The Safe House Project 2009 for Displaced & Homeless MSM/Transgender reviewed & more


In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ Youth in New Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Taking Atripla Three Days a Week Maintains Undetectable HIV Viral Load, Pilot Study Finds

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Taking efavirenz/tenofovir/emtricitabine (Atripla) three days a week maintained an undetectable viral load for at least 24 weeks in people who were already virally suppressed for at least two years, according to a small, proof-of-concept study presented at ASM Microbe 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Baseline Characteristics

The study, conducted in Spain, followed 61 individuals living with HIV (88.5% male and 11.5% female) who were stable on efavirenz/tenofovir/emtricitabine and had a viral load below 37 copies/mL for at least two years before study enrollment. All participants had a CD4 count above 350 at the start of the study, and none had previously documented virologic failure, though a single viral load blip between 50 and 200 copies/mL was allowed for study inclusion, according to lead study author Esteban Martinez, M.D., Ph.D.

Participants also had no evidence of resistance to efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin), tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF, Viread) or emtricitabine (FTC, Emtriva).

The volunteers were randomized to either continue taking efavirenz/tenofovir/emtricitabine once a day or reduce their regimen to three days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), about half in each group.

Viral load was measured at baseline, 12 weeks and 24 weeks, but more thoroughly for the three-day group at 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks.

Most of the study cohort was male (89%); roughly two-thirds were Caucasian, while the rest of the volunteers were Hispanic; and three-quarters of the study participants were men who have sex with men. Mean age was roughly 48 years.

Results

After 24 weeks, there were zero treatment failures in either study arm, and with 333 viral load tests in total, none were above 37 copies/mL, suggesting that taking antiretroviral therapy (at least in this case of efavirenz/tenofovir/emtricitabine) three days a week could be a feasible option to maintain undetectable viral loads.

Adherence was measured by standard questionnaire and pill counting, and the overall adherence rate was fine, according to Martinez. The researchers were worried the three-day group would not be able to adjust to the new schedule, and at times, patients missed one dose, but each of them managed to maintain the new schedule using smartphone calendars or other equivalents, he said.

Due to the outstanding results, the researchers asked the ethics committee to extend the study to three years, Martinez said. When asked about patient satisfaction, Martinez noted that all three-day patients were extremely satisfied and no one wanted to go back to once-daily dosing. In fact, participants in the control arm wanted to switch to three-day arm.

Data on participants' viral reservoirs were not included in the study poster presented at ASM Microbe 2016. However, Martinez noted that the reservoirs were measured using total and integrated DNA, and all patient reservoirs remained stable throughout the study.

When asked how applicable these results would be to current clinical care given the reduced use of efavirenz, Martinez stated that while the use of efavirenz is decreasing in first-world countries, it is still widely used in developing countries. At the very least, this confirms the potential for therapy doses to be farther apart than once a day, Martinez concluded.

Peter Espeut told to 'Don't Dress Up Homophobia As Science'

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Peter Espeut the Catholic priest whose homophobia has been long in happening has been told in a letter in the Gleaner which I am total agreement, now that the pope has suggested that the church on a whole should apologise to homosexuals I wonder what he is going to come with in response; as his own church head has spoken and it maybe binding to all priests. 



Espeut has since shown more madness such as evidenced in previous posts: 


Espeut, West says “Homophobia” was invented to abuse Christians as hate speech and The False Dichotomy of the religious right on the LGBT advocacy Godlessness, also see: My answer to Peter Espeut's rubbish on Homophobia Exposed

now here is the letter in question:

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I just read Peter Espeut's article titled 'Sexual identity, gender identity' (The Gleaner, June 17, 2016) and, as a sociologist myself, wanted to edify him a bit. His views do not reflect the understanding of sex and gender among mainstream sociologists in any way, shape or form.

No half-decent sociologist believes that people are born 'male' or 'female' because of their chromosomes. That would equate (fe)maleness with a chromosome or sexual organ. I know that Espeut is a male, and I have never tested his chromosomes or seen his organs! It should be obvious from just that fact that 'maleness' is not based on those factors, but describes a series of social characteristics that we have been socialised to identify (shorter hair, more toned, less shapely, voice, etc., and, most of all, dress code!). I strongly encourage Espeut to read an article called 'Doing Gender' by West and Zimmerman.
Nonsense Argument

His argument that socialisation fails when a person who is supposedly born male identifies as a female is also nonsense to sociologists. We don't see people as failures because they do not fit into our traditional norms. A person who is a Christian in Iran is not a failure because he is in a small, rejected minority. Espeut should read Foucault's 'A History of Sexuality'.

Finally, the idea that this kind of 'post-modern subjectivism' is also wrong. Gender and sexual fluidity have been part of many cultures over history. Native Americans, for instance, recognised more than two genders. Here, 'How To Be Gay' by Halperin is a good book (it's not a manual on how to become gay, but a study of the history of gay culture).

Espeut is a homophobe. I've read enough of his stuff to know that. Rather than owning it, he's dressing up his religious intolerance in pseudo-scientific discourse. Not only are his views judgemental and reactionary to an oppressed group of people, they are also very wrong.

ANDRE STEPHENS
andrestephens@outlook.com 

ENDS

As I had pointed out in a previous post, In my own journey I do believe that one can be homosexual and Christian; I do not believe that God is caught up in judging us harshly by mere sexual orientation; after all we are more than just who we have sex with or are attracted to. I ask every now and again I refer to the woman with the alabaster box story or the stoning incident where I just quoted above the line Jesus used in terms of who is more holy than others. The raising of homosexuality as the worse sin above all others then the twinning if not combining of atheism/secularism as expressed by some LGBT persons as a false dichotomy to some anti-Christian, anti God position are simply just that, false dichotomies.

Jesus himself never spoke to homosexuality in a discriminatory fashion barring where Jesus in a teaching on the rapture makes what appears to be a neutral non-discriminatory reference where it read (King James Version):


also see:

Stonewall, some thoughts on the 47th anniversary

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The standoff at the Stonewall riots 1969

I often wonder what we can learn from one of the pivotal moments in the history of global LGBTQI struggles, especially so from our neighbours to the north. We tend in Jamaica not to respect history overall and more so LGBT timelines and how they help to or ought to help inform us today. Young mostly poor and disenfranchised LGBT persons in 1969 decided enough was enough in a crammed section of New York City in as far as protracted police homophobia was concerned they spontaneously launched a broadside in rebellion. 


July 4, 1965 Philly march the precursor to the Stonewall moment

Little did they know that that faithful night at the now infamous Stonewall club ironically ran by the mob even in the face of prohibition would spark the fire for this end of the global struggle for LGBT rights. The visibility and indeed the dignity march earlier at the Philadelphia bell is another defining moment as well and other dotted moments that influenced the push towards change. Ironically nearly all the other more posh gay clubs on the strip in New York at the time had the more privileged white audience which highlights the class divide, the mostly patronized clubs did not have the kinds of pressure from the police as Stonewall did, bribes had a hand in that as both the mob collected extortion money and rouge cops theirs for ignoring those joints. The race and class elements should not be left out, a class challenge we struggle with here in Jamaican LGBT life presently. The police would have been targeted in NY at Stonewall too as they knew the Italian mob had a hand in running the joint after it was closed before when run privately as the managers had some challenges in keeping it going, they had issues with getting drinks for sale as prohibition was still in vogue.

