Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

The Safe House Homeless LGBTQ Project 2009 a detailed look & 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 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, December 1, 2016

Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society gets worked up over a phonebook!

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sure he's not! a former headline on the group in 2013 in the Gleaner

Yet again we are subjected to total nonsense from the goodly folks at the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society to laughable proportions. The selectivity indeed hypocrisy of this entity and its colleagues at its predecessor Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, Lovemarch, Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches and Montego Bay Ministers’ Fraternal to name a few have all been trying to latch on to issue they can find to legitimise their piety yet often end up in abject failure with a captive audience laughing with popcorn spillages to boot. The age old criticisms thrown at the JCHS et al is that they have only strength for homosexuals and the so called LGBT lobbyists but are silent on virtually everything else, especially after the Gleaner headline “We’re Not Crazy” some time ago which pin pointed the nonsensicality of the group’s advocacy; nothing on the corruption front, nothing on clerical abuse or very persons in the pastoral and priesthood care yet very little as a dribble, nothing on lotto scamming and the involvement of so called pastors directly or indirectly via ‘spiritual protection’ from enemies or police capture, then there is the pastors themselves who are forced into silence with a now infamous bombing of a church just because the pastor spoke out on the illegal activity.

The silence on church abuse by the very pastors themselves of psychologically weak church sisters and indeed brothers as well even while promoting celibacy, fearmongering and intellectual dishonesty on HIV/AIDS rates from especially foreign sources. Now comes the headline, what a waste on the part of the JCHS when more important matters scream for attention. By the way who uses phonebooks these days when smartphones are in and APPS assist in locating persons plus WhatsAPP, SNAPchat and so on that may eventually eliminate the need for a hard copy directory in the long run? When groups such as Women’s Media Watch WMW discusses objectification of women in media as they have done for years where oh where these ‘church groups’ to aid the awareness.

The Gleaner carried this by Jovan Johnson:


the actual cover proposed for 2017 that caused the uproar

the new or alternate cover

Jamaica's church lobby has forced the publishers of the 2017 Yellow Pages to produce an alternative version of the telephone directory because of an "offensive" dancehall depiction it says is spreading "wrong" values.

The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society led the campaign against the directory, which Global Directories Ltd was hoping would celebrate indigenous Jamaican music.

The depiction at the centre of the controversy shows a reggae scene with scantily clad women dancing with men at what appears to be a typical street session.

"We have challenges with our young people in terms of the values, the conduct that they are being exposed to. We thought that what was displayed there wasn't something that was beneficial," said Dr Wayne West, chairman of the coalition.

"We didn't think that scene, which was sort of a dancehall scene, was ideal. It wasn't the best thing that could have been done for the Yellow Pages - something which is so widely distributed and which is supposed to be the product of a company that should be seeking to elevate rather than to encourage behaviour that is not necessarily ideal."

Yesterday, Ian Neita, chief executive officer of Global Directories, said while the company would not apologise for using the scene, it understood the Christian group's concerns.

"In our response to their letter, we apologised for offending them because it was not the intention to offend them. We're not accepting that the depiction was offensive because that is a matter of interpretation," Neita told The Gleaner.

"We have provided an alternative cover for institutions such as churches and schools. Anybody who is offended by that depiction, they'll have a choice in having a replacement," he said, adding that the controversial depiction done by Raymond Jackson would remain in circulation.

Three directories are printed for Jamaica yearly: one for Kingston and St Andrew, an islandwide publication, and one residential. The controversial picture is on the cover of the directory for Kingston and St Andrew.

Ska is on the residential directory, while the scene depicting reggae is displayed on the islandwide copy.

In the reggae scene, scantily clad women are shown dancing with men at what appears to be a typical street dance.

Neita said that the company admitted that there's a "commercial and principled" aspect to the decision to print an alternative version.

"A church may be listed in the book [and] once they advertise in the book. In a kind of way, they become a co-sponsor. If it were a private magazine that we were putting forward in the public space, I think it would be a little bit different. I don't think we're resiling from a principled position by saying, 'Hey, I'll give you an alternative'."

Questioned on whether the company was setting a bad precedent by appeasing the church group, Neita said the "power" of the local religious lobby could not be ignored.

"In our society, the Church is a powerful lobby. We are a society that is fundamentally based on Christian principles. I don't think it's something that we can disregard. I'd like to think we kind of took the high road rather," he said.

"We still ended up having both (genres of music)."

Meanwhile, dancehall expert Dr Donna Hope said she did not see anything wrong with the scene.

"Dancehall culture is a very important part of Jamaican youth culture, and a dancehall scene on the front of the Yellow Pages, I and others thought it was an appropriate kind of image in a country where dancehall continues to provide response to and information about who we are as a people."

She said West has questions to answer.

"I would question Dr West on what children are exposed to in Jamaica and also wonder if Dr West is aware of the longevity of dancehall in Jamaica and the similarity in terms of his comment with that of many others."

The University of the West Indies senior lecturer added: "I would also want to find out if it is that Dr West, as a clergyman who is aware of the various challenges that we face in Jamaica, with multiple aspects of the socialisation planks, has also taken to task other critical aspects of our society that have been impacting our young people."

Neita declined to give the cost of the reprinting.


ENDS

Dr Wayne West and company seems to forget this is a free country where there is separation of church of state, this is not a theocracy; fearmongering on a simple artwork that is also representing older concepts of dancehall, yes I agree that appropriateness overall in other spaces where children maybe exposed is important but the photo(s) are tame compared to what children are exposed to on social media via smartphones that are not monitored and present dancehall aesthetics. Because the photos reflect the bowels of the people elitists such as Dr West would want to suppress expressions, the photo is not racy as now and is not relevant to the current context of dancehall. The age difference or generation gap is clear here as the values of older persons who mostly populate these anti gay and fanatical groups is way different and ever changing than todays ‘millennials’ generations as they are called they do not even use phonebooks some may not even know what such an item is; it is near obsolete and relevant to an older demographic as laptops (slowly going out of style as well) smartphones, tablets, fablets and possibly wireless personal communications in the touted forms of a cyborg type are coming as talk of such are here. Even church people are using Bible APP instead of a hard copy of the Bible and one has to ask where does this man and his foolish followers live? They are used more so for propping short people on a bench per say or just to decorate the coffee table at home or so.

Do we hear teens or kids ask for a phonebook!

This whole ugly mess is sheer nonsense and somebody needs to tell Dr West where he and his cronies should go jump off. In the words of Dennis Brook this morning on his ‘What’s on my mind’ segment on Nationwide, “Shut your pie-hole” JCHS just makes honest peaceful church folks look bad as the ‘church’ gets labelled overall as silly or behind the times. Sad the rest of the church community who seem not to want to ruffle the feathers of some stay silent when crap like this occur.

‘Nuff said.

Peace & tolerance

H


also see:
Leighton Levy on Gays are not our problem .... JCHS told to check the mirror

Ronnie Thwaites’ rubbish on flying rainbow flags grooms children into “particular lifestyle”


Christians say ... Don't force gay agenda on them ........ lol  






On World AIDS Day ....

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As another World AIDS Day comes again we are left to ponder the loss of friends, colleagues and such from the related illnesses that have come over the years. Thankfully the days of said categories of persons dropping like flies in the late 1980s and 90s, when ones funeral clothes almost became uniforms as there was a service or two every month literally; the stores in downtown for example such as the now closed Rock-bottom or Hannah’s Better Buy, Lerner Shops, Ammars, Amart and others the staff could almost recognise some of us by virtue of our regular visits looking black shirts/pants/ties, dresses/hats (alongside women friends as a ‘guise to buy) for drag queens/cross-dressers and early trans-women. Some of us got so used to wearing black it became depressing, it is one of the reasons why I do not do funerals or candlelight vigils so much anymore that much as they remind me too much of those who have gone before. Like previous years we will have vigils and such again but in my near 25 years on this I am wondering if they have lost their usefulness or it is weariness on my part? Not sure, it’s starting to feel monotonous as the human component seems lost in translation but more so target meeting imperatives, statistics and analytics with social media explosion and despite these avenues rates are still high in MSM/transgender groups.

