The Safe House Project 2009 for Displaced & Homeless MSM/Transgender reviewed & more


In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ Youth in New 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

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's bigotry if church discriminates against homosexuals (Observer Letter) .....

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Dear Editor,

As a devout churchman I fail to appreciate the concern that many of my church folk have about the buggery law. The practice of faith, the last time I checked in my church, was based on the teachings of the Bible, not on the legislature. The church does not need the support of the state in order to practise its beliefs. If it does, then we must worry. But what would be the legal implications if the buggery laws were repealed in Jamaica?

It seems to me that it would come down to a question of whether the right to choose one's sexual expression isn't one that can be surrendered to the dictates of a religious body to which one belongs - meaning that one's belief and practice of one's sexual expressions are subjected to the authority of the church. If choosing one's sexuality is an inalienable right, then the church would be practising its belief in violation of the law. But if it is not an inalienable right, then legally the church is within its right to maintain its position that homosexuality is wrong.

I agree with those who are convinced that the issue is not about homosexuality as it is about rights, which is a discussion that must take place well beyond the parameters of one's sexual orientation. God made man with the power of choice, and unless in the exercise - in particular instances - infringes on another's right, then those choices should be between God and the individuals.

Granted, as God's servants whose understanding would place the burden on us to appeal to those who are leading an objectionable lifestyle, we are obliged to publish our beliefs - not in a manner as to condemn, but to persuade those we are concerned about that it would be in their best interest to follow God's recommended way to live. And we do this with the full knowledge that there is an extensive list of unholy practices that would separate us from God. We therefore do not discriminate against homosexuals. That would be bigotry.

I would take exception to any individual or group who would, without the support of scripture, want to redefine the belief system of my church. With the many religious options there are in the world today, among which are sympathisers to the homosexual way of life, coupled with the fact that church membership is not an inalienable right, why would an individual or a group want to take a church to court? If it were me, I would find one where I am accepted, or create my own. You need your space to live as you believe, please allow me mine. But if you won't, the Bible rules.

Charles Evans

charock01@yahoo.com

ENDS


Pity the church was not named which makes the authenticity of the letter questionable but if it is so according to the writer the separation of church and state seems unclear to the writer when in the end the subtle suggestion of the Bible being the end all for LGBT people to follow.

But locally the moral authority and their motives of the religious community comes into serious question when the groups and the Council of Churches find time to aggressively and publicly block the newly instituted Sunday racing yesterday crying fowl and the gambling issue distorting the moral fibre of society, 

also see the Gleaner's: Church Livid

yet hypocritically Saturday racing has had no major opposition all these many years not even from the powerful Seventh Day Adventists who worship on a Saturday or Friday racing where the Sabbath starts for some on that evening. Some critics go as far to say that the complaints from the church are due to the possibly loss of income in tithes and offerings with the prosperity gospel line some denominations take. The head of the Council of Churches Reverend Harriot in a radio interview said the church has always been opposed to gambling as it is poor people's money who are used to enrich rich, when questioned about the right of persons to choose he said that while they are not forced they are subtly made to gamble. He continued that families get destroyed etc but doesn't stigmatising lgbt people and bashing them also damage families when we see displacement, estranged loved ones and churches who openly read out perceived LGBT people? Other leaders in the grouping have said that racing can take place without the gambling component present and the opening of the betting shops. 

Why does the church feel it must impose its will over freedom of choice of the sinner? this seems like a kind of absolute monarchy wanting to rule every aspect of life.

The thousands of missing children as I have referred to in previous posts and the daily Ananda alerts in the newspapers also does not get the attention and coordinated aggressive responses from the church as homosexuality does and this perception that the gay lobby is trying to impose same on the society when all that is asked for is the right for consenting adults to practice a form of sex associated with male homosexuality, not all same gender loving men or men who dabble in anal or male to male play are homosexual either, a fact that has been left out of the discourse from most sides.

Time and money are found for those with information coming to the fore for recent anti gay public education campaigns with multi million dollar full paged print ads but not for rehabilitation of things and societal ills right before our eyes, we have a long way to go it seems. What about the homeless or destitute and aren't there churches and related folks wealthy too?

Do you agree with the letter writer ??

Peace and tolerance

Gay "scrubbed clean" in the United Arab Emirates ???

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After seeing this video and the comments it is obvious the supposed gay character was not a real effeminate man and was acting.

Gay people in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have attacked a YouTube video ‘tutorial’ which shows how gays can be ‘cured’ or ‘scrubbed clean’ of their sexuality.

The six-minute ‘tutorial’ entitled ‘Be Yourself’ has shocked the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of the UAE.

The video depicts five young men as the starring characters: Rashid Al-Muaini, Majid Al-Muaini, Ali Al-Ghaithi, Jamel Al-Ghaithi and Mohammad Eissa. The scene is set in a typical suburban neighbourhood of one of the UAE cities (most likely Ajman), where the five meet.

Two are in a traditional Emirati dress of Kandura and Kiffayeh greeted by a visibly shy effeminate guy with long hair, wearing a t-shirt and jeans, who says ‘Hi guys’ in a high pitched voice, proceeding to shake their hands in a camp manner and playing with his hair.

He is contrasted with two other guys dressed in western style who pass-by and greet in a ‘brotherly’ macho-like manner.

The effeminate guy acts all shy and blushes when he’s invited, with a ‘wink’ to come inside the villa next door.

Once in the villa’s living room, the effeminate man is told that he needs to change his personality. One of the traditional-dressed men asks: ‘will you change it or not?’ He replies ‘yes but now?’ And is told ‘leave it to us’.

They proceed to show the effeminate guy how to mimic masculine gestures. Later he is given a ‘make-over’ where his hands and face are almost violently scrubbed with scouring cloths, and then his nails and hair are cut.

After the make-over the still effeminate guy gets a slap when he is about leave for saying ‘bye guys’ in his high pitch voice, and given a tip: ‘Thicken your voice!’

In the concluding scene all five characters meet up again. The effeminate guy seems less distinguished by his looks. His friends seem happy and proud of what they did and finish by thanking Allah, who helped bring about the ‘change’.

A Hadith appears in the closing scene roughly translating as: ‘If you see something wrong being done, speak up. If nothing happens, do something. If nothing happens then, change things with your heart.’

While the title ‘Be Yourself’ and video may look paradoxical even laughably ludicrous it nevertheless touches upon some profound issues for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the UAE.

Activists’ flashbacks

Gay Middle East spoke to three activists from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transexual Rights UAE about the video on behalf of Gay Star News.

Abdullah, 24 from Abu-Dhabi, founder of the group commented: ‘The video signifies the level of challenge, we, the UAE LGBT community, have ahead of us. We don’t merely have to change the views of the government but also society itself. It angers me no end, but it also saddens me, this video would have been devastating if my 16-year-old self had watched it.

‘As a 16-year-old, I can still hear echoes in my mind of mom yelling at me not to flail my hand too much when I speak, which only lead to me being robotic and stiff, feeling I must keep both hands down when I speak, something that took a long time to get over.

‘My mom would also shout at me for using English terms like “guys” in her presence because it emulated the westerners and was a direct “attack” to the Arabic language and my [masculine] mannerisms.’

Abdullah told us his parents would force him to get a to ‘a crew cut’ so his hair won’t look like ‘a western propaganda’ gay person, something that deeply humiliated and angered him. He said they refused to buy him jeans and t-shirts because it made him ‘act girly’ telling him instead he must wear the ‘traditional Emirati dress’.

He said: ‘In the UAE, men are required to act in a away that reflects the Bedouin tribe which we are descended from. Many view homosexuality as a western invention and not a very good one.

‘[The video] brought flashbacks to me how on endless hot Friday afternoons I was forced to observe how men interact, or how they drink coffee by my father, so that I should emulate to make him proud.’

He adds: ‘I was banned from hanging out with my sisters too much because my parents alleged they were turning me into a woman.’ Finally his father gave up and rejected him, choosing one of Abdullah’s brothers to ‘make him proud’.

