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

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Situational homosexuality and or “Predatory behaviour” reasons for the closure of Alpha Boys’ Home residential programs?

alpha boys home

So it would seem as the story gains traction, when it first broke on the Jamaica Observer it was a vague little worded piece that left more questions and negative reactions than anything else but since the last twenty four hours with statements from and footage from the Minister of Youth Lisa Hanna seeking to outline some of the issues she is aware of more seems to be coming to light, her use of the term “predatory sexual activity” is a bit troubling to me though, it seems she is busy this year as the cooling down of the Permanent Secretary Sydney Bartley homo-paedophile matter is still in the Supreme Court even though the Minister is no longer named as a party in that matter the other named parties are still being pursued. 120 boys or so will have to find a place to live after June 2014 although the educational components of the work will continue said a spokesperson for the institution.

also see the Observer’s take on it: HERE

SITUATIONAL HOMOSEXUALITY This term refers sociologically to widespread same-sex behaviour in total institutions where no partner of the opposite sex is available. I bring this up as I am afraid the boys may be stigmatised out of all this for being freaks or homosexuals playing into the predatory nature perception held out there especially by the anti gay establishment. In some cases, as in prisons, jails and reformatories, places of safety, half way houses and transitional living facilities the residents/inmates are there involuntarily; in others, as ships at sea, monasteries and nunneries participation has been freely chosen although terms of engagement, strict rules and curtailed socializing activities limit sexual release. The situational homosexuality term is also applied to cultures where adolescents are gender-segregated the assumption behind the notion of psychological situational homosexuality is that the individual’s behaviour is dependent on the heterosexually deprived situation, and that those performing homosexual acts faute , de mieux under these circumstances will revert to heterosexual behavior once they regain access to the opposite sex, while the “true” homosexual prefers his own sex even when the other is freely accessible.

The situation of deprivation does not affect all people equally.

In the case of Alpha Boys like any other such facility experimentation too maybe a factor especially the homo-negative culture that exists here, there is a way in which persons become attracted to taboo practices out there in private circumstances. The Minister’s exact words regarding the same sex activities she said she was told by the Nuns at Alpha (Roman Catholic sisters of Mercy) in February was as follows:

“The sisters of mercy cited the grave anti social behaviour ….. the sexual predatory nature of the boys on one another on a daily basis ……… the incapability of human capital to respond to the many and changing faces of the issues manifested today, the challenge is further compounded by the high cost of care for each child.”

Are the sisters going by their own assessment of the situation from a church standpoint thus interpreting the matter as predatory (not saying it is all together true) there was some denial of the reasons for the discontinued residency component by one PR representative Joshua Chamberlain who said on radio “There is absolutely no truth from those suggesting the home is shutting down partly due to inappropriate behaviour among Alpha Boys, residential care if transitioning to day care……” I guess the goodly PR rep is trying to avoid a generalization that the boys are wholesale perverts as slightly suggested by the Youth Minister.

Even late nineteenth-century authors realized that some individuals never engage in homo- sexual activity no matter how long or how intense the deprivation from heterosexual contact they endure. Similarly, many homosexuals fail to take up heterosexual activity even though homosexuality may be so severely repressed as to be practically unavailable. Nevertheless, cross-cultural evidence abundantly documents higher incidences of homosexual activity in situations of heterosexual deprivation, and markedly so for males in their sexual prime.

SIWA OASIS A town in the Libyan desert of western Egypt, Siwa is the site of an ancient civilization which retained a form of institutionalized homosexuality into the modern era. The oasis was the location of an oracle consulted by Alexander the Great and modern observers have stressed how the Berber population conserved its own language, religious rites, and sexual customs despite the later overlay of Islam and Egyptian administration. Sexual relations among men fell into the ancient pattern of pairing between usually married adult men and adolescent bachelors. In the nineteenth century, families lived within the walls of a town constructed rather like a single large adobe “beehive” while all unmarried men lived together on the edges of town where they made up a warrior class (zaggalah) protecting the oasis from desert marauders. In the twentieth century, as the military function declined and the townspeople have moved out of the walled centre, the zaggalah have become agricultural labourers retaining their customs and clubhouses. The anthropologist Walter Cline, writing in 1936, found “All normal Siwan men and boys practice sodomy. . . .

