r u going home or staying,he says him gud in my mothers pressence,kim said to him lets go in my room because this is mom`s room,they went in kim`s room, he sat and waited until my mom was sleeping with the baby and kim fell asleep then he started strangling kim,please noth kim was covered under a sheet as thats how she sleep,then while strangling her he went to his pocket and took his screw driver and shove it right in the middle of her forehead and thats when she was able to make the last loud scream whick woke up my mom,my mom suddenly ran to kim`s room and saw kim`s body on the bed covered without life.she said kim twice and kim was not responding.when she was running to kims room, the guy was running to the door and grill which was locked.after my mom realize that kim was dead she ran to the guy and asked wat did he do to her daughter he then turned to my mom and started strangling her donw on the floor with his all strength,my mom could not breathe,god gave her the strenght to shove her hands under his seed and thats when he let her go and my mom shout murder,him kill kim and one person came out side and when he saw someone outeside thats when he stopped fighting my mom and the police later came and arrested him,please note he threw the screw driver under the bed,thats what saved my mother from being dead now. PURE EVIL is this a case of sacrifice,because on his Facebook page he talks about not having money alot and he will be having money or dead soon.”

here is a freestyle video by Lava K:

The Western Jamaica victim affectionately known as Kidd was allegedly kidnapped by her female partner’s male counterpart as she was said to be bisexual but he was aware of her same gender preference and tolerated it to a certain point, what caused the change in his position is not clear or if at all he was genuinely tolerant but was presenting a farce so as to enact his hate via her demise. The partner has also been blamed as the deceased had threatened to end the relationship they were in last week Thursday but she was not happy and proceeded to set her male lover upon Kidd in revenge. Her brother who accompanied her to the home of the exed lover is alive and well. The difficulty with issues like this is that as the news hits the community it becomes distorted and persons close to the victims tend to be in vengeance mode and also may misinterpret or embellish the real tenets of the case. As the dust settle the true issues will and usually unfold as experience has taught us. Bisexual relationship issues also come into sharp focus once again if we are to go by what is reported all the more reason to call on the advocates to begin proper discourse on the matter in agitating for LGBT rights in Jamaica instead of the selective pointers put forward supposedly on the community’s behalf.

There is a planned wake for Lava K on December 10 Human Rights Day somewhere in Kingston. Unfortunately her case is getting far more traction on the ground as she is more popular due to her media success as she had appeared on a popular television talent competition.

Corrective Rape

Corroborated reports also has come in that on Thursday evening two women were abducted, brutally raped with one buggered by two men adding to the umpteen allegations and three confirmed cases since this year of attacks against same gender loving women.

What is also disturbing to some females of the community is that the advocacy structure has been silent on the issue save and except for the occasional expression and anger from mostly women on social network sites who are venting and even suggesting a more final demise to the alleged killer whose photo has also been posted on Facebook. I would imagine they, the J maybe also having some difficulty confirming the information amidst the rage and noise but not even an official note of condolescence and empathy towards friends of the deceased ladies and offering some consolation to the community? when press releases are needed the factory’s conveyor belt stops,

where is the leadership here?

are lesbians and women’s issues of far lesser import than gay men?

The Program’s Manager of the J pointed out reporting abuse when the matter was raised in a group of which he is a member, the Executive Director is said to be away, when the Programs Mgr was questioned by a female influential on the balance of responses to male cases versus females from the crisis intervention unit (1 contracted person for the entire island) he tried to reassure her there was balance, it was also instructive that he does not see himself as a part of a team and that he too can act as a crisis intervention agent, clear indication of the aloofness that exists, some say however if it were a man who was murdered the male dominated advocacy structure would have balled out loudly and some international press would have occurred long time ago given we are now four days clear of the murders and the news. Previous experience has shown us that it’s a man’s world when it comes to crisis interventions and advocacy on same gender loving women issues in Jamaica , gladly I can say I contributed to the enlightenment of corrective rape and the importance of women’s issues also balanced in the struggle for LGBT recognition but it seems we have slipped. WomenforWomen which is supposed to be the female arm of the J has been struggling for years to get equity and a proper voice in the scheme of things, the fight continues, sad that there has to be this agitation within an advocacy structure when all ought to be benefit in the end.

more thoughts on the issue in audio here:

UPDATE 18/12/11 – Lava K was laid to rest today also check out this related article: Kemesha Matthews Family Still In Mourning While The Killer Is Granted Bail

Peace and tolerance

H

668 women raped 531 suffered from carnal abuse in Jamaica in 2010.

Reports have indicated that 668 women were raped and 531 suffered from carnal abuse in Jamaica in 2010.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, revealed the figures while addressing parliamentarians from across the Caribbean, academics, and United Nations representatives at the Caribbean Regional Consultation of Parliamentarians on gender-based violence prevention on Wednesday at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in Kingston.

The two-day meeting, spearheaded by the United Nations Population Fund Caribbean office, in collaboration with UN partners, is one of a number of regional and national events resulting from the official launch of the ‘UNITE to End Violence Against Women’ campaign in October 2010. In 2008, the UN secretary general launched the campaign with the overall objective of raising public awareness and increasing political will and resources for preventing and responding to violence against women and girls.

“The unreported cases would surely increase the figures dramatically. These cases and the unreported ones have placed an added burden on a health-care system that is already struggling to deal with unpreventable health issues,” Grange said.

She pointed to a number of national laws that address the issue of gender-based violence such as the Domestic Violence Act, the Trafficking in Persons Act, and the Sexual Offences Act, and said that several public- education sessions had been conducted to enhance public awareness of these laws.

photo from JIS

Additionally, Grange said the Bureau of Women’s Affairs (BWA), a department of her ministry, had been utilising various mechanisms, including public education and awareness building to gender equality.

In this regard, Grange said the BWA was currently finalising a draft national strategic plan to eliminate gender-based violence in Jamaica. The plan was developed under the implementation of the Strengthening State Accountability Project, which was funded by UNWomen, formerly known as the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

She stated that other Caribbean countries, including Antigua, Belize, and St Kitts, are part of the project, which seeks to highlight six priority areas to address the problem.

According to the minister, the main objectives are to illuminate and bring to the attention of the public the extent of the problem of gender-based violence in Jamaica, to prevent and protect victims of gender-based violence, and to identify ways to aid those who have become victims.

Discussions on day one of the meeting focused on various aspects of gender-based violence in the Caribbean, and capacity building among the judiciary and other outcomes of the UNITE campaign launch. The second day highlighted ways in which parliamentarians could help mobilise political will to end gender-based violence.