Fatima, a 31-year-old secretary from Abu-Dhabi points out more issues with the representation of the effeminate gay character: ‘The director, having chosen this particular young man and his looks to play the deviant, gender-confused homosexual is openly insulting every gay man on earth.

‘It's typical to have young, macho-wannabe boys chasing a ball in the street, god forbid the director shoots the film in a library or a study room that could really harm the image of what a real Arabic man is supposed to be doing in his free time.

‘They have a femme-fatale gay man to represent the entire population of homosexual men in the region, assuming that gay people are not being themselves, they just spend their lives pretending to be someone else for, I don't know, attention? And then to have a homosexual "cured" with a firm rub and a neat haircut and if he shows signs of relapse, just slap him back to his senses.

‘The massage of this video is ugly, hurtful and very dangerous. I hope whoever came up with this sick idea gets a visit from a gay cupid. Ha!’

Ali, a 25-year-old law student from Dubai was outraged by the video: ‘I found “Be Yourself” extremely offensive. When I read the title, I was thinking “Wow, finally some of these people have actually learnt something! Perhaps we can have a go at acceptance!” only to discover a video filled with prejudice.

‘I was gutted at the confidence in the faces of the actors on the fact that they can treat homosexuality just like that.

‘To all of those who think they can treat homosexuality by grooming, abusing and hurting I want to say “are you proud to be homophobic people? Leading people into an illusion that being gay is all about flapping your hands and having a girly voice?”’

Changing hearts

The UAE is a federation of seven emirates who each have different harsh laws regarding homosexuality, from up to 10 years in prison in Dubai to 14 in Abu-Dhabi, while Article 354 of the Federal Penal Code may even prescribe a death sentence for ‘consensual sodomy’. So punishment for homosexuality can include prison, fines, deportation, flogging and death.

Meanwhile psychologists and psychiatrists in the UAE regard being gay as a psychological disturbance that is, in some cases, to be ‘cured’ with hormonal ‘treatments’, despite global clinical guidance to the contrary.

Abdullah told us: ‘Homosexuality has always been a part of the Arabian world, it existed in poetry and writings that are found in Islam and even predate it. Not to mention it’s a natural part of humanity.’

But stereotyping of LGBT people and the idea that non-conforming sexuality is westernized or can be changed are rampant.

Abdullah said: ‘We want to change that, so that another 16-year-old or the impressionable LGBT youth, wouldn't have to go through what others, including myself, before them did. We will challenge those beliefs and misconceptions one person at a time, and if we don't change them we will reach to their hearts.’




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Courage, cowardice and men's health (prostate)

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Every now and again Blakka Ellis makes us think as a nation with very good articles pity like his counter part Leighton Levy is limited to the Star News tabloid and ought to have a better platform for them to be seen, no blogs or independent sites are around for both gentlemen at this time, have a read of his take on prostate examination. Who can forget his piece on homo-social behaviours in Jamaica?
with Blakka Ellis

I was sitting in a defenceless position and feeling completely vulnerable. I was nervously gripping the handles of the chair with stiff and sweating hands, as I anxiously arched my back and stiffened my neck in anticipation of mind-shattering physical hurt.

I closed my eyes momentarily in an attempt to zone out and mentally prepare for the horror, and when I opened my eyes again I saw him moving towards me holding a massive and threatening weapon with a long, sharp and shiny point. I wanted to scream, but my ever-present pride reminded me that I'm an adult male and screaming would not be cool. So I recoiled and whispered a soft prayer.

 

periodontal probe

The above description is rather dramatic, isn't it? And it sounds like somebody in a hostage situation involving torture, right? Well it was nothing of the sort. That was actually just me getting some much needed dental attention earlier this week.

The threatening looking 'weapon' was really a harmless little thing called a periodontal probe and when I was about to leap out of my skin, I was gently advised to relax because the dentist done use the thing already, and not only am I still alive, I didn't really feel any pain. But fear is a hell of a thing.

Yes friends, recent moments spent in dentists' chairs have reminded me how fearful I am of doctors generally and dentists especially. Clinics and hospitals are fearsome places. Every piece of equipment seems threatening, and little needle looks like a potential source of excruciating pain. No matter how convincingly I argue with myself, or how badly I curse myself or how gently I try to coax myself, it takes great effort to drag myself to the doctor even for a simple routine check-up. Is that a typical 'man thing'? I don't know.

Anecdotal evidence does seem to suggest that men commonly resist dealing with health issues. And the most common explanation seems to be the suggestion that we're so big, tough and macho, and we strongly internalise a sense of masculine invincibility that prevents us from accepting that we're also susceptible to illnesses. Well, I could pretend that that's my situation but I'll just openly admit the truth: I'm just scared. I'm scared of being probed, poked and prodded. I am afraid of being inspected and injected. And I'm fearful of finding out that I may be sicker than I think I am. Yeah, I know that it's not really manly to admit it, but this man is just afraid!

 
Peter Griffin from that infamous Family Guy episode where he was due for a prostate exam and ended up suing the doctor for sexual abuse 

prostate exam

Someone once told me that fear usually walks hand-in-hand with ignorance, so I've tried to clothe myself with the armour of knowledge. But still, fear persists. I know for example, that fear is the biggest reason preventing me from getting that prostate examination that all men my age should be getting. I also know that whether driven by fear, ignorance or cultural expectations, Caribbean men seem to be giving less than adequate attention to issues relating to our health.

Right now, my father is dealing with some serious health concerns, and it seems almost difficult, nigh impossible, for him to even just admit that he's feeling pain. What pain? He is a man, and maybe he has bought into the idea expressed in the lyrics of the Mighty Diamonds' 1976 hit called Have Mercy. You know the line? It says "Man was made to suffer and women were made to feel the pain".

So Caribbean men, are we courageously suffering or cowardly avoiding our vulnerability? What will it take to make us deal more honestly with our health and wellness reality?

box-mi-back@hotmail.com.

*photos added 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Stigmatization of Effeminacy in Gay Jamaican Culture Part II

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In April 2009 I had briefly touched on this issue in part 1 of masculine types complaining about effeminate men and not finding them sexually attractive but only as friends in private settings for the most part. Who knew that almost three years later this issue is still a contentious one despite the metrosexual revolution as I term it in aesthetics and attitudes nationally as well trickling into the previous hardened dancehall and male driven societal culture. It was also in January another subject linked to this question of identities under the MSM umbrella was mentioned on my sister blog GLBTQJA on Wordpress looking at role play between masculine types and so called bottoms or passive partners.

See: On Tops bottoms and hyper-masculinity ……………..

Reactions to effeminacy varies according to the space one finds oneself in or the perceptions others may have of one if seen with a girly individual in public given the stereotypes on male homosexuality in Jamaica.



International pop stars such as Prince photoed above or Caucasian eighties Icons such as David Bowie get away with some variant of effeminacy or metro-sexuality in the mainstream as men become very comfortable with either experimenting with near uni-sexual or feminine feel attire versus traditional male accoutrements. Homosexuality linked to effeminacy however has and still is in some circles viewed as a "white" thing and an European import to cultures of predominantly African descent but same gender loving men who are not so effeminate or down right hyper masculine carrying the new swagger type imagery have been getting very vocal in some quarters regarding their non transvestite yet effeminate counterparts in the MSM world. At a new waterhole of sorts in St. Catherine where many brothers hang out as of late the topic came up for mention while I happened to have been present there for the first time and my opinion was sought, I cautiously tried to be neutral and said I had no issue with effeminate persons albeit that I too can be flaming when I wanted to and very masculine almost at the same time after years of mastering the gift of stealth changing over with the greatest of ease. 