Once someone was missing from the social scene especially the folks from the lower socio-economic strata and displaced of homeless and one enquired, if the answer was there are at ward three of the Kingston Public Hospital, KPH or at the Chest Hospital for respiratory challenges, at UHWI or at someone’s house withering away as the host(s) watch helplessly then the colloquial adage would follow “dem have big A mi luv” (they have the big A as in AIDS my dear) or “dem a guh dung” (they are going down) and the inevitable would be forthcoming. The drugs or treatment courses then were not so effective then so quality of life was low, hence life expectancy as most persons I know who were taken were in their twenties or early thirties. KPH at one point became almost a holding pattern facility for persons at end stages of the disease intertwined with staff discrimination complicating matters. Some change has come since but the stigma still sits somewhere there and every now and again it rears its ugly head.


At least one of the redeeming events of the year is the clearing of the ‘Patient zero’ (above) legacy and years of negative press where he was blamed for being the sole carrier and disseminating HIV in the US hence a spread. Why it took so long to right-size is yet to be properly and truthfully explained.


The side effects of the older generations of ARV or HAART such as Combivir AZT helped some but doomed others but the present first, second and third line courses are much better namely Atripla or Truvada with Efivarenz (EFV), the administration of the treatment courses especially from the regional health authorities through type 5 clinics and social workers is much to be desired frankly. The aforementioned Tenofovir as part of Atripla or Truvada in the form of Disoproxil Fumarate (TDF) is an issue for some, the newer Tenofovir Alafedamide (TAF) however that was presented as a better alternative with little migratory side effects from one to the other according to some experts was mysteriously left to the realm of treatment naive users only after much hype for the release of newer brands such as Genvoya. Many raised hopes around the world were dashed as persons who could afford it through their practitioners were exploring the migration from TDF to TAF. What has also happened to the much touted second generation maturation inhibitor that was to come to address the end stage of HIV replication and a major development in research in years? We are now hearing complaints of funding issues with research and development yet vaccine exploration in guinea pig land our dear Africa are on yet again.

The sudden stuttering of the support group meetings in St Catherine, Manchester and further westwards is one such issue also for me in terms of adherence and overall well-being, oh that continuity problem again. An pilot of sorts named ‘Brothers’ Positive on Positive’ was introduced in the lost or no-meeting times to compensate for not only continuity gap but also the missing depth of the meetings via the social workers as it turns out they are all but one evangelical Christians hence certain other sensitive subject matters are either not dealt with or are off limits and are not ventilated. Meanwhile patients are also now being asked to travel sometimes long distances to pharmacies outside their parish to fill prescriptions as dispensaries at clinics and hospitals are limiting who they are responding too albeit for the disabled, injured or critically ill persons is understandable. But ‘able-bodied’ persons as one social worker told one person recently have to go as directed to fill their prescriptions. The Drug Serv pharmacies which were designed to help offset costs are already crammed by the elderly mostly who wait for long hours as early as 5am or pay someone or ask someone to hold a space to have an early number to coincide with the 8am openings at Portmore, Union Square in Cross Roads for diabetic and hypertensive drugs mainly.

The availability of other supportive materials such as Iron tablets, B-complex capsules, Co-Trimoxazole (Bactrim) for infections of skin and so on is fickle; more amore complaints come to hand as prescriptions carry over with them not acquired although the kind doctors still write them on the list and suggest buying them. Trouble is not everyone can although they may be considered ‘cheap’ the announcement on Jamaica Information Service, JIS that more pharmacies will be added to the National Health Fund, NHF and HIV drugs to offer cheaper drugs seems calming for some but if the aforementioned clinics and dispensaries are not doling out the drugs generally and the overburdened Drugserv outlets I wonder how the government is going to fund the co-payment for private pharmacies facilitate this new dispensation according to the present health minister when we hear criticisms by even doctors of general shortages linked to or caused by “free healthcare” zapping monies from taxes. Many of us are still weary via announcement-ti-tis from previous announcements and that pharmacies closer to the patients will be made available instead of out of parish trips to fill prescriptions.

Of course the usual all is well nice rosy picture is painted by some complete with a please puss smile and altered or bettered versions individuals and entities that all is well and functioning near perfectly. Everyday some new group is around yet all of them combined cannot make one functioning unit, yet the rates are stagnant; while ‘experts’ boast about achievements on flowery worded radio and television interviews complete with farcical hypocrisy. And why are most of persons living with AIDS PLWHAs not feeling the presence of some of these groups on the ground?

Remembering good folks ................


Persons such as Leonard Officer my best friend and literally the voice for Jamaica AIDS Support (before the name adjustment of “For Life”) added at the end, hence JASL, one would call the office and his calming voice would answer the phone, even if your day was down at the time of the call the reassurance was comforting always given a warm customer experience in engaging the entity when they meant something for all intents and purposes, many can attest to this. Other friends such as former party promoter Donald “Fay Donnaway” Johnson who left us Good Friday 2001 was also one of those bubbly persons who jumped around and helped others then, including me in my difficult years 1996 post the short incarceration and three year court case on buggery; a total stranger to me prior but he turned up at Half Way Tree Court during my preliminary hearings and stuck with us (my co-accused) until the end and we with him as he died at home peacefully.

World AIDS Day indeed Human Rights work and observances of days have become monotonous to some including me, the stridency that once obtained in terms of prevention seems too relaxed and indeed populations have become too complacent given the lack of shock outcomes if you will to jolt persons into safety. As AIDS and related illnesses outcome can be controlled way better life expectancy has effectively doubled so people get or feel they can be reckless without serious consequences. But even as those matters attend ‘HIV blaming’ is also still an issue it seems as a pending court case has brought to bear. A pending court ruling slated for December 9 of a beheading case in 2012 has returned the issue front and centre.

As for the rates of infections in the midst of ever changing nongovernmental organizations growing in numbers, be they social media based or on the ground but they cannot seem to be in one accord to reduce said rates. The juxtaposing of bureaucracies, carrot baiting funders and such continue with no end in sight as the rates do not change. 32% effectively is the set number for the past 8 years since the snowball study in 2007 of MSM in Kingston in terms of prevalence rate and another 32,000 plus in the general populations are said to be unaware of their status with a prevalence rate of 1.6%, female sex workers coming from 25% down to 2.5% Mandeville and St Andrew of 201 subjects.

Homelessness via stigma, forced evictions and homophobia has surfaced at every phase of that study and others hence yet the NGO republic as is being cynically described in some circles of the intelligentsia have simply watched the problem fester and mature to a stinking sore in predominantly Kingston and elsewhere, yet very little by way of welfare has come but when HIV studies are to be conducted suddenly the populations are found and put to good use for reports and such. Then they are left to continue where they left off prior to the privileged visits. Strange that homelessness existed even before the formation of many of these NGOs some 25 years ago yet no serious answer yet, interest or the lack thereof is the elephant in the room interspersed with tokenistic gestures as feeding programs or care packages and after consuming the content the population is right back where they were found.