I am in no way suggesting that sodomy is the only same sex activity found in this case of Alpha as partnered masturbation also is a key way to “gain release” which in such situational circumstances but again the Youth Minister’s wording makes it seems as anal rape when she uses “predatory behaviour” substitutional sex as the experts tell us lacks the more erotic or raunchy elements of sex between innate gay men for example and is not as engaging as two more romantically involved same sex partners. Among themselves the zaggalah natives are not ashamed of this; they talk about it as openly as they talk about love of women, and many if not most of their fights arise from homosexual competition.” Among the zaggalah, man-boy relationships were formally recognized when the man offered the boy’s father a gift (or bride price) as in heterosexual marriage. Abd Allah notes that “Siwan cus- toms allow a man but one boy [vs. four wives] to whom he is bound by a stringent code of obligations.” In the zaggalah club- house “labourers come together on any occasion for communal rejoicing and assemble on moonlight nights for drinking, singing, and dancing to the merry rhythm of flute and drum” (Cline).T his festive and erotic tradition culminates in a three-day bacchanal dedicated to the medieval sheik, Sidi Soliman, following the Islamic fast of Ramadan. The various accounts of Siwa agree on the openness and fluidity of sexuality, in that divorce is casual and serial polygamy common, men having as many as a dozen wives over time. Male and female prostitution was noted and Cline remarked that the role in homosexual relations was variable and voluntary.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Mahmud Mohamrnad 'Abd Allah, "Siwan Customs," Harvard African Studies, 1 (19171, 1-28; C. Dalrymple Belgrave, Siwa: The Oasis of Jupiter Ammon, London: Lane, 1923; Walter Cline, Notes on the People of Siwah and El Garah in the Libyan Desert, Menasha, WI: George Banta Publishing, 1936; Robin Maugham, journey to Siwa, London: Chapman and Hall, 1950. Barry D. Adam

I think we need to examine this case some more far more carefully, JFLAG and the other advocates have not responded to this faux pas of sorts either which has me concerned sometimes as to their relevance as this issue can be made to play into the anti gay establishment as reason to oppose and block the trajectory to LGBT rights and recognition seeing the repeated conflation between abuse and same gender sex when in truth and in fact abuse is abuse no matter the sexual orientation or gender of the perpetrator. Seeing also that the boys are the same age grouping how else are we to deal with this?

The Youth Minister in a follow up discussion this morning on Nationwide radio suggested isolation of the identified abusers with psychological intervention what she did not say or was asked by the interviewers was was this in a view to also push reparative therapy supposedly thinking the boys are gay and need to be changed? Why I raised this is because many of the professionals in the system are trained in Christian run theological colleges often disregarding the diagnostic statistical manual, DSM with regards to homosexuality which is not a disorder yet some professional ignore this and their personal values clash with protocols. I am concerned for the boys as this situation reminds me of the easy way out mentality by administrations for such facilities, The Safe House Project 2009 that was under the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life was closed down by the board due to “bad behaviour” as the given reason then yet we have ended up with grief with displaced/homeless MSM/Trans persons numbers spiralling out of control with a JFLAG silent then and actually moving into the space that was the shelter turning it into their offices. They soon bore the backlash over time with the men attacking the offices of JASL as well intermittently with a notice to quit being the final edict and demolition of the building in 2013.

It seems there is an impatience to stick with problematic populations (outside of funding woes) in terms of transitional work and the psycho social components is still a problem as the quest for rights via victimhood abounds and takes precedence, this Alpha case has a touch shade of it too but let us see where it leads, the homeless msm/trans individuals in New Kingston for example are obviously being manipulated by powerful advocates and institutions as a recent news item showed where complaints about police abuse were highlighted, yes there is abuse but the same voices complaining are well established entities with robust funding to do something meaningful but instead the foot dragging continues while reclining in the HIV prevention imperative naming the cohort as vulnerable and susceptible to HIV, yes stigma/homo-negativity etc. exists but how it is presented sometimes short changes the very thrust. If the Alpha situation is met with proper responses via the government however to include psycho social/sexual interventions then it stands to reason that government can also address homelessness and displacement in the LGBT populations seeing that some advocates already expect state actors to take care of them while they recline in privilege.

Hypocrisy is a hell of a thing I tell you.