Reference was made of my DJing sessions these days at parties where I spin predominantly dancemusic, international gay club hits and vogue materials for lovers of such music forms and the drag community and have been nicknamed the "dancing DJ," a brother who remembered me from one of my sessions said in the exchage that he did not have an issue with drag queens generally but that some were ugly and did not present themselves well and he would not be caught in public with one either, he also said he would more appreciate a brother who could switch when needed to. Another more ruffian typed brother at the table where we sat said he disliked them period and that he preferred his men manly, "if mi did want a woman mi woulda go look one, not a man weh waan gwaan like gal starrr," (If I wanted a woman I would have gone after one and not a man wanting to be a woman my brother), is this brother subscribing to the stigma from the mainstream in a sense here?

After that remark nearly all the other five brothers who were around the table agreed in some form and this led me to wonder why this dislike or fear of the effeminate from same gender loving males? How easy it is to sway others thought on this issue, we may never know the others true feelings of the other men except in another space or one on one as our culture has a desire to conform attitude following what is politically correct for the group. It was refreshing however to see these new faces as far as I was concerned who were expressing themselves in this space about same sex matters, I hope the space stays safe long enough for more long term socialization and discourse. The brother who had expressed his dislike continued and agreed with the first speaker about not socializing with transvestites in public or even at parties hence his refusal to do gay parties unless they have a certain theme to them. He prefers to go to straight events as it were and find a hot brother than stomach a drag show or see them dancing mimicking the girls on their head tops in mainstream dancehall. 


The fabulous Nina Flowers, Rupaul's Drag race entrant and personality who performed in Jamaica in 2011 to a warm response as many non regulars to local LGBT events came out to see her and Jamaicans who prefer this type of entertainment but outside of Jamaica such as in New York or Miami, notably South Beach.

Even in local LGBT entertainment offerings there has been a steady decline in receptivity to effeminate typed shows with a certain tinge to them save and except for a more dancehall type presentation and more swagger typed hip hop based offering are more popular these days. Drag Queens are still a feature but they are far more looking transgender and closer to a real woman than the drag elements that made the art form popular (I still see it as an art form born out of ones personality) such as the buffed look, butch queen (mix of feminine and masculine attitude complimenting each other) overdone makeup or scary aesthetics so as to indicate it is in fact a man in women's clothes as entertainment. We continue to steadily adopt hetero-normative typed entertainment especially from dancehall culture which is the dominant feature while even drag entertainment is snubbed by the very LGBT community.

Outside of the questionable low quality sometimes of said transvestite offerings however if an overseas big named star is on the bill for events there tends to be some support from the community which may suggest a need to improve local standards in as far as drag shows are concerned. The very dancemusic or "beats" is sometimes not easily digested or accepted any more in local settings as before when the dancehall culture was openly caustic to homosexuality in general, to a certain extent dancehall has burrowed tremendously from the gay underground and ballroom scenes from the United States with sped up beats per minute (BPM) on tracks, triple drop counts, and the sampling of queer sounding voices in some tracks. But with the metrosexual revolution of sorts the aesthetic in dancehall is changing though it has been slowed down due to the absence of its leading personality and bleaching king Vybz Kartel who has been having serious legal woes, murder charges and all. Male dancers in the dancehall community especially those who bleach or lighten their skin for acceptance in the idiom have been and are still castigated as being closeted gays as the dress code in the form of tight pants, plunging neckline tees and brand name gay designer clothing abound and are markers of acceptance especially those with a hefty price tag.  

Could it be a rub off from the national effemophobic response which is embedded in the general homophobia meted out to gay men who are perceived as such with the stereotypical link to effeminate behaviour and the misconceptions of gay men wanting to "replace themselves" in the role of women that has led to the LGBT community also following suit in a sense?

There are some masculine brothers however though who prefer femininity in a guy just that they were not present at that discussion. I am aware of brothers who do not have an issue appearing in public with their spouse or friend or even in drag as many cross dressers  in recent years have presented in public as themselves and have passed easily without incident. Then there are those cases where someone figures it out which leaves a perception that it takes another gay man to recognise a gay man. 

As we evolve we may just see a change again to the widespread recognition of effeminacy again, who knows? it could all be a phase as nothing stays the same.

UPDATE: 26/01/2012
Talk about effemophobia or transphobia ? here is a planned event in the form of a lyme, with some support from guess who? JFLAG!!!!! ...... take a good look at the wording of this invitation sent around the community via various means:

‎::::::::::::::::::::NO Drag Queen are Allowed::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


On February 3rd, 2012, T.A.B.S (founded by Ashe)...will be hosting an MSM LYME titled....Attractor Factor Project Edutainment Lyme.

This lyme promises to be a fun filled event, with a bit of education and gives the option of meet and greet in a comfortable setting with ONLY MSM's. Free HIV testing will also be available for those who wish to get tested, and LIVE performance from the World Renowned...ASHE.
So come out guys, get tested, eat, drink, dance and be GAY...but be on your BEST behaviour, as violence or boisterous behavior will not be tolerated.

It is to be held at (******** ***** ****) and it set to commence at 7pm SHARP!!!!!! This event is invitation only, so if ur name is not on the list..then stay home (lol). interested persons can inbox me their CORRECT name.... Save the date. 


My response to this in one of the avenues used was: cross dressers I would imagine are not apart of the msm community? ........... oh boi, the foolishness continues ........ don't they need to be tested too, what if the persons permanently presents as a cross dresser or is a member of the transgender community pre-operatively? who do they have sex with, isnt it other men in some cases?

This shows we have long ways to go yet.

Peace and tolerance

H

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Facebook & unintentional outings to family members ........

1 comments

With Facebook now the most widely used social networking site by Jamaican LGBTQI people these days there was sooner or later bound to be some anancyism turning up at some point as we are a people good for that kind of crap. With no clear rules by Facebook as to the use of the account holder having a real photograph of themselves on their profiles dishonest individuals have been running rough shod with photos of buffed man or provocative male images with some intended to lure unsuspecting MSMs in particular who in a short time arrange hook ups while not even verifying and developing any long term e-lationship or chat before the face to face or supposed sexual encounter.

Men who have sex with men are not the only ones who have been duped into this practice with disastrous and near death results.

Such was the introduction to a previous post in June of 2011 where I tried to raise awareness of the fast changing LGBT social scene and the use of social media in hookups and ones own safety from gay for pay predators and fake same gender love seeking folks who have other motives in mind including robbery.

Now we have the issue of family members inadvertently being exposed to persons private socialization in as far as privacy is concerned based on ones settings on their profiles. While many LGBT people in Jamaica are making use of improved free medium to keep in touch and to meet new "friends" and the latest sharing of information the less tech savy user may find themselves in problems with family members and siblings if after when they peruse information and "likes" on the respective profile at the time. Such was the case with this latest episode that has led to this post along with other reports of persons being "discovered" probably family members think they know their relatives until, FACEBOOK!

A twenty odd year old has found himself estranged from his father after they recently reconnected as he resides overseas and was absent from the young MSM's life for some time. His father soon recognised that he was apart of an LGBT group on Facebook as his profile settings was left "open" to reflect where he is active etc, a tersely worded email soon was sent by the curious elder who inquired if he was apart of a gay movement and if he realised that homosexuality was wrong in God's sight?

They have not spoken with the regularity they used to since and this has caused some distress to the young MSM so much so that he removed himself from all gay related groups and pages so as to present a "clean" image to his father who by the way is still on his friends list but hardly responds to pokes and messages sent by his son. I tried suggesting he find a counselor to deal with this issue as I am not qualified for that deep level issue but there are other stories similar to this coming to the fore since this revelation was made in one of the groups just before he removed himself from it. Same gender loving sisters in that group have also shared some concerns and one simply said she closed her old profile and created a new one. The young man had reached out to influentials but as usual we do not have the needed resources and the main stay systems hardly address issues like this so what to do? At best I suggest the following settings under the privacy and account setting tabs to avoid conflicts or unintentional outings. On your profile page beside home (top right hand corner) click the drop down arrow:

Go to: 
Apps and Websites
Control what gets shared with apps, games and websites........ then select Edit Settings

then go to:
How people bring your info to apps they use
People who can see your info can bring it with them when they use apps. Use this setting to control the categories of information people can bring with them......then edit settings .... the following should appear 


Then deselect the persons or relationships etc you want to be seen or not to be seen, the groups etc you are in. That is of course if you had set up a family and relationship group apart from your friends list.


