To think that the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, CVCC was founded by powerful LGBT voices and other advocates back in the day in 2004 but as it turns out it is just another feeding tree it seems to “experts” in the HIV/LGBT field towards HIV more so than welfare and rehabilitation work for lives interrupted.
It cannot be just about capacity building for NGOs and civil society and the holy grail of Global Fund that leads to persons with/groups improved capacity going to nowhere while the very groups/affected populations that they serve sit in extended crisis with very little action to address some of the challenges in a real way.
The recent JFJ Sex Ed fiasco and the Professor Bain conflict of interest/affidavit UWI contract matter has lifted the lid for some persons as to what it is all about but deep mistrust now surrounds what was a well intentioned entity that has been turned into something completely different. Now we see the very own conflict of interest within the CVCC/JFJ themselves making the LGBT struggle look so discoloured and setting us back immensely, while they rightfully pointed out the conflict that obtained in Bain's testimony and his heading the CHART program.
LGBT agencies/NGOs seem to be always shooting themselves in the foot.
I find it remarkable and many other persons are now asking as the present impasse unfolding has opened the eyes of such and raised the spectre of the anti gay groups who are now resolved to block any moves on a supposed gay agenda why did the CVCC address homelessness all these years? ..... since they have so much money to be taking risks to bypass the Child Development Agency, CDA,and the ministry of youth & culture seeing that the relevant legislation asks for such engagement; then to allegedly pay the six private run children’s homes as reported in the Jamaica Observer June 26 2014 while the Kingston homeless LGBT population issues scream for attention especially since a Channel 4 UK documentary has exposed the issue worldwide, so much so that the Member of parliament for the area Julian Robinson has come out in some supposed call for help obviously due to embarrassment since the film’s airing.
And to think the issue of LGBT homelessness was in fact addressed only by reference by one of the CVCC’s own videos on its website with none other than the former Executive Director of Jamaica AIDS Support Miss Stacy Ann Jarrett under whose tenure prior to her forced resignation by the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life’s Board that also had key CVCC management and board members sitting on it the Safe House Pilot Project for homeless MSM/Trans youth was launched but abruptly closed prior to its three month tenure in the pilot phase. See her take on the matter HERE
Pay close attention to the list of organizations @ 5:50 yet we have so much homeless LGBT youth out there and all that is done is nice public relations. Talk Talk Talk!
MSM"The Caribbean is well known for its homophobia but remains the home to a large community of men who have sex with men, some of whom identify as gay, others who identify as bisexual, and still others who accept neither label. Countries such as the Dominican Republic, Curaçao and Trinidad and Tobago are home to standing gay bars and clubs as well as NGOs serving the gay and bisexual populations.
Other countries, such as the smaller island-states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have smaller and more underground groups. In recent years, however, there has been increasing mobilisation of men who have sex with men in these territories.
Jamaica by far has earned a reputation for being the most violently homophobic country in the region. Its Dancehall music came in for much scrutiny during an international campaign in which the lyrics of some entertainers who promoted homophobic violence, including murder, was sanctioned. While many in Jamaica denied the claims of the activists throughout the Americas, Europe and the UK that the calls for the killing of gay men were intentional, the publication in 2004 of Human Rights Watch report, “Hated to Death”, laid bare the violent exclusion and extreme vulnerability faced by gay and bisexual men in Jamaica, often with the support of the judicial system, especially the police. Defenders of Jamaica’s record point to a broad culture of violence, arguing that gay men are not singled out but are caught up the waves of violence that typify Jamaican life, especially in its capital, Kingston.
The rest of the Caribbean has a much better track record in regards to homophobia, although discrimination is commonplace. Calypso music, traditionally the music of Carnival fun, has also seen its fair share of homophobic music, including a track produced by veteran Trinidadian music producer Alvin Daniel chanting “we don’t want no chi-chi man in di fete” and taken up by Barbados super group Square One. The Dutch and French Caribbean are far more tolerant that their Spanish and English counterparts.
The situation for young men who have sex with other men is particularly dangerous because of the pressure to conform to heterosexuality often combined with isolation from family and community."