I am also concerned about the re-integration process as the minister spoke to some prior training of parents who with troubled children are exposed to twenty hours of training so as to engage the children when they return home, is LGBT child rearing included in this? I doubt it, such much more developmental issues arise here simply from this news of the closure of noble institution.

also see this previous post from 2011 of a boys’ home incident: SITUATIONAL HOMOSEXUALITY, SUBSTITUTIONAL SEX, EXPERIMENTATION OR WHAT? ……… SENSATIONAL STORY YET AGAIN

also hear this clip as an example of the homo-negative firestorm that has since erupted conflating abuse with some gay agenda and same gender consensual sex:

Walk good

Peace and tolerance

H

Education Ministry says it will take on coercion in schools …

The Gleaner carried this story on April 10th following on the accusations of older lesbian students supposedly abusing younger girls, interestingly the ministry jumps quickly to address this issue but the problem in co-ed schools remains any by extension the mainstream on buses and taxis where inappropriate behaviour and sexual realtions with older men and school girls goes on with limited monitoring it looks on the surface.

Let us see where this takes us, one hopes we do not hear or see in the correcting of the issue of abuse that what may remotely look as reparative therapy towards the same sex attracted students and that the measures only address the allegations of abuse and not sexual orientation

Have a read of the article and see what you make of it.

Jamaica Gleaner Company

Ready To Take On School Sex – Thwaites Vows To Tackle Inappropriate Behaviour At All-Girls’ Institutions

Ronald Thwaites

Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter

A Ministry of Education report on investigations into allegations of forced sexual activities at some local girls’ schools is expected to be ready this week. Education Minister Ronald Thwaites, told The Gleaner yesterday that the ministry had conducted the investigation into the matter and was awaiting the results.

Thwaites said that, based on the outcome, the ministry would intervene to put an end to any such activity at the schools.

Early last month it was revealed that authorities at a prominent Corporate Area all-girls high school were struggling to deal with several alleged sexual attacks on young girls by older students.

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

The Gleaner understood that some girls in the upper school regularly sought to recruit the young girls from the first and second forms.

Thwaites declared he was ready to take the appropriate action to rid the education system of the behaviour.

“The ministry must do two things; one, it must articulate very clearly the inappropriateness of any kind of sexual pressure in schools and, second, it must get the school community, which includes parents, teachers, all workers and the students themselves, to avoid any instance of this kind of pressure,” the minister stressed.

Thwaites said training for both teachers and parents was essential in order to better the system.

“This is where I think continuing professional development of our teachers is very important so that they know the signs, that they don’t over exaggerate and that they are adept at counselling young children and adults.

“This is also to emphasise the importance of vigorous parenting programmes so that parents can become active collaborators and fully informed persons who can assist their children in going through the sometimes turbulent years of growing up,” he added.

Principals concerned

The problem of sexual attacks had attracted the attention of the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (JAPSS) and Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison.

JAPSS President Sharon Reid, had admitted this was a problem in some schools and that the matter would be a major item of discussion at a retreat scheduled for next month under the theme ‘Facing Challenges of Leadership Together’.

Gordon Harrison had said there needed to be a public-education campaign to sensitise the offenders about the breaches they have committed.

nadisha.hunter@gleanerjm.com

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. 

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

Situational homosexuality, Substitutional sex, Experimentation or what? ……… sensational story yet again

A headline in the Star News dated December 16th blared “Buggery attack at boys’ home – Youngster accused of molesting younger wards” which again brought into sharp focus for me the issue of situational homosexuality and or substitutional sex in places of safety, prisons and other same gender populated areas and buildings where in our highly sexualized context contact is made every now and again be they forced or unforced, control maybe the motivator in some instances as previous cases have shown us that the perpetrators of such forced sexual contacts are not homosexual although the assault or play is same sexed. Of course the way the story is presented is with a sensationalistic twist by the Star News typically to sell papers which leaves far more questions than answers for the active mind who wants to examine these issues more profoundly and fairly. Situational, or “emergency” homosexuality is commonly defined as sexual activity with partners of the same sex that occurs not as part of a gay life style, but because the participants happen to find themselves in a single-sex environment for a prolonged period.

Some single-sex environments that frequently become venues for situational homosexuality include prisons, military bases, ships at sea, convents and monasteries, athletic teams on tour, and boarding schools and colleges. Situational homosexual behavior is so common in these venues that in some cases nicknames have been created for those who indulge in it; for example “rugger-buggers” on rugby teams, “jailhouse turnouts” in prisons, and “lugs” for “lesbians until (college) graduation.”