Coming from the days when fat lies were told to suggest MSM cannot be reached by interventions as the buggery law will interfere with such suggesting the facilitation of illegality which played right into the hands of the fanatic Christian right movement, and that issuing condoms will give a go ahead for anal sex that is illegal then we wonder why the prison riots of 1997 came to be when suggestions were made to have condoms in prisons, that has now been debunked thankfully, outside of that is the politics internationally (Tenofovir developments – TDF/TAF switch-a-roo for example) that is another matter, and as for PrEP (the chemical condom psychology ethics) that is unfolding even as I type meanwhile less persons are dying but with newer figures coming out recently of so called concerns on transgender infections rates the old figures have always been questioned especially by me, other early transgender activists and allies as the traditional ‘lumping’ of transgender in the MSM mapping as they are absorbed as gay or present as gay (male to female) and are made invisible by default or under the radar in terms of detailing specific (sub) groups. There is also the business of internal stigmatizations as for example persons are still doing this practice of taking photos of their negative test results and then cussing out or ‘bitching’ others who are positive which may help to complicate the matter if getting persons to test and safer sex eventually.

The aforementioned bureaucracy comes in here yet again as the lack of sensible programs when transgender were never engaged in any meaningful way until recently could explain why the rate was so high and stayed so for so many years. Specific groups require ‘outside the box’ responses and not the typical textbook and superficial interventions. The pigeon-holing every now and again of bisexuals as “a bridge for the virus” by epidemiologists past and present over the years outside of the creative responses and implied biphobia, bi-stigma yet bi-omissions, not to mention very little dribble regarding lesbians and risk for from program development or LGBT advocacy is just simply ridiculous and then we wonder why the rates won’t budge downwards since whenever. Simply relying on the mainstream spinoffs from traditional social marketing and adverts; commendable yes but the ‘high knowledge’ but little reactive actions problem persists. We all know that we must use condoms and while yet still very little push on abstinence or delaying sex messages, the sex industry is obviously not being engaged properly as evidenced in a recent dubious utterances by someone inside the family planning agency who are now the ones rolling out the HIV program. The P.L.A.C.E, Priorities for Local AIDS Control Efforts methodology for example has been adopted from a successful 2006 pilot which I was one of the outreach officers to cover street venues, adult clubs, tertiary level campuses, and plazas then but somehow the tailoring to our unique situations seems missing as it is just being rolled out as the text verbatim says with very little forward thinking by the powers that be, namely the country control mechanism for Jamaica and the Global Fund. Simply just having condom booths at LGBT events or hosting parities is not enough but if the people who are designing some of this are hardly not even from the populations how can they understand the issues when they refuse to learn as well.

What is next? Is the fundamental question though not openly asked by those who control the levers of the cogs of HIV, many continue the political correctness farce as a front; something has to give somehow and soon if any change is to come. When one can hear even younger folks cynical commenting “watch them” suggesting hypocritical pretence then one has to wonder what is really going on.

More anon

Peace & tolerance

H

Monday, November 28, 2016

What’s happening with “HIV blaming” driven violence?

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As World AIDS Day approaches on December 1 annually and there is also talk about on gender equality work and addressing intimate partner violence there is hardly any reference to the ‘HIV blaming’ piece of it, it seems. The pending court ruling of the March 2012 scheduled for December 9 beheading case has raised the subject as the motive by the male partner of the victim who beheaded him effectively killed the man as he accused him of infecting him with HIV or in the language used AIDS. This is separate from willful targeting persons and having unprotected sex in revenge to suggest the already infected won’t be the only one with the infection; it seems what drives that level of deception is the feeling that HIV is still a death sentence when it is not so in the age of improved treatment and research; as to whether both are keeping pace with making them available is another matter.

Some strange discussions is the only way I can describe it have emerged on various media platforms with reference to two previously popular episodes as well in St James and Kingston, the latter unfolded at a party after the individual doing the blaming arrived with tests results with as we say ‘blood in his eyes’ it also shows that maybe the post test counselling in that matter was not effective enough or may not have been done if any. There is a deficiency in the support group meeting department as they are not continuous and are sometimes haphazard and in response a soon to be concluded pilot called ‘Brothers’ Positive on Positive’ tried to address and better unpack with a small group of persons. It sought to fill in some of the gaps that the only hour long sessions elsewhere do not address some of the situations adequately.

Revenge via HIV blaming ought to be a thing of the past given the strides in terms of the high knowledge of safer sex and indeed post positive treatment adherence and diet alongside the support systems now available in the national program. They still need to get the medication collection part straightened out as long waits at dispensaries outside of the social workers collecting for really ill patients or disabled persons is ridiculous. An announcement via Jamaica Information Service, JIS recently though suggests that more pharmacies will be added to the mix to offer ARVs, CART and HAART prescription filling at a discounted price, the clip never mentioned the other supportive drugs for opportunistic infections such as Co-Trimoxazole to control basic infections and skin maintenance or vitamins and so on. Probably the emphasis has been too much on condom use and or prevention and not equally on sustained quality of life. Condom pinching came up as well in an online discourse which was a bit surprising to me as we thought we had gotten over that problem but apparently not.

As persons await the judgement of the pending case many have condemned the accused men; be it the partner and his roommate who he forced to assist him in dumping the body under pain of violence as well which came out in the trial and his unsworn statement. Mistakes can happen, condoms can break, less vigilance in the heat of the moment, using oil based materials as lube or when persons realise flaw but continue through to the climax while hoping for the best can be some of the avenues for facilitating transmission; outside of assaults and non consent. Overseas cases of deliberate infections have been addressed by some countries passing legislation to deal with it but this is after the fact. A recent case with an African American man just showed the madness that can flow from such matters.

An infamous incident on the outskirts of Emancipation Park in New Kingston some years ago where a man and his supposed partner ended up in an awful clash that led to security interventions and subsequently the police in 2013; yet more evidence how sensitive matters can spill out into the streets with unneeded attention or results. Accepting the positive test results as not a death sentence and that suspected infidelity or cheating needs to be and can be dealt with more effectively via conflict resolution measures and third party possible professional interventions. Fighting or violence is not the way out, if lovers really love each other even said cheating and sometimes surprise HIV positive results they should find a way out, if not they were not lovers to begin with, in the true sense but merely in a ‘spirit tek’ farce or tolerated relationship for matters of convenience and or co-dependency.

Then with talk of transgender persons now factoring supposedly more in HIV infection rates when really they always did as far as I am concerned, given transwomen (male to female) often have integrated themselves in the men who have sex with men umbrella group as invisibility of the trans population in HIV prevention prior was almost normative. The previous results there in HIV infection rate surveys are not brought into serious doubt if not disrepute as if the lumping was so pronounced as we are now beginning to find out then a whole new rethink will have to go into the design of the HIV response to marginalised groups. The violence that may attend to that may also have to be researched properly in the ever tendentious quest for ‘evidenced based advocacy’ but if the data and collection is already flawed how does the relevant agencies solve those concerns and arrive at the true situation or as close to it?

The conflation of drag queens with gay men only when feminization forced or unforced leads to the feminine aesthetic has been an issue leading to advocates, NGOs and even funders themselves misreading the landscape. More needs to be done in conflict resolution as stated above. Legislation may have to be considered for some of this but the gay/bi male populations may get left out seeing we are already marginalised by way of an archaic 485 year old piece of theocracy in a buggery law. If we do not have legitimacy in everyday life then why focus of issues affecting us via formal governmental structures.

Then there is the matter of assault driven willful infections in the MSM/transgender mismatch as the latter is seen as gay without any reassignment surgery to boot; so many stories often unconfirmed of said abuse and assault with HIV positive alleged perpetrators and yet the reporting to police is virtually nonexistent as the gross indecency or buggery charges may attend if one tries to. This is why the amendment of buggery in as far as rape is concerned between men as rape already in law covers women as a case I often referred to in former dancehall artist Zebra who has been serving a thirty year sentence after he raped and sodomised a young lady so the jury gave him 20 years for the rape and the full 10 years for buggery.

