Gay & Bisexual Intimate Partner Violence, Homophobic Incidents & Crisis Communication

Crisis communications

Crisis communication is not intended to answer all questions or fill all needs it is just a basic outline of options you might consider if and when you are in the midst of a crisis and need help.

Crisis is any situation that threatens the integrity or reputation of your company or NGO, usually brought on by adverse or negative media attention. These situations can be any kind of legal dispute, and misrepresentations that could be attributed to your company. It can also be a situation where in the eyes of the media or general public your company did not react to one of the above situations in the appropriate manner. This definition is not all encompassing but rather is designed to give you an idea for the types of situations where you may need to follow a plan.

For purposes of this post the omission of same gender loving women in large part is not intentional or meant to exclude them but as there are hardly any documented records of such instances but more so on the side of MSM in my archives, men who have sex with men in the broader context. Exploitative same sex relational matters do often result in some injury from an unconfirmed standpoint when the grapevine system gets wind of them but when jealousy is the reason those conflicts tend not to often lead to a murder, it seems that there has been a preoccupation with more powerful or middle class victims whose cases are used to legitimize homophobia as if only such persons suffer same.  A discussion of sorts has carried on in response to a Gleaner letter some days ago where the writer implored LGBT persons to report incidents to predominantly JFLAG while trying to differentiate intimate partner violence from genuine homophobic cases.

There is more than enough evidence to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt homophobia in Jamaica

Here is the letter firstly: Gays Should Report Violent Encounters

THE EDITOR, Sir:

One of the more unnoticed effects of living in a heteronormative society is the lack of information on, and services for, victims and perpetrators of violence in gay relationships.

This issue is almost as taboo in the (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) LGBT community as homosexuality is in the wider society. There are already so many negative stigmas attached to gay couples that no one wants to publicly voice that there are instances of violence in many gay relationships.

In the same way that men and women abuse each other in heterosexual relationships, they abuse each other in gay relationships, too. Such violence has come to be known as intimate partner violence (IPV) and is defined as physical, sexual or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse.

Due to the nature of gay relationships, especially in Jamaica, many victims and perpetrators of such violence are reluctant to seek help or report incidents of violence in their relationships to the police. IPV can have devastating effects on LGBT people who are already prone to other types of violence at the hands of homophobic people, especially in conservative societies. Many are also reluctant to speak out about it because of the lack of shelters for victims, the general negative sentiment towards gay people, and for some, the fear of being ‘outed’ as gay.

counselling

While this fear is understandable, it is important that victims report incidents of violence, and that perpetrators seek help through counselling to reduce and eliminate IPV. I am encouraging all LGBT people to report all incidents of violence, whether as a result of bullying or IPV, to the police as well as to Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG). And I want to use this opportunity to reiterate that J-FLAG does not condone any type of violence against any person regardless of their sexual identity.

The LGBT community and allies need to be a support system for those in need – both victims and perpetrators – and encourage people to speak out against all types of violence, both in and out of relationships.

P. ANDREW, pgjen_13@hotmail.com, St James

Sadly it seems as implied in this letter a fall in reporting from persons affected by homophobic violence or is JFLAG now finally trying to get its act together when it comes to proper data collection and archiving with evidence of same. I have been openly critical of the incident reporting mechanism they had when I went there as Admin Finance Officer doubling as Crisis Intervention and the poor record keeping of files and incomplete reports of some serious incidents at times, I had to do some major overhauling of the forms and files at the time, examples include persons with injuries yet no photos, police station reports (even rejected visits or cop service number and times) or supporting pictures or documents such as receipts from clinics or prescriptions for injury treatment or dressing and drugs added to the file to make it substantive, the follow up visits that the form calls for at the end before the file is closed or handed over to the relevant person is often blank for many cases. This poor recording keeping or data collection has had and seems to continue to have a serious dent on the all important crisis communication when it comes to public advocacy.

Crisis communication is such as important piece for Jamaica LGBTQ advocacy and more details of cases (barring names or use of pseudonyms) must be brought forward. Nearly 80% of the clients I interviewed who came into the JFLAG office to file reports the session(s) were recorded on audio, unfortunately those were lost as my successor I gathered did not monitor the files and the systems crashed with the files lost forever, so much for simple good administration.

The cynicism and disbelief from anti gay groups, religious fanatics and even legislators is clear over the years with support from media, public commentators and even the police high command dismissing prominent cases as lovers’ quarrels and these major cases are used to justify dismissing any others that have a homosexual involved while not taking into account every case on its own merit. The deceptive use of non homophobic cases by some LGBT lobbyists over the life of the struggle has not helped any either as it only seeks to reinforce the resolve by anti gay voices as we are viewed as liars when such public agitation takes place. Uncompleted court cases for example that of the John Terry matter from 2009 though the stalling at the preliminary hearing level has already revealed some familiarity with the accused and the deceased despite a note was left suggesting death for homosexuals, alleged used condoms were also said to have been found in the home, whether they have evidence of the persons therein is still unclear. The Dean Moriah matter as well sadly who was murdered earlier this year yet long before the investigations were completed some overseas based advocates rushed to judgement and paraded the matter as a homophobic incident even as the trial creeps in our court system, by the time the police high command responded the blanket dismissal of homophobic killings was the subtext of the response hence implying dishonesty by LGBT advocates and a feeling that Jamaica has been falsely labelled as homophobic.

see: September 18 for Dean Moriah Matter 

The mistrust of local advocates I fear still seems to exist in some 7 reports I have received by phone, social media and through other groups when persons are asked to engage JFLAG for example persons simply refuse and even go as far as to label the group as classist and not interested in assisting certain types of persons or feeling that their matter won’t be dealt with as they think it should. This mistrust challenge has been a concern from long before my time at the entity as while there I had a serious task gaining the trust of persons to release their inhibitions and make their reports, this leads to gross under-reporting. This is where our same gender loving sisters come in where there is a feeling that JFLAG is only for males and hence many women who are the subject of abuse, violence (corrective rape) and increasing forced evictions do not come forward.

