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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Homeless MSM to feel the pinch as JASL issues ultimatum

Anger and worry are brewing in a section of the gay community as many homeless MSM who have come to rely on the services and kindness of the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life may find themselves on the street permanently as the Board of JASL has issued an ultimatum for the men to desist from staying on the property for extended periods of time by January 2010.

Reports are that many of the MSM clients are worried that they may not have the protection of the present Executive Director who has since tendered her resignation to become effective January 25, 2010 as she is said to be also upset at the manner in which the Board has gone about handling the issue.

The homeless gay men have been using the services of the organization much by her encouragement and she has been credited for re-establishing the trust factor that was somewhat lost between the GLBTQ communities and the organization in as far as testing, counselling and behaviour change were concerned. Many persons including white collar individuals who had shun the organization at one point were re-engaging the services after hearing of the work of the intervention programs activities under her watch but with this negative news rapidly spreading throughout the community it is clear that many may go into retreat as before and the state of mistrust may once again be reinstated even more so than before bearing in mind that most MSM do not readily access general health care systems out of fear of discrimination and usually wait until their respective health conditions are really bad before doing so.

The Director has been seen at social events and gatherings actively encouraging testing and other behavior change activities but it seems that her “interest” with this group has not gone down well with the JASL Board. A recent fundraising fashion show saw good patronage from the community where funds were raised to support some of the service users and other initiatives operated by the organization. The rehabilitation program may also get scrapped many fear as classes and skills training were to commence in earnest shortly and some of the men I spoke to were waiting to join the activities.

Disciplinary issues:

The behaviour of some of their own however must not be overlooked and the men I spoke to agreed that that had a lot to do with the present situation as sometimes we are our own worst enemies. It is long known that some members of the group abuse the system and there have been serious disciplinary problems on and off the property. There have been altercations openly in front of other service users and the open display of affections with some of the men was a cause for concern at one point where they have been reprimanded and disciplinary procedures employed to manage such actions.

The board may very well have been justified in taking the decision to separate the men from the full use of the property but it is believed that they may still be able to access some services provided they leave after doing so. I am of the opinion that the Board may feel that other members of the public may resist using the services if the perception of rowdy behaviour from gay men is planted in the public domain seeing that JASL also serves the general public.

Other concerns:

One member of the group who I spoke to was very distraught he said after hearing of the developments, he was looking forward to continued support especially in the present difficult economic climate and he was also concerned about where he would lay his head at night since there were days when the men were allowed to stay on the property provided they volunteered by helping around the office in return.

As for my concern I have been following this homeless issue since my sojourn from JFLAG and the numerous accounts of men displaced, ending up on the streets from homophobic incidents (see homeless MSM tag) the men in question who were involved in the ill-fated DVD party public release footage are still struggling to this day to recoup. Many of them are not from Kingston and have to learn the scope of the land whilst avoiding possible attack. 

They have been given private donations and words of encouragement by a few concerned persons but that is not nearly enough for them to rehabilitate themselves. Others have been seen on the streets at night and have been chased on a few occasions as members of the public recognize their faces from the video footage.

Sadly it is believed that some of the men have been resorting to commercial sex work in order to stay financial afloat, a startling reality that intervention professionals must face in the behaviour change work, the men I spoke to however deny however being involved in that activity. Let us hope that a positive turn will come out of this soon, if not the men will have to fend for themselves and sadly so, in our harsh homophobic climate I fear we may yet hear some disturbing news if something meaningful is not done for them soon. In parting I also impressed on the men I managed to speak to, to try and lift themselves up and think positive, words I feel may have just passed between their ears as the realities may not give rise to those actions now.

Where are the stabilization efforts to address the behaviours before resorting to this final edict? 

Pray for them please.

Peace & Tolerance


What has happened to the Interfaith Movement?

In the December 22nd edition of the Gleaner newspaper had a story on HIV and a call for churches to get more involved in HIV/AIDS intervention entitled “Church called to take part in fight against HIV/AIDS” by Nedburn Thaffe, it dawned on me that a series of interfaith meetings that were designed to tackle issues of this nature had begun over a year ago between key religious persons, non governmental organizations and other professionals. The named professional in the article the esteemed Reverend Garth Minott is the Coordinator of the HIV prevention programme and lecturer at the United Theological College of the West Indies, he called for churches to play a more active role in assisting persons living with affected with HIV/AIDS.

The interfaith meetings were designed to examine issues of discrimination towards PLWHAs – persons living with HIV/AIDS, gender and sexuality discrimination and religious and theological points of interest to arrive at a semblance of tolerance within the church groups themselves and the respective organizations involved. The meetings a few of which I have had the privilege to have sat in were proceeding well until they faded in late 2008, sadly this seems to be the major problem with interventions and agitations on issues in non governmental circles, they start out well then fade as time progresses, I don’t know if its boredom, fatigue or burnout. I hope that this important discourse doesn’t go the way of the long held, widely known and attended GLABCOM (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual community) meetings that were a part of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life’s outreach initiative towards the community which was ended abruptly in June 2009 and replaced by a half hearted move called Gay Men’s Association of Jamaica (GMAJ) which to date has not had a formal launch or any serious impact on the MSM community that it says it wishes to reach as one of its goals when compared to the GLABCOM program. On Sunday December 20 there was a fashion show to raise funds for the PLWHAs and homeless MSMs who access the services of the organization along with JFLAG. I did not attend but sources had informed me that it was supported by the community despite the weather.

Issues on homosexuality were also discussed in as far as the theological perspectives are concerned in the interfaith dialogues. JFLAG representatives were present at some of these meetings as well but again the continuity of which I question is seriously missing. My efforts to get a proper response on the issue were futile as key persons from specific organizations were said to be travelling or on vacation for the holidays.

I only hope that for some time in the future there can be some positive movement on this activity or at least a restart of these meetings, Sunshine Cathedral Jamaica had a key role seeing it was the religious organization representing the GLTBQ community in those discussions. The church in general in Jamaica have not been very vocal and supportive of PLWHAs and in some instances there have been reports of HIV+ persons weeded out of congregations due to their status and outward evidence of HIV/AIDS related illnesses. The church as I have long been saying has no business in the bedroom and should be more concerned about the situation of the soul as it seeks to win that soul for the kingdom according to my understanding of the bible and the role of a Christian.

Tolerance should and ought to be the major goal in our society so persons can co-exist peacefully with the exercising of their individual rights, freedom of expression, conscience and choice, be they gay straight, bisexual, asexual, transgendered persons and other variants as conducting themselves legally so.

