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

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Murder, Homelessness and fallouts ..................................

This Post is subject to periodical Update(s)

Sad news again has come this time to a group under the msm umbrella who have been seriously overlooked by the advocacy structures mainly JFLAG, where we now have two murders.

Condolences to their friends and family (if they really care) but this raises serious concerns about MSM homelessness in Jamaica.
Five days ago the post immediately preceding this entry spoke to msm homelessness and a confirmed murder of a relatively new comer that population in the New Kingston area by Dumfries Road with other incidents no one else bothered to mention at a another site where substance abusers and commercial sex workers gather while a buggery matter was of concern in the same vicinity but sometime between last evening June 12th to June 13th on the opposite side of New Kingston again where another open area where substance abusers and msms also hang out was the scene of a brutal murder of two members of the population which some sensationalism from members of the public as news spread and both major television stations carried the story.

here is the TVJ version or HERE on their website

The men were found partially dressed and having female underwear allegedly, also stones with what appeared to be skin and blood tracings on them. One eyewitness suggested that some serious struggle took place based on the blood and scattered clothing with some personal effects on the scene. The police surmise jealousy as a motive for the killing as they were said to be attacked by their assailants. I do not buy that story about jealousy based on information garnered from other members of the population and the fact that a third man who was on the scene also escaped the alleged attack at the time but as we know the truth will come out sooner or later in matters such as this. The typical belief for many Jamaicans over the decades is that murdered gay men are usually killed due to jealousy hence the motive presented by the cops I fear.

here is the CVM nightly news version, the midday news version was not so detailed

 In the distance you can make out the usually contracted undertakers for crime scenes preparing the bodies for removal from the site as a crowd had gathered curiously to see the men apparently.

One of the last entries made by one of the friends close to one of the deceased via his Facebook account who had been going through issues with other family members and community members where he commented that he was going through so much pain, just a hint of the troubles the guys go through, I needn't remind you my readers my position on the lack of proper interventions by the respective LGBT organizations and groups in regards to homelessness, the previous post should bring to bear a reminder and a timeline as to how we got here. We should not have had to wait until we have two gruesome murders to now hear talk by some that homelessness needs to be looked at while apologists continue to say that JFLAG does not have the resources to deal with those issues yet we spending on other lesser activities even in the face of a growing population of displaced LGBT persons predominantly young MSM.

also see an updated post on GLBTQ Jamaica on Wordpress: 

JFLAG’s needs to accept some responsibility for the Trafalgar Murders ….. homelessness not properly addressed

Coincidentally Television Jamaica, TVJ carried a story on Patricia House (a substance abuse rehab centre next door to JASL) that offered residential services for persons yet with all the powerful LGBT agencies and related NGOs we have no such facility for our MSM in particular and very little psycho social support if even by referrals. It was also disturbing to know that many of the JFLAG staff or operatives did not even know who the persons were though there are popular on the party social scenes and elsewhere, this strongly confirms how out of touch and disinterested the structure is in addressing homelessness and displacement and may just plan to use this as another springboard to put themselves forward as our defenders, typical, more on that below.

Meanwhile last evening as well we also lost a favourite on the social scene who was almost decapitated in the Havendale area, affectionately known a 'ronica his body was found after eight in the evening when his friend returned from shopping for a gas cylinder, the other guest who was in the deceased company was missing from the scene. There is a photo of the body that I will not post here. As the news made the rounds however many were shocked as they could not believe and concerns about cruising were brought to attention but unfortunately all that was overshadowed by the murder of the aforementioned men from as early as the midday news on both major television stations and major newspapers online editions. My sources confirmed pretty early as they were on the scene as the news broke and they too assisted the police in identifying the bodies.

here is the Gleaner's take -

also according to the Gleaner THE POLICE last night were still searching for leads into the death of two men whose bodies were found in an open lot along Trafalgar Road, St Andrew, yesterday morning.

"We are yet to know the identities of the men, the cause of death, or what really happened. We are conducting an investigation into the incident as we speak," a police source told The Gleaner.
According to the police, just after 8 a.m. yesterday, they received reports that two bodies were in bushes in an open lot near the stop light by Lady Musgrave and Trafalgar roads.

On arrival on the scene, they discovered the bodies at different locations in the lot, lying in a pool of blood.
The police said one of the bodies was lying face down with a gaping wound to the forehead, while the other was face up with a wound to the left eye. The police said they appeared to be chopped and stoned to death.