I am not surprised as even when some of the men who were housed at the now defunct Safe House under JASL were evicted from Cargill Avenue in front the Green Gables theatre by the police and truck man from instructions from the land owner in 2012 the CVCC which is located just yards from the lot said nothing in regards to the issues surrounding the men, when TVJ’s All Angles shot a full length feature on the men at the same location and further northwards no word came from the CVCC. The closure of the Green Gables bar for example after several squabbles with some of the homeless men and the men crediting drinks without payment and other matters including a homophobic attack in front the building which is located beside the CVCC rented offices and ASHE yet not a word came from them or any public concern shown in addressing the challenges over the many years.
As the eviction notice came into effect in 2009 of the original residence of the Safe House Pilot located at 4 Upper Musgrave Avenue the CVCC said nothing due to the fact that its management are also on the board of Jamaica AIDS Support who eventually kicked out the men due to “rowdy behaviour” when the psycho-social component written into the project were not activated as its lifespan was shortened. Lest we forget JFLAG was also quiet and watched the very forced eviction activity that caused many of the men to be on the road in the first place actually carried out without any moral outcry from within to the men simply because of indiscipline from some of them, what is greater behaviour change by their own recognizance or proper psycho-social interventions with self efficacious activity towards the very behaviour change?
The present Dwayne’s House proposal that is only doing remote assistance work under the chairmanship of Yvonne McCallah Sobers of Families Against State Terrorism, FAST and some other pretentious Reverend folks could have done well with some of that funding that went to JFJ and the children’s homes and for all intents and purposes has gone down the drain while damaging the hard fought gains made in the LGBT struggle over these past forty years, psychologically it feels like we are regressed some twelve years as old dormant anti gay sentiments have been reawakened as all kinds of motives are being promulgated by the way the sex education course delivery was handled yet our own (and the numbers are growing) suffer daily right before our eyes as powerful more privileged advocates as it were do work in irrelevant spheres. When the Couture Elements team and the Underlined Response outfit where launched the CVCC and JFLAG were invited to which they never came, the subsequent short lived drop in feeding program also never got any support from the more powerful and monied types such as CVCC/COIN yet they say they represent vulnerable groups.
I know the response in part will be it depends on the availability of funding and that the CVCC is a more NGO strengthening entity than a frontline intervention one or funding is based on what the funder is interested in supporting but it also is possible to create letters of intent or proposals that will ring far louder from larger agencies and these powerful groups and individuals who control the cogs of HIV/LGBT lines than new smaller LGBT entities will ever do but I guess it depends on interest and what they feel comfortable in, it cannot be this continued parading of homeless or referencing them in studies and press releases in public advocacy and no further to open some door to recovery while agencies are nearing thirty years of existence and it’s the same thing since they have been formed. More and more I am seeing on social media LGBT persons expressing deep disappointment since the CVCC/JFJ sex education fiasco and the Professor Bain UWI contract conflict of interest matter as persons question the competence of our LGBTQ leaders and the causation of these two major controversies excluding the many before.
It was only yesterday I got a call from a couple of the persons in the Shoemaker Gully in New Kingston requesting phone credit and sharing some other challenges they have been going through and the whole pain of the Safe House closure and the deceptive covering up of the issue just came before me all over again.
Either we deal with our own or the numbers will continue to spiral out of control but it seems the strategy is to pass it on to government yet they now are having fiscal challenges that even parliamentarians are complaining of short pay and wages freezes while taxes are creatively increased or snuck in to meet International Monetary Fund, IMF stipulations yet funds are found by groups such as CVCC for external population activity.
What is next?
Are more proposals being written or conceptualised towards real LGBT community development? (been asking this one for so long)
If we are to win the fight in the long run why there isn’t interest from powerful LGBT allied, managed or funded agencies in population preparation?
Why is the focus still more so on HIV prevention in vulnerable groups more so than personhood development for Jamaican LGBT people?
What does the CVCC’s “Vulnerable Community” description in their name actually means and who does it cover? (a question actually posed by anti gay voice Betty Ann Blaine as well sadly. It seems everyone else are now putting the CVCC to severe scrutiny)
Will more money be thrown at places and activities that really do not need it?
When will the hypocrisy and overlooking of the least amongst us finally stop?
Will the LGBT groups and populations who really need work done be finally looked at and not just spoken of or referred to for crisis incident reporting sake?
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 and also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE
Think on these things.
Peace and tolerance