Young MSM/Transgender want to be treated as citizens not potential HIV/AIDS victims

More and more I seem to be coming across young gay, transgender and bisexual youth who feel weary it seems from the over supply of pinch leave an inch condoms, pamphlets and paraphernalia on safer sex and AIDS and other related materials as multiple agencies jostle to reach what has basically become the same cohort on the face of it of males for the most part in the quest for HIV prevention but where are the more meaningful outreach and interventions for holistic development and nurture?

Some in the know may say that funding is hardly available for those kinds of developmental work (which maybe true in a sense but still sounds more like an apology for slackness and maintaining the old status quo) and indeed the more cynical would go as far as to say it is not the agencies involved best interest to do or offer such meaningful interventions as that will diminish their cohort of potential service users and thus nothing to report hence no need to prepare programs only to seek future funds, after all agencies exist to supposedly help but how many persons are actually being helped or impressive success stories to prove same while old narratives are still being used to suggest that gay/bi men do not have access to safer sex implements which is a lie.

CVM Newscast of the Cargill Avenue eviction where the truckmen/movers found and commented on the condoms they found
CVM Newscast of the Cargill Avenue eviction where the truckmen/movers found and commented on the condoms they found

also see: Homeless MSM/Trans youth draw attention in New Kingston

Homeless MSM having their version of fun recently by the infamous Gully nearing  the Island Car Rentals office
Homeless MSM having their version of fun recently by the infamous Gully nearing the Island Car Rentals office
From the Millsborough Avenue embarrasing eviction of some of the homeless MSM/Trans persons last year, condom wrapper is clearly visible
From the Millsborough Avenue embarrassing eviction of some of the homeless MSM/Trans persons last year, condom wrapper is clearly visible
More condom wrappers indicating that the men are only seen as HIV Prevention targets, what about other developmental work?
More condom wrappers indicating that the men are only seen as HIV Prevention targets, what about other developmental work?

The complaints and reports still come almost on a monthly basis these days of some homo-negative outcome somewhere on the island and the phone calls of requests for money or some form of assistance are growing in frequency too as economic issues abound. There agencies that run and managed by powerful gay persons who have the clout to solves this long standing matter of displacements seeing we have both hard and anecdotal evidence that tells us in no uncertain terms that those are visible consequences of stigma, homophobia and homo-negativity.

Take for example this flashback: UNIMPRESSED WITH THE CVM TV SHOW ON MSM HOMELESSNESS

The September 6th 2012 appearance of representatives from The National Council of Drug Abuse and AIDSFREEWORLD’s Maurice Tomlinson to address the recent public eviction of homeless MSM from Cargill Avenue was at best damage control to another embarrassment regarding the poor response from the relevant LGBT agencies. JFLAG WAS NOT PRESENT AT THIS CVM TV LIVE @ SEVEN Program The attempt to use old programmatic language by Maurice Tomlinson to suggest MSM have no access to condoms while the CVM newscast itself showed the movers holding the condoms in their hands they found on the site and saying the men were practising safer sex should be instructive to ALL in view.

Young gay men as indicated above are also becoming weary of the way they are viewed despite the aforementioned concerns in a group session over the past week some young men some of whom were teetering on homelessness were invited to a meeting called by a community influential who is concerned about the numbers of them on the streets mostly from Kingston, Portmore and Spanish Town (excluding the five who are helped by a church/LGBTQ group in an ongoing weed whacking project) where they aired some issues they had it was instructive that some of them had a barrage of condoms on their person and laughed at the exposure of them as they accidentally fell from a bag of one of the attendees. He joked “All dem do a full mi up wid boots” (all they do is full me up with condoms) “boots” is the colloquial expression for condoms but something happened after the initial laughter died down as it seems the realization that they were having trouble finding permanent shelter or other crisis issues ongoing were real and that “boots” cannot be a solution whenever they are met by the various outreach teams as part of the HIV prevention strategy. The homeless men for example who have been making the news in New Kingston have been receiving food items once a week but is that enough? They too have had loads of condoms thrown at them as we have seen repeatedly on the television newscasts and other videos covering them. What about the deeper issues and personal concerns they have. The men in the meeting of which I was present were asked to fill out a random list of what they require and their lists read as a call for items and things you and I may have probably not considered important as we enjoy those amenities or interactions on a daily basis and indeed take them for granted. The simple lament by the boots carrying man screams far more than just the obvious since they fell in such a great numbers, one could easily count thirty or so. The conversation continued after the list creation exercise and what came out was a stunner to me despite my knowledge of how some persons feel about the whole scenario as older displaced men in time have echoed a similar sentiment with some level of frustration.