The riots also was the catalyst to push for the adaptation and use of the rainbow flag as the symbol for LGBT rights and identity, it was present the very night in a different version then and came to represent the fact that race meant nothing that night and sexual orientation disappeared for a moment; everyone just came together as a collective to respond to the longstanding pressure from the cops and by extension general society as similar to now in Jamaica. Despite the training exercises geared towards police (mostly new recruits) we still hear of police abuse, attempted extortion and undo pressure occasionally. Despite the strengthening of corruption investigating arms the cases that do get investigated sometimes fizzle as impacted individuals do not or feel no need to follow up in court to a final resolution of said matters or are patient with an already creaking justice system.

The mob who ran Stonewall knew that the poorer trannies, drag queens and gays would not have the means, money or be scuffed at at the other gay clubs for more uptown patrons especially as one goes to Manhattan’s side. So mostly young LGBT who seemed to have nothing to lose who patronize that joint and they took matters into their own hands as the breaking point came. I had the opportunity to have spoken to and subsequently watched the PBS documentary involving one of the living participants some time ago who was at the club that faithful June 28, 1969. It felt good to be in touch with history. Some have said in Jamaica we need our version of a Stonewall moment to try to defuse the nationally entrenched homo-negativity and effemophia out there as years of multi-generational resistance needs to be broken.

The police would enter the club repeatedly in one night so much so that the patrons and staff developed a signalling system; no sooner had the cops in uniform or the known plain clothes officers who would entrap drag queens and gays as the law then allowed for such arrests, the club lights would be switched on and everyone would stop dancing, music muted and patrons separate from each other. This catch us if you can coordinated response went on for some time but persons just got tired of it and I can understand as an event planner and DJ having to engage police over some near twenty years. The nearby parked freezer trucks at Stonewall would become sweaty sex shops for orgies, cruisers and quickies which the cops some in plain clothes would pretend to be gays as well and then entrap and or arrest or abuse men who were caught; drag queens and early trannies as they were called then in particular had a hard time as an anti cross-dressing piece of legislation was used against them. The glory-hole phenomenon in both public bathrooms at the club and club stalls were targeted with sometimes not so convincing cross dressed undercover cops who would pounce, a nearby downlow club to Stonewall for married men specifically was also targeted and the photos of those arrested would be splashed across the press pages especially when requested bribe demands were not met.

Trouble is the Jamaican sub groups who would be the ones as in the Stonewall riots; the lower socio-economic groups are not sufficiently driven yet I feel, and the homeless populations are scattered too much for a cohesive or collective resistance; not to mention that they are effectively sedated with tokenism by so called NGOs who thrown crumbs to keep them interested in the form of sodas and dry biscuits and such married with workshop after workshop after workshop at hotels then they have to go right back to the makeshift shelters from tarpaulins, how long can the trick continue? The privileged, protected sections of the populations aren’t interested in such a move of real interventions which is dirty work, JFLAG and now joined by others still do not want to get their hands dirty directly with such populations but are quite prepared to use them as poster material for social media smooth-overs and public relations campaigns. The defragmentation may never yield a Stonewall like response with truth, depth and meaning as weapons to breathe life into the resistance and not the farce of a unity that now obtains. The public are not fools and they are well aware of the class divide. Only recently on a radio talk show during the rainbow flag fiasco after the Orlando shooting several callers to a show on Newstalk 93FM mentioned the (not sure if because one caller mentioned ‘uptown gays’ others call in and follow suit) class divide that they have been seeing, members of the public do pay attention to the social media sites of JFLAG and others and have been making a note. Dane Lewis, Executive Director of JFLAG physical size and even skin colour has not gone unnoticed sadly as the two Jamaicas class divide problem plays itself out. He has been compared by homophobic callers to the fat politicians in power who are comfortable and who do not have to do much but take pictures and make appearances but are in fact ineffective otherwise and comfortable. But who pays attention to public sentiments when one is comfortable or feel immune from the common classes?

I have often said revolutions are not paid for with rose water and at some point there is going to have to be some whether proper organised resistance or some spontaneous event not the softy placard holding at Emancipation Park with police protection or some so called pride event held well away from the public or during peak hour times in the middle of the public, then marketed as bold. Jamaicans are not fooled by that as the background of the many of the photos tell the truth as to what is at stake. Such observations have not escaped the notice of persons and one talkshow host some years ago questioned the authenticity of the LGBT advocacy or sections of it as a farce which just feeds into an already disbelieving, disapproving and dismissing cynical public; many of whom claim that the collective we are all liars and are playing on foreign support to impose homosexuality on the nation. Maybe the variables are not close together as they ought to be to create some spark for our Stonewall moment. Legal reform and the more coordinated resistance is the least of our problems more so than the changing of hearts and minds nationally. I raised such a concern in a previous post on the 12th anniversary of the death of Brian Williamson, the struggle feels so splintered and rudderless than as a cohesive movement; Ian Boyne alluded to it in a Gleaner article where he described the arrogance and intolerant view of intolerance which I could not agree with more.


The underground railroad route via asylum is only bleeding the bodies for the fight too so we may never see our Stonewall at all.

The resistance in New York that faithful June did not have the fluff of well dressed privileged gays, NGO executives, preppy lawyers and volunteers from academia, they were in their pristine clubs left alone as bribes kept the cops at bay, oh no it was ordinary folks, poor whites, homeless gays and drag queens and poor gay/bisexual masculine types who led the charge into battle knowingly or unknowingly, who knows a similar occurrence may be here. As the PBS documentary which upon preparation of this post I suddenly cannot find online as before but from memory, one of the survivors said it with words to the effect that himself and others never knew that they would be the spark at that time in the struggle towards change. They suddenly realized they had power they never knew on the outside of the club when they started to shout words such as 2, 4, 6, 8 is that copper really straight and so on as they took on the police physically. Sometimes I wish I was there, that moment when persons who felt alone felt part of a meaningful collective with a suddenly realized defined purpose with your enemy in sight and the response is powerful.

The US struggle which seem to have defined the global push for LGBT rights is ongoing despite the gains made such as the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling, transgender visibility and understanding, some bisexual visibility though more is needed, push for true tolerance and legal reforms but challenges are there such as the recent transgender bathroom push back and murders that go unsolved in African American communities. The poorer classes are still overlooked or their issues are poorly attended to which is the lesson Stonewall has shown me at least. The class divide gives the appearance that the privileged are the ones who want rights to continue their cementing of said privilege while those on the fringes stay there, their issues are just materials for studies, cocktail party discourse, and academic fodder and such as persons pat themselves and each other on the back. Where is the real unity?

The class divide in the US is clear today as ever as before, grass roots transgender activists for example cry foul repeatedly as more executive heavy supposed NGOs pay attention to bureaucratic red tape that real issues namely homelessness and murder rates spiraling in black transgender populations especially. Mostly white run powerhouses while gaining much valued political power the emphasis is on prepping up bureaucracy that real advocacy, they worry more about maintaining such bureaucracies in order to keep their doors open and well paying jobs with emoluments more than the respective sub community challenges and sadly; the recent UN position on HIV and marginalized groups showed up the status quo quite clearly and the threat of Global Fund’s pull from Jamaica by 2018 is the other example as many are fretting about their jobs than the target populations challenges. The basic aims of the struggle are effectively lost in translation and more egregiously the newer generations already ignorant to how we got here have only added a more individualistic component to the already murky mix. There is just too much fluff blocking the thrust that would be needed for our Stonewall type moment(s) truth of self is the key devoid of any noise and layers; with social media adding another element of distortion of said truths with narcissistic mirroring and falsified bettering of self how can enough anger and displeasure spontaneously turn into a quickly coordinated response?

More anon

Peace & tolerance

H

also see:

Sunday, June 26, 2016

I left him because he was gay says woman ......