More anon

Peace & tolerance

H


also see:

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Concerns Mount As Transsexual Adolescents Push Up Jamaica's HIV Rates ................

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As usual the transgender community is still being lumped with MSM either by the response and by populations overall it seems and it makes the previous studies on MSM HIV prevalence rates of 32% in 2007 and others since problematic while it may be higher trans-persons who merge into the MSM community get counted as gay. The article below touches the very conflation and to think the very named agency is partly guilty of not making the stark differences between the groups even as trans voices screamed to them to pay attention.

The Gleaner carried this:

As a HIV-positive transgender youth, 22-year-old *Tory belongs to the at-risk group that is considered to be most in need of intervention if Jamaica has any hope of seeing further reductions in the number of persons living with HIV/AIDS.

According to a study that was released last week by the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), transgender persons who are HIV-positive are more likely to experience homelessness, stigma, forced sex and physical violence. Of the 71 transgender participants polled, more than 52 per cent were involved in sex work for accommodation and food, among other things.

"Now we are seeing where they are at increased risk more than gay men, and more than sex workers, of course, and so it's really just about how we are going to ensure that our programmes are attending to the needs of these persons," said executive director of JASL, Kandasi Levermore.

A UNAIDS report ahead of the commemoration of World AIDS Day on December 1 warned that 15-24 years is a dangerous time for women. It noted that an estimated 45 per cent of all new HIV infections globally in 2014 were among members of key populations and their sexual partners, and warned that new HIV infections are continuing to increase among people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men. The report went on to say that HIV was not declining in sex workers and transgender people.

Tory, a male who identifies as a female, has found himself in several of these categories. He became homeless at 16 years old and became a sex worker shortly after to provide for himself. His clients were mostly professional men, and at 18, he decided to go and live with a police officer who he said was a "regular buyer". He said he contracted HIV from the lawman.

"Being 16 and a sex worker, you get more clients because you are young, because you are new, because they like young people because they think you are not very smart. But I was very smart. Why I was homeless is because I was kicked out of high school because of my sexual orientation," he told The Sunday Gleaner.

MISTREATMENT AT CLINIC

He said due to the mistreatment he received at the first clinic he visited after his diagnosis, he did not take any medication for the first year. He, however, went to a different clinic where the attitude of health professionals was better, and he has since seen vast improvement in his health. He said he is now focused on becoming stable because his greatest desire now is to have a child, although he admitted that he had never had sexual intercourse with a woman.

"I am gay because I won't be in a long-term relationship with a woman," said Tory, before explaining that he is open to having sex with a woman for the sake of having a child.

"I want a child with my genes. Adoption is so hard in Jamaica at this point. She can be a lesbian or she can also be positive and virally suppressed, like myself. So there is a lot of hope to get a child if I want a child when I am ready," he said.

According to a report released recently by JASL, which was funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, there is very little knowledge about the HIV prevalence among transgender women in Jamaica.

However, the National HIV/STI programme noted that, "In contrast with the estimated HIV prevalence of 0.4 and 0.5 per cent reported in adolescent girls and boys aged 15-19 at the national level through the UNAIDS 2014 estimates, the HIV prevalence among gay and bisexual adolescent boys is estimated to be 14 per cent, while HIV prevalence in transgender adolescents is estimated to be 27 per cent."

Renae*, who came out as a transgender at 21 years old, said he is concerned that HIV is highest among transgender youths, and blamed this on the fact that those who adopt this lifestyle were often stigmatised or forced to engage in transactional sex.

"Being gay is a taboo, but being transgender is a greater taboo, and because of that, you have a lot of parents who actually do put out their children for these type of things, and you are out on the streets, you have no formal education, you have no way to really provide for yourself," he said.

"So you have to come up with means and ways to provide for yourself, and one of those methods is to become prey to sexual predators out there, or to offer yourself up as collateral, and oftentimes it is to persons who maybe know that they have the virus, but they don't care."

Although Renae was born male, he identifies as a female and is now an advocate for those living in the transgender community. He believes that while there have been improvements in access to treatment for those who are HIV-positive, stigma and discrimination are still forcing some to go underground instead of seeking help.

"That's why I work so hard within the health sector to make things better for trans people on a whole," he said.

[* Names changed to protect identity]

ENDS

And the signs continue to show us that the forward thinking in as far as the NGOs are concerned is still lacking and why are more persons being captured way better given the resources?

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Peace & tolerance

H

also see:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Antibody that neutralises nearly all HIV strains identified

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source: elife


SCIENTISTS from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have identified an antibody from an human immunodeficiency virus-infected person that potently neutralised 98 per cent of HIV isolates tested, including 16 of 20 strains resistant to other antibodies of the same class.

The remarkable breadth and potency of this antibody, named N6, make it an attractive candidate for further development to potentially treat or prevent HIV infection, say the researchers.

The scientists, led by Mark Connors, MD, of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), also tracked the evolution of N6 over time to understand how it developed the ability to potently neutralise nearly all HIV strains. This information will help inform the design of vaccines to elicit such broadly neutralising antibodies.

Identifying broadly neutralising antibodies against HIV has been difficult because the virus rapidly changes its surface proteins to evade recognition by the immune system. In 2010, scientists at NIAID’s Vaccine Research Centre (VRC) discovered an antibody called VRC01 that can stop up to 90 per cent of HIV strains from infecting human cells. Like VRC01, N6 blocks infection by binding to a part of the HIV envelope called the CD4 binding site, preventing the virus from attaching itself to immune cells.


Findings from the current study showed that N6 evolved a unique mode of binding that depends less on a variable area of the HIV envelope known as the V5 region, and focuses more on conserved regions which change relatively little among HIV strains. This allows N6 to tolerate changes in the HIV envelope, including the attachment of sugars in the V5 region, a major mechanism by which HIV develops resistance to other VRC01-class antibodies.


The new findings suggest that N6 could pose advantages over VRC01, which currently is being assessed as intravenous infusions in clinical trials to see if it can safely prevent HIV infection in humans. Due to its potency, N6 may offer stronger and more durable prevention and treatment benefits, and researchers may be able to administer it subcutaneously (into the fat under the skin) rather than intravenously. In addition, its ability to neutralise nearly all HIV strains would be advantageous for both prevention and treatment strategies.

ARTICLE:
J Huang, BH Kang, E Ishida, T Zhou et al. Identification of a CD4-binding site antibody to HIV that evolved near-pan neutralization breadth. Immunity DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.10.027 (2016).

WHO:
NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is available to comment on the research. Mark Connors, M.D., chief of the HIV-Specific Immunity Section in NIAID’s Laboratory of Immunoregulation and the senior author of the paper, also is available.

The research team included scientists from NIAID’s Laboratory of Immunoregulation and Vaccine Research Center.

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2016 ...........

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Transgender Day of Remembrance, which occurs annually on November 20 at fist in the US but now expanded worldwide on Twitter and related platforms, is a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.

This year apart from previous posts I wanted to focus on Mercedes Successful who was killed earlier this year; you may remember her as one of the two entrants in this year's Miss Gay Caribbean Pagaent 2016, also see: Jamaica places 3rd in Miss Gay USA Caribbean Pageant 2016 


there she was strutting her stuff





Mercedes in good times


Halfway through May and again, we have to mourn another trans woman who’s been murdered and another trans woman who’s been misgendered in death. And again, it’s a Black trans woman who’s been murdered. This time it was 32-year-old Haines City, Florida native Mercedes Successful, who was found shot to death on Sunday in a parking lot. As usual, Cherno Biko and Monica Roberts
were two of the first people to have details on this tragic case. Also see Instragam.