"It appears that people have been living in this lot because we found bedding, tarpaulins, doors, cardboard and cooking utensils. This is an area known to be frequented by drug addicts and prostitutes," one police officer said.

The population of homeless and displaced men for the most part has been an issue ever since the closure of the Safe House Pilot project as formed under Jamaica AIDS Support for Life with its offshoot Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays, JFLAG and the splintering on the men on the streets the very place the program was to have kept the men off the streets in 2010, the rowdy behaviour of the men was a concern but was used as an excuse by the then board of JASL to close end the program but the casualty was the Executive Director at the time who sanctioned and instituted the initiative as she was not a "yes man" or lady in this case to a board and its former powerful chairman who also happened to wear several hats in LGBT and HIV advocacy and activism which they still wear. Such is the messy set up of the advocacy structures that well needed interventions that do not meet the approval of or deemed unimportant in the scheme of things by personalities and bodies are scrapped despite their urgent relevance and the pilot project was not the only one. Without going into too much of the mess the sad part about all this death and uncaring is that all this could have been avoided if some sort of residential or semi residential program was continued and tweaked with the problem plagued Safe House Pilot that was stopped in 2010. The men have been languishing on the city streets since with new additions as more msms are marginalized and ostracized by family members.

It would be interesting to hear officially what the representative groups (and their apologists) are going to say and what measures will be taken to finally address the roaming homeless msm populations barring press releases as per usual, the populations which not only exist in Kingston but also St Catherine, St James and St Ann in growing numbers as well. Pardon my cynicism in this matter readers but some of us have come to understand the convenience at which public though tragic incidents like this are used as spring boards for certain agencies to come with pomp and ceremony to present themselves in elaborate public relation campaigns as if they care and are doing this yeoman service for what is expected to be a gullible lgbt community and we all sure cheer from the gallery and be grateful. We are reminded ever so often that there are no resources or requisite funding available to do these important programs and interventions but we see other activities that just on the face of it would cost money as well done post-haste in some instances.

When is the contemptuous treatment of our MARPS, oops I forgot only the experts use such acronyms, I mean most at risk populations going to stop? 
The perception by some persons that the men and the popular 'ronica also get themselves in trouble by supposedly inducing heterosexual men or more appropriately down low men (heaviots) into sexual acts that lead to violence from the same persons maybe true in certain respects but there are other issues related to identity, self acceptance, gay for pay and effemophobia that are too long to be included in this post at this time but there are other references via this and other blogs, certainly the loss of these two persons has brought into sharp focus the ever expanding issues surrounding men who have sex with men, let us hope we use the time and opportunity wisely and not lapse into complacency once again as we are used to the nine day wonder phenomenon.

Here is an audio commentary on the timeline leading to the early homelessness issues after the controversial closure of the Safe House Pilot Project and the resignation of the then Executive Director of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, JASL leading to the re-displacement and subsequent homelessness if you will of the msm hence their scattering leading to the present situation over the past two years:

JFLAG has since put out the expected press release as it always does which included: "It is unconfirmed but we understand that there is a list circulating with names of persons who are being targeted. We encourage persons to avoid certain areas, events, travelling by public transport and generally being in spaces where we feel unsafe. Travel in groups if you can. Constantly be aware of your surroundings and report any and all violations you witness or experience to the police.

Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us at 875-2328 or 376-2021 ."

Ok so there is this threat but how are the homeless men themselves be told this when it is they who are the real victims here, is the J finally going to go out there as they ought to have been doing all these years after sanctioning the closure of the previous homeless project and leaving the men to fend for themselves and engage the populations finally? I think not. It is just sad that this is where we are in as far as real work in the trenches are concerned. A fundamental question comes to mind: If The J knew of murders within the last three months why did it have to take this last well covered incident by the press for them to finally cough up a press release?

Frankly JFLAG and its parent Jamaica AIDS Support for Life are culpable in some respects and have blood on their hands, they have failed to properly serve the least amongst us, why didn't they engage the homeless groups as they ought to? They must accept some of the responsibility in all this and to now put out another press release from conveyor belt is not enough and trying to cover their aloofness.