Also on ones profile one can customize the viewers of posts at any given time, it might take a few more seconds to do so but it is worth the wait, that is also of course if you are willing to go through all that.

some control can also be here as well:

select the last option and you can literally type a name or names of persons who may want to block generally while using the above to control what goes fully public or to friends only etc.

Some previous safety suggestions that appeared on that June 2011 entry on hookups are posted are below:

Please bear in mind the following if you or someone you know is planning a face to face meeting following an continued e-lationship
  1. Make sure the profiler has a real photo or photos of themselves
  2. Ask questions about them, get to know as much as possible as timely as possible
  3. Establish telephone contact as early as you see fit
  4. Listen for any change in mood, tone or information shared over time
  5. Keep the e-lationship going with regular interactions to pick up any changes as well
  6. Archive or save suspicious exchanges as you see fit
  7. Avoid instant hook-ups without first developing some rapport in the e-lationship
  8. Tell a close friend where and when you are going to meet an online friend for the first time
  9. Develop a trend in communicating for e.g same times if possible per day for chatting
  10. If you decide to meet find an open public area as best as possible, and decide how to behave in that space to avoid any unsuspecting onlookers who may deduce it's a gay link up
  11. Decide on clothing and colour or change colours previously agreed to if you are not sure of the individual
  12. Study your surroundings when there and get there early (as this young man did)
  13. Plan your possible route(s) of escape if necessary
  14. Have a weapon of some sort or maze that can create a distraction then escape as quickly as possible
  15. Have a trusted friend accompany you if possible and have them away from the actual meeting spot but make sure they can see you
  16. Make a call if needed to the person(s) who followed you and keep the line open so they can hear your conversation and call for help elsewhere if needed
  17. Set your Facebook profile to "Friends Only" as under "Friends of Friends" all other persons can see you
  18. If you are in a group and are active you may turn off the feature where non friends can send you a message or see you photos
  19. Use only a sensible face picture as your profile thumbnail so as to avoid stalking
The problematic adding of persons to groups without any restrictive action or vetting that action is also of concern as that has also caused some accidents for persons as sometimes especially if the group is an open one ones activity may appear on their wall viewable by all on their friend's list.
Tinker with the settings and see the ones that suit you best if you do not want to be exposed. Just some suggestions friends.

If all else fails just open another account that they do not know of and do your business.

Peace and tolerance

H

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel call out Jamaican government on buggery law

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Jodee Brown

Internationally acclaimed Reggae superstar, Queen Ifrica and Tony Rebel are letting their feelings known regarding the recent announcement by Jamaican Prime Minister, The Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller to repeal their buggery law.

Both artistes were headliners on the 19th staging of Rebel Salute at the Kaiser Sports Club in St. Elizabeth this past weekend. The annual concert, hosted by Tony Rebel, took place on the Reggae artiste’s 50th birthday; producing a strong lineup card that included Romain Virgo, Capletonand several others.

Queen Ifrica, who recently revealed that she’s pregnant with her third child, gained strong favour with patrons by performing several of her hit singles, including Below The Waist where she pointed to her growing belly in glee.

However, she got the loudest applause from fans when she called out Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Millerregarding her announcement that she’d look into tweaking the buggery law that’s been in place for several years. The law, which refers to the dispelling of particular sexual acts amongst heterosexuals and homosexuals, has been a strong topic of contention for several months.

During Ifrica’s performance, she warned that, "I would like to send a message to those who want to change the laws of nature. No buggery law nah repeal a Jamaica." She then performed the thought-provoking song, Keep It Yourself as a means to re-emphasize her stance.



Tony Rebel later entered the stage, performing several classics on his milestone birthday such as If Jah, Fresh Vegetable and I Can’t Recall. During his set, he called on Jamaica’s new Youth and Culture minister and former Miss World, Lisa Hanna not to review said buggery law.

Otherwise, many strong performances took centre stage; notably, Damian Marley and Stephen Marley. Both artistes gained mass appeal for their strong set and even took the time to shout out incarcerated Reggae superstar, Buju Banton, who awaits an appeal decision regarding his ten-year sentence on drug-related charges.
ENDS


In October 2009 I did a previous post on this sister Queen Ifrica and a song she did basically insisting that we (gays) keep it to ourselves. The subtle anti gay song "Keep it to yuself" echoes that message oh so loudly in which it says:

"Yu feel like a bad man (Keep it to yu self)Doan bring it to Jamaican (Keep it to yu self)We nuh want dat a jamrock (Keep it to yu self)Wi can't tek no more slackness (hear dis) .....

Yu can change di laws of manBut yu can't change di laws of god

So if dem nocking a big glass dem glad

Wan wi fi change a must mad dem mad

Somebody tell mi what is happening

A don't want no fish inna mi Ital dish

To see mi son become a father

Mi greatest wishDi situation kinda very ticklish

But everybody fed up from parish to parish(Yes) and to whom it may concern

A nuh dat deh way wi want di table fi turn

As a citizen wi got a lot of concern

Di truth is a nuh dat. Wi want wi chrilden dem, fi learn

Chorus

Verse 2:

Yu fi multiply an replenish di Earth

An dats why di woman labor inna child birth

Mi nuh want si mi brother Dress up inna no skirt

An mi sister nuh fi mek lift up her skirt

As a nation nuh matter what wi put god first

If yu pass eighteen issa blessing not a curse

Lighting an thunder Bown fi mek di cloud burse

A just di water from

Di Sugar Cane can quench nany thirst(Yes) and to whome it may concern

A nuh dat deh way wi want di table fi turn

As a citizen wi got a lot of concern

Di truth is a nuh dat. Wi want wi chrilden dem, fi learn"

Clearly the song outlines that heterosexism is to replenish the earth's population which enhances a popular sentiment expressed by the christian community and others, a challenge to the cross dressing of males is also evident. The "Fish" in the verse is a subtle term used here to refer to gay men who are mostly effeminate.

See: "Keep it to yuself mentality" on homosexuality and "Keep it to Yuself mentality" on homosexuality part 2 .... on "str8 Jamaica

Peace and tolerance

H

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Did Apostle Paul actually accepted Christian homosexuals?

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Maybe yes, just was able to share this as so many other stuff have been happening here in Jamaica as you may have realised by the posts. In November 2011 this news came and also  a book (photo below) with accompanying YOUTUBE videos to explain the legal paradox and the supposed unsolved Romans text on homosexuality. 



For the last 2,000 years, Christians have been taught to believe that Apostle Paul condemned homosexuality. But a new discovery documents that he deliberately acknowledged that it does not prevent anyone from entering heaven. This discovery by internationally acclaimed cryptographer Michael Wood removes the final barrier to full societal acceptance of gays and lesbians.


“Michael Wood’s discovery is remarkable because it solves a colossal paradox regarding Paul’s Greek that has baffled scholars for 2,000 years,” says Dr. William Berg, former professor of Greek and Roman Classics at Stanford University, UCLA, and other academic institutions.


Paul’s only unequivocal reference to homosexuality is found within Romans 1:18-3:20, a Biblical passage that has mystified scholars for two millennia. “The interpretation of Romans 1:18-3:20 has been notoriously difficult for almost every commentator,” Richard Longenecker, a distinguished New Testament scholar, writes in his book ‘Studies in Paul.’ “Earlier interpreters such as Origen, Jerome, Augustine, and Erasmus wrestled with this issue and it continues to plague commentators today.”’


The passage is riddled with paradoxes. It says that “only the doers of the law will be vindicated by God,” and “by the works of the law no one will be vindicated.” The passage also mysteriously separates idolatrous, homosexual, orgy fests from transgressions worthy of spiritual death. “In finding the definitive solution to Paul’s legal paradox, I inadvertently discovered why he separated the idolatrous, same-sex orgies from the things he considered worthy of spiritual death,” said Wood.