Miss Successful was born in Kingston, Jamaica and represented that country in the 2014 Gay Caribbean USA Pageant. The Gay Caribbean organization posted on Facebook “It is extremely sad that other humans can be so dreadful and take another human’s life this easily. RIP Mercedes Successful.” She was a frequent performer at clubs in the Haines City area and in the pageant scene, and was beloved by many, including people like Felix Ortiz, who said “Such a beautiful person inside and out. You were one of the funniest and one of the kindest people I ever met.” Successful had recently started transitioning and had been on hormones for a little over a month.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a trans woman, to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. Since its inception, TDoR has been held annually on November 20, and it has slowly evolved from the web-based project started by Smith into an international day of action. In 2010, TDoR was observed in over 185 US cities throughout more than 20 countries.

We also remember Jennifer Banks who won that Gay USA Pagaent in 2010 representing Trinidad who also passed away some time ago:


Here she was performing her skit in 2010




Typically, a TDoR memorial includes a reading of the names of those who lost their lives during the previous year, and may include other actions, such as candlelight vigils, art shows, food drives, film screenings, and marches. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has extensively covered TDoR. GLAAD has interviewed numerous transgender advocates (including actress Candis Cayne), profiled an event at the New York City LGBT Community Center, and discussed media coverage of TDoR.

Rest in peace sisters and anyone who I may have ovelooked.

Peace & tolerance

H

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Intolerance Day of Tolerance ............

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The United Nations is committed to strengthening tolerance by fostering mutual understanding among cultures and peoples. This imperative lies at the core of the United Nations Charter, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is more important than ever in this era of rising and violent extremism and widening conflicts that are characterized by a fundamental disregard for human life.

In 1996, the UN General Assembly (by resolution 51/95) invited UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November. This action followed up on the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 at the initiative of UNESCO, as outlined in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up Plan of Action for the Year.
UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence

In 1995, to mark the United Nations Year for Tolerance and the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, UNESCO created a prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence. The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence rewards significant activities in the scientific, artistic, cultural or communication fields aimed at the promotion of a spirit of tolerance and non-violence.

The prize is awarded every two years on the International Day for Tolerance, 16 November. The Prize may be awarded to institutions, organizations or persons, who have contributed in a particularly meritorious and effective manner to tolerance and non-violence.

The 2016 winner is the Federal Research and Methodological Center for Tolerance Psychology and Education (Tolerance Center) of Russia.

Bearing in mind that the United Nations Charter states: 'We, the people of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, ... to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, ... and for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours',Recalling that the Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO, adopted on 16 November 1945, states that 'peace, if it is not to fail, must be founded on the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind',Recalling also that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that 'Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion' (Article 18), 'of opinion and expression' (Article 19), and that education 'should promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups' (Article 26),Noting relevant international instruments including:
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,
the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and regional instruments,
the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief,
the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities,
the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism,
the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference on Human Rights,
the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Summit for Social Development,
the UNESCO Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice,
the UNESCO Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education, 

Bearing in mind the objectives of the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, the World Decade for Human Rights Education, and the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People,Taking into consideration the recommendations of regional conferences organized in the framework of the United Nations Year for Tolerance in accordance with UNESCO General Conference 27 C/Resolution 5.14, as well as the conclusions and recommendations of other conferences and meetings organized by Member States within the programme of the United Nations Year for Tolerance, Alarmed by the current rise in acts of intolerance, violence, terrorism, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, exclusion, marginalization and discrimination directed against national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, refugees, migrant workers, immigrants and vulnerable groups within societies, as well as acts of violence and intimidation committed against individuals exercising their freedom of opinion and expression – 

all of which threaten the consolidation of peace and democracy, both nationally and internationally, and are obstacles to development, Emphasizing the responsibilities of Member States to develop and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, gender, language, national origin, religion or disability, and to combat intolerance,Adopt and solemnly proclaim this Declaration of Principles on Tolerance

Resolving to take all positive measures necessary to promote tolerance in our societies, because tolerance is not only a cherished principle, but also a necessity for peace and for the economic and social advancement of all peoples

1.1 Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Tolerance is harmony in difference. It is not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement. Tolerance, the virtue that makes peace possible, contributes to the replacement of the culture of war by a culture of peace.

1.2 Tolerance is not concession, condescension or indulgence. Tolerance is, above all, an active attitude prompted by recognition of the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. In no circumstance can it be used to justify infringements of these fundamental values. Tolerance is to be exercised by individuals, groups and States.

1.3 Tolerance is the responsibility that upholds human rights, pluralism (including cultural pluralism), democracy and the rule of law. It involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism and affirms the standards set out in international human rights instruments.

1.4 Consistent with respect for human rights, the practice of tolerance does not mean toleration of social injustice or the abandonment or weakening of one's convictions. It means that one is free to adhere to one's own convictions and accepts that others adhere to theirs. It means accepting the fact that human beings, naturally diverse in their appearance, situation, speech, behaviour and values, have the right to live in peace and to be as they are. It also means that one’s views are not to be imposed on others.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

CTO cannot compel countries to cater to LGBT travellers .......

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FLORIDA, United States – Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) Hugh Riley says while the body has provided information on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travellers to its member countries, it cannot compel them to cater to that group of vacationers.


“What we do is to bring the matter to discussion and we’ve not been shy about that at all. We brought all kinds of matter, including the LGBT matter, to the agenda of our annual conference. We have brought experts in on all sides of the issue, that’s our responsibility,” he argued.

He stressed however, that it is then up to each member country to decide how they want to deal with the issue.




“It’s a form of self-determination. It’s a form of member countries who are independent sovereign countries making their national policy, and that is how we have to accept it as a regional body. National policy from one country to another determines how vigorously that country wants to approach any particular niche,” Riley explained.

He was speaking to Caribbean journalists during the 18th Annual Shared Ownership Investment Conference at the Eden Roc Miami Beach Hotel in Florida, earlier this week.

Several Caribbean destinations, including St Maarten and Curacao, have openly accepted LGBT vacationers, while others privately welcome them.

also see:






Jamaica has sat back and watched Cuba and indeed other Caribbean states despite lesser anti homosexual sentiments move into the arena of LGBTQ tourism. The few properties who offer only online accommodation to said markets do so on their own with very little support to the Tourism Product Development Company, TPDco; they are now slowly coming to their senses it is said as Airbnb is here and other knock off types forge ahead.

My present DJ residency for example is a product of that informal offshoot as the outfit Bubbles Bar is a paid membership structure catering to special markets from overseas mostly of gay and bisexual men over forty and who like dance, circuit and rave music. The outfit has its successes from Friday to Sunday nights with an aggressive marketing team and owner who is always seeking customers.

Think our way out of the loss nationally I suppose.

Peace & tolerance

H


Jamaica to sign major agreement with Airbnb ........

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett today announced that the Ministry of Tourism is set to sign a major agreement with Airbnb to augment and drive growth within the tourism industry.

As usual we also play step-n-fetch it with these things, we sat by and watch Cuba's status change right before our eyes with flights recommenced and renewed in the virtually unspoiled destination that has kept it authentic identity and terrain for fifty years plus.

The minister, who made the announcement during a meeting with Airbnb executives at the ministry’s New Kingston offices, is optimistic about the potential impact the agreement will have on community tourism and is eager to finalise a memorandum of understanding to concretise the partnership.

“We are very happy to be partnering with Airbnb and know that it will be mutually beneficial to both entities involved. Once drafted, I know that the agreement will take into account our goal of destination assurance, which ensures our credibility in the marketplace. It will also allow us to utilise analytics across their social platforms. This will be a great tool for us to build a better collective resource management platform for our destination,” said Bartlett.