The idea of situational same-sex sexual activity is not a modern one. An essay by Josiah Flynt, published in 1899, told of situational sex among the male American hobos with whom he traveled. From the armies of Alexander the Great to the trenches of World War I to Desert Storm, male soldiers have taken comfort in each other’s arms; and from harems to convents to boarding schools, women who were forcibly separated from men have been finding each other for centuries.

Situational homosexual experience can range from the frightening, such as prison rape and sexual domination, to the comfortable, such as the lesbian experimentation that occurs within the relative safety of a college campus.

The Relationship of Situational Homosexuality to Homophobia

In many cultures, situational homosexuality is tolerated, while homosexuality as a life style is not.

Some social analysts believe that the concept of situational homosexuality is used to reinforce homophobia and biphobia by allowing those who perform homosexual acts in same-sex environments to continue to define themselves as heterosexual.

Often participants in same-sex activity in single-sex environments are differentiated between “true homosexuals” and those who retain the assumption of heterosexuality. In such cases, it is usually the “true homosexuals” who are stigmatized, while their partners are not. In making such a distinction, homophobia is reinforced even as same-sex sexual activity may be tolerated.

Although situational homosexuality is often both tacitly expected and to some degree tolerated, it is also expected to remain clandestine. When such homosexual activity is made public, even in venues where virtually everyone knows it is happening, punishment is usually swift and severe, though often the brunt of punishment is borne by the participant who is considered the “true homosexual” rather than the presumably heterosexual partner who ostensibly participates in same-sex activity only because of his or her situation.

also see:
Situational Homosexuality or Behavioral Bisexuality … a recap … subsequent discourse so far

First here is the very short article as with recent gay tinged articles from the former respected evening version of the Gleaner turned trashy tabloid but which unfortunately has a large following both online and in traditional hard copy.

 Buggery attack at boys’ home – Youngster accused of molesting younger wards

A ward of the state at a boys’ home in St Elizabeth has been charged with buggery.

Information reaching THE WEEKEND STAR is that the boy was taken to the Junction Police Station in the parish earlier this month where he was questioned and later charged.

On Wednesday, the matter was brought before the Black River Resident Magistrate’s Court where it was transferred.

The accused is scheduled to appear in the St Elizabeth Children’s Court today.

Allegations are that on Friday December 9, the accused forced other wards of the state into the act.

The court heard that about 9:45 p.m., an assistant manager at the home saw the accused and the other boys in compromising positions.

However, the boys allegedly ran when they realised they had been caught.

Furthermore, the court heard that one of the boys was held and he reported that he was forced into the act by the accused.

The boy also alleged that when he refused to participate, he was forcefully dragged by the accused to bushes behind one of the dorms and assaulted.

ENDS

Now the questions:

What is the age of the accused?

Did the other party run as or cry fowl as he wanted not to be viewed as complicit in the act as well?

Why was there any monitoring of the grounds so much so that shrubbery is available for hiding?

Is this a case of substitutional sex given the boys are in those years of heightened sexual awareness?

Could this be a case of experimentation given the same reasons above?

Are the rules and or guidelines of that facility so rigid that conditions become ripe for this kind of activity? 

What aren’t there any policies to deal with same sex attracted teens and their issues?

Why didn’t the Star News give us more relevant information such as the next court mention date and if there was any evidence available such as a doctor’s report that is used for cases such as this that involve penile penetration?

As per usual our advocacy structure has not been responding to these repeated stories that come in tabloids such as this or the now defunct XNews, EXcess or the older Enquirer which painted some same sex crimes as the perpetrators being sex hungry freaks who will stop at nothing for some booty, thus steadily stoking the homophobic pysche the many years and keeping anti gay support well fed on a diet of paedophile typed articles hence our castigation permanently marked on the men who have sex with men populations. These issues are not raised when we defend our positions on decriminalization of buggery and or fending off the notions from the Christian right community that homosexuals will basically spread our gayness to boys in particular. A fear expressed over and over again by their leading spokespersons.

see a recent symposium report as hosted by some anti gay leading voices:

A Rebuttal of the Foolishness Touted at the Lawyers Christian Fellowship symposium

We have seen problems with early initiation before and with some strange consequences such as this one as carried on this blog:

Experimental sex again ???

The homo-negativity surrounding paedophilia …….

Teen beaten, accused of being homosexual

Latent homosexuality & misconceptions creating havoc?