The ideal scenario would be a meeting place for group session and support meetings

Steady supply of food cooked or uncooked

Shelter and some sort of transitional living program towards independence

Educational or skills building opportunities

Guidance on developing and executing life plans through self efficacious activity not just limited to HIV prevention

Exploring the arts and possible skills linked to cross dressing aesthetics and affinity to cosmetics (drag culture, forced feminization and female cisgenderistic presentations for male to female transgender persons in the group)

But by the sound of the lament and the subsequent tete a tete the men are not satisfied; theirs is a perception that more privileged homosexuals control tons of money in funding and that the money is being spent on non essential things such as court cases, fat cat salaries and perks while persons who are on the lower socio totem pole are just relegated to being “victims” or service users and nothing more, doomed to get HIV (if they do not have it already) or waiting to die. Such were the tones in the ensuing discourse. Recent history has unfortunately given some credence to these perceptions as feelings of abandonment of the aforementioned homeless men in New Kingston still linger from the repeated news headlines, shenanigans and police interventions of that population and believe me word travels whenever there is any such occurrences. The men in the long and short of it want to be seen as human beings that deserve respect as one older person claims that there is favouritism as well in how interventions are carried out by some agencies and their representatives. Why are some powerful advocates and personalities in HIV/MSM prevention in particular refusing to go this route of real life changing intervention rollouts is still not clear to some, the departure of a Board Chair of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life also has not gone down so comfortably with myself and others as her stance on homelessness was supportive for the most part despite the run-ins with the men and the stoning incidents on their former offices at Upper Musgrave Avenue yet by the soundings out there one particular former chair but who still sits on the bench has been haggling against any such proactive moves to address homelessness which does not surprise me as he was the chair when the Safe House Pilot was closed with no psycho-social interventions allowed to stop the “bad behaviour” that was used a justification to take such final actions on a needed project.

My part in the whole affair however was to offer some encouragement to the lads in the scheme of things especially owing to the fact that one of the men’s friends was hospitalised recently for a brief illness but how can words heal when the real life toughness abounds and affect their present reality? Then we turn around and wonder why the anti social behaviours are happening when it is obviously clear to those looking that such are only means to an end to forget if only for a fleeting moment the worries of the hour. It is also interesting that as a group the men are indeed “rowdy” (word used by voices in the gay lobby to describe them also “maladjusted miscreants” showing the elitist side to this) but as individuals is it amazing what comes flying out of them in a one on one session discussing real life matters yet they are for all intents and purposes made to become martyrs in a sense for a cause that they might not have subscribed to in ordinary circumstances when asked to do so. Leaving them out in the cold for so long seems unethical on the face of it then allowing the numbers to reach levels where they can be used and paraded as “concerned” advocates make themselves look good in coming to their rescue. We are not fooled by the deception but let us see how long the using will take place and if really any proper productive end will come of the recently announced shelter idea, yet another one.

Some indigenous groups such as the aforementioned St Catherine weed whacking project group, Colour Pink (aligned to the aforementioned JASL) and Aphrodite’s PRIDE Jamaica of which I am performing Outreach and Facilitation duties for their Enterprise Training Project for more stable formerly displaced MSM/Trans and Lesbian individuals are addressing in their own way psycho-social issues and other concerns such as jobs and education development but we know where some of the blame of all this lies at the feet of these same agencies who only do enough to look as if they are addressing some issues but not with a view to adequately address what they take on only for the interventions to last out for experts have jobs it seems. Others seem more interested in media whoring possibly to satisfy a narcissistic complex at the expense of the least amongst us and then we wonder why we are here with an exploding displaced and homeless grouping and advocacy in limbo in the face of steady HIV/AIDS infection rates in the MSM cohort.

The APJ training for example we stay far away as a possible from an over preponderance of HIV messaging and instead go for positive reinforcement in terms of identity, coming out and so on.

Some things to think about but who is brave enough to say it openly when their snouts are in the troughs?

Integrity in advocacy anyone?

Peace and tolerance

H

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Former Miss LGBT World on being Transgender in Jamaica

Transweek-header-web-l-625x333

The following is a post done earlier this year with Miss LGBT World 2009 and dancehall queen winner Tiana Miller who granted an interview. Also see other posts for the week:

Transgender Awareness Week 2013

Transgender Awareness Week 2013: Internalized Transphobia

Tiana Miller. (Photos courtesy of Tiana Miller)

Last week, in Montego Bay, Jamaica, 16-year-old Dwayne Jones was shot and stabbed multiple times for turning up to a party in women’s clothing. Jones was reportedly transgender and the murder has once again highlighted the awful reality of life for Jamaica’s LGBT community. And it really is fucking awful.

