I had spoken to this via an audio post some years ago as well and a few previous entries on here and on my sister blogs as well where the recipient of the shelter help also makes a boo boo of the situation by offering sexual favours to extend the stay as it draws close to an end and there have been cases where the kind stranger is turned off by it as that was not a part of the arrangement. There are certain lines I feel that must not be crossed especially if it were not a part of the original meeting or engagement in the early phases of the intervention by the assisting party and should not allow sex to creep in only for same to become a prerequisite for the remainder of the stay and once that happens persons get bored and the slightest infraction or argument becomes the basis for a putout.
Call me old fashioned or puritanical in a sense but there are certain lines that simply must not be crossed in these matters of assisting or displaced colleagues and there are too many reports over my years out there that smack of sheer inappropriateness and egregiously so if it’s done by so called activists or staff from NGOs who work with MSM populations.
For the last couple of days I was forced to take in another young man specifically due to inappropriate contact by one such person said to be aligned to a NGO as a volunteer or something I am told and an argument ensued before the putout as according to the young man he was approached by the persons who offered a month’s stay with some access to having meals otherwise same are purchased out of pocket by the young man. He found himself however having to make a choice after the impasse to leave the home as an ultimatum was given by the grantor of the short stay. It was there I was contacted via Facebook which I ignored in a sense as all kinds of messages reach my inbox sometimes including those same inappropriate advances and offers for a hookup; anyway I responded to see where it would lead and low and behold the young man who was at a cafe claiming to be spending his last according to him reached out. He says he does not trust anyone these days since the incident and the other so called shelters or interventions do not really do much.
At first I disbelieved him or was very sceptical as the heightened discussion around homelessness fraudsters use it also as a disguise to carry out there crimes as well in robbing persons who lengthy due diligence is so crucial in handling such matters or requests. The live chat ensued and he was able to describe certain issues and features which convinced me he was truthful in a sense. He ended up finding his way to my home and was here for a couple days until he left on the morning of September3 after a few days which is all I could have offered. He has since made contact with someone else and is bouncing there but it worries me that from what appeared to be genuine assistance turned out to be a farce and a re-displacement of sorts of an already distraught person just further compounds their frustration. If one is going help one one should do so honestly and not spring these sexual requests or suddenly attach them as a condition of stay; on the other hand if these parties are adults I also understand that persons can agree to such requests and continue to gain a benefit but the flip side to that is it gets to a stage of chronic entitlement and the separation becomes problematic for the original granting party who made the shelter assistance.
The numerous reports and posts on social media for example about continued displacements are disturbing as more persons come out openly to do so, I guess when one reaches the breaking point one has nothing to lose or out of desperation one does not have a choice. There are a few individuals who would love to help as well despite the bad image created of homeless MSM/Trans youth especially due to the flawed reporting and pigeon holing of the most visible population of them all; the former Shoemaker Gully group and their removal as it were to a Beechwood Avenue address which has since been raided by the cops, sigh. Such persons who want to help are so fearful however and there seems to be no stipended assistance to those who open their doors to do so from the respective NGOs as used to be done when I was at JFLAG to help with food items and some pocket money. Maybe we’ll be told there is no money for that but it leaves a bitter taste for some as the now intense social media marketing of the said NGOs JFLAG included and individual so called LGBT activists who are more about gaining adulation than real concern nicely diverts the viewing audience from the realities on the ground and creates almost a sense of false security, especially with the emphasis on being out and proud. While such messaging is relevant the corresponding welfare issues must be addressed and not just the emphasis on law reform which persons seem to be tripping over themselves and each other to be first passed the post on in what appears to more and more younger LGBT persons as a race or competition moreso than a collective struggle.
Forced evictions and homelessness have always been a key feature and indeed the most visible evidence of stigma and discrimination coupled with homophobia and homo-negativity yet with all the formalised LGBT advocacy since 1974 from Gay Freedom Movement to now there seems to be a hesitation passed off as tacit concern or some may say mere tokenism in addressing it as it ought to be dealt with. I hope the young man finds some help soon that can steady him but like him the guys are getting younger yet brighter almost monthly. Unconfirmed reports suggest another such eviction recently of a seventeen year old just prior to the school term’s commencement and the reason pegged to give the eviction justification apart from sexual orientation is austerity as the mother claims she cannot afford to send him back to school and she is not interested in growing up no battyman. While existing populations languish new cases add to the numbers but of course the corresponding spike in overall homophobic matters usually comes with heightened public discourse on homosexuality in general anecdotally I can attest to that from my days at JFLAG and even prior.
I hope that another ‘victim’ of farcical help by this offending grantor for temporary shelter or couch surfing does not occur or as to express the revengeful sentiments made by the man he hopes he meets the right one who will give him his just desserts (or words to such effect). He has since texted me and says he has found another person to aid him for a time, sadly the length of time is a challenge for both me and that other grantor as bills increase, disposable income is of lesser purchasing power so the less mouths one has around the better which leaves many who would otherwise get some help out in the cold. What is even more disturbing for me is that we have so many affluent business men, party promoters, LGBT advocates (a title anyone can somehow acquire) and non LGBT allies as well who can donate or assist more yet the challenges exist and the populations languish. Yet such affluent or persons in power or some of them prey on the vulnerable and exposed for sexual favours, disgusting!
Thankfully there are a few who have been able to leave Jamaica after a time for asylum elsewhere but that is a drop in the bucket compared to the numbers which are hard to actually tabulate. I am always seeing new faces when I do venture out these days, I have become a couch potato of sorts due to my aforementioned leg injury in a post on being back from a blogging break some days ago; on social media the same is also true in terms of new faces who are reaching out, the test of the depth of the problem though has to be determined by due diligence as to who is telling the truth versus who are using the platform to try to gain something from supposed gay men with money and material wealth.
If you can help try to please either by donating to genuine outfits that are trying despite the limited or no funding as the more established entities cannot seem to get their act together despite so many years in the field and international notoriety. Instead we get announcements and nicely put together press releases and social media props giving an appearance of the matter being addressed but all one has to do is go on the ground and see the real deal.
Think on these things
Peace and tolerance