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So a woman wrote to a tabloid to say she left a man she met because he is gay but she as many others attribute the stereotypical effeminacy as a marker in her engagement with the man

she claimed:


I have nothing against gay people. I say, to each his own. I pride myself on having a very good 'gaydar', meaning I'm very good at telling if someone, especially a guy, is gay. As them talk or make certain movements, I know not to look in their direction for a relationship.

It look like my 'gaydar' wasn't working when my friends introduced me to this guy at a party. He was very good-looking, he dressed nice, smelled good and was a great dancer.

When he asked me out later that week, I didn't hesitate one bit. From the first time me meet him, me notice him have a very high pitched laugh, almost like a girl, but me neva think too hard about it, because nuff people laugh funny, including me, so me neva judge him.

Things did a gwaan good fi a while but me notice him always a spend 'quality' time with him best friend, who happens to be a guy.

Nuff nights me call him and him tell me say him a sleep by him best-friend house.

Mi did feel a way about it, but me neva look too deep into it, at least, it wasn't another girl.

Ova time, a lot of things did start happen wah cause me fi start question his straightness, but what put the icing on the cake was one evening I asked him to follow me to a party, and he told me he can't come that day because it's his best friend's birthday, and he always takes him out to dinner. What kind of man takes another man out to a fancy restaurant for dinner?

From him say that, the signal pon me gaydar nearly pop off, if you get wah me mean! Mi just say, "ok", and, from that day, I cut him off.

I see him engaged to a woman now, but me sorry fi she, because she deh wid a gay man.

ENDS

But seriously isn't this another clear example of how our school system is not preparing folks on sexuality and orientation issues, the man despite being effeminate in her eyes could also be bisexual, who knows? But to simply to arrive at a gay conclusion just because of effeminacy is just plain stupid and ignorant.

Someone needs to tell this woman sexual orientation is bigger than stereotypical attitudes used as profiling to seek out person's perceived choices, practices and liking. 

No contact was left in the article to reach her as I think an intervention is so needed in the matter.

But thanks to people like Reverend Ronnie Thwaites and previous education minister(try) officials we are stuck in backwardness, as evidenced in the HFLE matter some years ago and a refusal to face facts by not distributing condoms in school with a moral panic offensive.

Peace & tolerance

H

also see previous downlow posts from here and sister blog GLBTQJA

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Rainbow Flag is 38 today

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A milestone indeed for the symbol of LGBT prowess worldwide; what timely recognition given we are cooling down from the recent flag fiasco and furore as caused by someone who ought to have known better.



the man himself Gilbert Baker


The rainbow flag, sometimes LGBT pride flag or gay pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements in use since the 1970s. The colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, and the flag is often used as a symbol of gay pride in LGBT rights marches. It originated in California, but is now used worldwide.

Designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978, the design has undergone several revisions to first remove then re-add colors due to widely available fabrics. As of 2008, the most common variant consists of six stripes, with the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The flag is commonly flown horizontally, with the red stripe on top, as it would be in a natural rainbow.




The original gay-pride flag flew in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978. It has been suggested that Baker was inspired by Judy Garland's singing "Over the Rainbow" and the Stonewall riots that happened a few days after her death. The flag also strongly resembles the ribbon colors of the WWI Victory Medal, though no connection is evidenced. Another suggestion for how the rainbow flag originated is that at college campuses during the 1960s, some people demonstrated for world peace by carrying a Flag of the Races (also called the Flag of the Human Race) with five horizontal stripes (from top to bottom they were red, black, brown, yellow, and white). Gilbert Baker is said to have gotten the idea for the rainbow flag from this flag in borrowing it from the Hippie movement of that time largely influenced by pioneering homosexual activist Allen Ginsberg. The flag consisted of eight stripes; Baker assigned specific meaning to each of the colors, here are two versions of it:





Thirty volunteers hand-dyed and stitched the first two flags for the parade.

Gay flag 8.svg
Original eight-stripe version designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978
Gay flag 7.svg
Version with hot pink removed due to fabric unavailability
(1978–79)
Gay flag.svg
Six-color version popular since 1979. Indigo changed to royal blue.

After the November 27, 1978, assassination of openly gay San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk, demand for the rainbow flag greatly increased. To meet demand, the Paramount Flag Company began selling a version of the flag using stock rainbow fabric consisting of seven stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, and violet. As Baker ramped up production of his version of the flag, he too dropped the hot pink stripe because of the unavailability of hot-pink fabric. Also, San Francisco-based Paramount Flag Co. began selling a surplus stock of Rainbow Girls flags from its retail store on the southwest corner of Polk and Post, at which Gilbert Baker was an employee.

In 1979 the flag was modified again. When hung vertically from the lamp posts of San Francisco's Market Street, the center stripe was obscured by the post itself. Changing the flag design to one with an even number of stripes was the easiest way to rectify this, so the turquoise stripe was dropped, which resulted in a six stripe version of the flag — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

In 1989, the rainbow flag came to nationwide attention in the United States after John Stout sued his landlords and won when they attempted to prohibit him from displaying the flag from his West Hollywood, California, apartment balcony

For the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1994, flag creator Baker was commissioned to create the world's largest rainbow flag. It took months of planning and teams of volunteers to coordinate every aspect. The flag utilized the basic six colors and measured thirty feet wide. Foot-wide sections of the flag were given to individual sponsors as part of a fundraiser for the Stonewall anniversary event once the event had ended. Afterwards additional large sections of the flag were sent with activists and they were used in pride parades and LGBT marches worldwide. The Guinness Book of World Records confirmed it as the world's largest flag.


In 2003 Baker was again commissioned to produce a giant flag. In this case it marked the 25th anniversary of the flag itself. Dubbed "25 Rainbow Sea to Sea" the project entailed Baker again working with teams of volunteers but this flag utilized the original eight colors and measured a mile-and-a-quarter (2 km) across Key West, Florida from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf Coast Sea. The flag was again cut up afterward, and sections sent to over a hundred cities worldwide.

Variations

Many variations of the rainbow flag have been used. Some of the more common ones include the Greek letter lambda (lower case) in white in the middle of the flag and a pink triangle or black triangle in the upper left corner. Other colors have been added, such as a black stripe symbolizing those community members lost to AIDS. The rainbow colors have also often been used in gay alterations of national and regional flags, replacing for example the red and white stripes of the flag of the United States. In 2007, the Pride Family Flag was introduced at the Houston, Texas pride parade.

In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, AIDS activists designed a "Victory over AIDS" flag consisting of the standard six-stripe rainbow flag with a black stripe across the bottom. Leonard Matlovich, himself dying of AIDS-related illness, suggested that upon a cure for AIDS being discovered, the black stripes be removed from the flags and burned.

rainbow flag being flown at the US Embassy Kingston Jamaica in memory of the Orlando shooting of Pulse nightclub, a gay joint. 

Other countries' LGBT communities too have adopted the rainbow flag. South Africa with one of the most liberal constitutions in the world, has recently adopted The LGBT flag of South Africa at one of the world's biggest costume parties the Mother City Queer Project 2010 to a crowd of 10 000 party goers. The creator Eugene Brockman said "the flag honors every Gay Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender person as they make the Rainbow Nation dazzle".


Fly high yah man, the colours of the rainbow indeed.