Exploitative same sex relations as hinted above are also of significant import as men who do not identify as “gay” in the Jamaican context as “bad man” feel threatened in some way as the description (fear of feminization of any sort) for some and power differentials that obtain in this unions of sorts played out in violence for purposes of control. A constant in most of the cases over the years is the class issues right before us, there is usually a middle to high income or relatively comfortable gay man who ends up being the deceased versus a hyper-masculine type from the lower socio economic classes who often do not take any personal items of the victim after the fact and sometimes ends up using the gay panic defence strategy to suggest some sort of implied sodomatical attack to justify the self defence response to kill the person. These same hyper-masculine types have a real fear of exposure in their own class or community so the relations with other more powerful or resourced men is crucial which is also pegged on the belief gay men are more resourced and will pay for such sexual relations.

There maybe is some truth to that as to maintain stealth/secrecy some exchange may occur but the misogynistic view pegged to masculinity by Jamaican standards men do not want to feel subservient to another or in a weakened position so when something changes in that union riddled with a constant power struggle (the so called monied or resourced gay man controlling the union or sex versus the masculine prowess of the hyper-masculine brother maintaining his ground) leads to some violence as the lower resourced man responds the way he knows how that is violence as we are well taught in Jamaica so to do. Any form of disrespect is often met with a violent reaction and seeing that gay men aren’t seen as real men by general social standards the aggressor feels justified in carrying out the attack even using homophobic slurs in doing so despite the intimate familiarity between the parties. These types of cases have factored in the public domain more so than others especially owing to the fact that the victims are prominent citizens or foreigners such as UK Consul John Terry or local Ambassador Peter King, Julius Nelson (son of oppositions spokesman on National Security Dwight Nelson),

Philanthropist, community legend and party promoter Michael Melbourne victim of a trick by a hyper-masculine type
Philanthropist, community legend and party promoter Michael Melbourne victim of a trick by a hyper-masculine type

Micheal Melbourne (community influential) murdered at his apartment on Worthington Avenue or Brian Williamson whose killer “Wingee” was a part of the MSM population who also died in his own apartment. The Brian Williamson case though the motive turned out not to be a homophobic one directly the response from the public is where the evidence is strong of the homo-negative feelings that run in the Jamaican psyche, persons literally rejoiced the morning outside the building as the undertakers and police cordoned off the area to collect the body and process the crime scene. Most of those cases above have remained in the public domain for so long while not having direct homophobic causations that they inform how members of the public judge new cases as non homophobic matters.

“Steve” Lenford Harvey matter just ended with sentencing shortly but the motive is still a bit unclear as robbery seems as the original causation but upon discovery of photos on a laptop it morphed into something else with an added homophobic feature. Also see: 2 Found Guilty Of The Murder Of AIDS Activist, Steve Harvey, Sentencing September 26

Gully Queen
Transgender murder victim “Gully Queen” whose case was labelled as a homophobic case …. misdirected homophobia towards a gender non-conformist should be the correct sub-text in describing this one I suggest

also see: Female cisgender imperative thwarted: 17 year old pre-op transgender woman murdered

The Dwayne Jones murder mistmatch in its reporting has not helped either as (s)he was a transwoman but mistakenly took for a gay man crossed dressed in  a public space with a deceptive motive to trick straight males at an outdoor entertainment event in a rural district. Some activists said he was gay and used that to justify the public advocacy while others said the correct gender identity which confused some folks so some Jamaicans and public commentators simply dismissed the whole as a another gay deception with a satisfactory outcome believe or not.  The outrage that was to have been displayed was not evident except by sections of the LGBT populations.  A recent television special one year since the murder shows up the carelessness frankly of Gully Queen herself and friends that faithful night but who is going to say it openly? that in a sense she gave her own life away in a sense as they clearly thought they understood how to “pass” in public which clearly they didn’t.  See that documentary HERE …….. Host Dionne Jackson Miller takes a look at the issues of the murder of Dwayne Jones aka Gully Queen one year ago and some other related issues to do with homelessness, displacements and forced evictions of LGBT youths with guests, issues to do with passing in public, honesty & integrity about one’s real gender scream for attention in this presentation which warrants better programs from LGBTQ advocacies & interventions specific to transgender individuals navigating public life in Jamaica as misdirected homophobic violence can lead to more incidents such as the tragic murder of Gully Queen,

Other genuine cases also having persons of lesser ilk have not been put to good use to prove the active homophobia in Jamaica when it occurs in more meaningful ways, the cross dresser beating in Trelawny have been overplayed that it has no impact anymore in a sense, the JFLAG listing of cases it did some years ago only show numbers, no outcomes in terms of which were solved. There are several other cases that can be made to help the public to differentiate genuine crimes with a homophobic motive versus crimes of passion as the others are called by detractors.  Cases such as the Manchester mobbing in January 2008 comes to mind complete with photos I took of the victim when I took the report, the lesbian picketing matter in St Catherine some years ago also has photos, the stabbing incident of a transman in Half Way Tree in full view of persons is also another with strong evidence. He now resides in Canada.

LGBT History - Hated to Death Report 2004, Human Rights Watch
Now deceased man who was chopped in Trelawney in November 2002 and featured in the Human Rights Watch Report “Hated To Death” 2004

There are several points reports can be made:

The Police in some instances do take reports the problem is there are still old feelings of hate and stereotyping in the force that needs removing.

Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica catering to lesbian, transgender and bisexual persons but does engage MSM via crisis intervention and has aided persons in resolving matters.

GLBTQ Jamaica of which this blog is apart continues to receive, engage persons and make referrals to those who make reports or know of incidents for the past 7 years via yours truly, Tel: 1-876-813-4942

I still recommend JFLAG despite their issues.

Quality Citizenship Jamaica, QCJ which is a lesbian, bisexual women entity more so for advocacy but they do some crisis intervention.