In as far as corrective rape is concerned for this last based on previous reports that have reached myself and allies we had four cases and a case that was a carry over from 2009 was ended with the mastermind behind a rape ring in St. Catherine sentenced for 29 years for a series of other incidents. Corrective rape has been making a sharp increase since late 2007 with break ins on suspected lesbians and robbery at gunpoint with the victim severely beaten after while her more masculine partner was forced to watch the ordeal unfold. That matter is still in the courts I am told and the personnel at  CISOCA – THE Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse are aware of the series of incidents, they were especially caring for the St. Catherine matter as the ring led to a popular LGBT social networking site at the time, the trail led to a house near the Linstead area and computers and other equipment were seized, a female was also held as she was as it turned out the instigator in trapping the other female victims.

It is refreshing in a sense to know that the systems in place in some sections of the CISOCA network have been enlightened and are working with the same gender loving victims of the awful scourge to some normalcy. What is required now is a national strengthening of the CISOCA arm to be courteous to victims elsewhere who are same gender attracted. It is unimaginable however that with almost a ratio of four women to one Jamaican man that men find it necessary to rape women with all the bravado in the world while at it and gang rapings seem to be getting extremely popular in the crime. The 17 year old bisexual sister who was brutally abused by 8 men earlier this year in eastern Jamaica is a case in point, her mother has since had her relocated as threats have been messaged to the home of the sister that she must not speak of the incident or report it. The police I was told is looking into it as it is also surmised that a ring exists in the community as well.

This notion that one can rape away the lesbian traits of a woman in ridiculous and is a huge problem in parts of Africa where it is highly regarded by some males. Our advocacy has been playing step and fetch it with this issue hardly any serious concerns have been shown by the mostly male dominated representative structure who seem aloof to these women issues, the smaller arm of JFLAG Jamaica For Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays, WFW Women for Women is strapped for resources and since the departure of two very powerful voices to greener pastures and the Crisis Interventions Officer of JFLAG to Amsterdam not much has come out of the structures on the issue. This particular meeting at the Terra Nova we had no LGBT representative I was told.

Sad

Peace and tolerance

H

Not Ready For Gays ……. Gay Marriage smoke screen reintroduced ……………. political dodging

Jamaica is making positive steps towards securing and meeting its human-rights and civil-rights obligations says new Prime Minister Holness.

Why is the new Prime Minister made to look as if he is resorting to The Gay Marriage smoke screen as his predecessor did, did we ever ask for gay marriage rights in Jamaica? I don’t think so, when we can’t even get pass just being seen as citizens of this country? is the Gleaner glibly adding this issue of gay marriage to murk the waters? Is the new Prime Minister stalling for time? See the Gleaner’s headline first and the other materials and decide for yourselves:

Not Ready For Gays

Jamaica Gleaner Company

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

Despite renewed pressure from Britain for Jamaica to repeal its anti-buggery law, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says it will be up to Jamaicans to signal such a desire.

Holness, who described himself as a “liberal in many things” and “a fiscal conservative on the economic side”, said the Government recognises that homosexuality offends many Jamaicans.

“What the international community must be aware of in the Jamaican context is that we are a democracy, and this democracy is opening up more; people are talking; there are discussions, and I think they should support the evolving discussion. Over time, our democracy will settle at a position,” Holness said, in an interview with The Sunday Gleaner.

Last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to withhold aid from governments that did not repeal existing laws that criminalise homosexuality.

un request

On Friday, gay-rights group Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (JFLAG) claimed that Jamaica has been requested by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee to take specific actions to protect and promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Jamaicans and to report on the steps taken by next year.

“The committee has requested that the Government take steps to amend the buggery law and provide protection for LGBT persons and human-rights defenders. Specifically, they recommended that the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms be reviewed to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, and provide an update in one year,” a release from JFLAG said.

For his part, Holness stressed that Jamaica has done much to protect individual rights and liberty.

He said governments have to pay attention to defending human rights and protecting civil rights.

While conceding that the country needs to do more in the area of human rights – for example, including that of protecting children, Holness said Jamaica has been honouring its obligations under international conventions.

He told The Sunday Gleaner that civil-rights provisions in the Constitution continue to be a work in progress.

“We spent almost 12 years debating what those civil rights should be, and those civil rights are now enshrined in a Charter of Rights,” Holness said.

“And so, Jamaica is making positive steps to securing and meeting its human-rights and civil-rights obligations. Jamaica will continue (to do so) as it is a good global citizen, to meet these obligations.

“We pay attention, as we are global citizens, to what people have said, including what our own people are saying, and it is a conversation that is evolving,” he added.

consider public impact

Holness argued that while it is important to protect the liberty of the person and the private space of the individual, the law must take into consideration the public impact of behaviours.

“People’s private actions have public effect. In the Jamaican context, there is a public effect and governments have to pay close attention to that,” he said.

Jamaica’s Charter of Rights, which was passed by Parliament this year, does not recognise same-sex marriages.

When the Charter of Rights was being debated, then Prime Minister Bruce Golding made it clear his administration was not in support of gay marriages.

“There is the possibility that, some time in the future, Parliament could pass a law that says same-sex unions are legal, but it won’t be done in this Parliament – not as long as I sit here,” Golding said.

“I make no apology in saying decisively and emphatically that the Government of Jamaica remains irrevocably opposed to the recognition, legitimisation or acceptance of same-sex marriages or same-sex unions,” Golding declared.

The former prime minister, who had declared he would not appoint gays to his Cabinet, said that while he accepts that Government “should not interfere in what two consenting adults choose to do within their own protected privacy, I will not accept that homosexuality must be accepted as a legitimate form of behaviour or the equivalent of marriage”.
daraine.luton@gleanerjm.com

ENDS

My two cents continued


The particular tranche of aid that maybe affected is a bilateral one known as general support,the aid was vital as it was used to rehabilitation programs for deportees who are helped to rejoin society, training and support. National Security Minister Dwight Nelson said on a radio interview that if aid was cut Jamaica could not afford to run such a program at this time.

Let us also not forget we got some $327 million debt relief earlier this year.

This issue has not been properly ventilated from day one, I still contend that the UK Prime Minister never named the countries although implied he was suggesting but one would imagine it would be the African states as they have been far more active in as far as anti gay legislation and subtle support of violence sanctioned by their complicity. We could have been more cautious before coming down on it. Also the suggestion by some American rights activists such as Truth Wins Out and In The Life Media who say Christian right movements and conservatives are supporting financially the religious anti gay lobbyists in Uganda in particular in the push for that country’s anti gay bill presented being debated in their parliament.

also see:  Intersections of Church and State where the connections are shown in a documentary on the issue

No Jamaican government and indeed the opposition are going to support this political dynamite that can make or break the life of a politician given the emotional sentiments of many ill-informed Jamaicans on the ground coupled with the dangerous down low community who in a desperate attempt to remain so join the public anti gay throng and their sentiments. The opposition by the way (People’s National Party PNP) has a far more larger LGBT support than the JLP does and even though they conveniently sided the ruling JLP on the invented gay marriage trope thrown in the Charter of Rights debate in 2009/10 has been extremely silent on this issue since it broke.