Peace & tolerance

H

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cruisers continue to bemoan the loss of 'space'

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In previous posts I had looked at the travails of mostly the more adventurous Kingston, St Catherine & to a lesser extent St Ann cruising populations, geographical changes predominantly have a direct impact on how their or I should say our sex seeking behaviours are influenced; although I have been so busy I am less active these days but the fellas keep me up to date hence this post. I like writing these posts as it usually attracts some other interest(s) or the curious (smile), despite our unique homophobia we have found ways to survive; meanwhile interventions by the local authorities, continued clashes with displaced and homeless transgender & MSM, crime and police operations, decoys who know the system and use it to rob or abuse if not blackmail persons and so on are the reasons for the decline of activities. Since the murder of one of the regulars known as Frankie at the infamous old haunt at ‘Boil Up’ near to the old ‘Back-a-wall’ in 2015 has had a deleterious impact on happenings, the police intervention with the local authorities of the homeless cohort in January of this year again has had some impact as the relocation to other sites which influences the clashes, especially the more hyper-masculine types.

A nasty fight in April I gather (corroborated by one of my buddies) over a spot by two men who were inadvertently going after the same prey as it were has not helped as a faction of sort has since developed with friends of both men have been in a standoff. Where on side sees the other resistance comes out sometimes in ‘louding up’ the opposing side representative in a bid to stop him from entering the space in what is a scare tactic under fear of a homophobic threat made so by finger pointing. Inevitably the space is there but is hesitantly accessed in fear of exposure, so avoidance of the use of the space thought available is the more acceptable choice.

In the last couple of years we have lost some good long time spaces either due to local authority interventions, development work such as highways in St Catherine where a popular waterway once known for some good early morning hook-ups and dick gazing is all but gone. Former cruisers who now live abroad still inquire about the space and are saddened that the good times are since near dead. A robbery of a regular taxi driver in 2014 who occasionally goes on the prowl has had some impact to this day as though he was not harmed his car was taken, scrapped and burnt out; many of the brothers have simply stopped altogether attending that stretch of space nearing the said waterway. Forgive me but I cannot be specific in terms of locations such as not to dissolve the safety aspects of this matter. The apparent near miss of a gross indecency charge of two men in a car (yet again) downtown Kingston at the waterfront is also an issue for some; even as downtown becomes busy commercially again. The sale and refurbishing of the former Oceana Hotel for example, the nearby Pirates Cove (as exposed by the cops and mistakes made by male CSW and cruisers - a unique comingling of said groups)

See: Pirates' Cove named as base for "homosexual prostitutes" KSAC asked to address homelessness
has had some impact, the discontinuation of the ferry service to Port Royal too so many years ago was one of the first signs of major changes to come as downtown in fact internationally waterfronts usually have some gay cruising elements operating there. The police are becoming more aware of once clandestine hook-ups have also impacted on the loss of space and repeated mistakes and or discoveries of such effects changes. Mistakes and challenges also can come from within such as a previous post highlighted where a man suffered a broken arm even after some fun the perpetrator just snapped in terms of guilty feelings thinking he was led into doing something wrong despite the fact he was in the space and actively sought out the other man.

The ‘bathroom’ cruiser who seems to operate on a different psychological trajectory; they seem to be more addicted to such venues more so than those of us who prefer more open spaces, they have been at a distinct disadvantage over the years as such venues have simply disappeared by virtue of security being added at their entrances and the vending of toiletries also at the doorways. Mistakes in that sub group also have had impacts in the negative realm as with each instance security features are beefed up. I can remember the Island Life Mall fiasco in 2005 and again in 2008 in the male bathroom stall where the tabloids had a field day and the now carefully monitored LOJ Plaza in Spanish Town with even a mobbing in the early 2000s. The plaza or shopping centre cruising guy though is better placed as he is usually skilled or adept in observing and successfully picking up his hunt more so than those of us who prefer the rarer spaces including old buildings for such engagements. The need for the less talk but a spontaneous quickie is the main driver for people like me than a public link then going to a space or home. To have a dick quick is the key in whatever form, mouth, hand or ass if possible.

The occasional exhibitionist masturbator in spaces perused by cruisers although he can be seen as another type have made mistakes as well as evidenced in an unconfirmed report of one such incident nearing the old railway station in February this year, he was chased away by men who were alerted by the person who saw him in action. The oldest spot and once a favourite of mine in my younger years is also all but gone as squatters have since moved on whilst ‘mini-extortionists’ have turned the rest of the space into a paid parking lot where persons going to the shopping district park and pay in exchange for ‘security’ for their vehicles. Western Jamaica has seen its share of issues with migration seen as an option for one good brethren and fuck buddy of mine; yes we do travel to other sites other than one’s regular haunts. One thing that occupies my mind and is yet to be properly explained is why it is MSM who are not in known monogamous relationships are the archetypes who engaging cruising as their sex seeking options?

I am still also concerned about the HIV risk involved when it comes to the aforementioned nonverbal spontaneous hook-up and hence the more the missing risk assessment is present per situation and overall in the space is the more chances of HIV transmission is possible. Barebacking although partnered masturbation is the preferred method for safety and time purposes is not a new phenomenon in such spaces as it throws out the distraction in the minds of some, especially MSM who refuse to see themselves as homosexuals or bisexuals but still engage in some sort of same gender sex. Revealing a condom or even mentioning it in the moment can and has had disastrous responses from the partner including violence; he may not want to have his fantasy however short lived and it seems such reminders or interventions is too much of a reminder he is about to do some ass or vice versa in real terms.

I guess the fellas will have to make do and just adjust as we always do, one thing with us in Jamaica and a trait we do not often acknowledge generally we are good at being resilient on many fronts. Safe and happy hunting my brothers and please be vigilant.

Peace & tolerance

H


also see:

On referenda, politicians, integrity & buggery

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I stayed up all night glued to the BBC to hear the outcome of the referendum as promulgated by present Prime Minister of the UK David Cameron who won his present term by a convincing majority as whether to leave or stay in the European Union, EU. I like many others are wondering from the results which is to leave are actually so or am I in a daze of some kind? I never expected this seeing the Scotland vote some years ago to remain with England and Wales and also Gibraltar (61%) in the present state of affairs; with Scotland in this latest round they voted to remain in the EU and now I am wondering with Scotland have a second go round at independence so to speak given the outcome. The view is that older British both natives and immigrants with citizenship status are the ones responsible for the leave vote as younger persons who have not lived the pre-EU existence voted to stay as expected; that is all they would have known.

I am concerned as to the fallout with this departure though via an advisory referendum how will it affect the commonwealth and island developing states such as ours? Jamaica benefits from several grants over the years and in particular the LGBT component of it. The EU has a near full open borders policy and with the UK wishing via this referendum results wishes to remain insular or as an island empire it seems. The UK is not an easy ride in terms of asylum seeking for Caribbean LGBT applicants based on my over 15 years experience watching or providing information for support for some cases. We wait with baited breath to see what is next; what is clear is the intent of the Prime Minister to resign and rightfully so as he was the author of all this, despite going into this obviously unsure but seemingly misguided as to the feeling in the population. He like some other conservatives have concerns about their borders and the supposed boogieman of free loaders taking state resources and jobs despite the natives rejecting those very jobs that are seen as low paying.

There are too many uncertainties for me though; will other states as it now banded leave such as a Nexit in the form of the Netherlands or Frexit in the form of France. The sterling has been devaluing and speculation seems rife on trade and how that will be impacted by the leave EU referendum results. Do we need a Jamxit from CARICOM as recent issues have some uncomfortable and the tense relations with Trinidad. So much re-negotiations have to go into effect and what the Cotonou agreement which replaced the Lome convention now in place and ends in 2020 with the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific states if any changes will have to made is unsure. Some are asking if the relationship with the ACP countries is even relevant in today’s world. If the EU breaks up or loses more members will the grants still go to developing states and or trade or preferential treatment continue. What about what will DFID look like or constituted? What about the free movement of people/labour in so far as Schegen visas from the rest of the EU although one would also need a UK visa if entering from elsewhere? And of course there may be some opportunities if only for forward thinking and insight by some, but we are not known to have such virtues in abundance and if available not used with alacrity.