Peace and tolerance

also see more crisis communication related posts from sister blogs:  So Dean Moriah’s murder was NOT a homophobic killing ……. ethical issues in advocacy arise yet again

Gay Lobby May Have Lost Potential Allies (Gleaner Letter) Indeed

NO GAY RAGE – Homosexuals Are Not Targeted For Violent Crime, Say Experts

Gleaner claims new backlash towards the gay lobby due to MSM homelessness in Kingston

Jamaica Observer deliberately aiding the further discrediting of the remaining LGBTQ credibility in public advocacy……

Police crack College of Agriculture, Science and Education lecturer murder

Betty Ann Blaine on the big gay lie ..

Betty Ann Blaine on Poverty, children and the Buggery Law …. and that awful confusion of homosexuality with pedophilia 

Questions on murder/buggery case in court

The failure to address or tweak the crisis communication aspect of public advocacy is what has slowed our progress greatly in public advocacy that could have been made.

H

Lesbianism in Schools talk continues …….

So recently two main articles have appeared in the Gleaner firstly since the original lesbian coercers issue raised its head again, here is a caption on Dr Heather Little White’s take on the issue albeit here article was only available in hard copy in the Outlook Magazine on March 25 entitled: Lesbianism among schoolgirls ..

She wrote in part: RECENT REPORTS of aggressive lesbian students terrorising younger girls in some Corporate Area high schools have shocked parents and school officials. One may ask why parents and school officials should be distraught when the provision of sexuality education is limited in the home and school. Sex education for girls tends to warn mainly against pregnancy and to a lesser extent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and often ignores the wider issues such as same-sex relationships, incest, sexual slavery, child prostitution and gender identity, among others. 

THE LESBIAN TERM 

The term ‘lesbian’ dates back to ancient Greece through a tragic story of an early Greek female poet Sappho who supervised a school for girls on the island of Lesbos in 600 BC. Sappho fell in love with one of the girls who did not respond to her romantic advances. Sappho took the rejection badly and drowned herself at sea.Sappho’s legacy was a rich collection of love poems written to women as well as men, thus making her an early example of bisexuality. The term lesbian evolved in reference to the island of Lesbos where Sappho was born. It has been suggested that Sappho’s relationships did not include any overt sexual relations and that female homosexuality was common on the island of Lesbos.

CONTINUE HERE 

Now in Sundays Edition of the same paper comes another article using the same photo of the women that is seen in the scanned caption above in a piece entitiled: “Sexual-Bullying Policy Needed In Schools” disturbingly the caption someone at the Gleaner decided to use under the photo was “Children in schools are being bullied for their homosexual orientation, as depicted in this photograph of a lesbian couple.” The article also seeks to evoke reparative therapy as well as a way to treat or in effect punish the so called perpetrators or coercers while unethically making the link to the widely held belive that homosexuals try to homosexualize others so to speak.

The article reads: 

JUST WHEN one thought all the factors negatively affecting and impacting Jamaica’s education system have been analysed, another form of impediment has reared its ugly head, that of sexual bullying. Sexual bullying involves comments, jokes, actions, or attention that is intended to hurt, offend, or intimidate another person. It is more common than we think, and it affects pupils in both single-sex high schools and co-educational high schools alike.

As with any form of bullying, the perpetrator seeks out that individual who is considered the weakest among the pack. Sexually bullying is no different. This form of harassment is usually seen more often in high schools as against primary schools. The focus of sexual bullying is on body parts, as well as the victim’s appearance and or perceived sexual orientation. Boys can harass members of the opposite sex as well as members of their same sex. Girls can harass members of their same sex and even members of the opposite sex, although I suspect the later is not as common as the others in our society. Adults can sexually harass children also.

Sexual orientation has to do with whom one mostly finds sexually and romantically attractive. A girl who gets crushes or who is sexually attracted to a member of the same sex may consider herself lesbian.

As a society, we have always operated in a hypocritical and paradoxical nature regarding sexual orientation. We have always viewed lesbians more favourably than gays, despite the fact that Jamaica is seen and considered by the outside world as a highly homophobic society.

As a nation we have failed our young people in terms of providing good role models. Our parenting skills leave much to be desired. A significant number of our children live in dysfunctional family units. Single-family female-headed households are now the norm. This, in itself, is the genesis of most of the problems/issues affecting the Jamaican family today. A working single female cannot adequately supervise her children, especially if she does not have the financial resources to employ a helper to assist her. The breakdown of the concept of the extended family is quickly disappearing from the Jamaican family. Many fathers’ names do not appear on the birth certificate of their children. The absence of our fathers in the rearing of our children, especially our boys, continue to add stress to the family structure. Our children no longer attend Sunday and or Sabbath schools. The moral teachings the church provides is, therefore, absent. The teaching of religious education as subject is quickly dying; this was also another avenue for moral teachings in our schools. Sunday is now a day for horse racing and other forms of entertainment. Additionally, our crude and sexually-laced popular culture, namely dancehall music, also adds to the destruction path we are on.

abandonment of values

Our proximity to North America and the influx and influence of subscriber television (cable television) are all factors which have greatly contributed to the abandonment of old values and good family life practices to that of new questionable values. As we become more sophisticated and modern, pornography has become more rampant in the society. Sexting” is now the norm rather than the exception for many teenagers. This is one way in which gossip, and sexually laced comments may be spread to destroy people’s self-esteem and character, especially in a relatively small space such of that of a school.

Therefore, we should not be surprised that our children are now experimenting with sexual diversity in this digital era we now live in. Children receive formal and informal messages about their gender identity from a multitude of sources. Some of which are families, peers, communities and, of course, the media. Your gender identity is who you feel as if you are on the inside (male, female, both, neither, flexible) While your gender expression has to do with how your act on the outside, that is, how you walk, talk, sit, dress and so on. Both gender identity and gender expression impact whether one sees him/herself as more masculine than feminine or vice versa. This always impacts how other individuals see and respond to you.

We can almost be sure that the problem highlighted at the specific Corporate Area all-girls school is not unique to that institution. All our educational institutions, co-educational and same-sex, are dealing with similar issues.