Dr. Berg has spent many months examining the linguistic and historical basis of what he describes as Wood’s “remarkable” discovery. “Michael Wood reveals to the public a well-kept secret, namely that the apostle Paul, like the rest of his contemporaries, divided the commands of the Jewish law into two groups demarcated by Leviticus 19:18—‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the commandments based on loving your neighbor were ‘Justices of the Torah.’ Those not based on Leviticus 19:18 were ‘Jobs of the Torah.’” Dr. Berg explained.


Wood’s solution is definitive, elegant, and verifiable. Romans 2:13-26 teaches: Only the doers of the ‘Justices of the Torah’ will be vindicated before God. Romans 3:20 says, “By the ‘Jobs of the Torah’ no one will be vindicated.” Not only is there no contradiction, but the two teachings have always been simple restatements of each other; the “Great Paradox” is no paradox at all! MORE


meanwhile



Monumental Cryptography Discovery Reveals Homosexuality Not Forbidden in Bible


Apparently Paul’s paradoxes laid out in the book of Romans in the Bible have plagued theologians and historians for thousands of years. A classic argument against cultural permissiveness toward homosexuality stems from Romans, in which Paul appears to say homosexuals need not apply for an all-inclusive pass to Heaven – because they will be denied.


But Wood’s discovery has turned the entire scripture upside down, and it appears that the Bible has had a welcome mat out for the gays all along.


“Michael Wood’s discovery is remarkable because it solves a colossal paradox regarding Paul’s Greek that has baffled scholars for 2,000 years,” says Dr. William Berg, who taught Greek and Roman Classics at Stanford University.


Paul’s only unequivocal reference to homosexuality is found within Romans 1:18-3:20, a Biblical passage that has mystified scholars for two millennia. “The interpretation of Romans1:18-3:20 has been notoriously difficult for almost every commentator,” Richard Longenecker, the Distinguished New Testament Scholar at Wheaton College, writes in his book Studies in Paul. “Earlier interpreters such as Origen, Jerome, Augustine, and Erasmus wrestled with this issue and it continues to plague commentators today.”


The passage is riddled with paradoxes. It says that “only the doers of the law will be vindicated by God,” and “by the works of the law no one will be vindicated.” The passage also mysteriously separates idolatrous, homosexual orgy fests from transgressions worthy of spiritual death. “In finding the definitive solution to Paul’s legal paradox, I inadvertently discovered why he separated the idolatrous, same-sex orgies from the things he considered worthy of spiritual death,” said Wood.


Wood’s solution is definitive, elegant, and verifiable. Romans 2:13-26 teaches: Only the doers of the “Justices of the Torah” will be vindicated before God. Romans 3:20 says, “By the ‘Jobs of the Torah’ no one will be vindicated.” Not only is there no contradiction, but the two teachings have always been simple restatements of each other; the “Great Paradox” is no paradox at all!


This legal solution fully explains Paul’s treatment of homosexuality. Paul’s passage excludes idolatrous, homosexual orgy fests from things which he considered worthy of spiritual death, things such as “bad-mouthing others,” “deceiving,” and “inflicting pain.” Those engaged in idolatrous, homosexual orgies weren’t violating the Justices. (They weren’t violating the precept “Love your neighbor as yourself.”) Therefore, Paul was obliged to separate this from his list of things which did violate the Justices.


The finding is significant because it documents that Paul purposefully separated the same-sex acts; it was a conscious, deliberate decision consistent with the rest of the passage. In fact, it was demanded by the rest of the passage. The resolution of the paradox empirically proves that Paul’s view on homosexuality was very different from what Christians had thought for 2,000 years.


Although Romans 1 contains the only unequivocal reference to homosexuality, anti-homosexual statements have been introduced into other passages in newer versions of the English Bible. As for these modern changes to the Biblical text: “Michael Wood has gone the extra mile in being faithful to Paul’s Greek,” said Dr. Berg. “He shows, time and again, that the words traditionally mistranslated as ‘homosexual,’ ‘effeminate,’ ‘impure,’ and so forth, are really targeting selfish, unloving, unjust activity and have nothing to do with sexual orientation. He shows that once again Paul was condemning those who violate the Justices of the Torah, and nothing more.”












the book can be had at AMAZON

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CVM TV @ Sunrise on the Buggery review & JFLAG's 100 days hope for meeting with PM

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CVM @ Sunrise earlier today January 11, 2012 dealt with the supposed JFLAG gauntlet of sorts for a meeting with the new Prime Minister Mrs Portia Simpson Miller on her promise as it were to review the buggery law and a subsequent conscience vote in parliament on repealing it, she had not issued a timeline for the suggested move but JFLAG has been reported as saying they want the matter to be brought up within 100 days of the new government taking office and this is not going down well in certain quarters including the religious community who have arrived at conclusions that the lobby group is demanding action on the strength of some possible donations to the PNP political party during the last election campaign. They have denied such allegations since. 

video: here is a reminder of Mrs. Simpson Miller on the matter during the leadership debate preceding the elections:

In a post on my sister blog GLBTQJA on Wordpress entitled: JFLAG wants PNP to discuss Buggery Law within 100 days of assuming office a CVM TV news item was also included

Dane Lewis Executive Director of the J told CVM TV that he expected the issues to begin to placed on the table within 100 days, "To be realistic we would imagine within the first 100 days the issue could be raised we can look at how to proceed," Mr Lewis said while JFLAG is not expecting a conscience vote to repeal the buggery law within the first 100 days discussions are important as Jamaica has a 2012 deadline to meet according to the international covenant on human rights, “….one of the leading recommendations made in November last year was that Jamaica should report by 2012 on what concrete steps to removal of discriminatory laws,” Mr Lewis said.

According to Mr. Lewis JFLAG is willing to make small steps in acquiring legal recognition for homosexuals he says although gay marriage is legalized overseas JFLAG is not pursuing that as part of its lobby at this time, "gay marriage is certainly not an item on our agenda, we still have a large issue of discrimination …. people are being evicted from their homes, people are being physically abused because of their sexual orientation and we want to begin to address those issues."

He acknowledges that the discussion of gay rights will be met with strong public opposition however he says as was demonstrated by Mrs Simpson Miller we should be strident in dealing with issues impeding human rights, a solution to the issues concerning gay rights will help to deal with HIV/AIDS.




Co-host of CVM @ Sunrise Rohan Dailey had the Reverend Dr. Henley Morgan and attorney-at-law Arlene Harrison Henry of the Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights at first to discuss the JFLAG's position on 100 days for a meeting with the new PM, as you may have gleamed from the audio above Reverend Morgan walked on eggshells trying to make his position between the folds thus leading to the church's position versus his own and some clarification from Ms Henry. He also made it clear he didn't think gay marriage rights are to be extended same gender loving persons. It almost sounded scripted on his part, he struggled with the nature versus nurture matter whether persons were born gay or not while Ms Harrison Henry was on the ball from the get go where she clearly stated the gay community was not asking for gay marriage rights. She also made mention of the fact that the Charter of Rights made it clear that marriage is between a man and a woman obviously infused in anticipation of the issue being raised again by the then joint select committees who finalized the document. She also said a conscience vote could not be had unless there is national debate and education. 

One thing I had an issue with in as far as Mrs Henry's definition of buggery was concerned was where she said "...the legislative scheme sections 76 of the Offences Against The Persons Act treats with Buggery which is intimate relations between man and man or man and woman,it is that which is prohibited but the loving of same sex is not an illegal act...." she was speaking in the context of homosexuality not being illegal in Jamaica. To simply leave it open as intimate relations is vague in my view seeing that the buggery law is specific to anal penetration intimate relations can also mean non penetrative sex or so called compromising positions which may include partnered masturbation, intercrural sex (faking penetration by placing erect penis between legs of a passive partner, practiced by heterosexual couples when the female is seeing her monthly cycle) and or frottage, gross indecency would probably cover those outercoursal activity. She also said with women they cannot commit any act of buggery but I am thinking what about women who employ sex toys as part of their activities and said toy is used in anally penetrating a consenting partner?

