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 MSM & Transgender persons especially teens in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project and 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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Urgent need for sex & sexuality to be discussed nationally

I decided to watch this one most carefully and listen to the contending views on this since the story first broke on Beyond The Headlines hosted by Dionne Jackson Miller on radio Jamaica, RJR on September 13 on the controversial Home Family Life Education Curriculum HFLE before I made a post on it, the curriculum that was first put together from as early as 2006 under the previous administration with training for teachers as late as this July of this year and is funded by overseas funders, Miss Jackson had two guidance counselors as guests who gave their opinions on the controversy which surrounded the questions on HIV status, anal sex and other issues supposedly targeted for seventh graders or 13 and 14 year olds. Only a small section of the over 350 page voluminous document (not online at this time) dealt with the subject matter that was deemed offensive however how the discourse has progressed over the passed days it would look like its the entire document that is problematic, the document also propose to have dealt with Sexual orientation, respect for persons regarding sexual orientation, self awareness, HIV and safer sex introduction, self efficacious planning, risk assessment etc some other pointers were that there maybe gay participants so teachers were reminded to choose their language carefully, one scenario supposedly was to ask students to imagine a world where it is normal to be gay and to be straight would be the other orientation and what would the world be in eyes of the students. Students would be asked to also research homosexuality, bisexuality and womanizing in Jamaica. There was some cloudiness as to how the guidelines should be disseminated in the classroom if via oral presentation or by written format.

One of the guests then on Beyond The Headlines was the Public Relations Officer for the Jamaica Association of Guidance Counselors and counselor at St Hilda's Kenasi Davis and a male guidance counselor from UTECH, The PRO from JAGC was at length to explain the curriculum was about life skills and who are students as a sexual being and the images they portray. She went on to say parents, board chairman and others have been trained over time but it was not cleared whether teachers facilitation of guidance counselors were to execute the manual's guidelines or the guidance counselors only, a fault that would later be addressed by clinical sexologist Dr. Karen Carpenter in the days that followed on various media outlets, let us also not forget this is coming in same breath as the attitudes towards homosexuality study funded by AIDSFREEWORLD and JFLAG which said 78% of Jamaicans are against repealing buggery and also the parenting policy to be formalized shortly. Also on the weekend September 15 was a "Love March" calling for the maintenance of the buggery law.

This was the first in a long time I have seen an issue LGBT related that got such coverage it was hard to keep up but here are some avenues below for us to review:

video

Here is the TVJ poll results on the night the story broke

Poll on teaching tolerance in Jamaican schools - 85% says no 15% says yes




Other discussions seem to want to impute motives of the gay lobby words such as "Conditioning" and "Orienting" by the Minister of Education whilst at the same time using tolerance, remember this is the same Reverend gentleman who was at the IDAHO event by JFLAG on May 17th professing inclusiveness as it were:









What was also shocking was the revelation by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education where she said on September 17th during nationwide's morning show with host Emily Crooks that the deputy and chief education officers never saw or reviewed or approved the curriculum before its release which has further made speculation high as to the motive of the sections in the manual and subsequent books that are aligned to the document.

Contentious Questions

Among the questions posed to students were: Have you ever had sexual intercourse? Have you ever had anal sex without a condom? What caused you to be a heterosexual? When and how did you first discover you were heterosexual? If you have never slept with a member of your own sex, is it possible you might be gay if you tried it? Why do heterosexuals seduce others into their lifestyle?

The book also instructed students to perform a number of exercises to better understand their sexuality.

Thwaites had noted that the content of the segment on Sexuality and Sexual Health of the curriculum, which was revised over a two-year period 2009-2011 and distributed to schools last September, was first brought to his attention on Thursday.

"Frankly, I think there is some hidden agenda at work that's why they are targeting that age group, and if we don't put our foot down and stand for what we know is right, we're going to lose our children to slackness," Michael Watt, a father of three, noted.

In his statement, Thwaites said, "The family life values espoused by the Ministry of Education are those based on the Christian principles of sexual morality as well as compassion and tolerance for all persons."