According to Airbnb’s executive with responsibility for public policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, Shawn Sullivan, the market for Airbnb in Jamaica is rapidly growing and is extremely lucrative. The site currently accounts for 2,300 active hosts and 4,000 active listings in the past year from Jamaica.

“Generally in the Caribbean, people will rent their entire homes. Here in Jamaica, we are seeing a mixture between private homes versus a private space in someone’s home. We were responsible for bringing in roughly 32,000 tourists within the past year and we believe that this collaboration will allow this to grow exponentially,” explained Sullivan.

Airbnb is a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world online or from a mobile phone or tablet. It connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries. With a growing community of users, Airbnb is one of the easiest ways for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.


Knock off versions so to speak of Airbnb who have seized the opportunity have been acting none the less; case in point my present DJ stint residency at Bubbles Bar which is a private members bar and guest house for selected local and overseas visitors seeking a reasonably priced outfit, with good vibes (including reggae music) and housemusic lovers, mostly over forty, single as well as couples in order to benefit from rate discount packages. The big properties do not like these developments as it eats into their market of so called concrete jungle all-inclusives that lock away guests from the local scenery for the most part.

An attempt was made to revive the older longstanding Club Heavens but the owners were not interested to renew the engagement which lasted for some 11 years in total. Now that the government has officially entered into some agreement I wonder if they will also consider LGBT tourism openly? given the buggery law issue and homo-negative constructs nationally I doubt it.

Interesting times lie ahead

Peace & tolerance

H

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Objectives of Parents Month indeed with LGBTQI children invisibility ..........

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November is Parents Month, which has been observed annually since 2000. As per usual the omission of LGBT families and or children was evident yet again this year. In addition, the Ministry of Education, in 1991, designated March 10-15 as Parents' Week, using the theme: You can make a difference to your child's education.

An series of extended radio discussions by mostly the parent teachers associations, religious leaders and others only sought to reinforce the exclusion in their ideas of a perfect world, namely Reverend Clinton Chisholm and others; they want to supposedly 'purify' the stream as is in their eyes LGBTQI children are an anathema. 

The objectives of Parents Month for this year include:

To celebrate and recognize the achievements of our parents and guardians

To create opportunities for parents to further develop their parenting skills

Support the strengthening of the home-school relationship

To encourage our men to be more involved in the role of parenting

To remind our youth that parenting is a serious responsibility that should be undertaken only by prepared and mature adults

To encourage parents to join the PTA so that they too can have a voice in the transformation of the education system and the running of schools

To develop an awareness in parents that they are their child's first teacher so they should be good examples and mentors to ALL children

To encourage communities and ALL adults to protect our children, support parents in their role and be partners in the raising of children

To promote family life and health education in schools, as preparation of tomorrow's parents begins with the education of children

Create networks among parents for their own support and that of their children and the schools the children

Inform parents of the material and human resources that are available to help them to become effective parents


Nowhere in the mix is anything was any reference to LGBTQI kids save and except for the reparative therapy ambit. Children can be broken as it were once they display any non conforming behaviour and then we expect unity!
Buoyed by the Trump win some of these religious fanatics are more emboldened to support anti LGBT sentiments while ignoring the open misogyny by the said presumptive President then they also ignore the disgraceful nude parading of his THIRD wife; they claim God is using Trump to change the status quo and gay marriage in the USA will be defeated despite a Supreme Court judgement.

The general tenets of the objectives are noble but we are now in a different day and age and they MUST be way more inclusive than before.

Think on these things

Peace & tolerance

H

Friday, November 11, 2016

BREXIT & LGBTQ Asylum concerns part 2: the Trumpage ........

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In part one I looked at the ongoing BREXIT concerns and the outcomes from the United Kingdom’s referendum on leaving the European Union and pending referenda in Scotland to leave the United Kingdom, Ireland’s concerns about border protection and subservience to the English parliament. Business interests in both the EU and elsewhere are worried for tariffs, trade deals and future movement of investments. The immigration matters as well are of concern under an EU Schengen visa system effectively giving free movement to nationals in participating states; that may come to an end if and when ‘Article 50’ the parliamentary instrument must be enacted to start the BREXIT process. Right wingers backlash to refugees and or foreigners is alive and well for misplaced cultural fears and job availability, outside of the rowdy behaviour of some groups, namely the recent “jungle” camp in France which was destroyed by French authorities and rerouting said populations to other parts of the country even as the UK are hesitant to take persons who flow over or come by hiding in the under carriages of planes and lorries. The French have their fair share of ring wing advancement and some speculate that Francois Aunard may not win in the upcoming elections.

also see: Homophobic attacks in UK rose 147% in three months after Brexit vote




Gleaner's Lasmay took a shot at it and got it right
US EXITeering?

Said persons do not want to stay in France but will and are willing to risk life and limb to such extremes as walking the entire length of the underground tunnel from France to the UK as they see the UK a better option. A trend that has been on the rise prior to the present UK Prime Minister’s Theresa May’s tenure, the more open resistance by right wingers and pass round donkey games by some states, namely Greece lest we forget; let us also not forget Germany in last year was LGBT asylum applications and indeed others have been met with pressure from the UK’s Home Office this while some fees have increased by some 300% in some instances; that of paper applications with or without a solicitor, Prime Minister May’s expression of interest of reducing overall immigration numbers by half from some 300,000 to150,000 is a clear indication where she intends to go.

Similar postures from Holland of all places have not gone unnoticed, a recent court case in that country of a far right representative blasting Cameroonians in large numbers and they and other non white foreigners need to be reduced shows the emboldened change some have who are no longer prepared to stay in the shadows. Now that Trump has won the strangest US elections yet on anti immigration rhetoric especially to Mexicans while not defining his concern in any strident way to illegal immigrants, complete with clan support officially. He is seen as an outsider which further complicates matters, there may be a civil war inside the Republican party, will Trump come from the far right to centre left or so is yet to be seen, politics in America has been shaken and parallels can be drawn in Europe with other dynamic on the continent with a menacing China smoothing over Africa. While the Russians have been doing all they can to undermine American democracy. Isn’t it also ironic that November 9 in Germany was when that state removed the blockages for refugees?

Some of the antigay groups and pastors try to present some balance mostly hypocritically by infusing some conflict of interest in their arguments even as they celebrate Trump’s win, they claim his business interests may cloud his presidency in terms of his announced handing over of his Trump businesses to a blind trust and to his children to run, they ignore however that the law in the US says that such release of possible conflicts of interest with public officials must be done by way of said businesses by operated by some independent committee or management devoid of direct intervention by the absentee owner or management. I am not surprised said pious individuals see what they want to see as long as it suits their interests.

oh really!

Unapologetic nationalism or manifest destiny?

The President elect does not recognise climate change; he is hesitant on trade deals and is looking inwards that with foreign policy. He dismisses the claim by environmentalists as alarmists, climate sceptics indeed. The Paris climate agreement and decades of legislation are in his sights for removal or severe amendments. He can start the process for now but countries cannot simply leave the protocols and agreements’, bearing in mind the main goal is to reduce green house gas emissions. He says it is ‘global warming BS’ the commitment of the countries may waiver as they were buoyed by the US leading in the charge getting the cooperation of other states, the entire agreement could fall apart. It was one of the areas with the US and China after locking horns arrived at some middle ground. Trump is also a pro-coal supporter despite China’s near about face and increasing solar energy thrust to address the pollution and smog poor air quality challenging there.

