also see: Homeless MSM in New Kingston arrested in raid for stolen goods
1. Visibly homeless in an upscale community.
2. Homeless in a society seemingly without compassion or political will to address the shelter needs of the homeless, and evidently unmoved by the shelter and security needs of the homeless.
3. Openly gay in a society that is anti-gay, and where influential gays feel compelled to conceal their sexual orientation.
4. Sufficiently aggressive and organised to draw attention to their existence by creating mayhem
QUESTION: Who can help to shift the Jamaican culture toward tolerance of differences, in particular sexual orientation?
Answer: Parties with responsibility for leading this cultural shift include –
· Politicians: Review of the buggery law and other laws (such as the vagrancy law) used to harass gays; public and private statements that support the right of every Jamaican to protection from the State; legislation that prohibits discrimination based on health or sexual orientation.
· Pastors: Emphasis on religious positions that promote love rather than hate; tolerance for rather than condemnation of human differences; unity rather than fragmentation of families; care and protection rather than rejection and abandonment of vulnerable youth.
· Musicians: Promotion of “peace and love” messages to replace “burn and destroy” messages, with willingness to self-monitor with respect to music that encourages hostility toward gays.
· Media: Provision of information on sexuality and sexual orientation in ways that increase understanding of and tolerance for differences, especially in youth coming to terms with their sexual identity .
The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes
The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009
The Enemy Within - Aggressive New Kingston Homosexuals Causing Fresh Backlash Against Community
There are growing fears that the rowdy and sometimes criminal behaviour of a group of homosexual men in New Kingston could erode the strides that have been made towards greater tolerance of homosexuals in Jamaica.
Nonetheless, Dane Lewis, executive director of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays says the rambunctious gathering - which in the past has been fingered in robberies, theft and other antisocial behaviour - highlights the issue of persons being evicted from their communities because of their sexual orientation.
"It is unfortunate. Some of what they have done may be eroding some of the trending towards greater tolerance, but I think it continues to highlight the reality that our young people are being kicked out of their homes," Lewis said at a Gleaner Editors' Forum last week.
While condemning the acts of violence reportedly carried out by the mainly cross-dressing men, Lewis argued that sometimes the group is blamed for acts carried out by heterosexuals.
He said he found no issue with how some in the homosexual group express themselves through dress which, on many occasions, involve wearing make-up, female clothing and heels.
"They have a right to their gender expression and identity, and to express themselves as long as they don't infringe on anyone else," argued Lewis.
"The gentlemen who wish to 'bleach', wear women's attire shouldn't offend anyone; they are expressing themselves. My only concern is the risk of violence that they expose themselves to. But everyone should be free to express themselves."
HIDING VS FLAUNTING
In the meantime, Susan Goffe, chairperson of the human-rights group Jamaicans for Justice, questioned claims that the New Kingston-based men are flaunting their sexuality publicly, which is offensive to many Jamaicans.
"People in their minds seem to feel that someone who is homosexual should do everything in their power to hide their sexual orientation," said Goffe.
"For example, somebody would look and say, 'I don't see him with a girlfriend'. What is he suppose to do? Should he have a pretend girlfriend, as people do, in order to hide?
"And in terms of how you walk, how you speak, your gestures … . Are you supposed to hide all of that?" she asked, agreeing with Lewis that these men should be free to go about their business safely.
Lewis agreed, while claiming that many of the gay men who are in New Kingston were either threatened or violently displaced from their communities.
also check out my comments via podcast:
also see a Gleaner account of two evicted persons:
Peace and tolerance