What can and should be done? The first line of defence against sexually bullying is the Ministry of Education, and as such, the Ministry of Education needs to take the lead in setting policies to address the issue of sexual bullying. A sexual-harassment policy or a bullying policy should be put in place to clearly inform all stakeholders that this type of behaviour is unacceptable. This policy should also outline the sanctions and penalties that will be applied if anyone decides to go ahead and bully another person. Clearly, we need to address the wider issue which presents itself. The wider issue here is our unwillingness to have a mature and frank discussion with all stakeholders regarding sexual orientation as a human-rights issue. By now, we should realise that by by ignoring or wishing the problem to go away has not worked and will not work.

therapy to change

Clearly, these students are in need of much therapy and counselling. Many experts believe one can change one’s sexual orientation through therapy. Our guidance counsellors are well-trained professionals and, therefore, their services should be made available to those troubled students as well as their parents. The perpetrators of the lesbian attacks should be asked to withdraw from school until they have sought counselling. By allowing them to remain at the school, we are sending the wrong message, not only to the victims of their attack, but the wider school community.

Counselling should also be provided to the victims of such sexual attacks. Maybe a change of school would also be in the best interest of those students. To remain at the school may only serve as a reminder of the horrible and horrific ordeal they experienced.

Additionally, administrators must be more vigilant in terms of what takes place at their school. After all these incidents occurred at the school. Measures must be put in place to have some sort of supervision and monitoring of what takes place on school grounds, regardless of the time of the day.

We should also encourage our children to speak out whenever they have been abused and or threatened.

Schools could and should create bathroom messages that emphasise that no one has the right to abuse and or invade another person space, this by itself will not prevent some students, so a list of teachers to contact would have be most useful also.

The Ministry of Education could also have workshops for teachers to remind and expose them to the rights of children. By so doing, teachers will be better able to assist wherever the need presents itself. We could and should incorporate all the agencies of the state that work with children, as well, in this fight.

preventative measures

It is quite possible the events of recent times can serve to strengthen our Parent Teachers Associations (PTAs) and provide avenues for them to find creative measures to improve the security of schools in which they operate, such as investing in high-tech security measures. Maybe more PTAs could install surveillance cameras at central points to ensure that their children, especially those in the lower grades, are adequately supervised after hours. Maybe they could employ additional security guards to bolster the existing security; this may just serve as a deterrent to the predators. The truth is these older girls have become predators.

Our schools should be a safe place for teaching and learning. No one should be bullied, preyed upon, whether sexually and or physically. Our schools must reclaim what they once were; a clean and protected environment for all to fully maximise their potential.

Wayne Campbell is an educator and gender-rights advocate waykam@yahoo.com. Send comments to columns@gleanerjm.com.

ENDS

I tend to agree with the first comment made on the newspaper’s site which read as follows:

It’s as if this article was written to create more confusion and to further cloud readers’ judgement. 

The caption on the picture says “Children in school are being bullied for their sexual orientation, as depicted in this photo of a lesbian couple”. Now, it really says a lot about the quality of the newstaff at this newspaper that a person can look at a picture of two hands entwined and SEE children being bullied.Then, a so-called “gender-rights advocate” can call for children to be sent to counseling so that their sexual orientation can be changed:Many experts believe one can change one’s sexual orientation through therapy. Our guidance counsellors are well-trained professionals and, therefore, their services should be made available to those troubled students as well as their parents. The perpetrators of the lesbian attacks should be asked to withdraw from school until they have sought counselling” Apparently those “well-trained” counselors were not doing their jobs properly to have let these “troubled” students get to the point of harassing their fellow students.

Something really has got to be done about how much prejudice and selective misreading of research is allowed to pass for informed critique in this newspaper. 

Brother pleads with UK Government to halt lesbian sister’s deportation …………..

According to the voice in the UK a Jamaican woman is to face deportation but she is a member of the same gender loving community women seem to have had issues in gaining asylum overall although we cannot judge so easily as each case has to be taken on its own merit but seeing that men who have sex with men are more vulnerable to homophobic violence in Jamaica they have far more cases pending, successful and deportations than the women do.

However as I have tried to point out before there has been a sharp increase in lesbophobic violence to include the previously thought African phenomenon of corrective rape, forced evictions and displacements.

Have a read of the item from the Voice first excerpted below:

‘My Sister Will Be Killed If She Is Sent Back To Jamaica’

A WEST YORKSHIRE man says his lesbian sister will be killed if she is sent back to Jamaica and is urging immigration officials to reconsider a decision to deport her.

Home

Nestfield Lopez, 24, from Leeds, told The Voice that homophobia in the Caribbean country is rife and claims that his sibling will be targeted because of her sexuality.

He said: ”We all know what Jamaicans think of gays.”

“We’ve got terrorists here that are making suicide bombs. They’ve been in prison, they come out and they can’t deport them because of human rights. What about her human rights? That’s the frustrating thing about it,” he continued.

His sister, 22-year-old, Coletane Lopez, was detained by the UK Border Agency on March 20 after her human rights application was denied.

Acting on legal advice, she had gone to Lunar House in Croydon, Surrey, where immigration claims are processed, to seek asylum for protection, but was handcuffed and transferred to Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre in Bedfordshire, where she is currently awaiting deportation.

Mr Lopez, who was unaware that his sister was gay until last December, has begun a petition to stop the process but claims her health is deteriorating day by day.

“We had a visit with her and she’s lost loads of weight. She hasn’t been eating.

She’s been worried. At one point she wanted to commit suicide. She said I’m going to kill myself because if I get sent home, I’m going to get killed anyway.”

Her deportation has been placed in the fast track system, which means she can be removed from the country within four to seven days of her case being decided.

The siblings first came to the UK with their family in 2000. Last year their parents were removed and sent back to Jamaica, but Mr Lopez, who is married with two young children, has been granted the right to remain because his partner is a British national.

Mr Lopez says that his sister will have nowhere to go if she is returned to Jamaica because even his parents refuse to accept his sister because of her sexuality.