Peace & Tolerance

Monday, December 28, 2009

Locked out - Jamaican acts finding it more and more difficult to get into some countries

Howard Campbell,

The lengthening rap sheets of some Jamaican artistes may prevent them from touring countries including the United States and most of Europe.

Music industry analyst Clyde McKenzie, who helped fashion the careers of dancehall stars Beenie Man, Tanto Metro and Devonte, told a December 22 Editors' Forum at The Gleaner's North Street offices, that recent incidents involving dancehall acts in Europe and North America have hurt the genre's image.

Several Caribbean countries have also slammed their doors on Jamaican acts, including Vybz Kartel, Bounty Killa and Mavado.

Change in emphasis

"The business model for entertainment has changed dramatically and the emphasis is now on touring. That is the most lucrative segment on the value chain.

"But more and more doors are closing on our artistes, and that is a significant problem," McKenzie commented.

Dancehall acts have run afoul of the law in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom in the past four years.

Protests by gay-rights groups against Beenie Man, Buju Banton and Sizzla resulted in the cancellation of some of their shows, but this has failed to satisfy the homosexual community, which wants a full ban on the artistes.

Banton's run-ins with gay groups in the US this summer, and his arrest on cocaine charges in Miami on December 10, have complicated matters.

"The doors are being closed as far as immigration is concerned, whether it is the perception about violence or homophobia. You find that some Caribbean territories are refusing to have artistes from Jamaica on their soil," McKenzie said.

With record sales taking a dive due to the growing digital market, touring has become invaluable for Jamaican performers.

Those prospects were dealt a big blow recently in the US, which remains the most lucrative live-show market for many dancehall and traditional reggae acts.

In November, the United States citizens and immigration services announced stringent requirements for visa approval.

The new policy calls for artistes to present the duration and itinerary in order to be granted an 'O' (for solo artiste) or 'P' (for group) visa to tour the US.

Previously, performers applied for a work visa which, if granted, would cover the artiste for as long as three years.

According to Billboard magazine, British rapper 'Speech Debelle' did not meet the requirements of the new regime and was refused a visa to perform in the US in November.

Stay clear of controversy

McKenzie is concerned that the Economic Partnership Agreement, signed by the European Union and Caribbean countries in April 2008, may have similar implications if dancehall artistes do not stay clear of controversy.

Under the agreement, Cariforum states will have duty-free and quota-free access to all goods exported to the EU market, except for sugar, rice and bananas.

It also opens 94 per cent of the EU's services (including leisure) sector to the Caribbean.

"The Europeans are finding a number of reasons and setting up a number of different structures to prevent our artistes from going there," McKenzie said.

"So the days when a guy (artiste) had some immigration issues but a promoter had money to spend (to get them in the country), those days are gone because they (promoters) now have to be licensed."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Support for Buju declining? asks Gleaner

Howard Campbell

Could support in the Jamaican community in South Florida for jailed reggae star Buju Banton be waning?

Veteran Jamaican broadcaster Jamaican Winston Barnes, news director at the WAVS AM radio station in Fort Lauderdale, he said based on the tone of callers to his daily 'Open Mic' show, this may be the case.

"Last Monday (December 14) there was absolute support for him. Most people were saying, 'nuthin' cyaan go so'," Barnes explained. "But by Thursday it was like, 'him fool fi get himself suck in to something like this'."

Banton and two accomplices were arrested on December 10 in Tampa, Florida, by Drug Enforce-ment Administration (DEA) officers, for allegedly buying five kilograms (11 pounds) of cocaine from an agent.

At a court hearing on December 16, he was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute the drug. Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, has denied the charges. The 36-year-old is in custody at a Tampa jail and faces a lengthy prison term if convicted.

Barnes, who is a commissioner for the city of Miramar, said the issue has all but died on WAVS, a station with strong ties to South Florida's Caribbean community.

"As more info has come out on it, people have moved on. They are not as sympathetic," Barnes said. He added that little has been heard from reggae artistes who live in South Florida.

"I don't think they want to get into anything like that."

Gay conspiracy

Barnes said the initial response from many Jamaicans to Banton's arrest was that it was a 'gay conspiracy'. His Rasta Got Soul tour of the United States had been marred by protests from gay groups throughout the United States, who cited his 1992 anti-gay anthem Boom Bye Bye as the biggest source of their grouse.

Banton was one of the headliners for the Reggae Bash show in Miami in October. It was targeted by the Equality Florida group but the concert went on after the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union defended Banton's right to free speech.

South Florida is home to one of the largest Jamaican communities in the US. It has been a popular residence for reggae acts like Bob Marley since the 1970s.

meantime here are some comments made to the Gleaner recently

Monday, December 21, 2009

Exodus, the movement of gay people

In our caustic environment towards gay and lesbian persons here in Jamaica it is not surprising that many of us leave for other territories especially after a harrowing ordeal. Others leave for better employment opportunities for financial improvement This year however we have seen a record number of persons seeking asylum in other countries namely Schengen states in the European Union, United States and Canada as those countries presently have very friendly asylum avenues for gay and lesbian persons who can prove they are under persecution of may be under such threats. The US however is a little more difficult especially before the removal of the HIV travel Ban that has made some advantages available to that category of persons.

The Netherlands with its soon to be imposed stricter visa/immigration policy and the pending independence of some of its smaller territories from the motherland will see that present asylum policy closing soon many fears and with this news many from all over the world are using the opportunity in droves to move through these states to get to the borders. This year as said before is a record year judging by my own count based on persons who have called me directly for information I have seen more than 23 persons and judging by my conversations with JFLAG representatives they have also seen more persons engaging their offices for information and associated services for expedite the process of transfer. At the time of this post 4 persons were scheduled to fly out today to transit territories then across to Amsterdam.