UPDATE (June 15)
JFLAG along with Dr. Leachim Semaj (anti gay psychologist) and Orville Taylor public commentator appeared in the Radio Jamaica, RJR radio program "Beyond the Headlines" hosted by Dionne Jackson Miller but just by listening it was clear the J is using this to present themselves as credible while clearly out of touch with the homeless and displaced populations, this is indeed sad while Dr Semaj as per usual hinted to murders of gay men being caused by jealousy, he usually uses his appearances regarding this subject matter to present this point.

Suspect Held: aired on TVJ June 14th

Now comes news of an intersexed victim in Old Harbour: 

The St Catherine South police are searching for the killer(s) of a hermaphrodite, whose body was found in bushes in Old Harbour Bay yesterday.

Dead is Shannel Campbell, a 20-year-old labourer of Old Harbour Bay.
Reports from the Old Harbour Bay police are that about 10 a.m., the decomposing body of Campbell was found in bushes near an area known as Terminal. Campbell was last seen in the company of a male.

An on-the-spot post-mortem revealed that Campbell had male and female sex organs and that death was caused by a blow with a blunt object.
"It basically means that he got a blow to the head and died as a result," an investigator said
Police had not identified any suspects or established a motive for the killing.

Meanwhile Mark Sangumetti of a Waltham Park address in Kingston has been charged with the double killing of the homeless men. 

He was charged yesterday June 24 for two counts of murder. 
The bodies of 19-year-old Winston Ramsey also known as ‘Blacks’ and 20-year-old Jermaine Thompson also called ‘Avatar’ were found in bushes at the stoplight at the corner of Lady Musgrave and Trafalgar roads on June 13. 

The police had reported that several bloodied stones were found close to the bodies which also had chop wounds. 

 .... also of note the somewhat hypocritical concerns in a Gleaner letter entitled Gays Being Attacked Left, Right And Centre by a former board member of one of the organizations responsible for the closure of the previous Safe House pilot project, why aren't the organizations including JFLAG not addressing MSM homelessness  and are they waiting for deaths and abuse to stand on ceremony with these atrocities? Questions to ponder. 

Here is an audio summary after doing some leg work to confirm the story:
   (June 25, 2012 Update)

Here was the original murder of another homeless MSM as reported in the Star News on May 25 2012 this was not reported anywhere else as far as I have checked and JFLAG was silent on this one as well. 

Mutilated body found

The mutilated body of an unidentified man rumoured to be a homosexual was discovered on Dumfries Road in New Kingston about 8 a.m. yesterday by passers-by on their way to work.

News of the find started to spread across New Kingston like wildfire and THE WEEKEND STAR was informed by a source that scores of people came to the scene trying to get a glimpse of the body which was said to be sporting a gold chain.

According to reports, the scantily dressed body was discovered lying face down in a section of a gully which runs under the roadway and the police were notified.

THE WEEKEND STAR arrived as the body was being removed. Workman on a nearby worksite suggested that the man was a homosexual but could not say why he was killed.

A staff member from an establishment on Dumfries Road told THE WEEKEND STAR that she was almost late for work because of the chaos from the scene.
She said, "From yuh look at di man you can tell he was a homosexual ... you want see how him dress up. Mi tired fi come a work and hear say body find bout di place ... dem must take Dumfries Road for a dump."

When THE WEEKEND STAR contacted the New Kingston Police Post, the station commander confirmed that an unidentified body was found.

He also said, "The body could have been placed there overnight, however, the discovery was made this morning. The body had multiple chops, no motive has since been established and investigation into the matter continues."

Peace and tolerance


click the "Homeless MSM in Jamaica" tab immediately below for previous entries on the subject

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Homeless population continues to spiral .....

While we complain or some choose to complain supposedly on our behalf that the mainstream stigmatizes us as lgbt people, ignore us and our call for rights and tolerance, homophobia and homo-negativity yet the least amongst us get ignored overlooked by the noveau intelligentsia and the powers that be in Jamaican advocacy, but who cares? we hand elitism and the very stigma in a box with a large pink bow while telling them to take it and it is getting really sickening, so much so to the point that the homeless have been ignored by the policy crafters in our advocacy and no serious interventions have been contemplated let alone considered to be continued where they were started much to the detriment of the populations themselves but they are presented as most at risk populations MARPS in discourse as if there is any genuine concern to assist them out of their plight. 

