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, April 25, 2012

The LGBTQIQ2S's Caribbean Vanity Fair Grammy Awards 2012 Launch event ...............



The Jamaican LGBTQIQ2S entertainment industry's most prestigious award, the Caribbean Vanity Fair GRAMMY, is presented annually by The Entrepreneurial Committee. A CVF GRAMMY is awarded by The Entrepreneurial Committee's voting membership to honor excellence in the performing and recording arts and sciences. It is truly a peer honor, awarded by and to artists and technical professionals for artistic or technical achievement, not sales or chart positions or popularity. The annual CVF GRAMMY Awards presentation brings together multiples of creative and technical professionals from the LGBT community in the entertainment and performing arts and talent industry from around the Caribbean.  

Other Awards

In addition to the GRAMMY Awards, The committee presents other notable honors. These awards recognize contributions and activities of significance to the entertainment field that fall outside the framework of the Entertainment Awards categories, and include:

CVF - Lifetime Achievement Award 
CVF - GRAMMY Legend Award 
CVF - Trustees Award 
CVF - Technical GRAMMY Award 
CVF - GRAMMY Hall of Fame 

CVF GRAMMY Awards background and history

The CVF GRAMMY Awards were launched in 2001 with a very successful first annual telecast aired on ASETv. It was the first primarily LGBT prime-time program carried on network internet television. In 2010 the coveted CVF Grammy Awards was adopted by Just Fine Promotions.  Like the true GRAMMY Awards, the CVF GRAMMYs recognize gay drag queen/king artistes and technical excellence in the entertainment arts and sciences by peer vote.  It has already come to represent the height of achievement in the Jamaican LGBT community.  

Two stalwarts in the community (to be named) will be recognized among several other nominees this year with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for long service and recognition for previous contribution made in LGBTQIQ2S entertainment and advocacy going to them. 

The Caribbean Vanity Fair Grammy Awards 2012 will be much bigger and better than last year.  The organizing committee has managed to secure a prominent venue in Kingston to host the award ceremony commencing at 8PM featuring performances from both local and international artistes.  This will be held on Saturday August 18, 2012.  The Vanity Fair after party will take place later the same evening at another location:  Admission JA$2,000 presold and JA$2,500 at the gate.  Sign up on our site and enter the Grammy Trivia Competition to win MAKE OVERS, GIFT PACKAGES, GIFT CERTIFICATES, LAPTOPS and the new iPAD 3...A JUSTFINE PROMOTION Event.

 Launch Party promo:

CVF Grammy 2012 Launch Party featuring Diva Alicia Dupree

This ya one ya URGENT! so me did affi talk 'bout it!  Can you believe...April 27th, 2012 Just Fine Promotions in association with Fetish Secretz will host the 11th staging of the Caribbean Vanity Fair Awards Grammy Launch Party.... in the hills of St. Andrew overlooking Kingston...Admission only JA$1500....working with our theme: Holywood Glitz N Glamour meets Jamaica 50 (Red Carpet Style)

Come party wit the stars and meet all the grammy nominees!!! Come rip the RUNWAY if high fashion is your mark....more prizes and surprises as usual.  Many Sponsors are on board including, the Bloom Magazine, Traffic Mode, All Dolled Up, Rupunzel Hair & Beauty Supplies, Salon Fierce, Andre S enterprise, IAE, Alter Ego, Couture Elements, Envelop Couture, Underlined Response, for more information please contact             876-504-9251       or             876-426-5866      .  

Peace and tolerance


Friday, April 13, 2012

The PNP's first 100 days ............. buggery review looks far away

I tend to agree with common sense Jamaica that it is strange that there has been no detailed analysis of this government's first 100 days in office by the mainstream media except on radio to some extent via Nationwide FM so far, which is something that we have grown accustom to albeit there was no clear guide from the party what they wanted to achieve in this traditional marker for new administrations neither is there any word from the nouveau intelligentsia of the LGBT community who can be so eloquent on issues they selectively speak on. The indications are not looking good and certainly the promised buggery review looks way off the marker since the swearing in of the PM on January 5, 2012.