Here is former Prime Minister Bruce Golding on his feet in October 2009 on gay marriage during The Charter of Rights Debate:

also see:  Gay Marriage – An Invented Issue by the christian right movement

here is my two cents further in audio: On The UK Aid Removal and Holness’s Response …….. 06.11.11  –

and an archived discussion on the issue on nationwide with the PM in October 2009 declaring his opposition to supposed Gay Marriage –

Nationwide on the PMs speech on same sex marriage October 14, 2009

also see more from my sister blogs:

Why the British PM can wield a big ‘homosexuality’ stick (Observer) …… smoke in the room buggery vs homosexuality confusion

Reactions continue to come in on the UK’s stance on AID to anti gay laws hosting nations

PNP: Homosexuality, death penalty serious issues ……….. Dealing with cultural diversity a major task for the PNP

Ghana refuses to grant gays’ rights despite aid threat

CVM TV’s Live @ 7 on the UK AID Withdrawal threat & responses …….

from the BBC

 Cameron threat to dock some UK aid to anti-gay nations

 

and a press release from 

Government to Report on the state of “Buggery” Laws in 2012

here is a sense of some of the amounts we have recieved over the years 1968 – 2008 more HERE

nov 7, 2011 –  a letter in reponse to the Gleaner piece was published in the same paper as penned by AIDSFREEWORLD consultant and lawyer Maurice Tomlinson in a sense welcoming the PM’s stance ….. Liberate Gays

THE EDITOR, Sir:

In the lead story of The Sunday Gleaner of November 6, 2011 titled ‘Not ready for gays’, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said, “People’s private actions have public effect. In the Jamaican context, there is a public effect, and governments have to pay close attention to that.”

This is a most rational and commendable acknowledgment by the new PM. Pity he didn’t, or wasn’t allowed to, expound on the public effect of continued criminalisation of private, consensual, adult male same-sex intimacy.

In this regard, I would like to highlight that many heterosexual women have approached me urging that I increase the level of advocacy around decriminalisation of adult male same-sex intimacy, simply because they are not sure who they are in bed with.

If gay men (estimated at seven to 10 per cent of the population) were able to engage in their own sexual relations unmolested by the law, they would be less likely to expose their female partners (and resulting children) to untold physical and psychological harm.

Failure to decriminalise homosexual activity is condemning the Jamaican public to many more years of unnecessary misery.

MAURICE TOMLINSON

maurice_tomlinson@yahoo.com

I have a major issue with this as it smacks on a tacit support that HIV is gay disease and the links in the bisexual population which also smacks of biphobia from the adovcacy structure that is more pro gay than bi or transgender concerned. Here is my audio response as well – Liberate Gays Letter by Tomlinson Biphobia by default 07.11.11

Peace and tolerance

H

Breast Cancer Month: A Jamaican Lesbian’s survival story …………….

(WARNING – some photos contained may be unsettling)

On the evening of October 19, 2011 at the Couture Oasis’s Open Mic Open Soul Wednesday night discussions series we were asked to invoke the presence of a Jamaican same gender loving breast cancer survivor who from the moment she opened her presentation had all wondering if she was really going through this struggle and complications with this awful disease. The picture of doom and gloom mixed with uncertainty and doubt as often marketed with cancer victims of all sorts was clearly missing from this vibrant soul. Her resilience had audience members in awe and deep appreciation and other stories from the transfixed persons came flying out as well at some points leaving many in the small air conditioned room teary eyed.

“Judy” as I shall call her for purposes of this post is in her late twenties or early thirties from as early as 2010 said she started to notice strange things happening with her right breast and especially at or around the nipple. There were leakages at some points with what appeared to be water and blood as the residue from it and this she thought was maybe she had scratched her nipple area. After seeing this for some time she decided to have a check up done but doing the tests including a mammogram nothing was found , she had repeated tests over time but still there was neither any lumps or any blots on her X-Ray results to indicate there was trouble or via self examination the few times she attempted them. It was not until a new doctor she consulted went further than just the breast itself and focused also by her underarm to her lymph-nodes and realised that her nodes had overgrown onto her breast tissue, it was then she was finally diagnosed on November 26, 2010 after repeated calls from the doctor’s office up to her due checkup date that she had Breast carcinoma, For solid tumors, stages I-IV are actually defined in terms of a more detailed staging system called the “TNM” system.

N classifies the amount of regional lymph node involvement. It is important to understand that only the lymph nodes draining the area of the primary tumor are considered in this classification. Involvement of distant lymph nodes is considered to be metastatic disease. The definition of just which lymph nodes are regional depends on the type of cancer. N0 means no lymph node involvement while N4 means extensive involvement. In general more extensive involvement means some combination of more nodes involved, greater enlargement of the involved nodes, and more distant (But still regional) node involvement. M: Metastasis M is either M0 if there are no metastases or M1 if there are metastases.

As with the other system, the exact definitions for T and N are different for each different kind of cancer. As you can see, the TNM system is more precise than the I through IV system and certainly has a lot more categories. The two systems are actually related. The I through IV groupings are actually defined using the TNM system. For example, stage II non-small cell lung cancer means a T1 or T2 primary tumor with N1 lymph node involvement, and no metastases (M0).  She was kind to provide me with some photos of the courses of treatment she underwent. (photos published with permission)