Sad though, although people are free to choose their own destiny I agree but is simply throwing our hands in the air running away going to solve our problems bearing mind most cases really call for leaving the country in the name of safety but some others go because friends are there with no genuine reasons for leaving with embellished accounts of abuse, who will stand and fight this scourge of homophobia so that we can reach some level of understanding and tolerance? One of the other problems is that many who do leave usually never are interested in long distance activism through financial support/donations or commentary towards the situation in their respective territories to muster support on the ground from ordinary GLBTQ people to bring pressure to bear on the homophobic climate here. It cannot be left to just official organizations to speak on glbtq issues, I think we all have to play our nationalist duty in ensuring safety and justice for others whether home or abroad. Another negative issue surrounding activism and interest which I have alluded to in previous posts is the question of classism or the elitist way we treat each other, the real movers and shakers are just comfortable in their own world and hardly ever get involved in agitation for rights, respect and basic freedoms, instead they turn their noses up and scoff at the population that is not of their ilk. This major problem of course is a microcosm of a general societal issue of the “two Jamaicas” syndrome often spoken of as was originally espoused in a series of articles and speeches by former Prime Minister Edward Seaga several years ago in his tenure as Opposition leader. Most persons who end up seeking asylum are usually from the lower to middle socio economic strata of society and do not have the requisite financial resources or protective walls to avoid being attacked or abused in the first place.

What can we do? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Network with friends you know in these territories
2. Ask for financial assistance for GENUINE activities towards growing & enhancing the GLTBQ community
3. Share information responsibly about issues on the ground (very few are doing it now)
4. Liaise with gay friendly groups, individuals and organization to find solutions to the issues

Good luck however to those who have landed and successfully gained asylum status with the relevant benefits involved and to those planning on leaving please explore all the options available and plan carefully please as this exercise is a costly one to say the least.

In a telephone conversation with several members of the community in one of the states in the EU they seem to have assimilated favorably in that society and have been gaining state benefits as included in the policy. Many complain of the cold temperatures and understandably so as they were used to tropical climate. The difficulty many face now is missing friends and family in some scenarios especially for those who recently landed and their lack of returning home if any, anytime soon. They miss the food too.
Many keep in touch via phone or the Internet which is good but I encourage them to also keep abreast of the scene here more in depth not just on a basic contact level.

Peace & tolerance

Buju, bye bye?


LET'S remind ourselves of the rules: (1) If you break the law you should be punished; (2) freedom of speech is the greatest human right that we have; and (3) if the law is an ass, speak loudly about it and seek to change it.

"Though this life keep getting me down

Don't give up now

Got to survive somehow

Could go on and on, the full has never been told."

Mark Anthony Myrie, aka Buju Banton, aka Gargamel, was last week remanded in Federal custody in Miami, Florida by Drug Enforcement Administration agents and charged by the US Attorney with conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute, some five kilos of cocaine. Buju faces up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.

Naturally, through his lawyer, former Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney Herbert E Walker III, he claims innocence, just like he did in 2004 when he was fined US$9,000 for drug possession and cultivation after two ganja plants were found growing at his studio. Buju's defence was that he had just returned from a long tour and had found the plants there.

I am a Buju fan, ever since his 'til Shiloh CD -- that raw, brash, gravel-filled voice blending conscious lyrics with a dancehall vibe, in particular the Untold Stories track, lyrics of which are partially reproduced in today's column.

"Who can afford to run will run

But what about those who can't ... they will have to stay

Opportunity a scarce, scarce commodity

In these times I say. When mama spend her last and send you go class

Never you ever play."

Buju is the youngest of 15 children born of a higgler and a labourer (and, if what is printed is true, is of Maroon descent). He was raised in Salt Lane, which is as much a place as it is a state of mind. Early in his career his lyrics spoke about his reality: poverty, faith, 'screw faces', love, slackness, thievery, homophobia, and very often dealt with violence, which he said Jamaican youth confronted daily. In 1993 two of his friends, and colleague musicians, were murdered in separate incidents. His response was Murderer, a single which condemned gun violence.

His 1992 song Love me Browning spoke of his penchant for light-skinned women: "Me love me car, me love me bike, me love me money and ting, but most of all me love me browning." After the brouhaha surrounding that song, he released Love Black Woman: "Mi nuh stop cry, fi all black woman, respect all the girls dem with dark complexion." That year Buju broke Bob Marley's record for the most number one singles in a year.

He is as controversial as he is conscious: his 1993 song Deportees criticised Jamaicans who went abroad but never sent money home; Tribal War condemned political violence; and Willy, don't be silly promoted safe sex. Buju -- as his recent Grammy nomination (his fourth) for his ninth album, Rasta Got Soul will attest -- is one of the greatest reggae artistes out there.

But Buju, who is also world famous for his anti-gay rhetoric and his 1988 song Boom Bye Bye, which was allegedly written (when he was 15 years old) in painful response to a widely reported man/boy rape case in Jamaica, is destroying his career. The lyrics called for the burning of homosexuals "like an old tyre wheel", and the international gay community responded by protesting against his every performance since -- essentially making it difficult for him to make a living.

"I was a child when I wrote those lyrics," he said. "But let me make it clear that I do not encourage or condone violence towards any human being, and that includes our gay brothers and sisters." Just this past October, Buju tried to reconcile with the San Francisco gay community but rejected their suggestions that he start calling for love towards gay people, or donate to the JFLAG group, or hold a town hall meeting in Kingston about the need to respect gays. Three-quarters of his concert dates were cancelled as a result and a week ago undercover agents nailed him in Florida on narcotics charges.

"I am living while I am living to the Father I will pray

Only he knows how we get through every day

With all the hike in the price

Arm and leg we have to pay

While our leaders play."

While Buju may be the poster boy for political incorrectness pertaining to gays, he is not the only offender. Elephant Man sang, " Two women in bed/ That's two Sodomites who should be dead." Bounty Killer told listeners to burn "Mister Faggoty" and make him "wince in agony", while Beenie Man suggested that we "hang chi chi man with a long piece of rope".

Even the prime minister weighed in, albeit more eloquently, when he as Opposition leader, said in a BBC Hardtalk interview that he would not appoint a known homosexual to his Cabinet, reasoning that he was not prepared to overturn tradition and culture in the interest of individual freedom of a minority of the population. Golding added: "We intend to uphold the laws of the country.

"We don't believe that the state should be pushing down people's bedroom doors to find what they do there, because if you push it down today to enforce laws that relate to sexual activity, you will push it down tomorrow for some other purpose. So we are not going there."

It will be interesting to see if the Government investigates popular opinion and claims of a 'set-up' to determine if any doors were pushed down to frame Buju. We hope that Mr Golding takes as much interest in the case against Buju as he has in the case against Christopher "Dudus" Coke whom the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) calls one of the "world's most dangerous narcotics kingpins" and for whom the Government has delayed the DEA extradition request, citing that it was in contravention of Jamaican law.

If we're going to stand behind one son of the soil, then we should stand behind them all.