He said: “Every time I speak to my dad, we have an argument. He says, ‘have you not thrown her out yet? Don’t give her any money and don’t look after her. You should choke her and kill her’. That’s what he’s saying to me. I’m like, ‘that’s your daughter!’ But he says, ‘Oh no. I don’t have no daughter anymore. That’s what I have to deal with!”

The Voice contacted the UK Border Agency for their response. A spokesperson said: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases.”

ENDS

In continuing on the issue of displacements for SGL women due to lesbophobia women by virtue of being more social creatures in the Jamaican context easily find informal hosting services within the community or with family members as some cases have shown as lesbianism is tolerated locally than male homosexuality. Sadly in this case as excerpted above shows there maybe a serious cause for concerns and as I said above each case has to be taken on its own merit but we must also remember the reputation Jamaica on a whole has in places like the United Kingdom where we have flouted rules, committed crimes and so on.

Our cases are treated with far more scrutiny based on my limited experience with the border agency in times gone by but how do we assist persons who legitimately need to leave the island due to threats against their person?

We have seen successful cases on the other hand such as a sister who was bipolar some years ago who was brutally raped several times over by thugs (including a cousin allegedly) in her inner city community with what seemed to be tacit support from other thugs in the area at the time, she was successful however in gaining asylum in the UK in 2010, another sister who was threatened with arson of her flat in another area due to her butch mystique as it were as she wore masculine clothes and was clearly a gender non conformist given the scheme of things.

And as for advocacy for same gender loving women in Jamaica well that is much to be desired with groups such as JFLAG and a smaller outfit known as Women for Women (WFW) but since male homosexuality and the attendant issues are engaged far more with a view to repealing the buggery law which is understandable women’s issues get glossed over even in the face of the aforementioned increases in violence and stigma to sgl women especially the members or self identified butches who are seen as a threat to men in Jamaica as they are accused of taking away women from over machismo worshipping men.

We hope there is a follow up on this story so we can know the outcome of this case and how the sister is fearing out.

Additional reading from a previous post on sister blog GLBTQJA on Blogger:
Jamaica lesbians suffer from under-reported violence but whose fault is that ???

here are two pieces of audio commentary I had done in 2011 also expressing concerns about the inequality in the handling of same gender loving women’s issues versus msms and the murder of two lesbians late last year as well:

Lesbian issues left out of the Jamaican advocacy thrust until now? 

plus

2 SGL WOMEN LOST, CORRECTIVE RAPE & VIRTUAL SILENCE FROM THE MALE DOMINATED ADVOCACY STRUCTURE

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

Lesbians & Learning – Situtational Homosexuality at a Kgn All Girls School ?

The following article appeared in the Gleaner originally entitled:

Lesbians And Learning – Younger Students Under Siege At Corporate Area All-Girls School

But is this a case of experimentation or situational homosexuality as occurs in spaces where same sexed persons co-exist for extended periods? Have a read of the article first then see my comments below –

Authorities at a prominent Corporate Area all-girls high school are reportedly struggling to deal with several sexual attacks on young girls by older students.

School authorities on Wednesday summoned parents to an emergency meeting as more and more young girls started reporting horror stories of cases where they were forced to perform sexual acts with the older girls.

The Gleaner understands that some girls in the upper school usually endeavour to recruit the young girls from the first and second forms.

A parent who attended the meeting told The Gleaner that a plethora of issues were discussed.

“They called the emergency meeting yesterday (Wednesday) to address the behavioural patterns of students in the school,” the parent said.

Circulating porn

The parent added that they were told the children were “circulating pornography and a lot of things”.

The parent also said the acting principal and the teachers were very frustrated with what was happening at the school.

“Lesbianism is so rampant at the school in the bathrooms. I’m very, very concerned,” the worried parent said.

A senior student, who spoke with The Gleaner, revealed that the pornography being circulated was that of a grade-10 student performing oral sex on an adult male.

The student, who reportedly recorded the sex act, sent it to her peers via Bluetooth.

The student said the lesbianism problem at the school was getting out of control with increasingly more public displays of affection, even in front of faculty members.

“The lesbians are just getting prime. They don’t really care,” the student said.

The student explained that a recent decision to move the grade-seven girls from a block that was in proximity to the grade-11 block was spawned by the fact that the upper-school girls were preying on the lower-school girls.

“When they are ready, they lock up the seven-grade bathroom and you can’t get in. When you open the door, it is fifth-form girls in there,” she said.

The senior student said some of the girls openly admit that they are lesbians and others say they are bisexual.

Use of force

Another student explained that some fifth-form students use force to sexually molest some first-formers and the situation is now of major concern at the institution.

“The older girls are having sex with the younger girls by force. It is not the first time it is happening. The lesbians them a go on bad,” she said.

A parent who said she was aware of the situation was quick to point out that the parents need to play their part.

“The practice is getting out of control but instead of labelling the students, persons should instead try to assist. The situation is a crisis at the school but it is really a testing of faith,” one parent said.

“We have to try to guide them at home. They can change, they just need our guidance,” she added.

The Gleaner spoke with a group of girls yesterday who appeared to be on lunch break. They too confirmed the reports of lesbianism at the institution.

Some of the girls said it was something that has been going on at the school for a long time.

“I know about it. I am not sure of the details but it is not something new. It has been going on for a long time and the girls are not giving it up,” one of the girls said.

Students scared

However, some students said they did not know about the activity while others seemed too scared to talk to the media as they would neither confirm nor deny the reports.

A parent said: “Come this morning, the solution was that they would take away all the BlackBerry phones because that is what they have been using to circulate the pornography.”

She added: “One parent said her daughter saw two girls making out in the bathroom.”

The parent also disclosed that the acting principal said the school could not take action against the girls’ activities without concrete evidence.

She said the acting principal gave a toll-free number for students and parents to call with information without revealing their identities.

“Really and truly, I don’t want my daughter to get lost in the system,” the parent said.