short time after surgery and stitching

 Herceptin treatment course

day 1 of draining

 day 2 of draining to remove excess liquid around the area

She took it in strides much to the surprise of her family, close friends and then partner while they in turn had great difficulty emotionally in dealing with the news, many were surprised how she was calm and in control which in the long run made the road to recovery easier for all in knowledge of her illness and drew on her strength. Her mother and father in particular were deeply affected by the news according to her. Surgery was the next move and in preparation for that she dove into attending as much entertainment gigs as possible just weeks before going under the knife then came the faithful day of December 9, 2010 where she underwent her single mastectomy and a new set of problems presented themselves almost from the get go post the breast removal, the LMA – Laryngeal mask airway was apparently absent during the session so she was not fully drained the remaining tissue area where the breast was before leaving the hospital, as in most surgeries of this nature there is the issue of liquid gathering around the area where the tissues were and she had to make repetitive visits to do the drainage procedures with some side effects such as numbness, pain from where the needles were implanted and some lethargy but the nurses and medical team again expressed surprise and some elation at how she took it, she was even considered as a model patient to others who were also doing their own courses of treatment. In April 1, 2011 she commenced chemotherapy as of course one of the first things to go was her hair but one wouldn’t recognize that it was the fault of cancer or chemo but more just her natural style. Her personality superceeds all other underlined issues  thus helping her to cope. At this point economic factors to navigate the sessions presented themselves as she required 17 injected doses of a particular treatment known as Herceptin HER2 test to determine if your cancer is HER2-positive before taking Herceptin, as benefit has only been shown in patients whose tumors are HER2-positive and there was some concern about other side effects such as the hardening of her veins and repetitive phlebotomy exercises leaving her skin marked and difficult to find new areas to puncture. Worsening of low white blood cell counts to serious and life-threatening levels and associated fever were higher in patients taking Herceptin in combination with chemotherapy when compared with those who received chemotherapy alone. The likelihood that a patient will die from infection was similar among patients who received Herceptin and those who did not.  Herceptin treatment can also result in heart problems, including those without symptoms (such as reduced heart function) and those with symptoms (such as congestive heart failure). The risk and seriousness of these heart problems were highest in people who received both Herceptin and a certain type of chemotherapy (anthracycline). Because she was diagnosed with a form of Metastatic Breast Cancer here are some quick facts about the drug/treatment/side effects.

Metastatic Breast Cancer

Herceptin has 2 approved uses in metastatic breast cancer:

  • Herceptin in combination with the chemotherapy drug Taxol® (paclitaxel) is approved for the first line treatment of Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2-positive (HER2+) metastatic breast cancer
  • Herceptin alone is approved for the treatment of HER2+ breast cancer in patients who have received one or more chemotherapy courses for metastatic disease

Taxol is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

Some Infusion Reactions include

  • Some patients have had serious infusion reactions and lung problems; infusion reactions leading to death have been reported
  • Symptoms usually happen during or within 24 hours of taking Herceptin
  • Your infusion should be temporarily stopped if you experience shortness of breath or very low blood pressure
  • Your doctor should monitor you until these symptoms completely go away
  • Your doctor may have you completely stop Herceptin treatment if you have:
    • A severe allergic reaction
    • Swelling
    • Lung problems
    • Swelling of the lungs
    • Severe shortness of breath
  • Infusion reaction symptoms consist of:
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain (in some cases at tumor sites)
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Very low blood pressure
  • Rash
  • Lack of energy and strength

One other issue she faced was her own constant movements during some of her sessions as this can auger negatively for any patient and can lead to punctured or damaged skin that may itch or get infected if not properly monitored. She now does her Herceptin treatment every three weeks and has subsidized the costs through insurance and other state healthcare benefits under the National Health Fund and some help from Jamaica Reach to Recovery. Treatment can run in the millions literally locally as her initial run was budgeted for over $2M. Her type of cancer as you may have gleaned is rare as her family history does not have many persons who have or had the disease, she was alone on this front. Four other members of the audience expressed their own stories of losing loved ones and are presently under pain from some sort of cancer, but mostly that of the breast, clearly there are issues of closure for some persons with cancer of any sort. Judy’s case however is a testament to survival and proof that strong will and determination can help to overcome the odds, her sister who was present in the discussion paid testament to that as she said she sometimes draws strength from Judy even though it is Judy who is ailing and she still wonders how does she do it?. Applause rang from the audience and commendations as to how she dealt with the whole ordeal and for openly sharing the information the audience ended the session which was followed by the floor opened to poetry.

God Bless Judy.

Peace and tolerance

H

“Tell Me Pastor” on a 16yo “Caged Lesbian”

 

 

So another letter another day, see it call it expose it, wherever it is friends and this letter looks suspicious in another round of cracks of the whip in the anti LGBT arsenal, why would a 16 year old write a letter to a pastor outlining her lesbian or what seems more to be bisexual tendencies knowing fully well the answer that would come from that fraternity? and to think that naturally her mother would not approve of visitors (if they do exist) or even allow adults to come to their home and not scrutinize or interrogate at best these adults to interact in the home? Sounds far fetched to me.

No sensible parent in today’s caustic homophobic and lesbophobic Jamaica would allow that unless it is under duress as in some inner city communities where it is customary that so called “area leaders” or dons in the mainstream make advances to young girls and teenagers in the hebephelic sense for sexual favours with very little resistance from their parents or guardians. They can try to move out of the community but have to do so discreetly or it could mean trouble or death in some instance as these demands must be met. Or as is practiced in the informal transportation system on the coaster buses of school girls and older men involved in sexual activity sometimes for materialistic reasons such as a Blackberry or basic as lunch money for school, some teens are not angels but a letter to a pastor about lesbian life? this doesn’t add up.

Have a read of the piece and see if it adds up for you, I know we have been seeing previous stories and adding them but I think it is important we track and document them as the more we have is the better we can prove the successive publications and prove the trends over the years, after all we ought to have been properly tracking the previous hard copy editions as well before the advent on the online versions and those were in some instances more scaving than these later versions.

His response however this time seems a little bit more sensible than some previous ones in relation to same sex issues, he was careful it seems not to castigate her for being a lesbian or throwing the leviticusal paragraphs at her but one wonders had it been a man the subject if he would have been given the lesser wrath just the same as we know male homosexuality is frowned upon far more than same gender loving women are.

The story read:

 

Caged lesbian

Dear Pastor,

I am 16 and writing to tell you about a problem I am having with my mother. She doesn’t want me to speak to any man or woman. If a man or a woman comes to look for me, she says we are in a relationship. I am tired of hearing that.

I haven’t been to school since the new term because I am looking about my glasses. Because my mathematics teacher didn’t see me at school, he came to look for me to see if I was OK. When my teacher left, my mother said we were together. She doesn’t have any sense.

Pastor, I am a lesbian and I love being one. I love my life so I am living it. I also love my mother and my relatives, but I don’t want them to rule my life.

Please, tell me what you think about this.

A., St Andrew

 Pastor’s response

Dear A.,

Your mother has come to realise that you are having relations with persons of your own sex. You claim you are a lesbian, that is why when girls come to see you your mother is not happy to see them.

You should have more respect for your mother. You claim she doesn’t have any sense. I am sure you are wrong. Part of the problems you are having is that you are rude and out of order. I am sure that if you change your attitude towards your mother, you would both live harmoniously.

You are only 16 and have a lot to learn. You need guidance. I encourage you to go to church and take the minister of your church, or his wife, in confidence and ask them to help you.

Pastor 

ENDS

My two cents continued:

Hinting however to reparative therapy at the end of the response is not surprising as he is also a Psychologist but seems not to adhere to the DSM Diagnostic Statistical Manual which is the Bible for all properly trained and practicing persons in that field which clearly advocates that homosexuality is not a mental disorder. He has recommended this to other lesbians or so called subjects who have written to him. Maybe a pastor should not take on psychology as well for a profession as clearly there are serious conflicts of interests here.