Rev Dailey also reminded us of the former Senator Oswald Harding's position in 2004 on the buggery law repeal suggestion.
Here is Mrs. Simpson Miller in a subsequent outdoor political campaign meeting defending her comment 

Portia Simpson Miller - SIMPSON MILLER DEFENDS GAY COMMENT 23.12.11 

We must not forget the presence of some anti gay figures in the PNP who are still in the structure that of former Attorney General A. J Nicholson who supported nearly every anti gay move during his years including the tumultuous years of the Sexual Offences Bill Debates, the Charter of Rights struggles and his open castigation of gay marriage, even Portia Simpson Miller herself sided with Bruce Golding on the no to gay marriage smoke screen after digging my archives I found the presentation by Mrs Simpson Miller in 2009 (poor audio though) where she sided wholeheartedly with the then Prime Minster Bruce Golding (his speech linked) on the banning of gay marriage, gay marriage rights by the way was never asked for by the LGBT advocacy structure but it was dishonestly pushed on the agenda during the Charter of Rights debate then as a smoke screen to deny us recognition in the Charter. The same document that clearly defines marriage between a man and a woman, it also does not protect persons from discrimination due to sexual orientation but only on the grounds of ones biological form.

She said on October 20th 2009 - "Mr Speaker when we accepted the final report from the joint select committee that were looking at the bill we were completely satisfied with their recommendation of a provision to restrict marriage and like relationships to one man and one woman within Jamaica and that the provision should be specifically spelt out so that there could be no ambiguity .......... yes one man one woman (laughter in the house) and if you are Jamaican and go overseas the same applies ..........."

Has her position changed so radically? ........ Interesting times lie ahead people.

Peace and tolerance

H


UPDATE Jan 13, 2012
Meanwhile JFLAG tries to clear up the ultimatum versus request mess on the 100 day issue with the PM and the buggery review via yet another press release:

J-FLAG DID NOT GIVE ULTIMATUM

Kingston — January 12, 2012
The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) wishes to clarify that the organisation has NOTgiven the government an ultimatum.

On January 3, 2012, CVM TV contacted the organisation for a comment on its expectations of the new administration following the Peoples National Party’s (PNP) win in the General Elections. This was in the context of the bold pronouncements the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller had made during the leadership debate. NewsWatch reported, J-FLAG’s Executive Director, Dane Lewis as saying “To be realistic, I imagine within the first hundred days at least the issue could be raised, with a look at how to proceed.”

However, many have misinterpreted this statement of expectation as an ultimatum. Mr Lewis also highlighted that Jamaica is required by the end of 2012 to report to the UN Human Rights Committee reviewing Jamaica’s status under the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights “on what concrete steps it’s [Jamaica] making towards removal of discriminatory laws”. It is within this context that the comment was made. J-FLAG wishes to reiterate that it has not issued an ultimatum but offered a comment on what could be done by the Government within the first hundred (100) days to demonstrate its recognition of the broad human rights concerns that affect all Jamaicans. This is a common strategy which has been used by many other organisations in civil society and private sector.

Like all Jamaicans, J-FLAG remains committed to the human social and economic development of Jamaica. In so doing, J-FLAG will continue to defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans from discrimination, harassment and violence.

ENDS

As I hinted in a previous post on my sister blog GLBTQJA on Wordpress mistakes such as granting a telephone interview (sans any consultations with the community I might add) to the media in a "hot environment" when homosexuality or related matters are in the public domain is a no no, all the J should have done was waited and not mention anything at all to do with any time line in any way, shape or form now for it to be misrepresented as an ultimatum. We have had previous misconceptions before of JFLAG's position by media and one would have thought that as a former media participant himself the Executive Director of JFLAG Mr. Lewis would have known the ins and outs of local media with regards to hot button issues such as this. The San Francisco boycott some years ago and the suggested EGALE tourism boycott as well are prime examples of learning curves for the group and speaking just a little too much but when it's time to speak there is silence. How many mistakes are there to be made before it is perfected? one never knows.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Gleaner's associate editor on no to theocracy

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Byron Buckley wrote

Church Picking On Gays

ALAS, PRIME Minister Portia Simpson Miller has named her Cabinet, notwithstanding the fear and hysteria expressed by some clergymen during the recent election campaign, about the possible inclusion of homosexuals in her administration.

Jamaica Gleaner Company 
Byron Buckley

Indeed, the overwhelming political mandate, in terms of seat count and geographic spread, given to Mrs Simpson Miller and her party is perhaps a rebuff to those who sought to vilify her position that she would appoint persons to Cabinet positions based on merit rather than sexual orientation.

It is shameful and scandalous for a Christian to support the victimisation (beat the B-man) and discrimination (job denial) of homosexuals and any other groups of persons.

The Christian community in Jamaica is grappling with the dilemma of how to embrace homosexuals while not condoning their sexual orientation and lifestyle.

Why do Christians regard homosexuality as an exceptional or grievous sin?

It is in a Christian's 'DNA' to object to homosexual practices. After all, homosexuality runs counter to the natural principle of procreation established by God. Copulation by Adam and Eve (not Steve) ensures the continuation of the human race. In underscoring this point, God, through Scripture, has regarded homosexuality and bestiality as morally reprehensible.

unnatural, sinful and inimical

Throughout Old and New Testament Scripture, God has expressed displeasure at men and women engaging in unnatural sexual acts with persons of the same sex. The Bible has even come out against men behaving effeminately. Importantly, the Bible forbids other kinds of sexual immorality, including fornication, incest, divorce/adultery and prostitution. Indeed, St Paul told Christians at Corinth that persons who practised homosexuality, adultery and idolatry, among other sins, would not enter God's kingdom.

So, the Church is on message in its opposition to homosexuality. And this article is not a call for the Church to abandon its teaching and stance against homosexuality as unnatural, sinful and inimical to procreation and family life as designed by God.

However, this is a critique of the Church's extreme and selective attitude towards homosexuality and those who practise it - which is contrary to Christians' mission to share the good news with ALL.

New Testament writers refer to homosexuality as part of sexual immorality in general. So to be consistent, the Church should oppose, with equal energy, adultery, fornication, wife-swapping, incest, paedophilia and the high rate of broken marriages. The Church can't cherry-pick its favourite sin to oppose. Homosexuals see straight through this double standard and ask, 'Why discriminate and victimise us?'

What's the real reason Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed? Although Christians often point to the destruction of these cities as caused by rampant homosexuality, there is reason to believe the practice was one of a suite of sinful behaviours that God found offensive. The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel explained the iniquity of Sodom and Gomorrah as pride, fullness of bread (material wealth), abundance of idleness (hedonism), lack of care for the poor and needy, haughtiness and abominable (homosexual) practices.

transformative mission

So, again, Christians have chosen to take their own meaning or emphasis from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. A more apt message to take away is that as a society, we should ensure that material prosperity does not cause us to descend into an orgy of immorality and sensuality. We should also ensure that we take care of the disadvantaged, the poor and needy. This is why Christians should never be found in the position where they are supporting harm being done to anyone - especially with the Church's dismal record during the Crusades and the transatlantic slave trade.

The transformative mission of the Church requires it to display a higher standard of behaviour towards homosexuals. Christians should be leading the way generally in protecting the welfare of homosexuals. Christians can't join the rowdy chorus of 'kill or beat the B-man.' The challenge for the Church is to establish a caring and grace-filled environment that enables it to share the transformative gospel with homosexuals as well. Jesus Christ came to heal the broken-hearted and set the captives free - in short, to transform lives.

The Church cannot be selective about who it ministers to, nor can it place boundaries against groups - such as homosexuals - as if they are beyond God's love.