Jamaica Observer: Gay vs Paedophile, they seem not to know the difference

Crowds gather at Mandeville Courthouse for Trade show man charged with indecent assault on 13yo boy

and this one:  Teen accused of molesting 11-y-o – in the case of the latter where the accused was set upon and beaten until the police arrived to rescue him it was surmised that Both are minors in the eyes of the law. More pertinent to the case, what was the nature of the alleged molestation? It may have been simple experimentation, or it may have been an act of aggression. In either case the reaction of the residents is simply WRONG. Mob violence cannot be condoned, not against an adult and especially not against a child. Were any of the adults involved in the attack on the 15 year old taken into police custody? Had the police not arrived and taken the adolescent into custody, what would his fate have been? I think as Jamaicans we are so mortified by issues of sex and sexuality, that we fail to see the real moral issues at stake in the society… and in this case, it is the mob attack on a minor which needs to be urgently addressed (Or have we all become so barbaric and ignorant that we fail to see this as the crime?)

More to think about readers.

Peace and tolerance

H

Buggery And Health – What The Gay-Rights Lobby Doesn’t Tell You

Byron Buckley

Byron Buckley

ALTHOUGH IT is fashionable to frame the discussion about the reform of buggery laws in terms of human rights, a more serious look at the issue from a public policy perspective indicates that it is essentially a public-health matter.

So, before Jamaica rushes headlong to appease the wishes of international donor ‘masters’, like the British government, to repeal our buggery laws, let us determine whether we can afford to provide for the health-care challenges that come with embracing gay rights.

Studies conducted in the developed countries of France and Australia, where effective treatment of HIV with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is available, have shown a consistent increase in HIV incidence among homosexual men since the late 1990s. A 2008 study in France found HIV incidence highest among homosexual men – 1,006 per 100,000 person-years. In contrast, the HIV incidence in other groups was nine per 100,000 person-years for heterosexual men and 86 per 100,000 person-years for intravenous drug users. The study found that although overall HIV incidence in France decreased between 2003 and 2008, it remained comparatively high and appeared out of control among the population of men who have sex with men (MSM).

Readers should note that homosexuality has been legal in France for centuries. In deed, France is socially liberal regarding sexuality in general. However, the existence of both a liberal human rights and public-health framework in that country has not abated the rise of HIV among homosexual men. This is something for the Jamaican society and policymakers to ponder. Will legalising homosexuality necessarily result in better health management among that section of the population?

No guarantee of safe sex

A 2007 report by the University of New South Wales in Australia found a high incidence of HIV infection in homosexual men linked to unprotected anal intercourse (UAI). This is despite the excellent treatment response to HAART among Australian MSM. The infection rate remained the same as prior to the use of HAART.

In other words, the progress made in HIV treatment was being undermined by the efficient transmission of the disease through anal intercourse. The lesson for Jamaica is that legalisation of homosexuality does not automatically guarantee safe sex. It is not as simple as that – scarce resources would have to be spent in trying to modify sexual behaviour, as is the case with heterosexual behaviour.

Can we afford the cost to provide the equivalent level of health care to an unrestrained domestic homosexual population as in developed countries? A study conducted by the HIV Research Network in the United States – where gay sex is legal – found the mean annual total expenditures per person for HIV care in 2006 as US$19,912 (J$1,672,608). The research concluded that “HIV health care in the United States continues to be expensive, with the majority of expenditures [sic] attributable to medications”.

It follows that if Jamaica relaxes its buggery laws, like some advanced economies, we are likely to increase the burden on our under-resourced health-care system. In so doing, we would be dooming more of our people to a life of ill health, since we can’t afford the expensive treatment.

Women’s rights infringed

If there is a human-rights component to the campaign to reform Jamaica’s buggery laws, it is that innocent heterosexual women are being preyed upon, and their health compromised unknowingly, by bisexual men, that is men who have sex with men and women (MSMW).

In September 2010, the United States-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grouped homosexual and bisexual men and reported the incidence of HIV as 44 times that of heterosexual men. This demonstrates the substantial health risk to a female from having sex with MSMW.

Furthermore, data from Trinidad and Tobago indicate that the MSMW group comprises 25 per cent of MSM – that is, bisexual men make up a quarter of men who engage in gay sex. And they regularly have sex with women.

Of course, gay-rights advocates can counterargue that there is no prohibition to risky or unsafe sexual activities among the heterosexual population. Gay-rights sympathisers also point to other health behaviours that have negative consequences, but are not subject to a legislative ban. Smoking and the consumption of alcohol are two obvious examples.