In 2006, TIME magazine called Jamaica “the most homophobic place on Earth,” and the anti-gay sentiment prevalent in the country’s media and most popular musical genre, dancehall, has been well-documented. The Jamaica Gleaner, one of the country’s largest newspapers, regularly publishes stories about the gay community with a homophobic slant. Last month, it referred to a group of men who were evicted from an abandoned house as a “gay clan” and ran an op-ed (in the year 2013) that rubbished the idea of being born gay, saying people who are attracted to the same sex actively decide to do so, in much the same way that they decide to “eat snails (like the French)” or “like the taste of jackfruit.”

In the wake of Jones’ death, I got in touch with Tiana Miller, a transgender Jamaican, who hopes that her openness about her gender and sexuality will inspire others to display similar levels of bravery.

VICE: Hi Tiana. So, back to the start—at what age did you first realize that you were transgender?
Tiana Miller: It was at around age five when I first started thinking like a female. Then I gradually came to the realization that I felt more comfortable in a female skin. It was difficult. Because of the social norms of my country, I really felt as if I was doing something wrong.

Were your family and friends supportive?
Yes, they were, especially my dad.

That’s good. What about Jamaican society as a whole? Do you agree with the description of the country as, “the most homophobic place on Earth”?
Yes, I do. The challenges that we face are difficulties in surviving, as they relate to jobs, education, and housing. High school was OK for me because I hadn’t transformed yet, but it’s hard now education-wise because I would love to get a college degree, but can’t because they won’t allow me in college.

That’s awful. I’d imagine gay people in Jamaica are quite economically disadvantaged if they are unable to get a decent education or find work.
Yes, they are forced to be poor. The lucky ones are those who find rich partners and dedicate their lives to them.

There have been a few high-profile cases of police brutality towards gay people in Jamaica. Do you feel that the police give transgender people the protection they deserve?
No, they definitely don’t. Homeless transgenders are on the street, and the police—who should be their protectors—have literally run them down and chased them because of their lifestyle.

Is homelessness a common problem for transgender people?
Yes, and they are homeless because they have difficulties in sourcing income to rent houses or locate safe houses to live in.

Have you been physically attacked due to your gender?
Yes, I have been attacked before. I ran, so I didn’t suffer much harm. But naturally this had a traumatising effect on me.

So I take it there are a lot of areas that are out of bounds for gay and transgender people.
Naturally there are. This applies to anywhere where there are slums.

Some of the homophobic attacks over there have been horrific. I remember hearing about a gay rights activist who was killed before people celebrated over his body. Doesn’t stuff like that make you fear for your safety?
Yes, it does. I put myself out there, but I’m still aware of how vicious these homophobic homosapiens are.

Are there many people who dare to be open about their sexuality?
The gay and transgender communities aren’t united, as people fear for their lives, so not many people actually identify themselves with the communities.

So do you consider yourself brave for being so open about your gender and sexuality?
Yes, I am brave. If I wish to see a change, I myself have to inspire it. I had to put myself out there and make myself seen so that people know that transgenders do exist and see that we are normal people trying to live our everyday lives like human beings. We need people like myself who are willing to challenge this country and its government.

The media often hold dancehall culture responsible for the homophobia in Jamaica—what’s your view on that?
I think the main contribution comes from the church and their social ethics concerning what is right and wrong. It puzzles me how cruel human beings can be and how biased they are because the church claims that we are demons and bashes us instead of trying to counsel us.

Yeah, it seems a little illogical.
I know, right? But, like, seriously—I care zero.

So I take it there isn’t much of an LGBT nightlife scene where you are? 
Well, there was, but there’s nothing now—just regular venues that they rent to us.

Do you think Jamaica will ever get round to changing its anti-sodomy laws and modernizing its stance on homosexuality?
Well, it actually seems to be on the verge of doing this.

Because gay culture is growing or because of pressure from other countries?
Both. But time will tell, and I don’t wish to make predictions.

Where do you see yourself in that battle?
I see myself as being the first transgender to be an ambassador for the country. I want to advocate for human rights, be a feminist choreographer and also be a whole lot of other things.

Great. Thanks, Tiana.

Rev Al Miller’s late response to Dwayne Jones’ Murder & Respect heterosexuals demand

So Reverend Al Miller apart from using his weekend tele-evangelist airtime to suggest reparative therapy as if it works in his church Fellowship Tabernacle has finally come clean with respects to the awful murder of transgender teen Dwayne Jones in Montego Bay earlier this year. In an interview on Newstalk 93FM radio similar to other pastors who have been getting far more airtime than normal since the Queen Ifrica Freedom of Speech fiasco has and is still playing out Reverend Miller tried to bring some semblance of tolerance to the mix. Let us not forget this is the same man some time ago openly said persons must not buy into the tolerance call from the gay lobby as it was a guise to sneak in homosexuality on the nation. In September 2011 on this blog I posted Rev Al Miller says gay lobby is using the guise of tolerance to get the nation to accept the “gay lifestyle” where he said among other things