When The Gleaner contacted the acting principal for an official response, she declined to comment, claiming she was unaware of such a situation and that the meeting held on Wednesday was just a regular parent-teacher association meeting. It had been reported last year that lesbianism was a growing challenge in the education system, especially at some all-girls institutions.President of the Jamaica Association of Guidance Counsellors in Education, Dr Grace Kelly, had said the matter was significant and called for attention.

ENDS

But some more questions come to mind for me as previous media reports similar in nature without any follow up always leave me puzzled

The Star News also carried a VERY similar story in October 2011 posted HERE on GLBTQ Jamaica

Are these females in an experimental stage of their sexual development, thus practicing same sex activity?
Were the first formers actually sexually assaulted and were they taken to a doctor for an examination or the police?
Are the schools’ guidance counselling systems providing the wrong kind of counselling to the so called victims when they maybe lesbians indeed?
Are the schools’ overlooking the sexual orientation issues of the girls involved?
Are female teachers also guilty of forced initiation to female students in some single sexed institutions as well as we have seen in heterosexual scenarios where male students make moves on female students?
Are the alleged older fondlers actually lesbians or are they just exercising psychological  intimidation over the younger students while using fondling as an embarrassing ploy?
If this turns out to be true do instances like this weaken the case for tolerance and make the perception of the “homosexual lifestyle” as predatory more cemented in the minds of detractors?
Should sexual orientation be looked at seriously by the Ministry of Education and the Guidance Counseling bodies in as far as dealing with lgbt teens, early initiation and peer pressure for sexual activity? 
Could the females described here be actually transmen (FTM – female to male preoperative transgender) acting out or mimicking the societal masculine roles as done by men locally to “hunt” young teens and beautiful women?
But with an education system devoid of really engaging sexuality and same sex issues squarely will we ever get the right answers outside of this and having to rely on a newspaper’s story? Is there a thin line between experimentation and predatory behaviour here?
It was earlier last year that the Observer published an article by Janice Budd claiming lesbian gangs were terrorizing schools  in May of this year there was some panic created as well by the Jamaica Association of Guidance Counselors in Education (JAGE) when its President Dr. Grace Kelly created a stir by making several comments on the issue, among other things a Gleaner story byNadisha Hunter summed it up – “There is a challenge in the schools and the guidance association is aware of it,” she said.”What we continue to do is to provide counselling and support for these children, and to ensure that we provide them access to proper information, and through the guidance and counselling sessions, the students are given an opportunity to understand and appreciate their sexuality,” Dr Kelly added.She noted that while it has not reached the stage where any matter had to be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist, she was aware that cases have been referred to other persons in the education setting because of the nature. Also See: Sex therapist Dr Sidney McGill says “Lesbianism is on the rise in Jamaica & world-wide with even young girls in co-ed schools preferring other girls” from my sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica on blogger.
A talk show host suggested that parents of the aggrieved students sue the school for endangering the morals of children as the school is negligent in allowing this issue to happen although he (Ronald Mason of Nationwide News) also suggested students should be given condoms as their actions cannot be managed on a 24hr basis so they should be afforded the protection needed so as to avoid contracting STIs and HIV.
Issues such as this JFLAG also need to wake up from slumber and deal with as same gender loving female activity perceived or not are grossly overlooked for years by the NGO and with calls from the former President of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship President to have lesbian sex criminalised as well one wonders when are they going to wake up?
Update 11.03.12 – Now a press release from the J 11.03.12 entitled: J-FLAG CONDEMNS SEXUAL COERCION AND CALLS ON SCHOOLS ADMINISTRATORS TO DIALOGUE, this response to me shows the the lack of forward thinking and understanding of initiation, situational homosexuality and experimentation issues. Then again SGL women’s issues were never something they have dealt with effectively.
Peace and tolerance
H

JFLAG wants PNP to discuss Buggery Law within 100 days of assuming office

Again the advocates Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays JFLAG sans consulting the community’s views on the Prime Minister designate to review the Buggery Law and heading to a conscience vote has caused some upset in sections of the community who are saying the J should keep quiet and wait, let Sista P as Mrs Simpson is affectionately called deal with other serious issues first such as the economy and jobs then on the other rights for gays etc. When the group is to speak it is silent, just in December the brutal murders of two lesbians and up until today not an official word or recognition of the lives lost on the backdrop of same gender loving women’s issues and the increasing abuses against them, a trend we have been seeing since 2007 with corrective rapes, attempted abductions, forced evictions and beatings of butch identified women.

please see: 2 SGL Women lost, corrective rape & virtual silence from the male dominated advocacy structure on those circumstances

Reports are already out there of an attempted beating of four men in the Half Way Tree area since the Peoples National Party PNP win as persons out there follow a strong rumour that the party was funded by gays and that gays voted the party back into power based on the buggery law review suggestion by Sista P.

Three of the men allegedly escaped but one was cornered and sustained minor cuts from his assailants which numbered some four, some of whom were sellers of pirated DVDs in the vicinity. Another report has come of a butch identified lesbian who has been asked to take cover from her rented flat in St. Catherine, it is reported that she got the warning from other men in the area who said to her to just be proactive and leave the house to avoid any serious attack on her person or her son who resides with her sometimes of his father who lives elsewhere.

Earlier today the Gleaner had carried a story highlighting the demand of sorts to the incoming government almost ignoring the objections from the religious right and the slow groundswell it seems on the face of it of opposition to the suggestion by Mrs Miller, many persons while agreeing with the voting out of the Jamaica Labour Party, JLP they are stating that they are not comfortable with the homosexual matter, persons misconstrue the call for the review of the Buggery Law as a repeal or freeing up of homosexuality in Jamaica. Others such as some religious leaders think the homosexual agenda is being foisted on the country as previous posts and newspaper articles have brought to bear.

Go Jamaica carried this:

J-FLAG wants PNP to prioritise buggery law review

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays (JFLAG), says it is expecting the new Government to prioritize human rights issues.

In the December 20 leadership debate, PNP President, Portia Simpson Miller said her administration was committed to the protection of human rights.