Peace and tolerance

H

“LGBT” advocates – nonengagement of bisexual issues = Biophobia by default

As September is viewed as Bisexuality month and the 23rd to be exact as Bisexuality Day in most sections of the world with particular emphasis in the United States probably with the exception of the United Kingdom that incorporates bisexual issues in the LGBT history month of February while outside in the rest of the LGBT history is reviewed in October the “B” in the seemingly overused coinage LGBT to represent a farcically unified front seems missing in the agitations around the globe for gay marriage rights, buggery law challenges and or repulsions and basic recognitions for same gender loving visibility and respect but what about fluidity and freedoms of sexual expressions?. The cry even from more established territories on same sex matters is also loud as bisexual activists complain of invisibility or oversight by the more cemented and vocal gay and lesbian advocates that inadvertently put their issues infront of the other groups including transgender and intersex persons as well.

Are these gay and lesbian groups guilty including our local one JFLAG, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays of bi-phobia by default by simply overlooking (bi-invisibility) the “B” in our supposed alliance when confronting the opposing mainstream mob who are bent on cementing their view of morality on the world? 

The answer to this question is a resounding YES in my book but as a concerned gay activist and blogger that tries to incorporate the groups on two of  my three blogs it would be presumptuous to think I can speak for bisexuals and their issues definitively and forthrightly when they are quiet as well or feel they won’t be heard or acknowledged by us as our agenda is tantamount to theirs. The best I can do is to encourage the discourse while sharing facts on that side of the fence and how some of their issues cross cut with ours. There is a feeling that bisexuals can simply morph into the heterosexual mainstream and rid themselves of the stigmatization that exclusively same gender loving folks face barring the effeminate or masculine behaviours and aesthetics presented via the respective opposite sexes. The views in the few places where the issues relating to bisexuality and how the gay community relate to our double gender loving brothers and sisters have come up for mention show some serious backlash with all kinds of presuppositions about them, everything from them being disease carriers to wanting too much or having their cake and eating it too. The deep mistrust issues that abound are disturbing to me and with some issues stereotyped as gay issues to include the downlown or clandestine homosexuality as gays hiding as straight individuals when they very well could be naturally attracted to both sexes. The gay versus straight debate takes up so much time in the public domain that we forget that there is a link to our bi folk who have their own sets of issues to contend chief among them our stigma towards them.

JFLAG certainly over the thirteen years of its existence has not tackled or represented this group under their “Allsexuals” umbrella but if we can’t get engaging, frontline and a democratically developed solutions in moving forward then what are we to expect from them? Bisexuals are going to have to speak up and loudly for us and by extension the mainstream to hear and this is sad. Groups like JFLAG ought to realise that it has to step up to the plate and do what is says it’s here to do or don’t bother at all but when others try to branch out and diversify the work the politics of the day and the incestuous systems obstructs the attempts so our advocates are also our impediment as well. Sad.

Some of the most famous and accomplished black bisexual people in history as suggested by a writer from the UK paper the Examiner. Everyone who made the list has had an impact on society in their respective field to include our very own Grace Jones although she does not like to be categorised.

1. Alvin Ailey – choreographer/dancer (autobio Revelations)

2. Josephine Baker – singer, actress, dancer (bio by Baker & Chase)

3. Countee Cullen — poet (library named after him in Harlem, Lavender Lists by Fletcher & Saks)

4. Lee Daniels — director/producer of Precious and producer of Monster’s Ball (out, NY Times Magazine Oct 25, 2009)

5. Michael Jackson – singer/songwriter (bio by Ian Halperin)

6. Grace Jones – singer (out)

7. June Jordan – writer, activist (out)

8. Orlando Jordan – pro wrestler (out)

9. Hattie McDaniel – actress (“Mammy” in Gone with the Wind. Bio of lover Tallulah Bankhead by David Bret, bio of Paul Newman by Porter.)

10. Me’shelle Ndegeochello — singer/songwriter (out, former relationships with father of her son and bi writer Rebecca Walker, daughter of bi writer Alice Walker)

11. Prince – singer/songwriter/producer (most likely: see lyrics to Controversy, Sexuality, and Jack U Off)

12. Gertrude “Ma” Rainey – singer (Lavender Lists by Fletcher & Saks)

13. Little Richard – singer/musician (out, autobio)

14. Roy Simmons – pro football player (out, Out Jan 2006, autobio)

15. Bessie Smith – singer (bio by Chris Albertson)

16. Alice Walker – writer/activist, The Color Purple (out)

17. Rebecca Walker – writer, daughter of Alice Walker (out

Continue reading on Examiner.com 

There are certainly a few other local personalities that come to mind but for now let us stick to Grace Jones as she has hinted to it on a few occasions publicly here is Grace subtly addressing bisexuality on an Australian current affairs program “Day by Day” in 1985.

Here is my two cents on the issue in audio format:

see more on sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica on Blogger:  Bisexuality Day is September 23 ….

Let us hope in the near future something can be done about that either by them despite the insulation or some other group, organization or individuals. Celebrate yourselves anyway my BI-FRIENDS.

“Bisexuality erodes the border between homo- and hetero-sexuality, but it is a boundary that society is heavily invested in maintaining” — Stephanie Fairyington “Bisexuality and the Case Against Dualism” The Gay & Lesbian Review, Summer 2005

Peace and tolerance

H

A response to a Female Jamaican Ex-Gay pastor

Sunday | August 28, 2011 The Gleaner published a piece entitled

From Lesbianism To Grace – Pastor Who Renounced Gay Lifestyle On A Mission To Convert Homosexuals

Rev Michelle Smith - Contributed

Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter

The Reverend Michelle Smith, 43, had been flirtatious with females ever since her introduction to lesbianism at age nine, a lifestyle that she says left a void in her life.

“I was in dead-end relationships and I would just go through the motions at times. I was an introvert, no one knew what was going on inside of me and I would just put on a mask as though I was happy. But while I was hurting inside, I would just lash out at people because I was very angry about different things,” she confessed in an interview with The Sunday Gleaner yesterday.

But after 26 years of this “unacceptable lifestyle”, she renounced her homosexuality and is now on a mission, using the gospel to convert persons in the gay community.

Smith, who is a Jamaican living in Trinidad, found comfort in lesbianism, which she thought was her only hope, since she was living in a family which had nothing positive to offer.

Childhood years

She grew up in Greenwich Town, Kingston, with her father and siblings, but the tender touch of a mother was missing in her life.

“I came from a dysfunctional family where at the age of nine, I was molested by an older girl … . That was my introduction to lesbianism. My dad had a nightclub which was like a whore house. He couldn’t read, so when he sent me to school, I wouldn’t go. I would be around with friends,” she said.