The immigration argument for to leave is a hypocritical stance in my view, the UK/England came to the Caribbean, colonized it and then took back not only ours and other small state wealth and even asked said countries to rebuild after the world war. Then the UK via the voters are upset and complaining about immigrants! The voters who stayed away must be up in arms in a sense now seeing the aftermath.

We need a free trade area of the commonwealth to include the fast rising India, maybe Africa and Australia possibly, we cannot continue to rely on spaces like the EU and what about the preferential treatment of bananas as sugar does not really get that anymore in large numbers. How will our bilateral relations change and the CARI-forum economic partnership agreements look like in the future. How can we position ourselves in the obvious interregnum that is to come as the withdrawal goes into effect? Will remittances get affected our immigration policy? There is talk of sports being impacted such as the Holy Grail football in terms of buying players and the associated costs.


Just days ago (June 20) we saw this development:
28 EU member states reach consensus on LGBT rights for first time, what will become of this?

Referenda is the way these days as only yesterday as well we saw Bermuda had their referendum on gay marriage with a no result and the Bahamas had theirs on three items to include an amendment to marriage where fear mongering religious voices pushed hard against to allow. I am sorry our Bermudan friends did not succeed as I had hoped but at least in the UK the Prime Minister recognized his outcome and saw himself as unfit to continue to in steering the country in the new direction away from the EU. We know full well that had this been Jamaica and it required a leader to walk away that would not be even considered. Probably the closest thing to some decency in that regard was when former Prime Minister Bruce ‘not in my cabinet’ Golding was effectively forced to leave office after the Manatt Phipps saga and the botched policy issues with an incursion in Tivoli with lives lost in the process. Instead we are or have allowed leaders over the years to play on us time and time again but the maturity of David Cameron should be noted. We have leaders instead who use homophobia to gain political capital in the form of former PM P. J. Patterson in 2002 where he despite his public persona being pigeon holed as gay on the down low by the Jamaica Labour Party in a near nasty election campaign he responded with a sleek campaign strategy employing murder music typed songs much to the support of an enthralled public including gays bizarrely. 


When Norman Manley for example ran the referendum on Federation on September 19, 1961 he took a gamble and lost then he called an election to seek another mandate but only to loose; hence the near trepidation in Jamaica ever since on referenda.

Remember the suggested (seen as a promise for some) conscience vote in December 2011 with then opposition leader Portia Simpson Miller which has turned out to be a fluke and prior to the last elections on February 29, 2016 and flip flops by key Ministers, namely former Justice Minister Mark Golding who despite his supposed personal position on the buggery law is it should be amended was quite prepared to tell the nation and the world after the UN periodic review in 2015 that there would be no change to the law in parliament during the sexual offences bill review. 


also see:







There has been some talk of a referendum on buggery and the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ as our final court to a lesser extent in months hence of the aforementioned Bahamas, Bermuda and now the UK referenda anti gay voices feel emboldened to push for a mostly buggery law referendum. The Bermuda referendum yesterday saw 69% of voters saying no to gay marriage and 63% saying no to civil unions which have some antigay groups rejoicing. The aforementioned mentioned Mark Golding was quite prepared to almost gay bait the Privy Council in order to give support to saying yes to the CCJ. Talk about integrity or the lack thereof and unwillingness to dispense of political capital on perceived politically explosive but urgent matters. Groups such as Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS, Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, LCF and Jamaica CAUSE have jumped on the announcement by present Prime Minister then opposition leader on a referendum on buggery which was also included in the JLP manifesto for 2016.

The opportunistic anti gay groups know full well that such a referendum in the face of a largely ignorant nation on sexuality as evidenced in the recent rainbow flag fiasco starring no less the chief legal adviser to the government (with no public reprimand by the PM) the Attorney General would be a full NO. Given the closeness of the seats in the house, the desperation being displayed by the opposition in light of the soon to be announced local government elections such a referendum may not come to light maybe for the CCJ. Such referenda may be seen as a reflection of the political climate instead of the actual item(s) on the ballot for consideration; hence maybe that might be the fly in the ointment causing a delay, as a party leader will have to consider how the administration and indeed the party will look like afterwards. Some political pundits say as we politicize nearly everything we do then such politicization can have an impact on the life of an administration one way or another.

We have hypocritical senators such as former Information Minister Sandrea Falconer claiming homosexuality is a sin but should not be criminalised and in principle she is entitled to that; similar sentiments were expressed in the house of lord in the lead up to the 1967 decriminalization of sodomy in the UK by no less a person than the Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey. Where Falconer fails to deliver is to say it when she was on the administration side before the election loss she has not expressed that so much during the last sexual offences bill review that includes the ‘buggery law’ neither has she moved a bill or private members motion to begin the legislative change discourse. Then we have a mayor of Kingston who claims she is concerned about homeless msm and transgender but is quite prepared to also tow the party/administration line despite her appearance at JFLAG’s Pride event in 2015 for a photo op had not moved a bill or private members motion to such effect. She went on to say recently she was issued threats after she said she is supportive but I am not impressed with her just spectator support when she and others have the powers to make the change or start the process legislatively.

Call me skeptical but I have always said that political parties have used the homo-negative climate for political gain; even during the expectant conscience vote period we saw PNP powerhouses coming out in opposition and Councillors openly defiant to the suggestion then by Portia Simpson Miller, the denial by the PNP that they were not going to repeal buggery as was misconstrued by some is one such defence in order not be seen as too gay friendly. Referenda can be used as a last resort in our scenario if the JLP with a fragile seat count advantage can play into the no buggery law change mantra out there. An administration who takes the chance and runs a conscience on buggery are almost guaranteed a no change in the results and will remind everyone that they are proven right and then be hailed as doing the right thing by antigay voices. I would NOT recommend any referendum on buggery; if not a referendum on the CCJ prior to such at least so as to acquaint the population as to what the experience would be like.

More anon

Peace & tolerance

H


also see previous posts from here and sister blog:
Opposition Leader sides with antigay groups on Referendum on The Buggery Law 2014


Promised (I mean suggested) Conscience vote on Buggery law not a priority right now 2014

PNP’s Bobby Pickersgill differs on Conscience Vote route to decide on Buggery Law 2013

Foreign Affairs Minister (Nicholson) says Govt should be cautious on gay rights issues in Jamaica

Golding, Buggery And The CCJ

Hardened Positions by Religious Fanatics & Their LGBT Detractors Will Only Leave More Blood on the Floor 2013

and from the Jamaica Observer: God sent the rainbow sign (no more water the fire next time)

Early initiation, gay sex, comprehensive sexual education and the real world

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As antigay groups such as the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society in particular continue to latch on to anything they can find so as to oppose homosexuality as it were, we now see comprehensive sexual education becoming the latest target as they prey on the ignorance and fears of the masses. We saw a similar set of fear, paranoia and nonsense that flowed with the Home & Family Life Education HFLE manual some year ago so much so that the Minister of Education at the time Reverend Ronnie Thwaites played to the gallery and claimed the important manual where only one page with a set of important questions on sexuality and the ‘awful’ word homosexuality and anal sex were expunged and a new sanitized version released.