 

“Nothing is wrong with loving someone but disagreeing or disliking their lifestyle and the issue is the lifestyle we are not against, the Christians the word of god is not against the individual cause we are all sinners but we must recognize sin as sin, wrong is wrong and so although we may accept and embrace the person but we must say that the conduct is not right  and what the gay agenda is about is wanting the society to accept the lifestyle as being right but they are using the guise of tolerance, of course we can be tolerant with the individual but we must have the right to be intolerant to a practice that is not right it is in the same vein as anyone who practices a lifestyle that is inconsistent with correct behaviour or good for a society, if it is stealing if it is murder or any other kind of crime that is not good for society.

We must embrace the individual but we must reject the lifestyle the behaviour and it is the same, it is the behaviour, when we talk about the protection of rights the protection of rights if gays already exists because all their natural rights are there but what they are crying for is not protection of rights against harm in as much as crying for the acceptance of the lifestyle so that we will legitimize a lifestyle which is contrary to moral law to natural law to social order and all that certainly is good and decent and wholesome and will ensure our fulfillment of the mandate that we were given by our creator.”

Yesterday however he called for everyone to respect the norms and values of society and that accepted norms must not be overlooked “There is no question that that whole incident is unfortunate and is not the kind of thing that should happen we need justice and acting justly and rightly is the way that we must operate and as a society with values must operate and be consistent in upholding of its values and the welfare and rights of individuals are critical in that process but it is equally true that in any society that standards of behaviour and accepted norms must also be respected by all, it can’t be good for some and not for others.”

He further stated that while members of the gay community are calling for the rights of such persons to be respected we must also respect the rights of the heterosexual community, “Unfortunately in recent times that an incident like the one that happened there that created the ire of the citizens who have reacted at wrongly but it is speaking however to citizen that is saying that is not the accepted norm that we want. Equally we must respect the rights of all it has to be both sides, I am hearing a lot in recent times that the gay rights lobby for instance is primarily promoting what they consider their rights must be protected but yet be ignoring the rights of others, you cannot do unjustly to do justly so if we are going to talk about justice and wisdom we must be equitable so that they also must respect the rights and beliefs and the norms of the rest of society.” Meanwhile a British Gay rights group stages a protest in the UK as headed by Peter Tatchell and a Justice for Dwayne Jones at the Jamaican Consulate yesterday in London. They called for the government to protect the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender communities against hate crimes. Pity that the realities still escape our friends overseas here as this was not a homophobic killing directly but has variables that either at the programmatic and intervention levels have yet to be properly discussed and understood.

More Rev Al Miller anti gay positions:

Rev Al Miller on the Abnormality of Homosexuality & the invented gay marriage rights ploy

also see Anti gay pastor and restorative therapy advocate in trouble with the law again from sister blog GLBTQJA on blogger

Church Stands Resolute Against Buggery Backers says Al Miller ………… Love March Movement Lacks Moral Compass says LGBT voice

It seems the goodly Reverend’s view on respecting the rights of others is to stay quiet and be subject to condemnation biblically and otherwise but when one of our members is maimed or killed the half hearted conditional tolerance and pity comes forth, really!? The gentleman needs to remember his track record speaks to his true position from his active appearances in the Charter of Rights passage where he alongside Shirley Richards of the Lawywers’ Christian Fellowship made sure whatever coverage of discrimination due to sexual orientation was removed yet he comes with this position, who does he think he is fooling here?

Check out the video: Dwayne Jones (Gully Queen) Last Appearance prior to his murder 

Homo/Effemophobia & Homo-paedophile castigation masked as concerns for rights ????

So it seems.

In an Observer article today Michael Burke gave his take on Rights Responsibilities and Civics as it applies to Jamaica and wherein the articles title sounds all welcoming and opening with the passing of former talk show host and progay journalist Wilmot Mutty Perkins (photo below)also see:  Perkins scolded for his “tolerance”

Imagine my surprise when we go into the body of the article where he goes to the recent promise to review the buggery law and conscience vote by the present PM only to find he expresses this fear that homosexuals as child hunters/molesters, open effeminacy or cross dressing aesthetics are too much and that gay parades is homosexuality being shoved in the public’s face.

One would have thought by now we would have gotten pass this kind of garbage and while I agree freedom of speech is crucial the Observer seems to regress sometimes by accepting these kinds of articles, the offending paragraphs:

“………During the election debates in the lead-up to the general election last December, the question of gay rights was brought up. Portia Simpson Miller said that a People’s National Party government would review the buggery law. Homosexuality is a sin (Catechism of the Catholic Church number 2357), but homosexuals should be treated with dignity like everyone else, despite their sins (number 2358). If the law is changed to allow consenting adults to do what they want sexually in the privacy of their homes (excluding housing schemes where the houses are close), I am prepared to leave that up to Almighty God for judgement.