However, what policymakers have to weigh is the cost impact of the risk related to each type of health behaviour; hence, for example, the prohibition of the use of marijuana and other hard drugs. Conversely, smoking and alcohol abuse may very well be overdue for prohibition because of their negative impact on the health of the population. The point is that policymakers must bear in mind public-health consequences, even when making decisions regarding the protection of human rights.

For a struggling, developing country like Jamaica, it would be foolhardy for us to take a decision – to appease foreign donors and investors – that could result in increased burden on our already hobbling health system, as well as a possible rise in morbidity and mortality levels.

Are we that yet developed? Or is it that developed donor countries will cough up the money needed to provide the public-health infrastructure required to support the health fallout brought on by gay rights.

Byron Buckley is an associate editor at The Gleaner. The views expressed in this article are personal. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and byron.buckley@gleanerjm.com.

ANAL-SEX HEALTH CHALLENGES

Anal sex presents several health challenges:

• People who engage in anal sex are vulnerable to illness because the lack of lubrication in the rectum, compared to the vagina, results in increased likelihood of small tears which afford easy access of the HIV and other virus to the bloodstream.

• The cells lining the vagina are like those of the skin. It is several layers thick and designed to handle wear and tear. The lining of the rectum is a single layer thick and is not designed for wear and tear.

• Anal sex increases the risk of cancer from the human papillomavirus, the same virus associated with cervical cancer.

• Anal sex contributes to Lymphogranuloma venereum, which leads to procto-colitis.

• Compared with other sexually active adults, MSM are more frequently infected with several pathogens, including cytomegalovirus, hepatitis B virus, and Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus.

Offences Against the Person Act

Unnatural Offences

76. Whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable crime of buggery, committed either with mankind or with any animal, shall be liable to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for a term not exceeding 10 years.

77. Whosoever shall attempt to commit the said abominable crime, or shall be guilty of any assault with intent to commit the same, or of any indecent assault upon any male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof, shall be liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding seven years, with or without hard labour.

ENDS

My response on the Gleaner page which I doubt they will publish:

” if Jamaica relaxes its buggery laws, like some advanced economies, we are likely to increase the burden on our under-resourced health-care system. In so doing, we would be dooming more of our people to a life of ill health, since we can’t afford the expensive treatment.” (cute way of saying we are nothing but AIDS carriers)

……. and the mistake again that repealing buggery will suddenly equals gay rights kmt, good thing I did this yesterdayhttp://soundcloud.com/glbtqja6/homosexulaity-is-not-illegal anal sex if far more safer and tidier (microbicidal technology and PEPFAR getting funding added) than decades gone by.

Better he postured his argument on the possible relaxed guard towards safer sex and prevention messages some gay/bi men have adopted who practice anal sex have gotten since we aren’t dropping like flies anymore and also realise that NOT all gay/bi carry out anal penetration regularly although they are in minority but any cute way to keep us in the closet eh?, why not suggest outercourse or non penetrative same sex as an option since he is so afraid of AIDS? yet again substitutional sex and situational homosexuality are left out of the equation although he poorly pointed out the bisexual linkages to HIV/AIDS infections ……….. he needs to get in the know a little more.

“Tell Me Pastor” suggests Romans Chapter 1:24-32 & reparative therapy for abused gay teen

Here we go again this case this time looks more serious as the letter writer explained he was molested as a child, sadly this complaint is coming from many younger men who have sex with men and only some serious intervention by a qualified UNBIASED professional could determine whether the individual’s orientation was gay before despite the awful abuse he suffered prior to adolescence. Have a read of the letter and the response first then see my continued two cents on this and determine your own conclusion:

The letter stated:

I don’t want to be gay anymore

Dear Pastor,

I am 17-years-old and I am gay. I was molested when I was much younger and from that time I have been gay. I don’t want to be gay but the thoughts keep coming to me. I tried blocking them out but they keep coming back. I keep on liking boys.

I thought of telling my mother but she is not someone I can talk to. I thought of getting counselling but that would be so uncomfortable. One of my friends who is having the same problem that I am having went to the pastor of the church that I attend for counselling and, soon after, the whole church knew about it, then the community. He had to move out of the community and live elsewhere.