Her life at that age was characterised by degrading activities that literally destroyed her childhood. It never stopped there. It ripped into her teenage years in the form of more vicious molestation and rape, this time from the male of the species.

“At the age of 13, I was molested by an older man, and at the age of 19, I was raped by my sister’s husband. So my life completely spiralled out of control and I just got more into it because, at that time, I didn’t like men anymore and I thought that all men were the same. I got more into lesbianism because it was not painful,” she explained.

Female interaction

She said with the absence of her mother in her life to nurture her, she found it easier to interact with females, hence she became a full-fledged butch lesbian (the ‘male’ partner in a lesbian relationship).

Dressed like a man, down to the haircut, is how she described her lesbian days. Quite the opposite of the long-haired, make-up wearing woman in skin-fitting jeans and hoop earrings who chatted with The Sunday Gleaner.

“I thought I was a man trapped in a woman’s body. I had penis envy. I wanted to take the hormone shots so that I could change, but thank God I didn’t do it … ,” she said.

Phallic envy was just one thing she had to deal with. Another was the stumbling block that the lifestyle presented. No one wanted to employ her.

She turned to drugs for a livelihood.

“Of course, living in that environment, I couldn’t read, so I got street smart and I got involved in drug smuggling. I started to smuggle drugs all over the world and I started to make a lot of money. But even though I was doing that, there was a void inside of me. There was an emptiness, and I would try to fill it with sex and money.”

READ THE REST HERE

A lesbian blogger has responded with a poignant post on The Rantings of a Lesbian Christian site the author wrote:

I’m Happy for Rev Michelle Smith, however…

I have noticed with almost all stories of persons who have left the “homosexual lifestyle”, that their backgrounds are almost the same. However the many stories that are untold are those of persons from functional homes, little to no molestation, God-fearing Christians, educated, and contributing positively to society.I am a lesbian God-fearing Christian; I was born in wedlock, and my parents still married, I grew up in a stable and functional home, I have always been surrounded by love. I did not grow up in a situation where I was deprived of something I needed, because of poverty.As far as I can remember I was never molested as a child growing up. I have been attending church from before I was born and still do. I am an educated young lady working towards my Bachelors degree at the moment. I am a business owner, I contribute positively to this society, I am not and have never been involved in drug smuggling or selling, or any other form of illegal activity.

As a normal person growing up, I had my own struggles and had to go through the process of finding myself, everyone goes through that. The outcomes and the particular struggles are unique to the individual.

I didn’t have anyone around me to ‘influence’ my being a lesbian, or anyone who ‘promoted’ the ‘lesbian lifestyle’ to me. Oh contrary to that, if influence was what made someone straight or gay then I would have been straight, I only saw heterosexuality around me, and this ‘lifestyle’ was ‘promoted’ to me.

I have always felt that difference within me that almost all gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons will tell you they felt, for me it was from a very early age. No I didn’t feel like I was a man trapped in a woman’s body (that is, in my opinion more of a transgender issue). I did recognise that I was attracted to females not just on a friendship level but also physically and sexually. I was never introduced to lesbianism. I am not a scientist so I cannot say there is a gay gene, I can only say that from as early as I can remember I had these feelings and close to the end of high school I learnt the name that described my feelings.

My sexual assault didn’t make me a lesbian either. I knew I was a lesbian long before that happened but it is part of my history. I was sexually assaulted because I am a lesbian, yes it happens and there are real people who suffer from violence toward them because of their orientation.

The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is part of society, and the same things that affect the larger society in general also affects us.

There are also heterosexual persons who live a life contrary to that which is natural to them, those persons are lost and those are persons who need help.

I am loved by God as the lesbian I am. No I am not perfect and God’s still working on me.

It is a shame that stories like these are not publicized and that persons like myself cannot appear on television to put a voice and face to the good happening right here, the upright people how are as regular as any heterosexual person and who many of you talk to everyday.

No one should be subjected to accepting another person’s beliefs and no one should be forced to change. I believe persons who have unwanted sexual attractions should be able to get help, but I also believe that persons who do not believe that they need change, should be free to express that and have public places that cater to families and adults who want to know and see that there are positive, spiritual, responsible, and God-fearing Christians in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.

I am happy that Rev. Michelle Smith was able to leave a ‘lifestyle’ that was ‘demonic’ and “unacceptable” to her. No one should remain in such a situation if it is against their nature.

Posted by A.C. Jarvis
ENDS
also see “Homosexuality is Wrong” by the Gleaner as well
Reverend Michelle Smith praying for members of the congregation at Shalom Missionary Church, St Andrew, on Sunday. photo by Ian Allen
Reverend Michelle Smith praying for members of the congregation at Shalom Missionary Church, St Andrew recently (Aug 28th) photo by Ian Allen
Peace and tolerance
H

Offensive Terminology to Avoid when presenting Pro-Gay pointers ………

In light of recent letters to the newspapers and the seemingly over zealous race to bring certain issues to light several mistakes have been presenting themselves to be problematic in our defense and almost playing to the hands of the homophobes while crashing our very points we wish to present, one such letter in the Gleaner recently started off with the term “homosexual lifestyle”

Offensive: “homosexual” (n. or adj.)
Preferred: “gay” (adj.); “gay man” or “lesbian” (n.)

Please use “lesbian” or “gay man” to describe people attracted to members of the same sex. Because of the clinical history of the word “homosexual,” it has been adopted by anti-gay extremists to suggest that lesbians and gay men are somehow diseased or psychologically/emotionally disordered — notions discredited by both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association in the 1970s. Please avoid using “homosexual” except in direct quotes. Please also avoid using “homosexual” as a style variation simply to avoid repeated use of the word “gay.” The Associated Press, New York Times andWashington Post restrict usage of the term “homosexual”

Offensive: “homosexual relations/relationship,” “homosexual couple,” “homosexual sex,” etc.
Preferred: “relationship” (or “sexual relationship”), “couple” (or, if necessary, “gay couple”), “sex,” etc.

Identifying a same-sex couple as “a homosexual couple,” characterizing their relationship as “a homosexual relationship,” or identifying their intimacy as “homosexual sex” is extremely offensive and should be avoided. These constructions are frequently used by anti-gay extremists to denigrate gay and lesbian people, couples and relationships.

As a rule, try to avoid labeling an activity, emotion or relationship “gay,” “lesbian” or “bisexual” unless you would call the same activity, emotion or relationship “straight” if engaged in by someone of another sexual orientation. In most cases, your readers, viewers or listeners will be able to discern people’s genders and/or sexual orientations through the names of the parties involved, your depictions of their relationships, and your use of pronouns.