Trump might have a Republican congress to back him in certain respects but his agenda and their agenda might not be the same, it is hard to read him in terms of foreign policy, his threat to remove Obama care although that maybe really difficult, his position on pro choice and if he had changed his stance given the evangelical support and LGBTQ issues in the face of his parading of a rainbow flag at one of his stops in the campaign. Executive orders and vetoes may become the order of the day. The uncertainty troubles me much as he is unpredictable and seems to position himself as the situation requires and what of the strangeness of the Caucasian gay male support as well despite the uncertainty, who is really a Trump voter? Racists, poorer whites and Puerto Ricans moving from their island to Miami, the fundamental question in my mind; anyone can publicly find Trump’s revolting rhetoric and then in the voting booth give him the chance, despite polls, despite some media propping. Anti immigration pundits contributed greatly to Trump’s campaign as well; some locals are worried about the H2B visa work program as well, in the face of recent automation news with a patent gained on apple picking technology with harvesting rates of 1 apple per 4 seconds. Despite the fact that Americans are not interested in those types of jobs and immigrants are eager to take them, alongside nursing home care-giving ones a deceptive narrative has resurfaced to suggest said immigrants (legal or not) are ‘taking’ those jobs from Americans.

Demagogic populism has trumped sensible thinking it seems. He claimed he wants to drain the slop in Washington but he’ll have to walk through towards getting into office. A “rigged” system has got him in; wow how bizarre is that, America is seen as joke in some circles now. Trump now finds himself facing Obama after blasting him as unfit and questioning his ethnicity indeed immigration status history and citizenship but now he has to meet with elder statesman in part of the 70 days of transition to the Oval office. He has to reorder his foreign policy points during the hustings at the stomp, his recalibrations on South Korea for example are telling of uncertainty concerns. Fixed grins and diplomatic optics I suppose. The ‘Forgotten man’ reference by Trump is an old Franklyn D Roosevelt position he held, Trump says he is going to bring back jobs.

A right wing leader of Hungary has endorsed Mr Trump claiming it is time to smash misguided liberalism in his mind. The news of the Canadian immigration website crashing due to huge traffic volumes, persons seem to be exploring options to relocate and job opportunities. He flips flops literally saying or tweeting something in the morning and changing his position hours later. These uncertainties are an existential threat to small island developing states such as Jamaica. The violent anti Trump protests while highlighting the displeasure factor also seems to show up the amazing ignorance of some Americans of their own political systems and the Electoral College selection of Presidents. A popular vote does not put such presidents in the office; burning effigies of the man is one thing but did the but one can spend better time by applying pressure to the local representatives and individual state legislators so as to keep some checks and balances on Trump’s presidency and policy direction.

Some questions:

What will America’s policy on refugees and asylum seeking look like under a Trump administration; especially given the early HIV years under President Reagan and his refusal to even acknowledge the matter but siding with conservatives even more so and justifying no gays rights by stigmatized medicalizations; other under President Bush(es) there was some reticence despite USAID work to address these issues and hesitancy on asylum for homophobic victims who find it an uphill task to have their cases heard let alone win them, will there be a review of those cases that have been granted prior, will the old HIV travel ban in the late nineties or banning of donation of blood from gay men become a template for reducing asylum opportunities, will grant aid drop in a view to save money and as Trump puts develop America and create new jobs. Will Trump change Obama’s PEPFAR arrangements as well?

As Trump has threatened to bomb iSIS and other military might although at the risk of sounding ominous what should happen if he goes to war to appease his base and project strength, what will happen to successful asylum seekers, especially LGBTQ individuals, will they be forced into constriction with very little federal benefits or residency rewards, similar to what happened with Jamaicans who went to England in the second world war who joined the royal air force and allowed to apply for citizenship; or will non compliant or volunteering asylum persons be forced out by way of case reviews and examination of case files as to the status of their countries of origin, As I always said asylum status is not a guarantee to citizenship in the United States. Persons should not get complacent.

As for that acceptance speech is nice sounding and rather aspirational but despite his calmer cadence of speech obviously prepped before delivery he thrives on showmanship promoting supposed unity. I am not fooled by it as it was the divide and rule construct he used so tendentiously, as the narrative to gain support then in the speech offering an olive branch of some kind makes good for optics and smooth transitioning of power, Obama’s statesman like speech is welcoming, at least he understands the ground game and doing everything to protect his legacy.

I am still in shock that a political neophyte known as the ‘Donald’ could come to power, this was not how this election was to end even as labelled Hispanics as ‘hombre’ while playing on the dissatisfactions on certain classes “Make America great again” despite the misogyny, is democracy all but dead here now when anyone can become the leader of the free world. But John F Kennedy warned about this prior to his murder, he effectively said every President needs a lull period to adjust and settle as many of what was promised on the campaign may not be deliverable. So I conclude instead of the motto credo ‘God Bless America’ it might be read in the future as ‘God SAVE America’ instead.

one of the memes floating aound during the campaign 

There is a cultural diversity that cannot be ignored anymore, the days of the privileged Caucasian with political power are all but dead as the ‘browning’ of the US by way or Latinos, African immigrants and such is unmistakable, they will make the majority in the long run; this round seems to be a last ditch effort to hold fast to ‘white power’

patronising suppport for LGBT to get votes?

Trump cannot be trusted.

Washington may change Trump or Trump may Trump Washington is yet to be seen, he may not able to ‘drain the swamp’ which is a far cry from running a private business versus governing within boundaries and Capital Hill runnings. The presidency seems to be moving to a ceremonial one than an office with on individual with raw power, said President is constrained in certain respects. Do not loose sight of the fact that Hillary Clinton got the popular vote to the tune of some 200,000 votes than Trump. The midterm elections should be interesting and when he is tested his temperament will be watched closely.


Will Michelle take it up for the next election cycle given her posturing in this last one? even as the above GQ photo of the first lady presumptive floats around. This is the image of dignity that should obtain in the Oval office?

I have to concur with former JLP spokesman (although he is antigay) that Trump is going to become the very thing he has demonised; as the reality hits him, trade deals he wants to change will be problematic and so on he will have to adjust. He cannot have his cake and eat it too.

More anon

Peace & tolerance

H
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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.



and



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

More uploads




Aphrodite’s PRIDE JA tackles gender identity, transgender misconceptions .....



Nationwide New Network, NNN devoted some forty five minutes of prime time yesterday evening to discuss the issue and help listeners to at least begin to process some of the information coming from the most public declaration exercise as done by Jenner. Guests on the show were Dr Karen Carpenter Board Certified Clinical Sexologist and Psychologist, ‘Satiba’ from Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica of which I am affiliated and Lecturer (Sociologist) and host of Every Woman on the station Georgette Crawford Williams (sister of PNP member of parliament Damian Crawford); one of the first questions thrown at Satiba by host Cliff Hughes was why has Jenna waited so long at 65 years old to make such a life changing decision?

Satiba responded that many transwomen have to hide their true identity in life .... given her life when she was younger she was a star athlete she would have been under tremendous precious to stay in from the expectations by the public and her team etc, also owing to the fact that she had a family as a man with children one may not want to upset the flow at that time until the kids are old enough. There is a lot of burden of guilt that some persons carry in weighing the decisions of coming out or transitioning so suppression of one’s true self is the modus operandi.

Dr Carpenter cautioned after a heated exchange:

“We really must remember as professionals we must stay in our lane I will never pronounce as a Sociologist cause I am not a Sociologist ............When we have an opportunity to speak publicly we must be careful of what we say unless it is extremely well informed......”


Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website


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)

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?

Promised conscience vote was a fluke from the PNP ........



SO WE WERE DUPED EH? - the suggestion of a conscience vote on the buggery law as espoused by Prime Minister (then opposition leader) in the 2011 leadership debate preceding the last national elections was a dangling carrot for a dumb donkey to follow.