Some Jamaican people think that it is only guys who behave as if they are girls are the only ones who are gay. But you should see the ones who say that they are thugs, you will never know that they are gay. I know of singers, deejays and big men in this country who are gay. And I have even met four pastors who are gay.

Gay teenager

Pastor Dumas responds

Dear Gay teenager,

I thank you for writing and for expressing your desire of wanting to change your lifestyle, so to speak. I am sorry to hear that you were sexually abused when you were a child. Such an incident should have been reported and the guilty arrested, charged and sentenced to prison. What that beast did to you has affected you and has had a bad impact on your life.

Evidently, you did not report this matter. Whenever someone has been sexually abused, that person should undergo therapy. You had none. However, you know that what happened to you is still affecting you, and you are crying out for help.

Your friend needs help too. He has tried to talk to his pastor and the pastor has let him down by divulging what was said to him. That pastor ought to be ashamed of himself and should not be allowed to counsel anyone. I want you to know that trained counsellors know that what is discussed in a counselling session should not be divulged to anyone, unless permission is sought by the counsellor and given by the person who was counselled. There are exceptions to the rule but I won’t go into that here. I say shame on that pastor.

I would like to suggest that you should seek the help of a Christian psychologist. There are some reputable counsellors who would be happy to meet with you and do their best to help you. Perhaps you may consider trying Family Life Ministries. Let them know that you are unable to pay for the service. Their numbers are listed.

You say you know some pastors who are gay. Whenever you see them, tell them where they can go to get help and point out to them that the Bible says it is wrong for men to have sex with men and for women to have sex with women. Tell them to read Romans Chapter 1:24-32 and ask God to deliver them from that practice.

Young man, I will be praying for you.

Pastor

ENDS

Continued from above:

The obviously troubled teen of course determined that he is gay almost giving up on his incessant need for sexual contact with a man by thinking he can be made heterosexual in practice, I agree that he has not dealt properly with the abuse and its effect over time but for the pastor and psychologist to suggest reparative therapy on or after dealing with the abuse problems and low feeling of self worth here is counterproductive I feel in my layman’s look at this. He may also require some long sessions with a unbiased counselor to sort out the sexual orientation determination issue. What is important here also is the introduction of the pastor’s answer where he said “I thank you for writing and for expressing your desire of wanting to change your lifestyle” 

Lifestyle is the operative word and not orientation and as we are told by other members of the psychiatric profession who have an unbiased view of same gender love issues that to make someone suppress their sexual orientation can be dangerous, Christian Psychologists have been charged as guilty for encouraging this practice of forcing persons to accept a more leviticusal way of life while hiding their true selves which can have serious repercussions. One can suppress ones feelings but with trouble later, there is no scientific data to back up the basis for reparative therapy, homosexuality is not a disorder according to the DSM Diagnostic Statistical Manual, see this video from The documentary “For The Bible Tells Me So”

go to 7:28 for the precise presentation on another popular so called Christian psychiatrist named Dr. Dobson from the US who has declared that homosexuality can be cured. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjE–x9KWaY&feature=related

I think we have to be careful when we are dealing with young impressionable lives and the other mess about this whole thing is we have no resident frontline social interventions in our LGBT advocacy apart from referrals to God knows who to help these teens who are searching for themselves. Interestingly the letter goes off into a kind of manufactured consent mode grouping as homosexual non effeminate men and pastors as well which although maybe true in real life these repeated references in previous letters makes me doubt now the origin of this letter, I have always had my doubts about the validity of the letters from the Star sometimes as they look and sound alike in succession. The confidentiality matter however is a real issue and many males who are found to be same gender attracted while confiding in a pastor in a confessional of sorts find themselves read out and or embarrased from the rest of the congregants as their “story” is shared.

Let God be the final judge of us I say then but interestingly enough there are no direct biblical references to Jesus or God speaking on the issue of homosexuality but like what the master said to the prostitute I do not condemn you and to the stone throwers let he who is without sin cast the first stone. It would seem to me the master came for the outcasts as he was an outcast in the end via his crucifixion, his very birth was not one of a welcoming presence either of a young baby entering the world it occurred in a manger lest we forget.

Peace and tolerance

H

Men rushed and beaten in New Kingston

So as the carnival season rolls along also deemed as gay pride incognito MSMs everywhere despite social standing seem to take it as a license to let their hair down several cross dressers and cruisers and some homeless same gender loving brothas were said to be having a ball along the Oxford Road thoroughfare on Friday April 29th last around 10pm onwards as several events with soca themes took place nearby.