Here is the Minister of Education's statement:


I HAVE BEEN MADE AWARE OF WIDESPREAD PUBLIC CONCERN ABOUT CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE HEALTH AND FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION PROGRAMME (HFLE), CURRICULUM USED IN JAMAICAN SCHOOLS. THERE IS STRONG OBJECTION TO SOME OF THE QUESTIONS ON SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR AND THE COMMENTARY ON HETEROSEXUALITY/HOMOSEXUALITY.
THE PUBLIC SHOULD NOTE:
- THE CURRICULUM WAS REVISED OVER A TWO (2) YEAR PERIOD 2009-2011 AND DISTRIBUTED TO SCHOOLS LAST SEPTEMBER
- THE CONTENT OF THE THEME ON SEXUALITY & SEXUAL HEALTH WAS BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION FOR THE FIRST TIME YESTERDAY (SEPTEMBER 13).
- I CONSIDER SECTIONS OF THE MATERIAL INAPPROPRIATE FOR ANY AGE AND CERTAINLY FOR THE GRADE 7 & 8 STUDENTS FOR WHICH IT IS DESIGNED.
- I HAVE INSTRUCTED THAT THE MATERIAL BE WITHDRAWN FROM ALL SCHOOLS AND REWRITTEN THEN REDISTRIBUTED SO AS TO PREVENT DISRUPTION OF THE HEALTH & FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION INSTRUCTION.
THE FAMILY LIFE VALUES ESPOUSED BY THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION ARE THOSE BASED ON THE CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES OF SEXUAL MORALITY AS WELL AS COMPASSION AND TOLERANCE FOR ALL PERSONS.
THE HEALTH & FAMILY LIFE CURRICULUM WAS DEVELOPED FOR CARIBBEAN SCHOOLS UNDER THE AUSPICES OF UNICEF, UNFPA, NATIONAL HIV PROGRAMME, NATIONAL FAMILY PLANNING BOARD, MINISTRY OF HEALTH, DISPUTE RESOLUTION FOUNDATION AND THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DRUG ABUSE.
more materials for review:
video


video

As mentioned Dr Karen Carpenter Jamaica's leading board certified Clinical Sexologist sought to bring some clarity to the issue 


Here is more anti gay rhetoric in light of the curriculum controversy on NEWSTALK's Evening Edition plus my two cents rolled into one.


Clearly after all this bru ha ha it is clear in my eyes that we must address sex and sexuality and not just sexual reproduction as it taught in schools as guidance counseling and also in the church on a whole, we cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand and not address sexual orientation, pycho social, psycho sexual and initiation in youngsters, the old methods will simply not work with this generation as the experts including Dr Karen Carpenter has brought to bear in this important discussion, it is the failure of the education system overall for generations that lead to ignoramus reactions like this to a simple small section of a larger curriculum which for the most part is non problematic. I will agree the questions causing the problems may not have been age appropriate for the 14 year olds it may have been more in line with persons over the age of consent, 16 year olds but what about those under that age who are already sexually active?




I also think the Minister of Education is conflicted this time around as a Reverend and Minister in one, what about the separation of church and state, theocracy? is he trying to pander to the religious movement by virtue of him being a man of the cloth and yet he has been held accountable for espousing tolerance.

Much to consider.

UPDATE 25/09/12

Teachers' Association wants clarification on HFLE curriculum 



also see Dr Heather Little-White's take recently: 

Sexuality Education ... To Teach Or Not To Teach?


Latest update October 31, 2012

click: Not enough, Minister Thwaites 

also my latest audio commentary/podcast:




also see: Urgent need to discuss Sex & sexuality nationally part 2

Peace and tolerance

H

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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 realise the issue he held so dear in his time was treated with such disrespect and dishonour. Have LGBT NGOs lost their way and are so mainstream they have forgotten their true calling?

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

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

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

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

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 .....

When Arrested and taken to a Police Station you have the right to:

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.

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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: glbtqjamaica@live.com or Tel: 1-876-8134942 (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: 1-876-8134942
lgbtevent@gmail.com








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