Simpson Miller also said it was time for a review of the buggery law, saying she believed the issue should be put to a conscience vote in the parliament.

The executive director of J-FLAG, Dane Lewis, said the group expects the new government to stick to its commitments.

Some churches have rejected Simpson Miller’s suggestion for a review of the buggery law describing the proposal as the promotion of a homosexual agenda.

this clip also was apart of that report:

J-FLAG wants PNP to prioritise buggery law review

Dane Lewis Executive Director of the J told CVM TV that he expected the issues to begin to placed on the table within 100 days, “To be realistic we would imagine within the first 100 days the issue could be raised we can look at how to proceed,” Mr Lewis said while JFLAG is not expecting a conscience vote to repeal the buggery law within the first 100 days discussions are important as Jamaica has a 2012 deadline to meet according to the international covenant on human rights, “….one of the leading recommendations made in November last year was that Jamaica should report by 2012 on what concrete steps to removal of discriminatory laws,” Mr Lewis said.

According to Mr. Lewis JFLAG is willing to make small steps in acquiring legal recognition for homosexuals he says although gay marriage is legalized overseas JFLAG is not pursuing that as part of its lobby at this time, ” …gay marriage is certainly not an item on our agenda, we still have a large issue of discrimination …. people are being evicted from their homes, people are being physically abused because of their sexual orientation and we want to begin to address those issues.”

He acknowledges that the discussion of gay rights will be met with strong public opposition however he says as was demonstrated by Mrs Simpson Miller  we should be strident in dealing with issues impeding human rights, a solution to the issues concerning gay rights will help to deal with HIV/AIDS.

also see: Did the talk of buggery turn persons off from the polls?

Certainly this is not the end of the matter now that the goodly J has thrown down the gauntlet here to the incoming government but which I also agree with other persons in the community we need to lay low for a while and let the tempers ease nationally and the post-election euphoria, also let the party bring it on the agenda while talks proceed quietly behind closed doors. There is bound to be fallout of which there maybe not enough net systems to deal with the victims or involuntary martyrs who may have not subscribed to JFLAG’s agenda. The lack of proper consultation with the LGBT body politic before speaking to the media supposedly on our behalf cannot be the modus operandi anymore, there are serious repercussions we need to be cognizant of in these times. This top down approach needs to go!

We have a saying in Jamaica: ” ….. yuh hand inna lion mouth u tek time draw it out,” (your hand is in a lion’s mouth you take your time and pull it out) the J needs to shut up for now and keep in touch with the realities on the ground as suggested by persons who saw the news clip on TV and the Go Jamaica’s report.

Peace and tolerance

H

UPDATE JAN 12, 2012 – THE J RESPONDED 

J-FLAG DID NOT GIVE ULTIMATUM

J-FLAG

Kingston — January 12, 2012

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) wishes to clarify that the organisation has NOTgiven the government an ultimatum.

On January 3, 2012, CVM TV contacted the organisation for a comment on its expectations of the new administration following the Peoples National Party’s (PNP) win in the General Elections. This was in the context of the bold pronouncements the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller had made during the leadership debate. NewsWatch reported, J-FLAG’s Executive Director, Dane Lewis as saying “To be realistic, I imagine within the first hundred days at least the issue could be raised, with a look at how to proceed.”

However, many have misinterpreted this statement of expectation as an ultimatum. Mr Lewis also highlighted that Jamaica is required by the end of 2012 to report to the UN Human Rights Committee reviewing Jamaica’s status under the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights “on what concrete steps it’s [Jamaica] making towards removal of discriminatory laws”. It is within this context that the comment was made.  J-FLAG wishes to reiterate that it has not issued an ultimatum but offered a comment on what could be done by the Government within the first hundred (100) days to demonstrate its recognition of the broad human rights concerns that affect all Jamaicans. This is a common strategy which has been used by many other organisations in civil society and private sector.

Like all Jamaicans, J-FLAG remains committed to the human social and economic development of Jamaica. In so doing, J-FLAG will continue to defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans from discrimination, harassment and violence.

ENDS

………… mistakes such as granting a telephone interview (sans any consultations with the community I might add) to the media in a “hot environment” when homosexuality or related matters are in the public domain is a no no, all the J should have done was waited and not mention anything at all to do with any time line in any way, shape or form now for it to be misrepresented as an ultimatum. We have had previous misconceptions before of JFLAG’s position by media and one would have thought that as a former media participant himself the Executive Director of JFLAG Mr. Lewis would have known the ins and outs of local media with regards to hot button issues such as this. The San Francisco boycott some years ago and the suggested EGALE tourism boycott as well are prime examples of learning curves for the group and speaking just a little too much but when it’s time to speak there is silence. How many mistakes are there to be made before it is perfected? one never knows.

Internalized homophobia glaring since the elections …. a worrying trend

Internalized Homophobia is something that virtually all gays have to confront (or have yet to confront) in their lives.

The simple definition is that internalized homophobia refers to negative feelings that we have towards ourselves because of our homosexuality. The forms it may take can vary from outright shame, denial, or self-injury, to hating on other gay people and more unconscious behaviors as well.

Internalized homophobia happens for some of the same reasons that straight people are homophobic – namely ignorance, often because of religion and then of course, because of negative stereotypes and misinformation that we hear about in our families, schools, and society.

However, with gays, negative attitudes become “internalized” because we are the subject of these prejudices! Whether we realize it or not, we are affected and hurt by hate and discrimination. It’s never a conscious choice to have internalized homophobia, but it must be a conscious choice to change it.

Here is a general overview of the spectrum of behaviors that exhibit internalized homophobia. Everyone has a unique life history, personality, and set of circumstances that inform their place either on or totally off of this list!  :

1. Aggressive Denial. Some people feel so strongly that they should not be gay that they will repress their feelings and desires and speak out with some of the most hateful and homophobic language you will ever hear. You often see this happen with fundamentalist religious figures, like Ted Haggard. This never ends well. (Usually it ends with a gay sex scandal, talk show appearances and a lot more denial.) This is the worst kind of internalized homophobia because the hateful rhetoric and actions that these “aggressive deniers” exhibit really hurt other gay people and the movement.