We see the occasional press updates on vulnerable groups and supposed concerns yet no serious moves and interventions with all the access to funding to deal with chiefly in this case LGBT homelessness and predominantly MSM homelessness in this country which has passed chronic proportions, Facebook fallouts leading to exposure and forced evictions, other family issues leading to the same outcomes, economic issues on the national level leading to joblessness and hopelessness as other mitigating factors influencing homelessness and displacement.

For historical purposes we can track all this downward movement from 2010 such as this Observer expose:

Rowdy gays banned by J-FLAG, JSL with the subsequent damage control from the agencies attempting to pass the blame to government to provide shelter for homeless msms when we know they will do no such thing, also I suggest you replay the audio commentary posted above where the men's bad behaviour was sneaked in as a reason to not engage them yet we have so many behaviour change experts who ought to have lent some expertise in solving this crisis. Also the closure of the Safe House pilot project which folded due to so called bad behaviour by the men at the time, a disinterested position has been taken since that closure and more so after the two day insurrection the men launched on Jamaica AIDS Support for Life and JFLAG which led to further distancing by both organizations and their operatives towards the population.

More on the civil disobedience episode(s):

MSM employ Civil Disobedience to get Board's Attention ....

Homeless MSM to feel the pinch as JASL issues ultimatum

The dark side to the homeless issue .............. (second civil disobedience action by the homeless msm)


Homeless MSMs Saga Timeline 28.08.11

The numbers have been increasing in Kingston and St. Andrew alone in 2012 while other city centres have been seeing marked increases in the roaming groups from various parts of the island showing up with some awful consequences. Profiling, public humiliation, their own anti social behaviours causing unwanted attention, beatings and now murder. Last evening I was able to confirm a murder of a member of the MSM homeless community, which occurred in New Kingston Tuesday of this week, this is the same area nearing the substance abuse communities in New Kingston a member of that community also was stabbed several times in what seems a strange of circumstances, it would seem that some would want this issue to simply go away and it not be raised and followed up but until we really become cognizant of the fact that the least amongst us are really the ones who are the marginalized. Unconfirmed reports also suggest a member of the group that had gone into hiding after the 15 plus mobbing by the Green Gables theatre strip has also been killed in the new Kingston area as well, some strange circumstances surround the populations in recent times.

Another member who ran afoul of the law in a stabbing incident of another community member is now languishing in a jail cell as charges are laid, another reported beating in New Kingston nearing the old Superplus store now being refurbished where the workmen at the site have been very aggressive towards the men and the cross dressers who traverse the area despite repeated abuse and homo-negativity. The Kingston group also have been scattered as indicated in the last post on homelessness where a mobbing took place in the Green Gables theatre area leading to persons sustaining bruises and a follow up incident in Half Way Tree. 

See more HERE on that post and or 

MSM Homelessness back in the spotlight ............

In that previous post also the populations in St. Catherine who were booted from a house they illegally occupied have now found themselves in problems with the supposed underworld in the parish as threats have been issued for them to lay low.

Western Jamaica has seen its share of challenges with the populations as well, where a leading community figure who supported a shelter program of sorts for the men and cross dressing communities was arrested for alleged lotto scamming activity which has sent a serious blow to the assistance which while not formalized had an impact in keeping the individuals at bay at the house they were staying thus avoiding public exposure and getting into problems. It is as if the men do not exist in the realms of advocacy, no mention of them comes on social networking only a string of narcissistic presentations of caring with a stinging smugness that is disturbing. Other influentials have now abandoned in a way this groups, yes I understand the anti social behaviours of the men is a cause for concern and has been a magnet for some of the troubles the men themselves encounter but do we look at the bigger picture in solving this set of serious community challenges that now have proven to be life threatening. The circumstances surrounding the murder of the young man in New Kingston is cloudy but word has getting around with some negative responses that the man deserved his demise as he was a battyman and the usual anti gay comments. St. Ann and Portland have seen some issues as well as influentials in those neck of the woods have been expressing concerns of perceived young members of the community meeting some challenges including verbal abuse and displacement.

We must not forget the set of circumstances in this sordid history in regards to homelessness and the treatment of the populations by those who say they defend lgbt rights which if we are to be honest we MUST question what are the motives behind the existence of groups if not to serve the community in its entirety and not overlook those who are in the highest place of need, the very same stigma and discrimination we complain about as hinted to in my introduction. 