I believe while there are persons who have accepted their homosexual orientation, others have not. This is where the Church has a mission to offer counsel and healing. But a condemnatory stance by the Church will only drive away such persons who are likely to be befriended by the wrong crowd.

The homophobic (I deliberately choose this word) reaction by some church leaders and Christians is tactically foolish. In the grand culture war and cosmic struggle between good and evil, Christians must secure victory with the weapon of love, which will bring transformation to individual lives.

Maybe Christians have adopted a hard line against homosexuals because, in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, God destroyed, rather than mercifully saving them.

But that's not the full story: Sodom and Gomorrah could have been saved if there were enough righteous people there! In the final analysis, no matter how repulsed Christians are by the haughtiness of some homosexuals, we should leave their fate to God.

In the meantime, we anticipate the PM carrying through her campaign promise to debate and review the law against buggery, allowing legislators to vote according to their conscience and upon their constituents' advice.

No doubt, the voice of the Church and faith-based community will be heard. After all, Jamaica is a pluralistic society as well as a robust democracy. And I prefer this to a theocracy.

Byron Buckley is an associate editor at The Gleaner. The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the newspaper. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and byron.buckley@gleanerjm.com.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A marriage and another activist seeks asylum .............

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According to the The Star

Reverend Brent Hawkes signs the marriage certificate of Maurice Tomlinson, left, and Tom Decker.

Jamaican gay activist, Maurice Tomlinson, married a Torontonian


Catherine Porter

The day after Jack Layton’s funeral, eulogist Stephen Lewis and pastor Brent Hawkes congregated again for a different holy ritual: Maurice Tomlinson’s wedding.
Tomlinson is a leading gay activist in Jamaica — the only country in the Western hemisphere where gay sex is still illegal.

In Toronto, he married Tom Decker, a police officer-cum-pastor in the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto.
The UN’s former special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa was the best man. Hawkes married them. Tomlinson wept with joy throughout the ceremony, but he didn’t invite any of his family out of fear.

Talk about a double life.

“In Canada, I have a husband,” he told me from their little red-brick row home in Toronto’s east end. “In Jamaica, I have a good friend.”
In the past year, Tomlinson has received three death threats for speaking out against the country’s virulent homophobia.

He’s stopped going to parties and bars and public beaches, he says.
He’s right to be scared. Vigilante justice against gay men is common in Jamaica, a country where 82 per cent of people self-identified as homophobic in one recent survey. Last year, two men were chopped to death with machetes because they were gay.

Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding was openly homophobic: he said he’d never appoint a gay person to his cabinet. According to the law, consensual sex between two men in Jamaica will get you 10 years of imprisonment and hard labour. Any “act of gross indecency” — like kissing — will get you two years.

The law is rarely enforced. More often, police use it for extortion, Tomlinson says. But its very existence fuels the mobs, machetes in hand, since gays are legally criminals. Even the police officer who recorded his first death-threat report “went on a tirade that he hates gays, who deserve to die,” says Tomlinson.

For two years, Tomlinson has collected victim reports as a legal adviser for Lewis’ international advocacy organization, AIDS-Free World. Now, he’s taking them to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, since the Jamaican charter protects the laws against “sexual offences” from constitutional review.

“There’s an African proverb: you are mopping the floor while the tap is still running,” says Tomlinson, 40. “If you don’t change the law, you’ll never change the attitude.”
The commission is likely to hear his petition this spring. Even though it has no authority over Jamaica’s parliament, it will be a big moment for the island’s underground gay community.

Dirty laundry for all to see.

There is other good news. On Jan. 29, Tomlinson will be in England to receive the inaugural David Kato award for gay human rights activism. Kato, a Ugandan gay activist, was murdered last year. The award comes with a $10,000 grant that Tomlinson plans to use to give Caribbean police officers anti-homophobic training.

And, last week, Jamaicans elected a new prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, who pledged to put the country’s anti-sodomy law to a vote in parliament.
“Justice will out!” Lewis wrote me in an email. “I genuinely believe this would not have happened had Maurice not spent the last two years on a personal crusade to convert Jamaica to tolerance.”

Tomlinson is less optimistic. He is sure parliament will be swayed again by the powerful evangelical churches and that machete mobs will continue unabated.
Change both seeps and charges. Just think: 11 years ago this month, Hawkes performed the country’s first gay wedding, wearing a bulletproof vest under his clerical vestments.
Looking at the freckles that splash down Tomlinson’s left cheek like sugar grains, I wonder how anyone could hate a man this breathlessly beautiful. He’s worried he’ll be dead by the time gays are no longer criminals in Jamaica. He’s applying for Canadian citizenship, he tells me. We’d be lucky to have him.

But I hope he stays in Jamaica.
That country needs him more.

Catherine Porter’s column usually appears on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. She can be reached at cporter@thestar.ca.

ENDS

two cents

One would have thought that in the middle of the struggle and the gift for some by the new administration to review the buggery law and seeing how Mr Tomlinson has thrown himself in the public eye as the face for LGBT advocacy at his own re-cognisance even appearing on local television only last evening on CVM TV (I missed it) this would be the last thing we would see, what a perfect gift for the homophobes to latch on to now? oh see they (gays) don't need to be here, they can go abroad and marry, let them get asylum and leave here as we don't want no battyman here in Jamaica are some of the thoughts I presume they must be saying after seeing this, thoughts and sentiments by the way that have been said before. Perfect too this showcase of the wide class divisions in the community as the more affluent can always escape direct homophobia but FIRE!!! or hell for a gay man who is found or even suspected to be such in the lower socio economic strata of Jamaican society even though there is a perception that homophobia is lesser today that years gone by and as is typical with many such as Maurice they seek asylum afterwards running away leaving the rest of us to face the music, another activist flies the coup, why am I not surprised? yet another activist runs off. 

Local papers have also caught on to the news as well. 

Some of us realised very early in the day that the buggery review tag was a nice election trick and a great way for any politician to escape scrutiny when tackled about buggery as knowing that it may not get a positive vote in the proposed conscience vote by Mrs Simpson Miller. If and when it happens as well, as many suspect in won't for a while to come however the results may come with negative majority, then any PM or representative can say well the vote was run and the people through their representatives have spoken and that is the end of the matter.
To finally having to see the true feelings from Tomlinson on the possible outcome of a conscience vote on the buggery law review from a FOREIGN publication also again raises the importance or lack thereof of the regard to the local LGBT community on the ground and relevant forumatic discourse needed. 

Knowing the invented gay marriage ploy used to castigate the so called homosexual lifestyle especially by the politicians including the newly elected Prime Minister Mrs Simpson Miller in 2009 when during the Charter of Rights Debate October 20th she said ""Mr Speaker when we accepted the final report from the joint select committee that were looking at the bill we were completely satisfied with their recommendation of a provision to restrict marriage and like relationships to one man and one woman within Jamaica and that the provision should be specifically spelt out so that there could be no ambiguity .......... yes one man one woman (laughter in the house) and if you are Jamaican and go overseas the same applies ..........."

We also saw restorative therapy advocate and raging anti gay pastor Rev Al Miller who also talks about marriage and family life being threatened by the homosexual lifestyle what a way to rile up the opposition now when our hands are still in the lions mouth, it's like the mistakes keep a coming only days before we saw the goodly JFLAG laying down an expectation as it is called by them for the buggery matter to be discussed within 100 days of the new administration of the PNP. Yes, I see the timing of this public marriage as a mistake at this important juncture which may greatly affect our position in the struggle on the ground. Strategy here anyone?

As representatives what and how we do or conduct ourselves is subjected to public scrutiny and it also leaves a strange feeling for some persons on the ground as in a conversation I was privy to on this news where persons questioned the legitimacy of the persons who put themselves forward as advocates on behalf of the rest of us supposedly. More and more cynicism is raising its head and motive is being looked for when all there is or seems to be is self aggrandisement and attention seeking in the eyes of some.