Let us not forget when the now opposition JLP took office in 2007 many media outlets were loud in their opinions on the 100 days' arrival including the Gleaner which carried: 100 days of Golding: 'It is a basket of success and failures' - analysts

Gleaner cartoon 13.04.12

The analysis would normally walk through the good, the bad and the ugly of a new government, but it looks like the media has decided to give the PNP another “blye” by failing to highlight the situation in Jamaica after 100 days of PNP rule. Since everyone so far appears to be PNP shy, I have decided to do my own look at the first 100 days of PNP rule. The PNP manifesto during the election campaign in late 2011 listed a raft of wonderful items but when assuming office the realities seem to have set in and maybe all those promises are out the window.

Observer Columnist Mark Wignall rated the administration a 5 out of 10 with his highest rating going to Minister Phillip Paulwell for the energy issues he is trying to solve on a radio interview today 13.04.12 but then again a promise that general consumption tax on electricity bills would be reduced for home users who use under 200 kilowatt hours yet the same minister being praised announced in the house that it may not be possible now as government coffers may loose big.

The PM announced a bloated cabinet of 20 members, which is one of the largest we have seen in modern Jamaica which is yet to be justified.
JEEP eventually got off the ground employing a couple hundred persons with a budget of $4b but only in three areas, the other projects are yet to be determined and launched.
We have had mass confusion with the budgetary process , with the minister of finance cutting $21b from the budget only to return 2 weeks later and added $10b to the budget he just tabled.
Murders have been on the up, however there is light at the end of the tunnel, given the fact that March numbers were the lowest we have seen since 2003 while sexual abuses sky rocket.
We have failed to secure an IMF agreement despite promises to have a new agreement negotiated in a hurry and having 3 months of negotiations.

Then there is the:

The promised buggery review (even with the botched JFLAG 100 day ultimatum) has not materialised instead a member of parliament makes snide remarks at a function on the issue then tries to do some damage control (see HERE and HERE for more or below)  
Let us also remember the JFLAG interview they granted to media that in their words was misconstrued as an ultimatum, The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays JFLAG sans seriously consulting the community’s views on the Prime Minister promised review the Buggery Law and heading to a conscience vote had caused some upset in sections of the community who are saying the J should keep quiet and wait, let Sista P as Mrs Simpson is affectionately called deal with other serious issues first such as the economy and jobs then on the other rights for gays etc. When the group is to speak it is silent, just in December 2011 the brutal murders of two lesbians and up until today not an official word or recognition of the lives lost on the backdrop of same gender loving women’s issues and the increasing abuses against them, a trend we have been seeing since 2007 with corrective rapes, attempted abductions, forced evictions and beatings of butch identified women. Here is Executive Director of the J, Dane Lewis 

Dane Lewis Executive Director of the J told CVM TV that he expected the issues to begin to placed on the table within 100 days, “To be realistic we would imagine within the first 100 days the issue could be raised we can look at how to proceed,” Mr Lewis said while JFLAG is not expecting a conscience vote to repeal the buggery law within the first 100 days discussions are important as Jamaica has a 2012 deadline to meet according to the international covenant on human rights, “….one of the leading recommendations made in November last year was that Jamaica should report by 2012 on what concrete steps to removal of discriminatory laws,” Mr Lewis said.

According to Mr. Lewis at the time JFLAG is willing to make small steps in acquiring legal recognition for homosexuals he says although gay marriage is legalized overseas, "JFLAG is not pursuing that as part of its lobby at this time, …gay marriage is certainly not an item on our agenda, we still have a large issue of discrimination …. people are being evicted from their homes, people are being physically abused because of their sexual orientation and we want to begin to address those issues.”