To burrow an old Star News Headline that rings so true to this day and even in the commercial sex arena there are other mitigating circumstances affecting MSMs who engage in this income earning activity only two weeks ago a male couple was caught in the act allegedly by cops and were charged in a popular strip but the female CSWs who were present and who may have known of the transaction have been coming under pressure from the authorities with increased patrols and interrogation suggesting the women are supporting same sex activity in public. 

There must be some serious solutions to begin to put a dent in this chronic problem, no quick fix or even well rounded set of interventions won't solve this instantaneously and with the behaviour challenges the men themselves present it is not going to be easy in breaking the cycle and assisting them through some self efficacious planning of their own making towards an emancipated state of mind and being. A half way house or drop in centre as suggested by some readers and influentials is patch work as far as I am concerned it makes no sense we have these alternatives without long term rehabilitation supported by a strong psycho social support base of services and activities for the populations themselves to become engaged in. The devil finds work for idle hands eh?

Much to ponder on.

Peace and tolerance


click the "Homeless MSM in Jamaica" tab immediately below for previous entries on the subject

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Woman defends gender non conformist in Mandeville


Well a look at a slow but positive emerging phenomenon in Jamaica where ordinary citizens are now speaking from a place of tolerance and openly so is what I want us to focus on in this post, following an incident in Mandeville Manchester that was carried as a snippet on CVM TV June 4th. Judging by the reactions online and on Facebook on this clip it is clear we have a long way to go to reach some steadying of tolerance towards LGBT people and as in this case gender non conformists who present as same in public spaces.

There was a mobbing of sorts just some time before the news team from CVM TV arrived but it was cleared by the police as the individual in question who was the subject of the attack ran into the precinct for rescue, they have since gone about their private business. I was particularly pleased of the woman who spoke on camera and she was careful to trod the gender role as she saw the individual in question aesthetics. 

Judging by the opening shot of the video and the male citizen making his comments we also see we still have some work to do especially in that part of the island as was evidenced some years ago when an accused molester/buggerer was jeered at the steps of the courthouse after a much publicized incident involving himself and a teenager in a popular fast food store as captioned in the photo above, here we saw a police woman clearing the way so as to allow the accused who was handcuffed to be taken into to building for his preliminary hearing, see: 

Crowd gather at Mandeville Courthouse for Trade show man charged with indecent assault on 13yo boy

also we could go further to 2004 at that infamous funeral service of my dear friend Kirk Lester in which I was in attendance and it was stoned by angry residents, Manchester has developed an awful reputation as one of those parishes that is very hostile to perceived homosexuals, cross dressers and now added to the list gender non-conformists. The homeless MSM community also has been having its share of problems with profiling in Mandeville as well as there is a small population that has been struggling for some time and who have been pointed out by citizens in the town. 

The change however or accepting persons despite their perceived orientation or gender nonconformity is also welcomed but it is going to take some time yet to sink in.

Meanwhile ........

A shooting incident in St Catherine on June 3 has had many in the Walks Road and surrounding area puzzled, a man reportedly of unsound mind went to take a bath at a popular canal water way along the Spanish Town bypass end, he allegedly made the mistake of removing all his clothes to refresh himself in the cool waters as it is extremely hot these days but was attacked by a group of men nearby who accused him of being gay as he was not to have bathed openly nude infront of other men, the attack led to a gun being brought into play and he was shot in the stomach, he was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery. 

A reprisal shooting was said to have taken place in the same vicinity as carried by CVM News subsequently but this brings into sharp focus the stereotypes and perceptions that can lead to anti gay related violence even if the victim is not a member of the lgbt community, the man could have easily been killed and nothing may have come out of it as may have occurred in times before. Another questionable shooting incident involving a doctor in Mandeville as well has many persons puzzled as the deceased was stabbed several times and found nude in his bathroom while his Lexus motor car was found in East Kingston partially burn out and several personal effects missing from the home. A man known only as OJ from Eltham Park in Spanish Town was a main suspect. 

Many in the parish suspect fowl play indeed with a gay twist but this one has been kept under raps due to the prominence of the goodly doctor it seems. We have lost several prominent persons since this year as highlighted in previous posts, the trend is worrying to me and other influentials as many of the deceased were the last we expected to have fallen by this awful method.

Please be vigilant out there folks.

Peace and tolerance


Are Lubes Safe for Rectal Use? Next Steps for Researchers and Advocates ..............