Friday, December 18, 2009

JFLAG's Jason Mcfarlane writes ....... Let's get the story straight (Observer Letter)


The following letter was written by JFLAG's Program's Manager to the Observer regarding the Buju Banton judgement 

Dear Editor,

We are alarmed at the recent stories in both the Sunday Observer and Sunday Gleaner of December 13, regarding the arrest in Florida of dancehall artiste Mark Myrie, better known as Buju Banton, on a charge of intent to traffic in cocaine.

Our concern relates to the manner in which the background of the stories pointed to the ongoing challenges between Banton and gay rights groups across the United States which have sought to ban his entry and performance in their country. We find it unfortunate that an article about a brilliant artiste being charged with such a crime could so disingenuously be turned into one about him being victimised by the so-called gay community.

It is important for us to remember that Buju was arrested when the police linked five kilos of cocaine to him. It is this charge that should be at the focus of the story which was reported. We believe that framing the story against the backdrop of gay organisations' protests against him provides the clear basis for insinuating that Banton's most unfortunate experience could in some way be linked to the international gay community. Such a link is not only false, it is irresponsible.

We wish to declare publicly that we support Banton's right to be defended and believe that he is innocent of the charge until proven guilty. We also wish to make what might be deemed a very controversial point: that while some drug use, particularly that of cocaine, has ravaged many black communities across the Americas, adults have the right to decide whether or not they use drugs and should not be criminalised for doing so. At the same time, we are not unmindful that traffickers, pedlars and users have turned brother against brother, and allowed thugs to terrorise our families, kill our police and witnesses to heinous crimes, and dons to corrupt our political and social systems. Perhaps we may need to bring to the centre of this discussion the question of whether and in which circumstances personal choices should be criminalised.

So let's get the story straight. Buju Banton has promoted, through his lyrics, hatred of homosexuals and has called for people who are homosexuals to be murdered. He has never renounced or regretted any these abuses of his privileged position. He did all of this on his own. He is now facing the consequences of actions totally unrelated to gays and lesbians in a community that has long come to recognise that human beings are born in dignity and with rights and obligations to themselves and one another. We hope that common sense and a commitment to truth will triumph over stereotypes and a rush to condemnation.
Jason McFarlane


'Stop discriminating' - Charles calls for an end to HIV screening at the workplace

Daraine Luton, Gleaner Senior Staff Reporter

LABOUR MINISTER Pearnel Charles has warned employers not to discriminate against persons living with HIV/AIDS.

"There should be no discrimination against workers based on real or perceived HIV status," Charles said Tuesday, while announcing that inspectors from his ministry would be monitoring workplace issues.

The labour minister was presenting the report of Parliament's joint select committee on the National Workplace Policy on HIV to the House of Representatives.

In a stern warning to employers, the labour minister said the "House will not accept" the approach of testing potential employees for HIV.

No justification

"There is no justification for any HIV/AIDS screen for the purposes of excluding from employment or work. HIV/AIDS screening must not be required for a job application," Charles said.

The labour minister, however, said that the policy does not preclude informal consent between employers and potential employees, noting that everyone must endeavour to know their HIV status.

The National Workplace Policy on HIV is a framework for action by government, employers and workers to deal effectively with HIV at the workplace.

"Several workers have lost their jobs because they have been affected by HIV, and several workers have moved from the workplace because other workers are said to be affected by HIV," Charles told the House.

He added: "There is an all-round discomfort at the workplace and it is said that a number of persons have not been employed because they either refuse to be tested or it is suspected that they may have HIV."

No legal footing

But while the labour minister has made clear government's policy on HIV in the workplace, it has no legal footing.

Charles said the Ministry of Labour would ensure that the appropriate legislation was drafted and enacted to "create a legal framework for HIV at the workplace".

In its current form, the policy is to guide workers and employers about how to treat the issue.

"It is to assist in the development of a caring, supportive and responsible working environment that will protect all workers," Charles said.

"It is expected that the policy will strengthen the legal framework for dealing with HIV and will ensure the mechanisms are enforced to protect workers from the stigma and the discrimination they now suffer at the workplace," Charles added.

The age group 14-49 is the most seriously affected by HIV/AIDS, official statistics say.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

JFLAG peeved - Says there is no link between Buju's arrest and clashes with gays (Gleaner)

Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (JFLAG) is taking the local print media to task for its reporting on the arrest of dancehall star Buju Banton.

JFLAG has taken aim at The Sunday Gleaner and the Sunday Observer for what it says was an unfair link between the arrest of Buju on cocaine charges in the United States and his continuing clashes with international gay rights groups.

"We find it unfortunate that an article about a brilliant artiste being charged with such a crime could so disingenuously be turned into one about him being victimised by the so-called gay community," said Jason McFarlane, programmes manager at JFLAG.

"We believe that (by) framing the story against the backdrop of gay organisations' protests against him provides the clear basis for insinuating that Banton's most unfortunate experience could in some way be linked to the international gay community.

"Such a link is not only false, it is irresponsible," added McFarlane.

He said JFLAG supports Buju's right to be defended and accepts that the recording star is innocent of the charge until proven guilty.

According to McFarlane, Buju has promoted hate of homosexuals and has called for people who are homosexuals to be murdered.

"He has never rejected or regretted any of these abuses of his privileged position. He did all of this on his own. He is now facing the consequences of actions totally unrelated to gays and lesbians," McFarlane said.

GLAAD public campaign

Buju, whose correct name is Mark Myrie, was arrested in Tampa, Florida, last Thursday by Federal law enforcement officials, who allege that he was involved in the illegal drugs trade.

The arrest came at a time when the international homosexual group, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), had launched a public campaign seeking signatures for a petition protesting against Buju's recently announced Grammy nomination.

GLAAD was also instrumental in a campaign to disrupt Buju's North America tour to promote his latest album, Rasta Got Soul.

Since the arrest of the dreadlocked entertainer, social networks on the Internet have been flooded with persons alleging that he was "set up" by the homosexual lobby.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jamaica mired in homophobia (Observer Letter)

Dear Editor,

Your negative biases towards homosexuals are showing as patently as your obvious support for the continued propagation of fundamental religious myths to the Jamaican population to keep them ignorant, gullible and tolerant of the flawed status quo. But this is not surprising because it takes the same type of perverse, non-progressive mindset to embrace both views.