He acknowledges that the discussion of gay rights will be met with strong public opposition however he says as was demonstrated by Mrs Simpson Miller we should be strident in dealing with issues impeding human rights, a solution to the issues concerning gay rights will help to deal with HIV/AIDS  ………… mistakes such as granting a telephone interview (sans any consultations with the community I might add) to the media in a “hot environment” when homosexuality or related matters are in the public domain is a no no, all the J should have done was waited and not mention anything at all to do with any time line in any way, shape or form now for it to be misrepresented as an ultimatum. We have had previous misconceptions before of JFLAG’s position by media and one would have thought that as a former media participant himself the Executive Director of JFLAG Mr. Lewis would have known the ins and outs of local media with regards to hot button issues such as this. The San Francisco boycott some years ago and the suggested EGALE tourism boycott as well are prime examples of learning curves for the group and speaking just a little too much but when it’s time to speak there is silence. How many mistakes are there to be made before it is perfected? one never knows. 

But Mrs Simpson Miller did clarify her position during the election campaign which has me hopeful in a sense where she said her government won't seek to get into people's bedrooms (then again as long as the buggery law remains under the PNP's watch they are already in our bedrooms)

More PNP performance issues

The government has failed to create a economic plan for the country and this has resulted in the budget being delayed for 6 weeks.
The Jamaican dollar has began to depreciate once gain and now stands at $87.37 to the US$.
Thousands of Jamaicans were exposed to toxic fumes for days, while the government twiddled its thumbs in addressing the fire at riverton city dump, while telling us air quality were at acceptable levels.
The PNP annihilated the JLP in the local government elections, for yet another electoral victory.
There has been no role back in GCT on electricity as promised.
Instead of National Energy Council, we have added three persons to the payroll in putting together an Economic Advisory Council to create a financial and economic plan for the country.
We get the feeling the country is in a wait and see mode and businesses has stalled important projects because they have no idea of what plans the PNP has for the country at this stage.
The international markets are playing a wait and see attitude , waiting to see what is next.
Most JDIP projetcs have been stalled, which will result in millions of dollars in cost overruns
The much touted JDIP audit is yet to begin.
The Contractor General cannot get details required on JEEP and is concerned about accountability on this program.
Peter Phillips said no massive job cuts in the public sector, but persons are already being let go, quietly.
We have seen growth in the first quarter of 2012 despite the fact that the GOJ contributed very little in terms of policies to gain this growth.
PNP said they would work with Petrojam to drive prices down, but the Minister say Petrojam pricing mechanism is just fine.
PNP said it would improve community policy to enhance security of the citizens of Jamaica. Instead the police have done a 180 and has gone on a murderous campaign and in so doing has snuffed out the lives of over 60 Jamaicans since the start of the year.
With the Minister of National Security failing at his job the COP has stepped in and made changes to the ” use of force ” policy.

Let us stop here for now so the lazy media can complete the rest of the analysis.

If I where to give the government a rating on a scale from A – F, they would be given an D for their performance thus far. The PM appears to be hopeless, just going around making announcements, but there has been no real movement to implement much ,despite all the talk.
The National Security Minister was just rescued by the Commissioner of Police , having seen completely out of sea with his portfolio responsibilities.
The Minister of Finance is way over his head and drowning and has been just thrown and life jacket in the form of an advisory council.
The Minister of Foreign affairs said he wants to restore Jamaican’s image on the international scene after it was destroyed by the JLP, but proceeded to ask that Jamaica be removed from middle income country status and replaced with poor income country status, so we can get ” free” money to waste. Seems Dr Phillips and the PM was not listening to AG, because a delay of 6 weeks in bring a budget to parliament does NOTHING to improve our international image.
The Minister of Climate change sat by silently while Jamaicans were being poisoned by the toxic fumes from Riverton City fire, he only last week apologized to the country for doing nothing. Seems like he completely misunderstood his role, which was to slow climate change instead of hastening it, after so many complaints and public discussion on the matter.
The Minister of Local Government sought to continue to pork barrel mentality by terminating the security arrangements at the NSWMA and seeking to employ a firm with a known party supporter as principal to take over the responsibility. The OCG stepped in and demanded answer, we are not sure if all those answers have been provided.