The matter came up for mention again this morning on Power 106FM where Thwaites has returned as radio show host and he went on and on about the parents and teachers in schools and the recent GSAT examinations passes and the recently made comments by him on CVM TV also came through as to grooming. Sometimes I wonder if Thwaites and others like him in thinking are feeling-less or never had urges or experimented with some sort of sexual desires?

Despite the experts’ advice that teaching about sex in a carefully done manner does not necessarily cause children to go simply do it; and it makes one wonder sometimes if these same persons as paranoid adults were not young once or played ‘dollyhouse’ and the little rude things that attended no sooner than our parents our guardians turned their backs. The cooled rainbow flag brou ha ha has been tied into the ever growing pile of impositions in the eyes of ever frightened antigay groups in their continued moral panic; thankfully more and more Jamaicans are coming to their senses if ever so slowly (wish it was faster) that the seeming obsession with gays is too much; even as other societal issues abound. Such sentiments were expressed on the Seventh Day Adventist run radio station NCU FM Sunday call in show Pressing Matters hosted by Dennis Chung in Mandeville. The rainbow flag and the commission of inquiry report took up most of the show but the clear separation of selective religious voices came through which I found interesting. Some callers asked where are these groups on corruption and such and yet they are so transfixed on gays?

Meanwhile what is ironic is that many persons may have passed the flag at the US Embassy at Hope Road prior to Mrs Forte’s tweet-faux pas I bet did not know what the flag meant until this controversy, so the good that can come out of this it is a teaching moment for us LGBT voices included who know the flag is for LGBT but do not know the history of it.

In a television interview on CVM TV on June 14, 2016 when asked after a public where the Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed support to the families impacted by the Orlando Pulse gay club shooting Thwaites said that the flying of a rainbow flag at the US Embassy is effectively grooming children into “a particular lifestyle that is different from the Judaeo Christian norm which is in fact the foundation of our constitutional order and I believe of our personal and national health...... ”

NATIONAL Family Planning Board (NFPB) Executive Director Dr Denise Chevannes-Vogel has said that exposing adolescents to information on sexual reproductive health will not drive them to have sex if they are not already sexually active. Speaking at an HIV forum at Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew on Monday, Dr Chevannes-Vogel came out in full support of Comprehensive Sexuality Education, which has come under recent scrutiny after concerns were raised about the infiltration of the philosophy into the education system.

Dr Chevannes-Vogel called for “frank conversations” which, evidenced by the loud applause, got the nod from the audience. Though the forum — which was held under the theme ‘Health for All: Putting Youth and Adolescents at the Heart of the HIV Response’ — sought to raise awareness about adolescent and youth-specific issues in the response to HIV and AIDS, Dr Chevannes-Vogel moved to broaden the theme to put youth at the centre of a comprehensive sexual reproductive health response and sustainable national development.

“When we look at the correlation between good, optimum, sexual reproductive health and sustainable national development, the linkage is clear,” she stated. “And as a matter of fact, that was part of the basis of the integration of HIV and sexual reproductive health; they share common drivers — the gender inequalities, the cultural attitudes, the poverty, the unemployment, gender-based violence, sexual violence, incest.”

In May, Education Minister Ruel Reid met with representatives of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society to hear their concerns and made it clear that the education ministry’s philosophical position is that gender is fixed as male and female. So the new Education minister is already showing where he is going on this which seems nowhere as he too is playing to the gallery. The orgy incident recently at Coreville Gardens of some 14 students came to mind as well as instead of gathering the obvious misguided teens to start some sustained intervention in counselling they were arrested of all things; what a lovely way to start to foster even more rebellion than already exists with teens as we once were. We wanted some independence as teens lest we forget at some point in our lives. Even though some involved were below the age of consent of 16 they were no adults found in their company which means this was a group arrangement. Careful handling such have been employed instead to the alleged verbal abuse by onlookers the teens were escorted to the waiting police vehicles.

Another incident in St Catherine at a high school where two male teens were caught in a compromising position in what has been surmised as a partnered masturbation session; both boys were described as showing each other their erect penises and touching each other, a mob eventually came down on them as other students created an alarm and gave chase. Early initiation is something that has not been adequately looked at it seems on the face of it and relying on punishment or condemnation simply because teens or even kids were caught in the act is not the way to go; that would only force them into more secrecy. With social media becoming so pronounced in our lives the proliferation of sex tapes or what were supposed to be private tapes going public is another example of what we are up against.

An old case of an obsessed male teen at a co-ed Kingston school who liked his male teacher and sought to also express his sexual desire came through which caused some trouble in 2011 finally ended some time ago; the young man was exposed to sustained counselling and getting the parents involved after much police intervention as well as the teen attempted to blackmail in a sense the teacher. The teacher almost missed a buggery charge guilty findings as more and more details came out in court while some of the cops involved have changed their stance as the facts came through. The matter has been adjourned but the teen via his mother may have to answer some sort of false accusations charges dependent on the original accused pursuit to press such charges. Our teens are way more sexually active it seems to me than my generation or generations prior. But with quibbling antigay groups and misguided thinking while the field grows the horse starves. Our education system is missing the urgently needed sex & sexuality properly prepared and age appropriate to be rolled out despite the fears being expressed by ignoramuses and leaders make bold decisions while not playing to the gallery from veiled threats.

While abstinence is also a good avenue as an option especially for HIV interventions as a part of the cadre of options we must get real, not in a world where teens are bombarded with sexualised messaging of some kind. The trick is to empower adolescents in taking up other options such as extra-curricular activities while providing adequate age appropriate information. Besides if we think as some antigay groups do by sanitizing sexuality that will stop teens from getting it elsewhere namely social media and dancehall artists who provide a misogynistic lessons in song and videos. How does one compete with all the distractions that are around these days? Yet antigay groups are living in the dark and are so behind the times.

Think on these things

Peace & tolerance

H


also see:


Teen forced to change schools following outing incident 2014

Student gay sex video causes a stir in central Jamaica 2014

Thwaites: Ministry alone cannot deal with homosexuality

Education Minister dismisses counsellors LGBT students issue, says it’s a 'minority' matter

Insensitive parents & Displaced MSM 2009

Ronnie Thwaites’ rubbish on flying rainbow flags grooms children into “particular lifestyle” 2016


Suspected gay man booted from church ..... another case

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Another case has come to hand which occurred in recent weeks, March 2016 to be precise of youth leader this time at a Pentecostal church in St Catherine. The matter also came up in an informal interfaith discussion as well where sexual orientation and the church were front and centre prior to the rainbow flag furor and since. In a previous post I had looked at a similar matter which occurred in May Pen Clarendon in 2015. The present matter as these matters often do has been building for some time in as far as profiling done by church elders with one particular church board member pursing the issue relentlessly it seemed. The impacted man was the subject of open and rumours, innuendo and speculation regarding his perceived sexual orientation; he was asked openly he said in a planning meeting for church activity after some allegations were supposedly made known to the person who asked the question; much to the shock of others in earshot of it.

also see: 


He said he was shunned ever so slowly over time as the standoff was revealingly obvious; church members who would be very friendly and supportive of his leadership in the youth group are hardly speaking to him, and if they do it is very limited and formalised than before. Other rumours suggest that he was involved in some other action with another man who used to attend the church; the booted gay man is indeed same sex attracted and has borne the anti gay rhetoric in sermons, strong opposition to homosexuality in youth meetings especially in the height of the Professor Bain fiasco and subsequent antigay advocacy by groups such as Lovemarch, Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS and Jamaica CAUSE. His church was also targeted in the campaign on a national church tour by one or more of the aforementioned groups. He participated as his obligations allowed but was also aware of his own sexuality and such. To have to hide who one is for so long must have been difficult; effectively living a lie in all places in the house of God and now to face this ostracism and out casting or othering.