Perhaps, though, I am holding you to a higher standard. Like most heterosexuals, I was initially intolerant of gays because of their perceived propensity for "offensive" exhibitionism and what appears to be too aggressive grabs for more rights than "normal" people. But on second thought I rationalised that the so-called "normal" people have consistently displayed prejudice and tyranny which negate and marginalise gays and their fundamental rights.

Sunday's letter from Hilaire Sobers and others highlight some of the biases in your reports. These writers are also holding you to a higher standard of commitment to rational balance in reporting on matters about the gay community, especially against the background that Jamaica is too steeply mired in homophobia based on primitive Christian dogmas to which the nation seems mentally enslaved. In other words, we are saying this rampant homophobia and mindless religiousness are unworthy of you because they are mutually reinforcing and equally obstructive on our journey to an enlightened society.

Healthy debates, intellectual and enlightened leadership must be par for the course in the press, or else we will be negating our mandate. Ours is not the responsibility to parrot and propagate the views of the majority, although flawed. We have a responsibility to encourage debates along rational structures which lead us to truth, balance and enlightenment.

Many of us also wonder about the seemingly high degree of violence and mutilations involved in gay-on-gay relationship violence and wonder whether this is based on the assumption that they constitute only an estimated five per cent of the population in general, so partners are more difficult to find, and the potential loss of a partner poses a deeper emotional turmoil.

W W Wood

PO Box 760


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Human Rights Day 2009 - Help end discrimination

Help end discrimination, celebrate Human Rights Day 2009… and beyond
Here are ideas and tools that will help you develop campaigns against discrimination. This is just the start. You can think of activities and materials that suit your local community. Launch your own initiative to mark Human Rights Day 2009. Be creative and schedule activities aimed at ending discrimination throughout 2010.

First of all, join us and use our visual designs: you can choose from a Human Rights Day design, a tagline (Embrace diversity, End discrimination), and a combination of both. Here, you can find the designs in English, French and Spanish. You can also translate them into your own language.

You can download from our website information on discrimination, feature stories and other materials.

Let us know what you achieve. Submit your stories, activities, and creative content using the visual designs. Contact us at

See below for ideas that may help you plan for Human Rights Day and 2010.

General Activities
Visual designs. You can use the Human Rights Day 2009 design, the tagline, or both. Send your request following the guidelines and stamp your public information materials, publications, website, banners, tee shirts, pins, postage stamps, etc.

About non-discrimination. Use the content in our web page to develop your own flyers, brochures, information notes, etc. and translate it into the language of your community.

Symbolic action. Plan a specific date and time to honour Human Rights Day or to advocate against discrimination. Let citizens in your community unite in a common symbolic action (e.g., lighting of candles, raising of flag, half-an-hour human rights programmes at schools, concerts for children).

"Discrimination-free communities": Encourage communities or sectors of all sizes (e.g., a village, a school, a university, a workplace, a senior citizens' centre) to declare themselves to be "discrimination-free". As such they will promote the observance of and respect for human rights, non-discrimination and diversity.

Twinnings: Organize twinnings between countries/cities or sectors which will contribute to raising the profile of non-discrimination activities in the respective countries in order to share ideas and to provide mutual support for twinned entities.

Sports. Organize sports competitions around a non-discrimination theme .

International Days. Benefit from existing events and observances to draw attention to discrimination issues.

Fund-raising: Fund-raise for national/international human rights organizations.

Civil society
Information. Produce information and educational materials on discrimination (e.g., publicity posters, fliers, pictures, calendars about non-discrimination) for constituencies.

Events. Organize campaigns, events, conferences and seminars or introduce courses on discrimination.

Integration. Organize programmes aimed at integrating "discriminated persons" into the mainstream of society.

Cinema. Host a film screening and discussion or coordinate a film festival highlighting discrimination issues.

Youth activities. Train young people to integrate non-discrimination in their work with youth organizations, younger children in schools, volunteer work, on the streets and the population in general. For instance, organize a "youth caravan" or cross-country walk where young people will make presentations on discrimination for both children and adults.

Popular activities. Organize street theatre, dance, local festivals and other popular presentations relating to non-discrimination and human rights for a variety of audiences.

Texting. Organize an SMS/text message initiative on discrimination.

Governments, local authorities and national human rights institutions
Action plans. Adopt national plans of action for combating discrimination and promote non-discrimination policies.

Events. Host a national/ international event – workshop, lecture, conference, parliamentary debates – on the issue of discrimination.

Infrastructure development. Strengthen national infrastructures to combat discrimination. Create cross-sectoral coordinating committees to work on non-discrimination.

Legislative review. Ratify international human rights treaties and review national legislation so that it conforms with international human rights law.

Awards. Inaugurate an annual award for national/local human rights defenders combating discrimination.

Publications. Set up a special stand in libraries to highlight available books relating to discrimination issues.

Schools, universities and cultural institutions
Art competitions. Sponsor school art, music, writing, design, drawing and web-based material competitions on non discrimination with the winners' work being published, printed, or otherwise widely distributed.

Human rights education. Use literacy programmes as a means to educate about non-discrimination and human rights.

Debates. Organize lecture series, film series, book discussions, workshops, seminars, debates and symposia on discrimination and human rights.

Prizes. Promote a national discrimination / human rights research award/prize.

Seminars. Organize conferences, seminars, pre-service and in-service training for teachers and educators on discrimination.

Books. Display books and magazines on non-discrimination.

Bookmarks. Distribute bookmarks recommending books on non-discrimination for both young and adult readers.

Special transport. Organize a "Discrimination-free bus" to travel through rural areas bringing information, training, materials and speakers on discrimination.

Commission artworks. Commission works of art on non-discrimination and provide a setting for their presentation.

Exhibitions. Ask local artists to create a piece on discrimination and organize an exhibit to show the work.

Human rights stand. Organize a discrimination and human rights stand at international/national/local book fairs.

Private and Business Community
Advertising. Introduce non-discrimination messages in publicity and advertising (e.g. on food products, soda cans, cereal boxes, etc.).

Grants. Establish a foundation to combat discrimination and give grants for non-discrimination projects.

High profile functions. Organize high profile functions with a non-discrimination theme (may be fundraising functions, presentations of awards, etc.).

Financial support. Offer financial support for non-discrimination initiatives at the community and local levels.

Non-discrimination courses. Hold conferences and seminars or introduce courses on non-discrimination.

Awareness-raising. Raise awareness of discrimination issues among users of the services rendered by the profession (e.g., distribution of accessible information materials to users; holding workshops and public education sessions on various discrimination issues).