What seems to be an orchestrated set of circumstances to embarrass the opposition via civic ceremonies that include booing outgoing representatives oh and that missing green at the Montego Bay mayor's swearing in ceremony messing with national symbols is a low blow with the paltry excuse that there was not enough materials and not a sound from the leadership of the party on the issue.

The first 100 has not been a complete disaster, but surely it has been a very unsteady start. When and how fast are we going to deal and gel the issues together? 
Will we ever see the buggery law reviewed in the face of a poll on CVM regarding perception of the administration if they decide to do so knowing how sensitive this issue is and how political fortunes hang in the balance and the fear of losing power?

CVM TV Poll 2012 

The opposition continues to lick its wounds following the double defeats both at the general and local government elections. Then again the PNP needs to learn the lesson the JLP was taught, do not get cocky or  they too may only be a one term government, the missing colour flag issue is showing the PNP to becoming just that, very complacent where it believes its image will not be affected 

Still early days yet so our hopes for decriminalization  must not be dashed but we may have a very long wait.

Peace and tolerance


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Serodiscordancy .............. Would you date someone who is HIV positive ?

A question I see popping more and more on social media, blogs and even on the streets with mixed reactions as the issue of HIV/AIDS is still a talking point even in the modern world thirty years later after its initial discovery and its renaming from the stigma infused GRID - Gay-related immune deficiency in the eighties we now however have strangely high rates of infection among men who have sex with men in particular, over 30%. Despite major improvements in social marketing with the requisite paraphernalia, ready access to information, rapid testing & counselling, wonderful antiretroviral and highly active antiretroviral therpy (HAART), improved condoms and an option to use the female condom (formerly FEMIDOM 1 now FEMIDOM II) and talk is that newer technologies are on the way we still ended up with an infection rate of over 30% in Jamaica in 2007 and as we await the official results of another survey done in 2011 all indications point to an increase in that figure.

My answer is yes as it is not about the HIV status of the individual that counts firstly although it will be important as to how we move on in the longterm but the whole person among other things .......... firstly let us look at some other pointers:

Serodiscordancy (couples with mixed HIV status) is a subject not often discussed locally as relationship issues generally in same gender loving couples are not looked at with any seriousness either by advocates or groups representing Jamaican LGBT people or I doubt if there are any studies done to look at the pyscho-social issues surrounding this phenomenon, so the bashing is allowed to continue and stigmatization occurs once it is even suspected an individual may have HIV, serodiscordant means by the way or (sero-discordancy) is a term used to describe a couple in which one partner is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative. Serodiscordant relationships are also referred to as "magnetic". The term seroconcordant is its antonym, used to describe a couple in which both partners are of the same HIV status (i.e. both are HIV positive or both are HIV negative).

A US HIV prevention study in 2009 supports what many researchers, activists and people living with the virus have believed for years--antiretroviral medications reduce HIV transmission in straight serodiscordant couples (where one person is HIV positive and one person is HIV negative) by 96 percent. Most couples of mixed HIV status face similar issues regardless of sexual orientation. Straight or gay, mixed couples usually live with fears about HIV transmission to the negative partner and concerns about maintaining a safe but satisfying sex life. Some encounter a profound lack of support and validation from family and friends, who often question why they're getting into or continuing a relationship full of risks like HIV transmission, illness, dependency and death. Of course, illness, death and dependency can happen in any relationship, but somehow HIV makes them more palpable. Serodiscordant couples face numerous issues not faced by seroconcordant couples, including facing a decision as to what level of sexual activity is comfortable for them, knowing that practising safer sex reduces but does not eliminate the risk of transmission to the HIV negative partner. There are also potential psychological issues arising out of taking care of a sick partner, and survivor guilt. Financial strains may also be more accentuated as one partner becomes ill and potentially less able or unable to work.