The Sodom & Gomorrah story was often brought into the mix time and time again and he just got fed up of it; I have been evolving on this matter of Lot and his family’s exit from the city that was doomed for a long time, if we were to follow the teachings and warnings before. The real story to me is about the abuse of women as opposed to homosexuality as it conveniently used to justify the destruction of the city. The frame of reference tends to start at the angels visit to the city to clear it of qualified persons to the Lot engagement and instructions to exit the area through to the mistakenness of the soldiers of the visitors as spies when they were angels to the actual destruction to the turning into a pillar of salt the disobeying wife of Lot and finally ends at the departure of Lot and his two daughters. What is often not addressed either by theologians or fire brand preachers is the incest that took place afterwards which to me is the more problematic issue. Theologically it would be too uncomfortable to say it was about abuse of women and the sexual aspersions that the related family members seem to display coupled with the interpretation of the term “to know” in Hebrew as sex. Just as Abraham went into Egypt and speculated they would kill him so he effectively pimps his own wife Sarah they relations as they are seem to go to territories and cast sexual issues on others or are carrying out a permissive type of incest in Hebrew culture in the name of procreation and the continuation of the bloodline in the face of an absent matriarch in the household seeing she was turned into a pillar of salt.

The daughters are blamed for the incest albeit Lot was drunk but evidently not too drunk to get an erection and somehow make it happen; and the justification of homosexuality is easier to roll of the tongue from the pulpit. The church and theologians seem not to want to deal with the story in its entirety.

Booted man has left the church

He left the church body in March he said after some several months of pressure and continued ostracism and things came to a head when a meeting was called to discuss ‘change’ with strong hints of some sort of reparative therapy and prayer as the only way out. Lord knows my own experience in my twenties when I too like so many others tried the ‘pray the gay away’ strategy when in ignorance thought and was led to belief my homosexuality is a sin and a deviant behaviour; try as I might and pray as fervently as I did with even abstinence attempted the ‘gay’ did not go away; in fact it became even more pronounced. Urges and desires cannot be just driven away like that; if God did not want me to be a homosexual he would have made it so from the very beginning. Why would so many other animals display same gender sexual tendencies so much, are they guilty of some deviance too?

I like the young man went on fasting, asked for the Holy Spirit to (re)wash me or change me and it never came to fruition. In fact the opposite occurred where it was if the spirit spoke and said you are good as you are and there is no need to amend anything in that department. I would have loved to have asked or ask the young man to ask his elders the question of Luke 17:34 and its tenets where Jesus in a teaching on the rapture makes what appears to be a neutral non-discriminatory reference where it read (King James Version):

I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

Let me end here for now but I did this post just to show the madness coming from ignorant folks who in an information age refuse to accept the reality. If I may use the JCHS’s own biblical quote they end their newsletters with:

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” Isaiah 9: 2 KJV

JCHS needs to take their own counsel and step out of darkness into the present realities. The church overall is missing the need to fulfil the word yet at the same time realise that other matters in society needs attention such as the loss of life. Where are these antigay groups apart from obligatory condemnation during child’s month on abuse of children, pastors in inappropriate acts with congregants and or children as well or the crime, murders and highly suspected political corruption?

Bearing in mind King James in whose name the most popular English translation of the Bible in 1610 is in was actually bisexual even in the face of a buggery law; pity the goody King would not have foreseen the work put in would be used as a destructive weapon hundreds of years later against LGBT people. Let us put to rest the silliness about “homosexual lifestyle” once and for all; as a phrase it is pure propaganda, a gossipy generalization and completely unworthy of a Christian who, following the counsel in Proverbs seeks understanding and insight into life and people. As Christians some will have to decide if we are going to partake of divisive “party spirit” that racked the church at Corinth or follow Christ as discerning attentive principles – to that still small voice and sharpen concerns for the ostracized instead of creating more strife.

Oh these modern day Pharisees, Saducees and Scribes who think their correctness is the be all and end all. Frankly envy of the apparent freedom of LGBT people could be called ‘freedom envy’ in my view. The role of freedom envy in the anti LGBT crusade is confirmed by the repeated and emphatic reference to “the homosexual lifestyle.” This is left a vague generality, as though it were something everyone already understands. The so called “homosexual lifestyle” is associated with a US view of homosexuality and dates back to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and stories of bath houses in places such as San Francisco; hence folks like Dr Wayne West of JCHS uses it as well to vectorise gays in his antigay advocacy or the deceptive “HIV is a gay disease ploy.” There is no such thing as a ‘homosexual lifestyle’ just as there is no such thing as “heterosexual lifestyle” heterosexual live on a “lifestyle” continuum just as homosexuals do. The continuum includes people in decades long monogamous relationships, people who live in social isolation, people who in into bar scenes etc people who move from relationship to relationship.

The gay Christian minded brethren has since moved on though disappointed that he cannot serve as he is used to but is searching for a worship space that can afford him that; I told him he may have a hard time finding one that is so embracing; I too have been finding it difficult to find such a space.

Finally as for the Levitical or Leviticusal or holiness codes (on homosexuality) bear in mind in the KJV the preamble is quite clear as it reads in part:

“The book of Leviticus accordingly is a manual for priests detailing the religious rules and procedures which the priests had to observe and enforce for the covenant nation of Israel. Its historical setting is the two years Israel spent encamped at Mount Sinai; it contains no further account of Israel’s journeys from Egypt to Canaan.”

It continues:

“The fact that Moses, the author of Leviticus devoted an entire book to priestly matters shows the importance that the religious observances were to have ever afterwards for the Israelites. Christians, under the terms of Christ’s new covenant do not regard these Levitical regulations as binding, but they do obey the same God, not in the letter of the law but in the spirit of Christ.”

Peace & tolerance

H

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Not all views expressed are those of GJW

This blog contains pictures and images that may be disturbing. As we seek to highlight the plight of victims of homophobic violence here in Jamaica, the purpose of the pics is to show physical evidence of claims of said violence over the years and to bring a voice of the same victims to the world.

Many recover over time, at pains, as relocation and hiding are options in that process. Please view with care or use the Happenings section to select other posts of a different nature.

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JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness



Reminder

In a shocking move JFLAG decided not to invite or include homeless MSM in their IDAHO activity for 2013 thus leaving many in wonderment as to the reason for their existence or if the symposium was for "experts" only while offering mere tokenism to homeless persons in the reported feeding program. LISTEN TO THE AUDIO ENTRY HERE sad that the activity was also named in honour of one of JFLAG's founders who joined the event via Skype only to realize the issue he held so dear in his time was treated with such disrespect and dishonor. Have LGBT NGOs lost their way and are so mainstream they have forgotten their true calling?

also see a flashback to some of the issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless LGBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

Steps to take when confronted by the police & your rights compromised:


a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tense

d) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violated

i) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions

j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it

Vacant at Last! ShoemakerGully: Displaced MSM/Trans Persons were is cleared December 2014





CVM TV carried a raid and subsequent temporary blockade exercise of the Shoemaker Gully in the New Kingston district as the authorities respond to the bad eggs in the group of homeless/displaced or idling MSM/Trans persons who loiter there for years.

Question is what will happen to the population now as they struggle for a roof over their heads and food etc. The Superintendent who proposed a shelter idea (that seemingly has been ignored by JFLAG et al) was the one who led the raid/eviction.