Many advocates and individuals interpreted Mrs Simpson Miller's pronouncements as a promise or a commitment to repeal or at least look at the archaic buggery law but I and a few others who spoke openly dismissed it all from day one as nothing more than hot air especially soon after in February member of parliament Damian Crawford poured cold water on the suggestion/promise and said it was not a priority as that time. and who seems to always open his mouth these days and revealing his thoughts that sometimes go against the administration's path.

I knew from then that as existed before even under the previous PM P. J. Patterson (often thought to be gay by the public) also danced around the issue as this could mean votes and loss of political power. Mrs Simpson Miller in the meantime was awarded a political consultants' democracy medal as their conference concludes in Antigua.


War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?



War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

A war of words has ensued between gay lawyer (AIDSFREEWORLD) Maurice Tomlinson and anti gay activist Dr Wayne West (supposed in-laws of sorts) as both accuse each other of lying or being dishonest, when deception has been neatly employed every now and again by all concerned, here is the post from Dr West's blog

This is laughable to me in a sense as both gentleman have broken the ethical lines of advocacy respectively repeatedly especially on HIV/AIDS and on legal matters concerning LGBTQ issues

The evidence is overwhelming readers/listeners, you decide.


Fast forward 2015 and the exchanges continue in a post from Dr Wayne West: Maurice Tomlinson misrepresents my position on his face book page and Blog 76Crimes

Tomlinson's post originally was:






Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II






Following a cowardly decision by the Minister(try) of Education to withdraw an all important Health Family Life, HFLE Manual on sex and sexuality

I examine the possible reasons why we have the homo-negative challenges on the backdrop of a missing multi-generational understanding of sexuality and the focus on sexual reproductive activity in the curriculum.

also see:

and





Calls for Tourism Boycotts are Nonsensical at This Time





(2014 protests New York)

Calling for boycotts by overseas based Jamaican advocates who for the most part are not in touch with our present realities in a real way and do not understand the implications of such calls can only seek to make matters worse than assisting in the struggle, we must learn from, the present economic climate of austerity & tense calm makes it even more sensible that persons be cautious, will these groups assist when there is fallout?, previous experiences from such calls made in 2008 and 2009 and the near diplomatic nightmare that missed us; especially owing to the fact that many of the victims used in the public advocacy of violence were not actual homophobic cases which just makes the ethics of advocacy far less credible than it ought to be.

See more explained HERE from a previous post following the Queen Ifrica matter and how it was mishandled

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.

Some Popular Posts

Are you ready to fight for gay rights and freedoms?? (multiple answers are allowed)

Did U Find This Blog Informative???

Blog Roll

What do you think is the most important area of HIV treatment research today?

Do you think Lesbians could use their tolerance advantage to help push for gay rights in Jamaica??

Violence & venom force gay Jamaicans to hide



a 2009 Word focus report where the history of the major explosion of homeless MSM occurred and references to the party DVD that was leaked to the bootleg market which exposed many unsuspecting patrons to the public (3:59), also the caustic remarks made by former member of Parliament in the then JLP administration.

The agencies at the time were also highlighted and the homo negative and homophobic violence met by ordinary Jamaican same gender loving men.

The late founder of the CVC, former ED of JASL and JFLAG Dr. Robert Carr was also interviewed.

At 4:42 that MSM was still homeless to 2012 but has managed to eek out a living but being ever so cautious as his face is recognizable from the exposed party DVD, he has been slowly making his way to recovery despite the very slow pace.

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 lgbtevent@gmail.com



Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
  • 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

  • Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere

  • Welcoming, examining and implementing 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 for your support.

Tel: 1-876-799-2231




Peace

Information & Disclaimer


Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.

This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alleged gays in Jamaica.

Faces and names withheld for the victims' protection.

This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.

This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.

Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.

This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practitioner

Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.

As for some posts, they contain enclosure links to articles, blogs and or sites for your perusal, use the snapshot feature 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.

Recent Homophobic Cases

CLICK HERE for related posts/labels and HERE from the gayjamaicawatch's BLOG containing information I am aware of. If you know of any such reports or incidents please contact lgbtevent@gmail.com or call 1-876-799-2231

Peace to you and be safe out there.

Love.


What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)


First, be calm: Do not panic; it may be very difficult to maintain composure if attacked but this is important.

Try to reason with the attacker: Establish communication with the person. This takes a lot of courage. However, a conversation may change the intention of an attacker.

Do not try anything foolish: If you know outmaneuvering the attacker is impossible, do not try it.

Do not appear to be afraid: Look the attacker in the eye and demonstrate that you are not fearful.

This may have a psychological effect on the individual.

Emergency numbers

The police 119

Kingfish 811

Crime Stop 311

Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police


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 tensed) 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. 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

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.

Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today

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

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

May 22, 2015 update, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston



THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts


THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts 




The Prime Minister (Golding) on Same Sex Marriages and the Charter of Rights Debate (2009)


Other sides to the msm homeless saga (2012)


Rowdy Gays Matter 21.08.11 more HERE



Ethical Professionlism & LGBT Advocates 01.02.12 more HERE


Portia Simpson Miller - SIMPSON MILLER DEFENDS GAY COMMENT 23.12.11


2 SGL Women lost, corrective rape and virtual silence from the male dominated advocacy structure


Al Miller on UK Aid & The Abnormality of Homosexuality 19.11.11


Homosexuality is Not Illegal in Jamaica .... Buggery is despite the persons gender 12.11.11 MORE HERE 


MSM Homelessness 2011 ...my two cents


Black Friday for Gays in Jamaica More HERE


Bi-phobia by default from supposed LGBT advocate structures?


Homeless MSMs Saga Timeline 28.08.11 (HOT!!!) see more HERE


A Response to Al Miller's Abnormality of Homosexuality statement 19.11.11


UK/commonwealth Aid Matter & The New Developments, no aid cuts but redirecting, ethical problems on our part - 22.11.11


Homophobic Killings versus Non Homophobic Killings 12.07.12


Big Lies, Crisis Archiving & More MSM Homlessness Issues 12.07.12


More MSM Challenges July 2012 more sounds HERE


GLBTQ Jamaica 2011 Summary 02.01.12 more HERE


Homosexuality Destroying the Family? .............. I Think Not!


Lesbian issues left out of the Jamaican advocacy thrust until now?


Club Heavens The Rebirth 12.02.12 and more HERE


Should gov't provide shelter for homeless msm?


National attitudes to gays survey shows 78% of J'cans say NO to buggery repeal


1st Anniversary of Homeless MSM civil disobedience (Aug 23/4) 2012 more HERE


JFLAG's rejection of rowdy homeless msms & the Sept 21st standoff .........


Atheism & Secularism may cloud the struggle for lgbt rights in Jamaica more HERE


Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II and more HERE


MSM Community Displacement Concerns October 2012


The UTECH abuse & related issues


Beenieman's hypocrisy & his fake apology in his own words and more HERE


Guarded about JFLAG's Homeless shelter


Homophobia & homelessness matters for November 2012 ................


Cabinet delays buggery review, says it's not a priority & more ...........................(November 2012) prior to the announcement of the review in parliament in June 2013 More sounds HERE


"Dutty Mind" used in Patois Bible to describe homosexuals


Homeless impatient with agencies over slow progress for promised shelter 2012 More HERE


George Davis Live - Dr Wayne West & Carole Narcisse on JCHS' illogical fear


Homeless MSM Issues in New Kgn Jan 2013 .......


Homeless MSM challenges in Jamaica February 2013 more HERE


JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness 2013


Poor leadership & dithering are reasons for JFLAG & Jamaica AIDS Support’s temporary homelessness May 2013 more HERE


Response To Flagging a Dead Horse Free Speech & Gay Rights 10.06.13




This Day in History