Research involving serodiscordant couples has offered insights into how the virus is passed and how individuals who are HIV positive may be able to reduce the risk of passing the virus to their partner. With PrEP being pushed now as prevention for HIV in negative persons how will this change the scheme of things once it is approved and becomes the norm worldwide providing that costs for ARVs and related medicines come to a reasonable price for nearly all to have access. Will this improve dating and hence long term relationships and literally remove some of the concerns serodiscordant couples face navigating love and their union? 


Disclosure however of ones HIV status is still a major taboo issue judging by interactions on the subject when it is mentioned, when some enlightened gay Jamaican in particular decides to use a medium such as Facebook to point out quite openly their status as positive they are met with unbelievable hostility for the most part and are driven out of groups in some cases as has been noted in several MSM membered ones and even to the point of closure with tersely worded comments thrown at the nominee as a germ carrier and they are to just go and die, clearly we have long ways to go on this matter with this younger generation. Is there however some denial in all that backlash towards persons who are open about their HIV status or are persons out there knowing that they are HIV positive but are pretending to be otherwise so as to avoid the very stigma that they themselves end up serving on others who are open about the subject? 
Similarly we are told and to some extent seen proof as well of homophobes who are in fact homosexual but use homo-negativity to cover their tracks or seek some sort of psychological relief from the guilt they feel of having same sex urges. 

Overly Cautious 

In any serodiscordant relationship, there is concern at the prospect of spreading the HIV infection to the negative partner. Sexually, the couple may become overly cautious and at the worst, stop any sexual or intimate contact in fear of spreading the infection. While it’s not the most important part a relationship, sexual intimacy is a key component of any loving relationship. Without intimacy, feelings of frustration, longing, and resentment surface and in turn, the relationship suffers.

Survivor’s Guilt 
Guilt can be a powerful and destructive emotion. Most often, survivor’s guilt is a product of situations such as car accidents in which one person survives while many others die. The survivor feels guilty for having lived. In a serodiscordant relationship, the negative partner can feel guilty for being negative. The guilt increases if the positive partner becomes sick due to their HIV. In extreme cases of guilt, the negative partner wishes they too were infected, feeling their infection would relieve the guilt and other stressors present in the relationship. Stress itself can be a barrier to a successful relationship. But certain circumstances that arise in serodiscordant relationships that are particularly difficult.

Super-infection possibilities
HIV superinfection, which occurs when a previously infected individual acquires a new distinct HIV strain, has been described in a number of populations. SEROCONCORDANT couples (both partners being HIV positive) have this issue, the link here is that serodiscordant status may change in some instances as the negative partner's status may change for whatever reason and they may just continue the relationship as before but with new circumstances surrounding the union. Seroconcordant people can still exchange diseases other than HIV - Unprotected sex between two HIV+ people is not free of risk. Infection with one strain of HIV does not preclude later infection with another. There is a great deal of genetic variability within individual HIV populations and this variability is shuffled and mutated every time the virus reproduces inside a cell in the body. There are millions of viruses in the body of an infected person. Modern drug cocktails keep virus and mutation levels low but eventually drug resistance will develop. Unprotected sex between two HIV+ individuals does risk that one with a less aggressive, drug susceptible strain of the virus who might have kept his infection well under the control of the available drugs, might find him or herself with an aggressively drug resistant strain. Furthermore, dual infection has been associated with more rapid progression to AIDS

On dating a positive person
Even if the individual is physically showing early signs of opportunistic infections due to their impaired immune system I would date them if they are an interesting character, that's how far I would go and have gone in fact but more serious fallout may happen depending on how far impaired their systems have become or viral load counts as well which may make the dating process problematic publicly speaking such as a serious cold, cough or other more pronounced visible issues for example may make the dating process rocky, one has to be real in these matters but I guess it comes with years of engaging positive persons through other NGOs and the Ministry of Health's health promotions programs that has led me to this point. PLWHA - persons living with HIV need companionship too probably more so than negative ones as hinted above the issue of stigmatization is still a concern even from the LGBT community itself being persons who are out or not. It's about the personality of the individual, what they bring to the table, maturity, compromise, of course for me their proof of diligence in handling any  health eventualities or complications from an impaired immune system and the matter of adherence to treatment is also crucial.
Their willingness to listen and to be helped while not feeling a sense of being "sorried for" by their partner is also crucial, I have seen generally persons rejecting assistance from others as they felt they were being pitied by the concerned party. 
Of course if we decide to have a long term romantic union we would have to seek some sort of proffessional assistance in terms of navigating the possible stress issues, possible PrEP as prevention (for the negative partner as an option), treatment adherence for the positive partner, safer sex practices for both of us, maintaining faithfulness, conflict resolution skills and other related matters. 