Also see:

the CVM NEWS Story HERE on the eviction/raid taken by the police

also see a flashback to some of the troubling issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless GBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE


May 22, 2015, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston


New Kingston Cop Proposes Shelter for Shoemaker Gully LGBT Homeless Population




Superintendent Murdock

The same cop who has factored in so many run-ins with the youngsters in the Shoemaker Gully (often described as a sewer by some activists) has delivered on a promise of his powerpoint presentation on a solution to the issue in New Kingston, problem is it is the same folks who abandoned the men (their predecessors) from the powerful cogs of LGBT/HIV that are in earshot of his plan.

This ugly business of LGBTQ homelessness and displacements or self imposed exile by persons has had several solutions put forth, problem is the non state actors in particular do not want to get their hands dirty as the more combative and political issues to do with buggery's decriminalization or repeal have risen to the level of importance more so than this. Let us also remember this is like the umpteenth meeting with the cops, some of the LGBT homeless persons and the advocacy structure.

Remember JFLAG's exclusion of the group from that IDAHO symposium on LGBT homelessess? See HERE, how can we ask the same people who only want to academise and editorialise the issue to also try to address their own when they do not want to get their hands dirty but publish wonderful reports as was done earlier this month, see HERE: (re)Presenting and Redressing LGBT Homelessness in Jamaica: Towards a Multifaceted Approach to Addressing Anti-Gay Related Displacement also LGBT homelessness has always been with us from the records of Gay Freedom Movement(1974) to present but the current issues started from 2009, see: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009 as carried on sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch. CLICK HERE for FULL post of this story.

Gender Identity/Transgederism Radio discussion Jamaica March 2014





Radio program Everywoman on Nationwide Radio 90FM March 20th 2014 with Dr Karen Carpenter as stand-in host with a transgender activist and co-founder of Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica and a gender non conforming/lesbian guest as well on the matters of identity, sex reassignment surgery and transexuality.

CLICK HERE for a recording of the show

BUSINESS DOWNTURN FOR THE WEED-WHACKING PROJECT FOR FORMER DISPLACED ST CATHERINE MSM



As promised here is another periodical update on an income generating/diligence building project now in effect for some now seven former homeless and displaced MSM in St Catherine, it originally had twelve persons but some have gotten jobs elsewhere, others have simply walked away and one has relocated to another parish, to date their weed whacking earning business capacity has been struggling as previous posts on the subject has brought to bear.

Although some LGBT persons residing in the parish have been approached by yours truly and others to increase client count for the men costs such as gas and maintenance of the four machines that are rotated between the enrolled men are rising weekly literally while the demand is instead decreasing due to various reasons.



Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14



debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.


What to Do .....




a. Make a phone call: to a lawyer or relative or anyone

b. Ask to see a lawyer immediately: if you don’t have the money ask for a Duty Council

c. A Duty Council is a lawyer provided by the state

d. Talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police

e. Tell your lawyer if anyone hits you and identify who did so by name and number

f. Give no explanations excuses or stories: you can make your defense later in court based on what you and your lawyer decided

g. Ask the sub officer in charge of the station to grant bail once you are charged with an offence

h. Ask to be taken before a justice of The Peace immediately if the sub officer refuses you bail

i. Demand to be brought before a Resident Magistrate and have your lawyer ask the judge for bail

j. Ask that any property taken from you be listed and sealed in your presence

Cases of Assault:An assault is an apprehension that someone is about to hit you

The following may apply:

1) Call 119 or go to the station or the police arrives depending on the severity of the injuries

2) The report must be about the incident as it happened, once the report is admitted as evidence it becomes the basis for the trial

3) Critical evidence must be gathered as to the injuries received which may include a Doctor’s report of the injuries.

4) The description must be clearly stated; describing injuries directly and identifying them clearly, show the doctor the injuries clearly upon the visit it must be able to stand up under cross examination in court.

5) Misguided evidence threatens the credibility of the witness during a trial; avoid the questioning of the witnesses credibility, the tribunal of fact must be able to rely on the witness’s word in presenting evidence

6) The court is guided by credible evidence on which it will make it’s finding of facts

7) Bolster the credibility of a case by a report from an independent disinterested party.

Notes on Bail & Court Appearance issues


If in doubt speak to your attorney

Bail and its importance -

If one is locked up then the following may apply:
Locked up over a weekend - Arrested pursuant to being charged or detained There must be reasonable suspicion i.e. about to commit a crime, committing a crime or have committed a crime.

There are two standards that must be met:

1). Subjective standard: what the officer(s) believed to have happened

2). Objective standard: proper and diligent collection of evidence that implicates the accused To remove or restrain a citizen’s liberty it cannot be done on mere suspicion and must have the above two standards

 Police officers can offer bail with exceptions for murder, treason and alleged gun offences, under the Justice of the Peace Act a JP can also come to the police station and bail a person, this provision as incorporated into the bail act in the late nineties

 Once a citizen is arrested bail must be considered within twelve hours of entering the station – the agents of the state must give consideration as to whether or not the circumstances of the case requires that bail be given

 The accused can ask that a Justice of the Peace be brought to the station any time of the day. By virtue of taking the office excluding health and age they are obliged to assist in securing bail

"Bail is not a matter for daylight

Locked up and appearing in court

 Bail is offered at the courts office provided it was extended by the court; it is the court that has the jurisdiction over the police with persons in custody is concerned.

 Bail can still be offered if you were arrested and charged without being taken to court a JP can still intervene and assist with the bail process.

Other Points of Interest

 The accused has a right to know of the exact allegation

 The detainee could protect himself, he must be careful not to be exposed to any potential witness

 Avoid being viewed as police may deliberately expose detainees

 Bail is not offered to persons allegedly with gun charges

 Persons who allegedly interfere with minors do not get bail

 If over a long period without charge a writ of habeas corpus however be careful of the police doing last minute charges so as to avoid an error

 Every instance that a matter is brought before the court and bail was refused before the accused can apply for bail as it is set out in the bail act as every court appearance is a chance to ask for bail

 Each case is determined by its own merit – questions to be considered for bail:

a) Is the accused a flight risk?

b) Are there any other charges that the police may place against the accused?

c) Is the accused likely to interfere with any witnesses?

d) What is the strength of the crown’s/prosecution’s case?

 Poor performing judges can be dealt with at the Judicial Review Court level or a letter to the Chief Justice can start the process

Human Rights Advocacy for GLBT Community Report 2009

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Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact: glbtqjamaica@live.com or Tel: 1-876-799-2231 (leave a message just in case)




Activities & Plans: ongoing and future

  • To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus

  • Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives

  • To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony

  • Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions

  • To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term

  • Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere

  • Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public

  • Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner

  • Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise

  • Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL

Thanks again
Mr. H or Howie

Tel: 1-876-799-2231
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

Battle Lines Javed Jaghai versus the state & the Jamaica Buggery Law



Originally aired on CVM TV December 8th 2013, apologies for some of the glitches as the source feed was not so hot and it kept dropping from source or via the ISP, NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED and is solely for educational and not for profit use and review. The issue of the pending legal challenge in the Constitutional Court in Jamaica as filed by Javed Jaghai an outspoken activist who happens also to be openly aetheist.

The opposing sides are covered as well such as
The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society
The Love March
Movement Jamaica

The feature seems destined for persons who are just catching up to the issues and repositioning JFLAG in particular in the public domain as their image has taken a beating in some respects especially on the matter of the homeless MSM front. They need to be careful that an elitist perception is not held after this after some comments above simplistic discourse, the use of public agitation as beneath some folks and the obvious overlooking of the ordinary citizen who are realy the ones who need convincing to effect the mindset change needed and the national psyche's responses to homosexuality in general.


John Maxwell's House