Hello readers,

One more resource for you on lubricant safety – and next steps for researchers and advocates.

Check out this excellent presentation by Marc-André LeBlanc at the Microbicides 2012 meeting (April 2012)

Thanks to blogger Jim for sharing this important presentation, images only shared for preview purposes

Monday, June 4, 2012

Corporate AIDS Donors Shy Away From Gay Stigma

by Byron Buckley

IT APPEARS that the stigmatisation of HIV/AIDS as a disease related to homosexuality is driving corporate donors away from funding a private sector-led initiative to sustain the national programme to combat the spread of the epidemic.

The Jamaica Business Council on HIV/AIDS (JaBCHA) National Foundation, led by retired insurance executive Earl Moore, is having a hard time getting buy-in from corporate Jamaica. Since its establishment last year, the foundation has raised a drop in the bucket - $6 million - towards its annual target of $500 million.

Current contributors to the JaBCHA Foundation include Scotiabank, Jamaica National Building Society, Sandals, Guardian Life, LASCO, LIME, Flow and CVM TV.

"I believe some corporate leaders are reluctant to support the foundation's fund-raising efforts because they associate HIV/AIDS with homosexuality," reasons Mr Moore. "So, it's not a priority."

The situation is grave in light of the impending withdrawal of Global Funds, which contributed 60 per cent of the estimated annual expenditure of $1.3 billion on Jamaica's HIV/STI programme in 2010. Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson recently disclosed a US$3.2-billion price tag to implement the national HIV/STI programme for the next 18 years.

First detected in 1982, HIV is now present in all of Jamaica's parishes, while Kingston, St Andrew, and St James - the three most urbanised parishes - have the majority of cases. UNAIDS estimates 27,000 people in Jamaica are infected with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), and men and women aged 20-44 account for 65 per cent of reported AIDS cases.

attempt to raise funds

Seized with the dire social implications of the lack of access to treatment for PLWHA if funding is not in place, the JaBCHA National Foundation has set out to raise $1 billion over two years. The funding is aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and care for PLWHA by 2015.

The false morality of employers is worrying because they fail to appreciate the negative impact on the economy if the epidemic is allowed to go unchecked.

As Earl Moore notes, "The high-risk age group, 20-44, is also our labour force's most productive years."

From a humanitarian perspective, the attitude of corporate donors will doom the fate of innocent babies whose HIV-infected mothers will transmit the disease to them at birth. The uncharitable attitude of corporate Jamaica could also result in blighting the future of perhaps a 30-year-old secretary or a 40-year-old salesman who became HIV infected after an episode of unprotected sex. Lack of corporate giving could also block access to life-saving ART from a corporate executive who was infected with HIV by her unfaithful husband.

The fact is, Jamaica needs to stop being an international mendicant and start dealing with its own social problems.

According to World Bank official Dr Shiyan Chao in an October 2010 speech, Jamaica's national HIV/STI programme depends largely on external financial support, unlike in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, as well as St Kitts and Nevis, where they are predominately financed from domestic revenue.

manning the front line

It must also be noted that The Bahamas' national programme is solely financed by the private sector. In light of the austerity Budget tabled recently by Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips, the onus is going to be on the private sector and civil society to man the front line in the battle against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In fact, a strategic goal of UNAIDS is to pursue "innovative financing mechanisms, as well as partnerships with micro-philanthropy ventures, engaging youth and leveraging new social media".

It is important, for example, for the entertainment industry, the media and faith-based organisations engage in fund-raising to support the national HIV/STI programme.

The unenlightened attitude by some corporate entities betrays the significant work done by JaBCHA, since its inception in 2006 under the umbrella of the Jamaica Employers' Federation, to promote HIV/AIDS best practices in the workplace. This is in tandem with the government-led national HIV/STI programme.

Indeed, the 10 key principles that address HIV in the World of Work, developed by the International Labour Organisation, are part of the draft HIV Workplace Policy template being used by government and private-sector bodies.

Since 2006, eight ministries and 217 private-sector companies have received technical assistance from workplace technical officers to develop and establish their HIV workplace policies.

Byron Buckley is associate editor of The Gleaner. Email feedback to and

The Jamaica Business Council on HIV and AIDS was established by 21 private-sector companies in September 2006.

The council represents the voice of the business sector in HIV-related workplace issues.

JaBCHA currently has 50 members and is growing.


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