So a war of words has occurred between some advocates post the eviction notice of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, Jamaica Forum for Lesbian Allsexuals and Gays JFLAG and the other tenants of the property which they had held for over ten years plus by the previous owner as the property has been sold but we can easily deduce that the problematic homeless MSM issue is a major contributing factor for the sale, I had mentioned the eviction notice in my February 23, 2013 podcast on homelessness issues, the war of words has come over a simple use of a word "Eviction" as placed in a Facebook post by controversial lawyer Mr Maurice Tomlinson where he expressed the following but embedded in all of this are far more underlying points:
That J-FLAG has been evicted and is now homeless, just like the homeless gays in New Kingston. That gays were abused for daring to express themselves like everyone else during Carnival, and the Jamaican TV stations refused to air two “uptown” tolerance themed ads calling for respect for gay Jamaicans?
If nothing else, these events should confirm that the difference between the "Rich Queens" and the "Scary Queens" is just a myth. To Jamaicans, we are ALL the same thing: undesirable. We can only change their minds and achieve our liberation if we act TOGETHER!"
It is ironic in a sense as JFLAG have now found themselves displaced, the very thing that the homeless men in New Kingston have been made to suffer twice through their own episodes of family rejection from their homes and communities and then by the dubious closure of the Safe House Pilot project in 2009 where the rowdy behaviour of the men was used as a justified reason to end the only coordinated response to homelessness that took years in the making. Ironic too that Mr Tomlinson never really took such interest in matters of homeless welfare and fiduciary responsibility. Let us also bear in mind that new members join the group over the years hence the large numbers of them.
".....my thoughts on the matter is your choice of word “evicted”. J-FLAG was NOT EVICTED, Please Please... let us stick with the facts, any variation from what is factual we all know is a LIE. The owner of the premises have been contemplating selling the property for some time now.. for years I must say. When JASL first rented from Ms. ********* we were informed that she will be selling the property sometime soon, even though 10 years past. When JFLAG rented sometime in 2010 they signed a lease knowing that the property was going to go up for sale.
There is so much that can be inferred by your post and I want to haste to state that Ms. *********** and her Husband are strong supporter and advocate for our cause. They rented JFLAG knowing all about our work and the risks involved in having JFLAG as a tenant both from the community itself and the wider society."
Please, let stick with the FACTS and I am encouraging you to retract your statement and the use of the word EVICTED; the same person you are alleging that EVICTED JFLAG is currently actively helping JFLAG and JASL to find a new home... did you know that? Dane Christian, Ian McKnight , Jae Nelson, Ivan shanky Cruickshank... please correct me if I am wrong here please....... you guys will have the FACTS."
Mr Tomlinson responded:
"I have enjoyed this exchange, as it has revealed something quite interesting: we appear more interested in how J-FLAG was perceived to be treated, than how the homeless (evicted) youth have been. Curious."