Certainly it is easy writing about it than living it but let us raise the profile about this issue.

Peace and tolerance


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Church Opposes Gay Stigma On HIV/AIDS Advocacy

Jamaica Gleaner Company 

Byron Buckley,
REPRESENTATIVES OF UNAIDS are faced with the dilemma of how to enlist the support of local faith-based organisations (FBOs) in the HIV/AIDS prevention campaign without violating the institutions' doctrinal principles. A major stumbling block, which was identified in a recent consultation between church leaders and UNAIDS officials, is the traditional association of the HIV/AIDS messaging with gay-rights issues.

The views of the clerics are summed up in the comments by churchman Major Richard Cooke: "The perception is that the homosexuals have used AIDS to push their agenda. Allow the Church to speak to the church. When we feel that our help is linked to a gay agenda we do not want to be a part of it." The Rev Al Miller echoed similar sentiments: "Perception becomes reality. Changing the face of the historical sellers of the message of HIV prevention is an important and strategic move. We will, therefore, have to identify faces that can have broader appeal in order for us to be successful."

In other words, the clerics are suggesting that the gay-rights agenda has stigmatised the HIV/AIDS prevention programme, and, consequently, has alienated the religious community.

Ironic twist

This is an ironic twist, as it is the removal of stigma and discrimination from the HIV/AIDS prevention programme that is the goal of the local and international health-advocacy agencies. In fact, that was the purpose of the recent consultation between representatives of UNAIDS and FBOs. The discussions were informed by the findings of a Ministry of Health (MOH)-commissioned study of leaders of FBOs about the level of stigma and discrimination towards the most-at-risk populations (MARPs) in their organisations, including gay men, sex workers, prisoners and people living with HIV (PLHIV).

The study, which is based on a survey of 41 FBO leaders in 35 denominations across eight parishes, found that senior clerics considered it their "responsibility to uphold moral values and hold society accountable to those values." The findings continued: "Issues of faith and belief go deep and most FBOs have defined principles to which they adhere and which they consider divine and, therefore, are not open to discussion. A related finding is the faulty association of HIV/AIDS with sexual promiscuity (which is not always the case) by some church leaders and congregations.

Al Miller points to the dilemma: "If we are going to solve the problem, we cannot create another problem in order to solve it. We have to separate the issues of stigma and acceptance of behaviour. You have to be careful that you are not selling that 'this is good, this is normal, this is an acceptable lifestyle'."

It is this combination of doctrinal and moral principles that has presented a challenge to both FBOs and health advocates. Where do the twain meet? According to Garth Minott of the United Theological College, "The faith-based community needs to speak within itself. There are differing starting points and doctrinal issues at play here, but we all agree that we want to get to one solution." Keith Ellis, another churchman attending the recent consultation, argued that attitudinal change will not happen from the pulpit. He suggested that FBOs take the findings of the study and "communicate it in a way that is not offensive and is more palatable, such as with a message of love, respect, and compassion, then we can achieve progress."

Despite, their caution about doctrinal and moral issues, as well as their objection to twinning HIV/AIDS prevention messaging with gay rights activism, FBO leaders have expressed and demonstrated a willingness to support the overarching objective of helping to arrest the spread of the epidemic. This response was expressed during the consultation as well as the MOH study. "We need to change some of the language so that it shows the thin line of wisdom. "Let's push the message of 'test and treat' rather than 'stigma and discrimination'," suggested Rev Miller.