What should not be condoned is paedophilia, gay parades and cross-dressing in public. And parents and guardians should be liable to penalties if they cross-dress their children. This has been one of my concerns for more than two decades. In 2006, I wrote and sang a song called Man fe look like man. Homosexuality should not be shoved in everyone’s face anymore than prostitution or being forced to endure loud music after certain hours. And adults should have the right to bring up their children without undue influence of practising homosexuals, prostitutes or indecent songs in the media, which includes loud amplifiers. These are rights that should be in the Constitution.”

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Rights–responsibilities-and-civics_10786522#ixzz1mXuldP7y

Why do persons under the guise of intellectual discourse frothed with dishonest motive continue to misconstrue effeminacy or cross dressing with some contagious gay infection in the air that suddenly is going to change children or pubescent persons into flaming queens? Save and except of course the individual who realises his or her own sexuality, gender identity or sexual orientation by such presentations and may gravitate to same presentations via expressing their own feelings or a transgender individual or realises their mixed gender issues and decide to present as the gender they see themselves as which is far different from someone who is coerced into activities they may not necessarily subscribe to at that time. What about that enlightened parent or even not so enlightened ones who realises there are gender identity issues with their child or children and rightly consults a professional and the child/children are deemed as transgender and therefore are encouraged to aesthetically present the child as the gender they see themselves as prior to any reassignment surgery? ……….. it seems Mr Burke would have those parents criminally responsible for some crime in his world, what backward thinking. Is that cross dressing a child Mr. Burke?

And where in Jamaica are children cross dressed? 

This nonsense also of the Catholic church (Catechism of the Catholic Church number 2357) somehow issuing edicts unto and over people’s lives as if they are the be all and end all of all things religious and right when their hands are stained with blood with years of issues and impositions with their brand of religion in the name of God under some absolutist monarchist structure.

We need to stop this intellectual dishonesty in backing the anti homosexual agenda ……. I am getting a bit weary by all this tired trite arguments on this now.

I strongly suggest we bombard his email with RESPECTFUL but factual points on the clear separation between same sex paedophilia (sometimes the perpetrators are heterosexual) versus consenting same sex attracted adults and this business of cross dressing or tranvestitism linked to perceived changing others sexual orientation.

his email is: ekrubm765@yahoo.com

also see:


Continued misconceptions of adult homosexuals being paedophiles (click image to buy book)

Ephebophilia vs Paedophilia & Male Homosexuality part 2 …. the need to continue the discourse

Male Sexual Assault Myths …… “Cries of Men”

No Reported cases of Paedophilia say local Catholic Diocese Representative

Ephebophilia vs Paedophilia & Male Homosexuality

Brain scans used to detect paedophilia ……

What also is of concern is the section where he says “If the law is changed to allow consenting adults to do what they want sexually in the privacy of their homes (excluding housing schemes where the houses are close), I am prepared to leave that up to Almighty God for judgement.” this seems to be a swipe at a recent incident in Innswood St. Catherine or other similar exposures in housing schemes in lower middle income or inner city communities where prying eyes are closer and can lead to sometimes disastrous results for same gender loving Jamaicans. Obvioulsy the MSM community in upper St. Andrew and other affluent areas do not encouter this phenomenon save and except for the occasional murder in their own homes as they “import” thug type or hypermasculine types for sexual encounters and something goes wrong which does not mean these thug types were somehow straight and turned gay overnight just for money or material gains.

In the Innswood matter there were complaints of loud music, multiple visits from male thugs to some cross dressing sisters and the neighbours upset of the so called shenanigans which made mainstream news, yes I will agree we sometimes are our own worst enemy as it relates to our behaviour but that is in the  minority and is not a reflection of the vast majority of Jamaica’s same gender loving community.

see more here:  That Innswood matter ……

The line by Mr Burke also suggest a class demarcation where is it perceived that more affluent men try to force other males from the lower socio economic strata into same sex activity as if those men are not innately homosexual or bisexual outside of the gay for pay phenomenon which is real but not as pronounced as made out in terms of non gay men getting involved.

also see:  “Nuh boi cyaan” (No Boy can’t) song reinforces stigma of same gender loving men as rich predators

The music also reflects this thinking that masculine men are getting down for money in order to keep up appearances as these days the “swagg” is the order of the day in the metrosexual revolution we are seeing while declaring an effemophobic line and anti cross dressing stance.