UN Global Compact. Join the UN Global Compact. The Compact asks participating companies to support and enact 10 principles relating to human rights, labour standards, the environment and discrimination, among others.

Develop standards. Implement plans to uphold non-discrimination standards within your company.

Education campaigns. Develop non-discrimination education campaigns within your business for your own employees.

For Media
Stress discrimination issues. Highlight discrimination situations in your area of coverage.

Commission op-eds. Set aside a dedicated space once a week or once a month for publishing stories/opinion articles on discrimination.

Editorial emphasis. Run stories or conduct interviews on discrimination. Produce a compilation of real-life stories of people affected by discrimination.

Competitions. Organize a competition for the best published article/s on human rights throughout the year .

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

PepsiCo regrets Beenie Man support in Uganda

Peter Tatchell

PepsiCo regrets Beenie Man support

Sponsoring Uganda concert was a mistake

Protests win a u-turn and pledge of future vetting

London - 9 December 2009

Protests by, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), OutRage! and others have persuaded PepsiCo to climb down and apologise, after it sponsored a concert in Uganda by "murder music" singer Beenie Man who encourages the killing of lesbians and gay men.

At his Ugandan concert on Saturday 5 December, Beenie Man sang the song, Mi Nah Wallah, which includes a call to cut the throats of gay people.

Uganda is notorious for homophobic violence and is currently considering introducing the death penalty for "aggravated" homosexuality and for "serial (gay) offenders."

See this Beenie Man concert report from the Ugandan Daily Monitor:

Following protests, Pepsi expressed regret over their sponsorship of Beenie Man. In a statement to PepsiCo said:

"We are appalled by the performer's lyrics and find them repugnant. Our bottling partner in Uganda was not aware of the performer's views and never would have sponsored the concert with this knowledge...Moving forward, we will work closely with our bottling partners to be more vigilant about the events associated with our brands."

Peter Tatchell of London LGBT rights group OutRage! said: "We want to thank GLAAD and for their swift and effective lobbying of PepsiCo. Their efforts got a positive result. PepisiCo will be more careful in future."

Earlier, David Allison of OutRage! wrote to PepsiCo:

"We are shocked to learn that not only are you sponsoring the appearance of Beenie Man, the Jamaican dancehall music performer, but compounding the offence by sponsoring him in Uganda...Uganda's government is currently proposing legislation calling for the imprisonment and execution of gay people.

"Backing a concert that includes a notorious homophobe in a country launching draconian legislation against people simply because of their sexual orientation is a singularly inept, not to say immoral....We ask that you withdraw your sponsorship and re-affirm your support for human rights," wrote Mr Allison.

Beenie Man has a long history of inciting the murder of LGBT people.

His hit tune, Bad Man Chi Chi Man (Bad Man, Queer Man), instructs listeners to kill gay DJs and boasts that people would gladly go to jail for killing a queer:

In another song, Damn, he sings: "I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the queers".

Han Up Deh includes the lyrics: "Hang lesbians with a long piece of rope."

Beenie Man is also notorious for the track, Batty Man Fi Dead (Queers Must Be killed):

"All faggots must be killed! If you f*ck ass, then you get copper and lead [bullets]."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Disturbed by Xnews Story on Drag Queen and Gay Cop

Several weeks after the Jamaica Observer and Television Stations carried a story on a drag queen in Clarendon and the subsequent radio call in show hosted by Ragashanti where it was said “she” phoned in The Xnews tabloid now has joined the frey.

With a full photograph on its front page (hidden for this post) they had the headline “Male Cross Dresser Barby says, ‘Cops a Blow up mi phone’” on December 3, 2009. The paper of course reinforcing the impression that police officers have been calling her in secret for hookups. Why now Xnews and why also carry the gay cop story nearly a year after his ordeal? In the radio interview where Barby was said to have phoned in, Barby did say that some of the cops from the police station at the time had been calling her but the host Dr. Kingsley Ragashanti dismissed her claims as spurious and that she was implicating the officers at the station at the time.

So why is the Xnews reviving this now, Is there a link here or is the Xnews saying that since there maybe more gay cops by the implication of the Barby story that they should also leave Jamaica via the asylum route? I am also very disturbed that another full photo of the drag queen was shown in full garb knowing the possible implications to her person. Doesn’t she have a right to dress how she feels without fear or incitement guided by a third party such as what the Xnews is now doing?

Why were pictures of other alleged drag queens (see above) shown in the story as well? They were not a part of the original ordeal. Where is the journalistic responsibility or am I asking the wrong paper this as the Xnews has been known for its “trash” element?

Jason McFarlane, Programs Manager from JFLAG was quoted in the story as well, “To my knowledge He is OK, he has not received any threats and I have spoken to him a couple of times and no threats, thankfully.”

“I don’t think they are going to start going door to door looking for him maybe if they saw him dressed as a man then there would be a problem.”

I am a bit puzzled at those remarks as well if they are so as quoted by the paper, they sound and strikes on naivety on the part of gay culture in real terms and a misunderstanding of what actually occurs on the roads in regards to drag culture or cross dressing in Jamaica. “Barby” is not the first and won’t be the last publicly identified cross dresser and some transvestites may be indeed transgendered identified individuals psychologically in my estimation. Other cross dressers before have been murdered chief among them was the ever so popular “Browning” who was stabbed allegedly by a “client” who she was negotiating a sexual transaction with some 6 years ago. The case to my knowledge was thrown out of court due to lack of evidence.

Meanwhile the Xnews again quoted Jason McFarlane on the asylum issue with the cop who was vilified after a newspaper interview. “Yes asylum was granted his case has gone through but maybe I shouldn’t say that just yet. He has applied and he has a good case particularly because of the media exposure he got, he is currently living and working in the UK, ……………. I last spoke to him three weeks ago and he was quite happy to be safe in a country where is rights are protected. 

I don’t know what sort of job he is employed in because it was just a quick check in I did with him but I know that he is happy.”
Probably too much information was given here and the comments seem too “by the way” to be believed. Maybe this may also be a way for the Xnews to say well all of us as gays should run away and leave Jamaica via the asylum route.

All this has left a bitter taste in my mouth. Weh unu feel?

Recent contact directly with Barbie by phone and some of my sources has revealed that she is livid in a sense, as she feels her conversations with key persons from JFLAG offices were leaked to the XNEWS, even if this is not true the country’s only official GLBT rights organization cannot be seen as untrustworthy to the community that it serves. Just by the type of newspaper the Xnews is perceived to be a quote or statement present in its content it may be viewed at negative towards whatever the subject matter is at hand.