Indeed, the MOH study found that several FBOs were engaged at varying levels, in HIV/AIDS care. The report stated: "The attitude of FBO leaders towards persons of the MARPs were mainly favourable. Although they did not support behaviour contrary to their doctrines, they were supportive of rehabilitation of and practical assistance to vulnerable persons reached by their organisations. A few of the religious organisations actually operate facilities that care and counsel PLHIV.

So there is fertile ground for cooperation between the faith-based community and HIV/AIDS prevention advocates, and as the study has found congregations often become supportive of the programme based on exposure to real cases and education.

Byron Buckley is Associate Editor for The Gleaner. Send comments to

Study recommendations
Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for engaging the faith-based community in a more direct way into the national HIV/STI response.
Make funding available to the sector over the next two to three years for projects aimed at de-stigmatisation within FBOs and broadening their response to PLHIV and MARPS. Funding could also be used to train the FBO leaders themselves. Train sector over next one-two years focusing on the gaps identified from this research study.

Work through FBO umbrella organisations to develop appropriate training modules for seminary students at tertiary institutions to prepare them to deal with HIV/AIDS issues in their FBOs. Such training should explore the themes of stigma and discrimination, appropriate strategies and approaches for counselling those infected and affected by HIV; advocacy strategies for FBOs; behaviour change communication; national structures and supporting systems in the HIV response, etc.

Encourage/lobby each denomination/FBO to develop its own HIV policy that will be driven and implemented from the national level.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Guyana seeks public opinion on controversial laws ..............

Guyana is launching a national debate on whether to eliminate its death penalty and overhaul laws that discriminate against gays, lesbians and transgender people.

Town-hall-style meetings will be held across the socially conservative South American country as part of a promise that Guyana made to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The government plans to analyze public opinion before deciding whether it will submit any bills to revise current laws.

"Government has no line or position on the gay rights issue," Presidential Adviser Gail Teixeira told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "We will hold the consultations, and if the recommendation is to change the laws, then that will be taken into consideration."

The death penalty is common across the Caribbean, as are laws against cross-dressing and gay sex.

This programme was recorded and aired on Tuesday 28th March, 2012. The Government of Guyana has stated its intentions to conduct consultation on the repeal of the laws which discriminate against lesbian, gay , bisexual and trandgendered persons. 
This programme was convened by Hon Gail Teixeira MP, Advisor on Governance to the President. The programme features the discussion with Ms Texeira; Joel Simpson - Co Chairperson of SASOD; and Andrew Hicks, Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Guyana. The moderator is Mr Raymon Cummings. This recording was done by NCN Channel 11. 
The encoding and conversions were done by SASOD. Viewers might have to raise the volume on their computer speakers or use a headset if one is available.

The government said officials also plan to meet with leaders from Christian, Hindu and Islamic communities who represent Guyana’s most prominent religions. Many religious leaders in the country oppose legalization of homosexuality.

The independent Society Against Sexual Orientation and Discrimination said it will campaign to remove what it says are extremely discriminatory colonial-era laws.

"It is making criminals out of ordinary people," spokesman Joel Simpson said, noting that under current law, two consenting male adults could face a minimum of two years in prison for having sex in the privacy of their home.

Many Guyanese are opposed to the discussions because they want the current laws to remain untouched.

Rayon Griffith, a food vendor in the capital of Georgetown, said he already worries about gay and lesbian displays of affection on TV.

"I am worried that a whole generation is coming up thinking this is right," he said.

Others are opposed to abolishing the death penalty.

"We have a nation with criminals with warped minds," said Cranon Henry, a 41-year-old security guard. "Hanging will make criminals fear attacking people. Once they kill two or three of them, you will see how quickly the murder rate will go down."
National Security Minister Clement Rohee already has launched the debate on hangings via televised panel discussions that last up to one hour and allow for call ins. People also will be able to attend town halls on the issue later this month. No one has been hanged in Guyana since 1997 even though the law remains on the books. 