“Homosexuality and homosexual pedophilia are not synonymous. In fact, it may be that these two orientations are mutually exclusive, the reason being that the homosexual male is sexually attracted to masculine qualities whereas the heterosexual male is sexually attracted to feminine characteristics, and the sexually immature child’s qualities are more feminine than masculine. . . . The child offender who is attracted to and engaged in adult sexual relationships is heterosexual. It appears, therefore, that the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater sexual risk to underage children than does the adult homosexual male.” – Nicholas Groth – a pioneer in the scientific study of sexual offenders against women and children, who has treated over 3000 child molesters over the course of two decades. A former director of the Sex Offender Program at the Connecticut Department of Corrections, Groth is the author of Men Who Rape: Psychology of the Offender, a work widely regarded as a classic textbook on the psychology of sexual violence.

Peace and tolerance

H

Club Heavens “The Rebirth”

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes she emerged on the night of February 11, 2012 LGBT history was made under new management, with new interior designs, new and some old staff members returning and certainly a new lease on life after closure for some time now due to a rapid decline in interest as other spots within Kingston and neighbouring parishes took center stage, other mitigating circumstances and a much younger and discriminating audience who also have an aptitude for mainstream entertainment offerings that also seem to appeal to LGBT senses but it was good if not refreshing to see the old haunt revived and kicking once again.

The north western Jamaica spot is up and running again and it’s hoped that it will remain open with steady loyal patronage for years to come.

The name supposedly came about as at that time the issues with stop murder music, the repetitive homophobic incidents and the missing entertainment spots around the conceptualizers wanted to find and run an outlet for release so the term Heaven(s) was used to bring a kind of relief and happiness as was thought implied in the term as it related to a religious perspective to the spot.

(due to the limited photo policy I cannot show you more than the basics)

The simple yet effective decor was a fierce start upon entering, new acoustics, lighting, security arrangements, fogging, VIP section and the free admission for opening night were part of the clever marketing ploy to re-introduce persons to the spot and open up another offerings to first timers, in fact it is to open on Sunday night as well with a $500 admission. Club Heavens which officially is now the longest running LGBT entertainment spot/club in local terms if one is counting we could assume some 7 years or more between the closings and reopenings.

It’s original conceptualizer the late Kirk Lester who was murdered in 2007 whose funeral made international news after the stoning incident that took place marring the final rights in Mandeville opened the spot in early 2000 and at that time there were few permanent spots for fun and socializing with peers. Individual party promoters were offering their own brand of private shingdigs while the defunct Entourage Nightclub was no more as we recall after its closure due to pressure from the surrounding business district and a series of sensationalized articles in the tabloids of the day on supposed happenings there then the awful murder of its proprietor and co founder of  a noted LGBT entity Brian Williamson in June 2004 a small attempt was made to revive the brand but was reprised for safety reasons and for memory of him.

At or around the original opening of Club Heavens as well we had lost two major disc jockeys on the circuit due to that infamous party DVD that made its way to the mainstream and was sold on the streets with the outcome being the jocks identified by their voices as they worked in the mainstream as well, then came the backlash which compromised their safety also resulting in a lull in offerings for some time out of fear of exposure hence the no cameras policies or limited photo/video capture that are instituted with some events to this day. So the market responded by attending this new spot in droves weekly which also catered to a wide cross section of the LGBTQIQ2S communities as well thought out themes were offered and well received at the time.

Club Heavens also had come to represent the tradition of drag entertainment and has hosted some noted internationally recognised divas including Harmonica Sunbeam and the legendary Michelle Ross and also our version of the Miss World pageant and Oscar typed award shows recognizing persons in LGBT entertainment locally. This was not lost at the Rebirth and old and new divas strutted their stuff on the stage with appropriate short sets this time around, Diva Nastacia Waugh legendary performances was welcomed as she lip synced to Whitney Houston’s “I Look To You” in the tribute segment and the fab one BeBe from western Jamaica proved that 6 inch pumps are a breeze for a tall lady. It was Nage Trendsett that dominated the performances however proving yet again the calibre of shows she has been serving since last year, she delivered a three song set including two tracks from Beyonce where she lip synced flawlessly with only a chair in the centre of the stage as a prop. Her ability to have her audience transfixed during multiple songs was proven yet again, no one moved and no one gawked and there was no heckling as often follow some other queens, her use of space to enhance her performance had not gone unnoticed and her eye contact with her loyal subjects was commendable, all the above are traits some performers need to tighten up on and hold patrons’ attention. Four major DJs served the beatz including yours truly and Dr B from western Jamaica was a toast for the kidz and of course DJ David with hot Peppa.