Offensive: “sexual preference”
Preferred: “sexual orientation”

The term “sexual preference” is typically used to suggest that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is a choice and therefore can and should be “cured.” Sexual orientation is the accurate description of an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction to members of the same and/or opposite sex and is inclusive of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and heterosexual or straight men and women

Offensive: “gay lifestyle” or “homosexual lifestyle”
Preferred: “lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual”

There is no single lesbian, gay or bisexual lifestyle. Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are diverse in the ways they lead their lives. The phrase “gay lifestyle” is used to denigrate lesbians and gay men, suggesting that their sexual orientation is a choice and therefore can and should be “cured”

Offensive: “admitted homosexual” or “avowed homosexual”
Preferred: “openly lesbian,” “openly gay,” “openly bisexual”

Dated term used to describe those who are openly lesbian, gay or bisexual or who have recently come out of the closet. The words “admitted” or “avowed” suggest that being gay is somehow shameful or inherently secretive. Avoid the use of the word “homosexual” in any case

Offensive: “gay agenda” or “homosexual agenda”
Preferred: “lesbian and gay civil rights movement” or “lesbian and gay movement”

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are as diverse in our political beliefs as other communities. Our commitment to equal rights is one we share with civil rights advocates who are not necessarily LGBT. “Lesbian and gay civil rights movement” accurately describes the historical efforts, by gay and straight people alike, to achieve understanding and equal treatment for LGBT people. Notions of a “homosexual agenda” are rhetorical inventions of anti-gay extremists seeking to create a climate of fear by portraying the pursuit of civil rights for LGBT people as sinister.

Another disturbing twist the putting into “past tense” transgender to pronounce or write it as “transgendered” one cannot be past something of which they are in other words one cannot now say they are something after being diagnosed as transgender. The Jamaica Observer for example makes that mistake in a recent article

Other terms to remember to use properly

Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Glossary of Terms

Biphobia
Fear of bisexuals, often based on inaccurate stereotypes, including associations with infidelity, promiscuity and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.

Bisexual
An individual who is physically, romantically, emotionally and/or spiritually attracted to men and women. Bisexuals need not have had equal sexual experience with both men and women; in fact, they need not have had any sexual experience at all to identify as bisexual.

Civil Union
Legal recognition of committed same-sex relationships in Connecticut, New Jersey & Vermont (see IN FOCUS: Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships and Adoption).

Closeted
Describes a person who is not open about his or her sexual orientation.

Coming Out
A lifelong process of self-acceptance. People forge a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identity first to themselves and then may reveal it to others. Publicly identifying one’s sexual orientation may or may not be part of coming out.

Domestic Partnership
Civil or legal recognition of a relationship between two people (domestic partners) that sometimes extends limited protections to them (see IN FOCUS: Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships and Adoption).

Gay
The adjective used to describe people whose enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attractions are to people of the same sex (e.g., gay man, gay people). In contemporary contexts, lesbian (n.) is often a preferred term for women. Avoid identifying gay people as “homosexuals”

Heterosexual Man / Woman
A person whose enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction is to people of the opposite sex. Also straight.

Heterosexism
The attitude that heterosexuality is the only valid sexual orientation. Often takes the form of ignoring lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. For example: a feature on numerous Valentine’s Day couples that omit same-sex couples.

Homosexual
Outdated clinical term considered derogatory and offensive by many gay people. Gay and/or lesbian accurately describe people who are attracted to members of the same sex.

Homophobia
Fear of lesbians and gay men. Prejudice is usually a more accurate description of hatred or antipathy toward LGBT people.

Lesbian
A woman whose enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction is to other women. Avoid identifying lesbians as “homosexuals,” a derogatory term.

LGBT / GLBT
Acronyms for “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.” LGBT and/or GLBT are often used because they are more inclusive of the diversity of the community.

Lifestyle
Inaccurate term often used by anti-gay extremists to denigrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lives. Avoid using. As there is no one heterosexual or straight lifestyle, there is no one lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender lifestyle.

Openly Gay
Describes people who self-identify as lesbian or gay in their public and/or professional lives. Also openly lesbian, openly bisexual, openly transgender.

Outing
The act of publicly declaring (sometimes based on rumor and/or speculation) or revealing another person’s sexual orientation without his or her consent. Considered inappropriate by a large portion of the LGBT community.

Queer
Traditionally a pejorative term, queer has been appropriated by some LGBT people to describe themselves. Some value the term for its defiance and because it can be inclusive of the entire LGBT community. Nevertheless, it is not universally accepted even within the LGBT community and should be avoided unless quoting someone who self-identifies that way.

Sexual Orientation
The scientifically accurate term for an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction to members of the same and/or opposite sex, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and heterosexual orientations. Avoid the offensive term “sexual preference,” which is used to suggest that being gay or lesbian is a choice and therefore “curable.”

Sodomy Laws
Historically used to selectively persecute gay men, lesbians and bisexuals, the state laws often referred to as “sodomy laws” were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court inLawrence v. Texas (2003). “Sodomy” should never be used to describe gay, lesbian or bisexual relationships, sex or sexuality.

TRANSGENDER TERMINOLOGY TO AVOID

PROBLEMATIC TERMINOLOGY

PROBLEMATIC: “transgenders,” “a transgender”
PREFERRED: “transgender people,” “a transgender person”
Transgender should be used as an adjective, not as a noun. Do not say, “Tony is a transgender,” or “The parade included many transgenders.” Instead say, “Tony is a transgender person,” or “The parade included many transgender people.”

PROBLEMATIC: “transgendered”
PREFERRED: “transgender”
The word transgender never needs the extraneous “ed” at the end of the word. In fact, such a construction is grammatically incorrect. Only verbs can be transformed into participles by adding “-ed” to the end of the word, and transgender is an adjective, not a verb.

PROBLEMATIC: “sex change,” “pre-operative,” “post-operative”
PREFERRED: “transition”
Referring to a sex change operation, or using terms such as pre- or post-operative, inaccurately suggests that one must have surgery in order to truly change one’s sex.

PROBLEMATIC: “hermaphrodite”
PREFERRED: “intersex person”
The word “hermaphrodite” is an outdated, stigmatizing and misleading word, usually used to sensationalize intersex people.

DEFAMATORY TERMINOLOGY

Defamatory: “deceptive,” “fooling,” “pretending,” “posing,” or “masquerading”
Gender identity is an integral part of a person’s identity. Please do not characterize transgender people as “deceptive,” as “fooling” other people, or as “pretending” to be, “posing” or “masquerading” as a man or a woman. Such descriptions are extremely insulting.

Defamatory: “she-male,” “he-she,” “it,” “trannie,” “tranny,” “gender-bender”
These words only serve to dehumanize transgender people and should not be use

Transvestite
DEROGATORY see Cross-Dressing in US standards but locally the term has been used to separate a transgender person from a drag queen in our advancing culture in the mainstream.