The behaviour of the men apparently aroused suspicion by some passersby according to reports from several taxi drivers of whom I am familiar with and also who know some of the homeless population as they have developed not so wonderful notoriety in the business district of New Kingston and its environs. So much so that sections of Trafalgar Road nearing the Island Car Rentals where they once congregated and also where the old Super Plus Supermarket used to be has been patrolled heavily now by the police, the car rental company is said to have instituted new security arrangements barring the men from loitering nearby.  The gardens and park immediately across the road as well is also being monitored by cops every now and again but seeing it is a public space it is harder to have the men removed I am told unless they are found loitering and maybe charged for such.

Their ruckus behaviour, sometimes vulgar outbursts and fights in open view of the public coupled with their effeminate entertainment and dancing sometimes supported by friends who park their posh top of the line vehicles with loud dancehall music blaring has not helped their situation any, even as I have carried previous entries on this population they have still been ignored to a certain extent save and except for the once a week drop in for showers at a Non Governmental Organizations property and offices and some food items distributed on some Fridays the men have very little sympathy from the rest of the LGBT community, even allies who had supported some of my calls for more to be done for them have since rescinded their stance due to the intolerance of their improper public conduct. The cross dressing and very skimpy clothing used in the transvestite activity has not found favour either with both community and mainstream alike.

So it seems members of the public have also had their share and were not willing to stomach it anymore seeing that the men were dancing wildly and were loud on the Oxford Road stretch all the way passed Emancipation Park onwards, it is believed they were followed by unscrupulous characters who laid siege on them just beside the Police post in New Kingston on Knutsford Boulevard where the final showdown happened, several of the infamous “biker boys” who have been known to attack homeless and other perceived MSMs before in New Kingston as they often congregate on the Hip Strip near the former Asylum Night Club known reopened and known as the Building.

As the men pranced about some taking on the latest dancehall move positions in public literally gyrating on the hands and heads down came the attackers said to be seven in all with two on bikes the men gave chase and the gyrating MSMs scattered, many were badly bruised while two who were caught directly by their attackers were treated to severe blows drawing blood, one person was thrown directly into a Jamaica National Money Shop complex just across from the Police post which was said to be almost empty as the cops monitored the events and pedestrian raffic patronizing them. The property was damaged as the glass windows and doors shattered due to the impact. The two brothers were bleeding and finally made good their escape as others in the group ran in a zig zag form to create diversions and deliberately confuse their attackers, many onlookers who were passing cheered and urged the attackers to exact their hate. One taxi driver said other taxi drivers many of whom were not regulars on the strip but who were waiting for business chanted words to the effect that battyman fi dead.

It is also speculated by the taxi community and others some of the bikers themselves are homosexuals or bisexuals and that the attack may not have been homophobic but made to look so so as to legitimize it and not face criticisms as well from a curious public, it is reported that the men have been threatened before by the bikers et al that they should stop acting too effeminate in public and “showing up the ting dem” or being too revealing in public, under the guise of homophobic slurs. Could this have been out of effemophobia? as hinted in a recent post on Gay Lesbian Bisexual Queer and Intersexed (GLBTQJA) blogger edition on cruising and the problems that section of the same gender loving community faces where downlow gays also use very public homophobic typed attacks to blackmail or enact revenge on other more open effeminate MSMs. This particular problem is not new to our community. One of the men was called by name by a victim in the group and the cronies of the attackers almost turned on him inquiring as to how the man came into knowledge of his name.

Also see: Other cruising challenges entries on Gay Jamaica Watch

Several of the injured men have since sought help from friends while others have sought medical attention to nurse their bruises and pain from the brawl. Feedback so far from within the community has not been good as many also concur with the popular mainstream view that the men are just too open and attract unneeded attention to themselves while it is also a plus some say to which I also subscribe that they serve a useful purpose as they through their outward and openness in effeminacy and the popular stereotype of male homosexuals remind the rest of the Jamaica we are here and are not going anywhere, maybe there ought to be and are martyrs amongst us whether we like it or not.

Meanwhile a popular drag queen also had to beat a hasty retreat from The Mass Camp the same night as she was dancing with a man who eventually detected she was in fact a he and a disturbance ensued stopping the music for some time a leaving patrons in shock at the discovery, she reportedly also received several blows before the security detail and the police quelled the uproar.

Peace and tolerance

H