2. Denial. Some people simply deny that they are gay, try to lead a straight life, may even get married and have a family. Many of these gay people in denial lead secret gay lives, or possibly worse, spend their lives feeling unfulfilled, lonely and unknown to everyone they love.

3. Closeted. A closeted person is someone who has gay relationships, but hides that fact from everyone that they know and love. In Beyond the Closet; The Transformation of Gay and Lesbian Life, being in the closet is described as a “life-shaping pattern of concealment.” Being closeted is linked with high-anxiety, low self-esteem, increased risk for suicide and general lack of fulfillment (though closeted people rarely admit to not being fulfilled while they’re in there, though they always remark about it when they finally come out!)

4. In the closet with the door open. Many people are only partially closeted. They have gay relationships, and don’t completely hide their sexuality, but they make a point to not talk about it with family, friends, co-workers or, if they are public figures, the media. Sometimes gay people do this for their own safety, for example, if they know they could face possible violence at work or lose their home if they are living with homophobic family members.

There can be a practical side to being careful with your disclosure. However, many gays have gay friends, gay friendly (or at least loving) parents and still they remain silent. Often they say things like “it’s not anybody’s business,” or “we don’t talk about those kinds of things,” when questioned. The root of this avoidance and secrecy is shame, fear to disappoint, fear to face actual homophobia from people or to not be accepted. This kind of internalized homophobia really encourages subtle and systemic discrimination in our society.

It makes a statement that even gay people believe that gays should be marginalized and gives straight people permission to ignore us. When we do not advocate for ourselves and others who need support, we are weak as a movement. Additionally, the people found in this part of the spectrum are often the most avid deniers of the existence of ‘internalized homophobia.’

5. Out, and generally fine with other gays, but really dislikes ‘dykes’ and ‘flamers’. Many gay people are out and open and educated and “perfectly wonderful” gays, except for the fact that they vocally dislike flamboyant gay people. If you are this person, there are a few things you should consider.

  • These outspoken, visible minorities (a.k.a. someone who does not or cannot pass as straight) have been on the forefront of the gay rights movement from the very beginning. They take the brunt of the homophobia, face the most violence, and through their differences have created greater visibility for LGBTQ people in the world. After all, if no one could see us, how could they know we existed?
  • Every group of people has extreme examples and stereotypes. We encounter straight people all the time who are so ridiculous, they could be cartoons. And yet, we accept these differences to be within the acceptable range of human weirdness and expression.
  • It is important to distinguish between a flamboyant person and an annoying person. The reason you dislike someone may have everything to do with the fact that they are irritating, and not as much to do with the fact that they are queer.
  • Some of the hate directed at extremely masculine lesbians or extremely feminine gay men, is actually a form of gender discrimination. We need to take into account that gender expression is something that happens in conjunction with sexuality. Many people with non-traditional expressions, are experiencing the brunt of internalized homophobia and transphobia, even if they’re not trans. Lots of straight people want to put sexuality in a box, but lots of straight and gay people want to put gender in a box. Gender, like sexuality, is a spectrum of expression.

Since the elections and the strong feelings on the issues especially since the wrench that was thrown in the mix of the review of the buggery law by the opposition People’s National Party, PNP in the leadership debate who have since won the poll on December 29th, the JLP who since the mention of the suggested buggery law review by the PNP leader and Prime Minister designate Portia Simpson Miller have employed  devious homophobic methods on the campaign trail to capture the Jamaican audience’s attention which seemed to have led to voter non interest and a low voter turn out with core party supporters returning the PNP to power while the undecided basically stayed home.

For purposes of this post let us exclude the outness of persons but zoom on on the community conflicts pre and post the election results, LGBT persons who openly supported the Jamaica Labour Party before the buggery law review suggestion have found themselves the object of serious scaving bordering on homophobic slurs and innuendos some with very threatening tones as if to suggest if those who support the JLP must be crazy and they can stay and be killed in the process by the systems. The social network spaces especially Facebook have become ablaze with persons trading insults and long argumentative threads with the very words used against LGBT people by homophobes also being employed to psychologically intimidate persons. The cynicism to those persons has remained high since the results and smacks on a kind of elitism that seemed to have been hidden but making its way to the fore as the opportune time presents itself.

The contemptuous tones are worrying to myself and a few others and speaks to the overall struggling health of our LGBT community, how can we ask the rest of the nation for tolerance when we can’t even tolerate each other with differing views? I firmly believe we have to get our act together and express opinions and thoughts without descending into the very bowels of nasty homophobia that we are all wanting to escape I hope from the religious right and sections of the mainstream. It is shocking this kind of intolerance so much so that persons find the time to carefully prepare several well worded posts and blackberry messages/broadcasts two or three times a day cursing swearing and aiming venomous putrid hate at other LGBT people just because they supported the JLP, I too have come in for some slight criticism which I welcomed but my critics and I argued the issues based on my open view of the situations in this election and then agreed to disagree but others have not been so lucky, trouble is the posts as mentioned are sometimes open and directed at unnamed persons but it is clear who the intended targets are, to even be so vaguely loose and contemptuous is also troubling and smacks on a kind of psychological manipulation to influence thoughts and professional hypocrisy. The IH does not only come from individual profiles but also several LGBT Facebook groups as well including several where members of the advocacy structure are a part of, these vitriolic exchanges go unchecked with these members obviously seeing them and no reprimand or call to a check on how we are treating each other.

Are we ready then to embrace rights and or privileges when we are at this stage of our community lacking moral fibre, scruples or just basic respect for each other? seeing that we can’t be out relatively speaking and the perils of homophobia is this the release mechanisms we resort to by castigating each other in anger?

Is it insecurity within oneself here that causes these outbursts even from persons who wouldn’t normally be involved in such activity? after all Jamaica politics usually brings out the animal in some persons.

Time will have to tell.

Peace and tolerance

H

 

 

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

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

“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