The impact of this story has led to a noticeable decrease in movement by some of the captioned queens and Barby herself as a precautionary measure as normal weekend social gatherings at regular spots were visibly empty this weekend.

How can we fix this issue for the time being …… I really don’t know.

Gay females increasing faster than males, says top psychiatrist (Observer letter)

by Garfield Wright

Originally published: Sunday, December 06, 2009

I read your article in the Sunday Observer titled "Gay females increasing faster than males, says top psychiatrist" and I felt compelled to comment on the fact that anecdotal observations made by a single person (no matter how qualified) made it to print.

The fact that the opinions of a psychiatrist was the only source of this claim also gives the impression that a psychiatrist is the primary source of information on lesbian and homosexual matters and by extension suggests that homosexuality is a mental illness. I have to say I was quite surprised that this article survived reasonable criticism to make it to print.

I'm not a journalist, nor am I an advocate for any particular slant of sexual preference, but as a reader of the Observer I was expecting a more balanced article sourcing multiple qualified sources (maybe Amnesty International or whatever gay and lesbian organisations/support groups there are in Jamaica) and, at the very least, some attempt at checking the claims made by this single person.

I'm sorry but to me Dr Aggrey Irons' opinions on homosexuality and certainly homosexuality statistics in Jamaica is no more qualified than if you had picked someone at random at Half-Way-Tree and asked their opinion and then printed it as fact - it's pure hearsay.

As the Observer is my primary source of information for news in Jamaica I have an expectation that what I read is factual and objectively presented information and from time to time I even ignore the common typing errors that slip through sub-editing, but this article failed all my expectations of proper journalism and for this to make it to the world stage via the Internet conveys a bad message about journalism in Jamaica but also presents the opinions of a single person as statistics in Jamaica.

I can't tell you what to print in your paper but as I reader I felt compelled to tell you I was (un)impressed by this bit of journalism - if this were an opinion piece I wouldn't have said a word but this was in the news section, presented as factual news. I know the Observer can do better than that.

On Spilling homosexual blood (Observer Letter) & misplaced crimes of passion beliefs


I have to agree with the letter writer on this, there has been an attempt to simply dismiss the push for change by using a few cases such as the Brian Williamson & Peter King matters albeit they were hookups and liaisons gone bad that all other matters are similar; as if genuine homophobic matters do not exist.

Here is the letter from the Observer.

Melicia Wright writes

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Let me say that I was annoyed that the article did little to dispel the general perception of homosexuals in Jamaica. They were painted as "bizarre", "paranoid", "disordered" and "violent".

While some attempt was made to highlight that this behaviour is not uncommon amongst heterosexual lovers, in pathologizing homosexuality, the article was clearly biased against homosexuals.

In a day when homophobia is still rampant in our society, I think it is dangerous to perpetuate myths and biases about this minority while ignoring the role pervading homophobic attitudes play in precipitating this behaviour. Carolyn Cooper's "Blind Vengeance" published in the Sunday Gleaner fleshes this out quite well.

I encourage you to muse on our national motto: "Out of many, one people". On paper, we profess to embrace the diversity of those that grace our shores. In practice this not how the Sankey is sung. In the future, shall we revise the commentary that enters the public sphere so that it no longer demonizes a group that could cope quite nicely without worse publicity?


I hope we learn from this and do not allow ourselves to be misled and conflate gay on gay matters with genuine homophobic cases and each case MUST be taken in its own merit before rushing to judgement on all fronts; including our side of the fence.

Not because a matter has a male murdered and the circumstances are ghastly surrounding the murder it does not mean it is a homophobic case and we miss the mark when we rush only to have credibility so badly needed in crisis communication wither away.

Think on these things.

Peace & tolerance


The Day the Grammys Chose to Honor a Musician Who Says Gay People Should Die

by Michael A. Jones

Grammy nominations were announced last week, and among them you'll find your regular cast of musical superstars. There's Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Kings of Leon, the Black Eyed Peas, and even Daryl Hall and John Oates (for those craving a 1970s-80s flashback). You can also add to that list a musician who has openly called for gay people to be burned alive, after having acid thrown in their face.

That's right, Buju Banton has been included among the 2010 Grammy nominees, with a chance to win an award for Best Reggae Album. When Banton isn't busy being nominated for Grammy awards, he's out there penning songs like "Boom Boom Bye," where he lovingly sings a tune about how gay people should be shot in the face.

Banton wrote the song many years ago, but still performs it fairly regularly. He has become the target of LGBT rights activists in recent years, including right here on, where we successfully petitioned Live Nation to drop a concert tour of Banton's. But what has been Banton's response to all the uproar from LGBT rights activists who don't want to see music where we're horrifically slaughtered?

"There is no end to the war between me and faggots," Banton said.

Thank you, Grammys, for giving the world the impression that this man produces award-winning music.

Already the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center has condemned the Grammy Awards for celebrating Banton's music.

"We’re shocked that Buju Banton, a singer with a long record of performing a song that glorifies the murder of gay people, would be honored with a Grammy nomination, regardless of the artistic merit of any of his work," said Jim Key, a public affairs officer with the Center.

Shocking would be one word for the nomination. Appalling would be another.

Earlier this year, a group of San Francisco activists met with Banton as a means of trying to ease the long-standing tension between him, his music, and the LGBT population. But Banton didn't really play nice. Activists suggested that he take some of the proceeds from his "Boom Boom Bye" song, and donate them to the Jamaican LGBT rights group J-FLAG. Banton said he wasn't interested.

"Them come with demands which I and I a go flop dem right now, because give thanks to my culture and upbringing I coulda never endorse them things. I can't sell myself out, neither would I do that in a thousand years," Banton said.

So supporting LGBT rights activists in Jamaica -- who are literally struggling against a culture that wants them dead and eradicated -- would be selling Banton out? Wow, there's corporate greed, and then there's just downright selfish promotion at all costs, even at the expense of human rights.

The Grammys royally messed up here. Like his music, don't like his music, but until this man says that he was wrong to sing about shooting gay people in the face, throwing acid in their faces, and burning them alive, he doesn't deserve a global platform that a Grammy nomination affords him.

Perhaps the only thing to hope for now is that Lady Gaga calls out this bullshit from the stage.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Another Gay Related Killing?

The St. Andrew Police are probing the murder of a St Andrew based photographer.

Michael Goldbourne was found murdered in his apartment in the up-scale Orange View community in St Andrew on Monday November 30.