A packed house rocked as persons from just by the look of it all walks of life were present and the mingling was good to see, also what was evident were the rural faces some of whom have not been seen in ages proving that the club has the pull to cover the tiles. Influentials could be seen darting about and other party promoters were present too to show their support, I know the late Kirk Lester would have liked that real unity as some persons from that era reminisced on his impact on the club’s development. Persons recalled his own antics darting about the floor seeing to the smooth running of the activities especially the bar sales and his own brand of drag often taking the stage himself with that infamous Tina Turner wig and gesticulating to his favourite Diana Ross song “The Best Years of my Life”

Also not to be outdone in as far as reminiscing goes was Mr. Gareth Henry who took over management after Kirk’s departure from us and carried it until he moved to that infamous villa on the north coast where the old party DVD was shot of a previous private LGBT event, scenes of which are still on Youtube and the subsequent threats on his life from a public incident he was involved in at a pharmacy that caused him to seek asylum elsewhere among other things. I will not mention too much of the ugly history of the club during the tumultuous period of its immediate past manager but it is water under the bridge as she too was in attendance to shake a leg.

The brand also changed hands with the likes of former Crisis Interventions Officer from the J, Miss Artis who now resides elsewhere, the property’s owner at one point, a former promoter from western Jamaica and of course legendary Macey Antibellum Grey before its rebirth in 2012.

The shenanigans of the hypermasculine brothers (thugs/heaviots) are not to be left out of this summary as they too made their presence felt at the spot which has usually attracted them in better numbers than elsewhere. International vogue queens were also present a few of which made the trip to Jamaica just for the reopening/reunion as described by the masters of ceremonies during the drag show presentation.

here is more in audio:

Club Heavens The Rebirth 12.02.12

There were just two dark spots in the scheme of things, the alcohol inventory had ran out and there was a small skirmish after the proceedings ended on the outside with minor injuries but overall the rebirth was flawless. I guess some things won’t change so easily eh?

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It has indeed fulfilled its mandate in a sense and so appropriately named as the spot for some time also doubled as a spot for church services for the Sunshine Cathedral Jamaica services in some instances, offering an LGBT version of heaven on earth through Jesus Christ, literally after a busy club night sections are cordoned off, janitorial staff go into action, chairs are erected a podium placed and covered with the banner and other paraphernalia, a large Bible is laid, a chalice brought out, tambourines, wine and communion wafers are placed when needed, candle sticks and the collection plate. As one lead pastor from the mother church in Florida puts it “it was church from a box.” From LGBT entertainment including raunchy teasing strip shows to spirit filled services attracting two different audiences, talk about functionality.

Let us hope they grow from strength to strength and continue this long held tradition of offering a wide array of entertainment for us.

Peace and tolerance

H

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Grace Jones – singer (out)

7. June Jordan – writer, activist (out)

8. Orlando Jordan – pro wrestler (out)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading on Examiner.com 

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

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

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

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

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

Peace and tolerance

H

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other terms to remember to use properly

Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Glossary of Terms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRANSGENDER TERMINOLOGY TO AVOID

PROBLEMATIC TERMINOLOGY

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

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

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

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

DEFAMATORY TERMINOLOGY

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

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

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

TRANSGENDER-SPECIFIC TERMINOLOGY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GENERAL TERMINOLOGY

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

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

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

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

Miss Gay Caribbean Pageant 2011 ……………..

 CONGRATULATIONS TO JAMAICA we placed third in this year’race see more on GLBTQ Jamaica on blogger



Here are the preview pics of our representative this year in the Miss Gay Caribbean USA pageant, sadly the reighning queen Jennifer Banks who became a leading transgender/transsexual figure since her winning the crown hailing from Trinidad passed away from liver failure in June 2011.

See more on that sad issue on my sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica where I dedicated an entry to her:


Jennifer Banks in happier times when she performed at last years competition and won
Read here to see the original pics from the competition in NY September 2010 from the WordPress Edition

The female impersonator Charley Marie was born after watching a live drag show. Now with four years of performing experience under her belt, she is the proud ambassador for Jamaica at the 2011 Gay Caribbean USA Pageant.

Charley Marie wants to show off her creativity and many talents at the pageant. She also hopes that her presence at the pageant will open more doors of opportunity for her as an entertainer. She is inspired by the likes of RuPaul and Harmonica Sunbeam.

Miss Jamaica Lyana Grey seen here in swim wear did not place last year

XXXXTTTRRAAZZZZZ Videos

Part One – Hemish Gervis chats with contestants vieing for the crown of 2011 Miss Gay Caribbean USA. In this interview are Miss Jamaica, Miss Barbados, Miss Haiti and Miss St. Lucia.

Hemish Gervis interviews the first ever lesbian pageant contestant, Stefon Iman who is a Male Impersonator and represents Puerto Rico.