Nearly 30 prisoners are on death row.
Teixeira said the government will inform the U.N. in October about the results of the discussions even if they are still in progress.
"We are keeping our promise to consult with an open mind," she said.
(segments Courtesy of repeatislands)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The loss of a long-timer tragically ....................

The cruising community has been hit with a major loss this evening as news spread of the tragic passing of veteran diva affectionately known as "Portland" who was apparently stabbed to death and his partially decomposed body was found on a compound where he was temporarily located and tending to in Upper St. Andrew. He was identified at the morgue late yesterday and again today by other members of the community and influentials. He was said to have had multiple stab wounds all over and his infamous crown he normally sports on his teeth were missing along with other personal effects such as his cellphone which he usually has on his person. 

As tears streamed down his face and intermittent sobs a close friend of mine recounted his last interaction in Kingston this afternoon as I gathered information on this tragic news, he spoke with Portland only last Friday night at a regular hangout in the Half Way Tree area and they shared a joke or two as veterans in the business of cruising the areas and being successful at the art-form as I see it as only really skilled men who have sex with men can navigate Jamaica's caustic homophobic climate, foxy gay for pay hyper-masculine types and those who have sex with men but do not want to be labelled as "gay" as that comes with too much feminine associated pressure that challenges Jamaica's version of maleness and the most valued machismo. 

I came to know Portland from the late eighties to the nineties from his escapades on the streets, his run ins with others for territory or just daily life struggles before he left for London England where he stayed for several years before he returned to Jamaica and settled right at home returning to his regular taunts in Kingston predominantly and Portmore as well. One could easily ask him for a link to the heaviots (hypermasculine types) if one wanted or allow him to show the youngins entering the game the ropes he would often test them in his own terms, it was one of those hypermasculine types company he was last seen with according to my sources and persons who saw this particular man were not comfortable with him as his demeanour was not welcoming. 

It is strongly suspected that Portland was murdered some time Friday night to Saturday morning and the man in whose company he was last seen has not been spotted since news of the gruesome find has been making the rounds on the street. Last evening was quiet on the various strips as if in a kind of mourning the regulars remained low keyed according to the kids on the strip. My sobbing friend who recounted a trip to London on a British Airways flight where Portland created a scene on an air hostess who did not comply with a request he had made about his meal. He jokingly said Portland was real as the came (effeminate) on the flight and in no uncertain terms let the hostess have it in colourful Jamaican parlance. He was loved by those who knew him as his smile was also inviting with that infamous crown and black tam with that pom pom at the end he regularly wore to parties or on the street with shades, even at night. His fingers were often covered with rings as well be they gold or silver as he often interchanged them. He too also when he was able to assisted in offering hosting to to other displaced men who have sex with men in his hayday but he too fell on some ruff patches as his attempts to return to the UK were rocky. 

2011 we saw a myriad of problems with the cruising community of which Portland was a major player and which I tried to keep track of on my sister blog GLBTQJA on Wordpress 
which also saw a murder in the market district in West Kingston of a member of that community and who was left naked, further examination of the body showed he was buggered as well, the body was found near the Coronation market and was covered by the Jamaica Observer newspaper. 

Previous cruising posts and related matters:

Another geographic change blow dealt to the cruising community

Even as news came only late last month of a watchman (deceased photo above)in St Ann who was beheaded and the police surmising he was killed due to an argument with a male lover who he shared the home where he was killed, subsequent news casts have not mentioned the gay related reason even after finding his missing head some three miles away partially decomposed from his home. see the TVJ clip for this item HERE, since then a Howard Lincoln a former house-mate has been arrested and the cops are seeking another man in connection with the murder.

Already we see 2012 starting off on a bad note for LGBT Jamaicans. Was Portland killed by one of the gay for pay types or what here, we hope the investigations can shed some light on this case.

RIP brother Portland. 
Peace and tolerance.



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

Popular Posts

What I am reading at times ......

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