He was found with stab wounds with a pillow over his head. He is linked to the site Rudejam which caters to straight, gay and bisexual persons with erotic entertainment through pictures and videos.

It is reported that neighbours in the apartment complex saw Mr. Goldbourne's Pajero motor vehicle leaving the compound at about 6:30am Monday.

A relative went to the apartment later in the day and found his body.

It is suspected that he was killed by someone known to him as there was no forced entry to the apartment in the gated community.

Crime Chief Deputy Superintendent Altemorth Campbell told the RJR News that Mr Goldbourne's Pajero motor vehicle was found burnt in Westmoreland Monday afternoon.

It is alleged that he left to do a shoot and completed same and returned home but soon left again for reasons unknown according to sources. Let us not hope this is another senseless slaying and we await the results of the investigations.

Anyone with information on the incident is being asked to contact the Constant Spring CIB, 119, 811 or the nearest police station.

(parts taken from RJR News)


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Bad Man Nuh F*** Batty (Masculine Men Don't F*** Ass) (The Fear of The Feminine in JA ) 16.04.15

A look at the fear of the feminine (Effemophobia) by Jamaican standards & how it drives the homo-negative perceptions/homophobia in Jamaican culture/national psyche.

After catching midway a radio discussion on the subject of Jamaica being labelled as homophobic I did a quick look at the long held belief in Jamaica by anti gay advocates, sections of media and homophobes that several murders of alleged gay victims are in fact 'crimes of passion' or have jealousy as their motives but it is not as simple or generalized as that.

Listen without prejudice to this and other podcasts on one of my Soundcloud channels

hear recent pods as well:

Information & Disclaimer

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.

Not all persons depicted in photos are gay or lesbian and it is not intended to portray them as such, save and except for the relevance of the particular post under which they appear.

Please use the snapshot feature (if available for your device(s) to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.

God Bless

Other Blogs I write to:

Recent Homophobic Incidents CLICK HERE for related posts/labels from glbtqjamaica's blog & HERE for those I am aware of.


APJ Website Launch & Link

Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website on December 1 2015 on World AIDS Day where they hosted a docu-film and after discussions on the film Human Vol 1

audience members interacting during a break in the event

film in progress

visit the new APJ website HERE

See posts on APJ's work: HERE (newer entries will appear first so scroll to see older ones)

The Hypocrisy of Jamaican Anti Gay Groups & Selective Actions of Societal Ills

The selectivity of the anti gay religious voices on so called societal ills is examined in this podcast as other major issues that require the "church" to have spoken up including sexual abuse by pastors in recent times yet mere silence on those matters is highlighted.

Why are these groups and so called child rights activists creating mass hysteria and have so much strength for HOMOSEXUALITY but are quiet on corruption in government, missing children, crime in the country and so much more but want to stop same gender loving persons from enjoying peace of mind and PRIVACY?

Also is the disturbing tactic of deliberately conflating paedophilia with same gender sex as if to suggest reforming the buggery law will cause an influx of buggered children when we know that is NOT TRUE.

MSM/Trans homeless - From gully to graveyard

When are lives interrupted be allowed a real honest chance to move from interruption to independence and stability? I just cannot tell you friends.

An article appeared in the gleaner today that just sent me into sadness mode again with this ugly business of LGBTQI homelessness. The author of the piece needs an intervention too as he (Ryon Jones) uses terms such as cross dressers and or homeless men which if transgender persons are present they cannot be described or seen as such, sigh another clear display of the lack of impact and reach of so called advocacies and advocates who are more interested in parading as working but really aint having much impact as they ought to or claim.

We are told of houses being put together from time in memorial; the Dwayne’s House project seems dead in the water, the Larry Chang (named after a JFLAG cofounder) seems stuck in the mud and Colour Pink’s so called Rainbow House seems insignificant in relation to the size and scope of the national problem. JFLAG as presented on this blog is obviously not interested in getting their hands dirty really on homelessness save and except for using the populations as cannon fodder and delegating same; as far as I am concerned presenting them as victims of homophobia which is true but where are the programs and the perceived millions donated or granted since President Obama’s visit to address LGBTQ matters?


Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Homophobia - What are we afraid of?

Former host of Dr Sexy Live on Nationwide radio and Sexologist tackles in a simplistic but to the point style homophobia and asks the poignant question of the age, What really are we as a nation afraid of?

It seems like homosexuality is on everyone's tongue. From articles in the newspapers to countless news stories and commentaries, it seems like everyone is talking about the gays. Since Jamaica identifies as a Christian nation, the obvious thought about homosexuality is that it is wrong but only male homosexuality seems to influence the more passionate responses. It seems we are more open to accepting lesbianism but gay men are greeted with much disapproval.

Dancehall has certainly been very clear where it stands when it comes to this issue with various songs voicing clear condemnation of this lifestyle. Currently, quite a few artistes are facing continuous protests because of their anti-gay lyrics. Even the law makers are involved in the gayness as there have been several calls for the repeal of the buggery law. Recently Parliament announced plans to review the Sexual Offences Act which, I am sure, will no doubt address homosexuality.

Jamaica has been described as a homophobic nation. The question I want to ask is: What are we afraid of? There are usually many reasons why homosexuality is such a pain in the a@. Here are some of the more popular arguments MORE HERE

also see:
Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation

Sexuality - What is yours?

The Deliberate Misuse of the “Sexual Grooming” Term by Antigay Fanatics to Promote Their Hysteria

Just as I researched on-line in NOT EVEN five minutes and found a plethora of information and FACTS on Sexual Grooming (and thanks to Dr Karen Carpenter for some valuable insight I found out what Sexual Grooming was) so too must these fanatics go and do the same and stop creating panic in the country.

The hysteria continues from the Professor Bain so called protests to protect freedom of speech and bites at the credibility of the LGBT lobby collectively continues via Duppies Dupe UWI articles when the bigger principle of the conflict of interest in regards to the greater imperative of removing/preserving archaic buggery laws in the Caribbean dependent on which side one sits is of greater import when the professor’s court testimony in Belize went against the imperative of CHART/PANCAP goals is the more germane matter of which he was former head now temporarily reinstated via a court ex-parte injunction. The unnecessary uproar and shouting from the same hysterical uninformed quarters claiming moral concerns ....... MORE CLICK HERE

also see if you can

JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness


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


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


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


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: or Tel: 1-876-841-2923 (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: 1-876-841-2923


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