Part Two – Hemish Gervis chats with contestants vieing for the crown of 2011 Miss Gay Caribbean USA. In this interview are Miss Guyana, Miss Trinidad & Tobago and Miss Dominican Republic.

Are SGL Men here lesbophobes continued ………..

In part one of this post/question that was asked on my sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica on blogger way back when I was apart of JFLAG, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays in April 1 2009 I took a brief look at the issue at the time as same gender loving women who attended the then (GLABCOM) Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Community meetings though small in numbers complained bitterly of how over bearing the men were and that they were not able to speak openly, by extension the complaints also stretched to the party scenes and the general behaviour or gay men as well where they also had problems with men especially effeminate men using up the dancefloor space and not allowing others to enjoy their money as it were.

The matter was raised earlier this week by a female friend who saw the old post and wanted to discuss it some, she said that things have certainly changed as with the increased use of social networking (thank God) we are now able to understand the issues and thinking of the groups under the LGBTQI umbrella she continued that more and more lesbians in particular seem to like the effeminate component in gay men and seeing that the subject came up during a transgender discussion on cross dressing, tranvestic issues and how the males in particular presented themselves publicly in drag she said the community is getting more comfortable or tolerant with those issues.

She is right and I concur as we not have ways of discussing issues better outside of the advocacy structure devoid of over intellectualizing the issue thus talking over the heads of the not so bright members of the community hence leaving them out. What is also noticeably changing is the response from the butch community who once were very aloof towards effeminate men in particular (this is not to suggest it was a wide spread aloofness) but I think with the importation of the African-American swag culture that is also embraced by effeminate men in their daily public movements and with clothing becoming more unisexual (along with a national metro sexual craze on in earnest thanks to Vybz Kartel) these powerful aesthetic influences have helped to soften how the groups respond to each other.

It is now fashionable in a sense to see stereobutches for example with cross dressers at selected clubs and parties now as they break the gender norms that once were held in high regard. Same gender loving men especially those at the lower socio economic levels where most of the loudness and caustic comments sometime came from towards lesbians now are embracing and tolerant now probably now more than in recent history. The stinging use of words like “Manroyal” and likening butches to be too manlike or male have since died down on the face of it and in fact the more a butch in particular or a stud to a lesser extent presents as such is the more acceptable by the guys. Probably another influence is the more public scenes of transgender persons and the recognition and declaration of their orientation in the community publicly. The cross dressing phenomenon interwoven into the swagg culture as mentioned before is a major factor for me in this change, as this is probably a timely discussion …..

given that we are ending Pride month internationally. If this trend continues though it should auger well for the community in the long run, one particular space where same gender lovers, transgender and bisexuals are certainly getting some social release is at The Oasis Lounge in Kingston which is a membership social group but non members are welcomed to discuss issues on a Wednesday night or so. The troubling part of the inter community phobia though is the intense bi-phobia now along with bi-invisiblity from the national advocacy structure. Many same gender lovers have openly expressed their disgust at bisexuals with all kinds of stereotypes attached including their inability to be monogamous and their potential to carry disease and infections such as HIV. Serious work is needed there and I am doing my small part in trying to highlight those issues as best, I encourage you my readers to also try to sift through the issues while using your own experiences as a backdrop to finding solutions.

In a previous post on some of the concerns and discussions elsewhere I looked at how the issues were being looked at on the ground, although it may not be a reflection of the entire community clearly.

See : The Biphobia in the community (Gay, Lesbian) maybe higher than thought

here is an excerpt:

“As we continue to delve inwards to find out a little more of where we are unofficially of course we are learning more especially from a younger more vibrant LGBT body politic.

On the strength of a series of discussions on bisexuality and how persons felt during April and May of this year we saw the obvious signs that many same gender loving persons have a perception that somehow persons who are double gender lovers or bisexuals are untrustworthy, more risky in regards to sexually transmitted diseases with HIV/AIDS and may not be able to be monogamous. The opposite also is true for the bisexual representatives who have responded some in very tersely worded responses. The poll photographed above was floated on social networking site Facebook to get a further glimpse into what persons were thinking on the issue a large percentage the respondents saying yes to the question:
“Do you believe bisexuals should declare themselves so prior to entering a long term relationship?”
The other comments are not as kind and will not be posted here but suffice it to say we have to begin to address this issue I feel, if we as lgbt people are asking the mainstream to be tolerant of us then why aren’t we tolerant of a section of the community that has their own orientation issues to deal with, this is also sadly with the absence of the main advocates who are more interested in the Buggery Law than the inter community cohesiveness as well, biphobia by default as I have termed it.”
and Why Is There Biphobia in the Lesbian Community? as to some possible answers.
The answer therefore is a resounding NO given the pointers above, do you agree? (lgbtevent@gmail.com)
Peace and tolerance
H