TRANSGENDER-SPECIFIC TERMINOLOGY

Transgender
An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term may include but is not limited to: transsexuals, cross-dressers, and other gender-variant people. Transgender people may identify as female-to-male (FTM) or male-to-female (MTF). Use the descriptive term (transgendertranssexualcross-dresser, FTM or MTF) preferred by the individual. Transgender people may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically.

Transsexual (also Transexual)
An older term which originated in the medical and psychological communities. Many transgender people prefer the term “transgender” to “transsexual.” Some transsexual people still prefer to use the term to describe themselves. However, unlike transgendertranssexual is not an umbrella term, and many transgender people do not identify as transsexual. It is best to ask which term an individual prefers.

Transition
Altering one’s birth sex is not a one-step procedure; it is a complex process that occurs over a long period of time. Transition includes some or all of the following cultural, legal and medical adjustments: telling one’s family, friends, and/or co-workers; changing one’s name and/or sex on legal documents; hormone therapy; and possibly (though not always) some form of surgical alteration.

Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS)
Refers to surgical alteration, and is only one small part of transition (see Transition above). Preferred term to “sex change operation.” Not all transgender people choose to or can afford to have SRS. Journalists should avoid overemphasizing the importance of SRS to the transition process.

Cross-Dressing
To occasionally wear clothes traditionally associated with people of the other sex. Cross-dressers are usually comfortable with the sex they were assigned at birth and do not wish to change it. “Cross-dresser” should NOT be used to describe someone who has transitioned to live full-time as the other sex, or who intends to do so in the future.Cross-dressing is a form of gender expression and is not necessarily tied to erotic activity. Cross-dressing is not indicative of sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Disorder (GID)
A controversial DSM-IV diagnosis given to transgender and other gender-variant people. Because it labels people as “disordered,” Gender Identity Disorder is often considered offensive. The diagnosis is frequently given to children who don’t conform to expected gender norms in terms of dress, play or behavior. Such children are often subjected to intense psychotherapy, behavior modification and/or institutionalization. Replaces the outdated term “gender dysphoria.”

Intersex
Describing a person whose biological sex is ambiguous. There are many genetic, hormonal or anatomical variations which make a person’s sex ambiguous (i.e., Klinefelter Syndrome, Adrenal Hyperplasia). Parents and medical professionals usually assign intersex infants a sex and perform surgical operations to conform the infant’s body to that assignment. This practice has become increasingly controversial as intersex adults are speaking out against the practice, accusing doctors of genital mutilation.

GENERAL TERMINOLOGY

Sex
The classification of people as male or female. At birth, infants are assigned a sex based on a combination of bodily characteristics including: chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, and genitals.

Gender Identity
One’s internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or a boy or girl.) For transgender people, their birth-assigned sex and their own internal sense of gender identity do not match.

Gender Expression
External manifestation of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through “masculine,” “feminine” or gender variant behavior, clothing, haircut, voice or body characteristics. Typically, transgender people seek to make their gender expression match their gender identity, rather than their birth-assigned sex.

Sexual Orientation
Describes an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction to another person. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. Transgender people may be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. For example, a man who becomes a woman and is attracted to other women would be identified as a lesbian.

“Tell Me Pastor” mixed messages on lesbianism ….. suspicious letter?

So the season for the same gender loving embellished stories has recommenced in the Star from pastor/psychologist Reverend Aaron Dumas which for those of you who read this and my other blogs will know there are trends for these kind of publications, in other words an on and an off season, well here is the on season as only yesterday we saw the “downlow conplaint” letter to which he had a mummed response in a sense, see more on that one HERE, today’s entry is suspicious and I am on record as saying I think some of these letters are fakes or so edited that the original gist of them is lost in order to create a buzz on the story.

Have a read and then below it I’ll share my two cents:

Lesbian fantasy

Letter

Dear Pastor,

I love your column so much. It is just real. I am in love with this guy. I started getting close to him at a house party. When I left and got home, he was all on my mind. The next week, he emailed me asking for my number. I gave it to him. I have known him since I was nine years old, but I wasn’t as close to him in that way. He rang my phone the same time and we spoke for hours about everything.

About two days later, I went to his house, intending to do his hair, and I ended up having sexual intercourse with him. I didn’t do oral sex. I feel very careless and dirty because my virginity went just like that.

Second, I fantasise about girls. What should I do? I had sex with a girl. I went to a massage parlour and everything was going well until she started touching me at certain places. She told me it was normal so I should relax. She performed oral sex on me. I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t find it in me to stop it.

Please give me your views.

T., Clarendon

Pastor’s response

Dear T.,

You mean well, but you are naïve. You met a young man and you thought that you fell in love with him. In fact, he gave you the impression that he loves you too. He invited you to his house under the pretence that he wanted you to comb his hair and that gave him the opportunity to have sex with you. That’s how you lost your virginity. That shows naivety on your path. You were too trusting. You did not understand that men are cunning.

When you went to the massage parlour, you didn’t mean to become sexually involved with another girl, but perhaps you didn’t understand that many of these so-called massage parlours allow their masseuses to engage their clients in sexual acts. So when this woman started to touch you inappropriately, she knew exactly what she was doing. It was her way of introducing you to lesbianism.

It is not, therefore, surprising that you now find yourself fantasising about having sex with women. You know that it is wrong to have sex with women. Therefore, I suggest that you make an appointment to see a psychologist for professional help.

Pastor 

ENDS

The timeline for when her “virginity” was taken is unclear and how soon after did she supposedly visit the massage parlour? Pastor in his response said the masseuse was introducing lesbianism yet in the letter she clearly outlined she was attracted to women, what’s going on here? The told me it was normal bit sounds like an adage to the text to set up the answer to say lesbianism or by extension homosexuality is wrong as is expected coupled with his suggesting she seek counselling and or reparative therapy. We have seen letters like this before and the answers are always the same, replete with castigations, references to abominations and seeking reparative therapy as a solution. Another aspect to this letter/answer is the biphobia and bi-invisibility as the letter writer did express opposite sex attractions and activities, what if she were attracted to both sexes but due to her address, Clarendon (out of town, deep rural area)  she may not be exposed to information and other persons like herself for better understanding (JFLAG will do well in having island outreach for real not just in name).

For a Psychologist Rev Dumas is certainly not following the DSM IV and soon to be released DSM V guidelines in handling sex and sexual orientation issues on the face of it, one wonders where he got his training or qualifications?

Let us continue to track these pieces as proof of the sublte forms of homophobia and then to use an elitist position in the answer to the writer by “louding up” her naivety as it were is clear indication of how the man works.

Peace and tolerance

H