We may never know the truth as to the representation as is being put forward supposedly on our behalf sans any real honest consultations with the LGBT body politic. Again as I said in a previous post ” ….. yuh hand inna lion mouth u tek time draw it out,” (your hand is in a lion’s mouth you take your time and pull it out)

Peace and tolerance

H


UPDATE 30.01.12

Remarks by Maurice Tomlinson, AIDS-Free World’s Legal Advisor on Marginalized Groups, upon receiving the inaugural

‘David Kato Vision and Voice Award’

London, UK, January 29, 2012, 6:00 PM



more on audio (Feb 1, 2012)

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Not all views expressed are those of GJW

This blog contains pictures and images that may be disturbing. As we seek to highlight the plight of victims of homophobic violence here in Jamaica, the purpose of the pics is to show physical evidence of claims of said violence over the years and to bring a voice of the same victims to the world.

Many recover over time, at pains, as relocation and hiding are options in that process. Please view with care or use the Happenings section to select other posts of a different nature.

Not all persons depicted in photos are gay or lesbian and it is not intended to portray them as such, save and except for the relevance of the particular post under which they appear.

Please use the snapshot feature (if available for your device(s) 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.

God Bless

Other Blogs I write to:

Recent Homophobic Incidents CLICK HERE for related posts/labels from glbtqjamaica's blog & HERE for those I am aware of.

contact:

APJ Website Launch & Link


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)

The Hypocrisy of Jamaican Anti Gay Groups & Selective Actions of Societal Ills


The selectivity of the anti gay religious voices on so called societal ills is examined in this podcast as other major issues that require the "church" to have spoken up including sexual abuse by pastors in recent times yet mere silence on those matters is highlighted.

Why are these groups and so called child rights activists creating mass hysteria and have so much strength for HOMOSEXUALITY but are quiet on corruption in government, missing children, crime in the country and so much more but want to stop same gender loving persons from enjoying peace of mind and PRIVACY?

Also is the disturbing tactic of deliberately conflating paedophilia with same gender sex as if to suggest reforming the buggery law will cause an influx of buggered children when we know that is NOT TRUE.

MSM/Trans homeless - From gully to graveyard



When are lives interrupted be allowed a real honest chance to move from interruption to independence and stability? I just cannot tell you friends.

An article appeared in the gleaner today that just sent me into sadness mode again with this ugly business of LGBTQI homelessness. The author of the piece needs an intervention too as he (Ryon Jones) uses terms such as cross dressers and or homeless men which if transgender persons are present they cannot be described or seen as such, sigh another clear display of the lack of impact and reach of so called advocacies and advocates who are more interested in parading as working but really aint having much impact as they ought to or claim.

We are told of houses being put together from time in memorial; the Dwayne’s House project seems dead in the water, the Larry Chang (named after a JFLAG cofounder) seems stuck in the mud and Colour Pink’s so called Rainbow House seems insignificant in relation to the size and scope of the national problem. JFLAG as presented on this blog is obviously not interested in getting their hands dirty really on homelessness save and except for using the populations as cannon fodder and delegating same; as far as I am concerned presenting them as victims of homophobia which is true but where are the programs and the perceived millions donated or granted since President Obama’s visit to address LGBTQ matters?

More HERE

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?

The Deliberate Misuse of the “Sexual Grooming” Term by Antigay Fanatics to Promote Their Hysteria



Just as I researched on-line in NOT EVEN five minutes and found a plethora of information and FACTS on Sexual Grooming (and thanks to Dr Karen Carpenter for some valuable insight I found out what Sexual Grooming was) so too must these fanatics go and do the same and stop creating panic in the country.

The hysteria continues from the Professor Bain so called protests to protect freedom of speech and bites at the credibility of the LGBT lobby collectively continues via Duppies Dupe UWI articles when the bigger principle of the conflict of interest in regards to the greater imperative of removing/preserving archaic buggery laws in the Caribbean dependent on which side one sits is of greater import when the professor’s court testimony in Belize went against the imperative of CHART/PANCAP goals is the more germane matter of which he was former head now temporarily reinstated via a court ex-parte injunction. The unnecessary uproar and shouting from the same hysterical uninformed quarters claiming moral concerns ....... MORE CLICK HERE

also see if you can

JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness



Reminder

In a shocking move JFLAG decided not to invite or include homeless MSM in their IDAHO activity for 2013 thus leaving many in wonderment as to the reason for their existence or if the symposium was for "experts" only while offering mere tokenism to homeless persons in the reported feeding program. LISTEN TO THE AUDIO ENTRY HERE sad that the activity was also named in honour of one of JFLAG's founders who joined the event via Skype only to realize the issue he held so dear in his time was treated with such disrespect and dishonor. Have LGBT NGOs lost their way and are so mainstream they have forgotten their true calling?

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

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

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

Steps to take when confronted by the police & your rights compromised:


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 tense

d) 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

i) 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

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, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston


New Kingston Cop Proposes Shelter for Shoemaker Gully LGBT Homeless Population




Superintendent Murdock

The same cop who has factored in so many run-ins with the youngsters in the Shoemaker Gully (often described as a sewer by some activists) has delivered on a promise of his powerpoint presentation on a solution to the issue in New Kingston, problem is it is the same folks who abandoned the men (their predecessors) from the powerful cogs of LGBT/HIV that are in earshot of his plan.

This ugly business of LGBTQ homelessness and displacements or self imposed exile by persons has had several solutions put forth, problem is the non state actors in particular do not want to get their hands dirty as the more combative and political issues to do with buggery's decriminalization or repeal have risen to the level of importance more so than this. Let us also remember this is like the umpteenth meeting with the cops, some of the LGBT homeless persons and the advocacy structure.

Remember JFLAG's exclusion of the group from that IDAHO symposium on LGBT homelessess? See HERE, how can we ask the same people who only want to academise and editorialise the issue to also try to address their own when they do not want to get their hands dirty but publish wonderful reports as was done earlier this month, see HERE: (re)Presenting and Redressing LGBT Homelessness in Jamaica: Towards a Multifaceted Approach to Addressing Anti-Gay Related Displacement also LGBT homelessness has always been with us from the records of Gay Freedom Movement(1974) to present but the current issues started from 2009, see: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009 as carried on sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch. CLICK HERE for FULL post of this story.

Gender Identity/Transgederism Radio discussion Jamaica March 2014





Radio program Everywoman on Nationwide Radio 90FM March 20th 2014 with Dr Karen Carpenter as stand-in host with a transgender activist and co-founder of Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica and a gender non conforming/lesbian guest as well on the matters of identity, sex reassignment surgery and transexuality.

CLICK HERE for a recording of the show

BUSINESS DOWNTURN FOR THE WEED-WHACKING PROJECT FOR FORMER DISPLACED ST CATHERINE MSM



As promised here is another periodical update on an income generating/diligence building project now in effect for some now seven former homeless and displaced MSM in St Catherine, it originally had twelve persons but some have gotten jobs elsewhere, others have simply walked away and one has relocated to another parish, to date their weed whacking earning business capacity has been struggling as previous posts on the subject has brought to bear.

Although some LGBT persons residing in the parish have been approached by yours truly and others to increase client count for the men costs such as gas and maintenance of the four machines that are rotated between the enrolled men are rising weekly literally while the demand is instead decreasing due to various reasons.



Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14



debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.


What to Do .....




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.

Notes on Bail & Court Appearance issues


If in doubt speak to your attorney

Bail and its importance -

If one is locked up then the following may apply:
Locked up over a weekend - Arrested pursuant to being charged or detained There must be reasonable suspicion i.e. about to commit a crime, committing a crime or have committed a crime.

There are two standards that must be met:

1). Subjective standard: what the officer(s) believed to have happened

2). Objective standard: proper and diligent collection of evidence that implicates the accused To remove or restrain a citizen’s liberty it cannot be done on mere suspicion and must have the above two standards

 Police officers can offer bail with exceptions for murder, treason and alleged gun offences, under the Justice of the Peace Act a JP can also come to the police station and bail a person, this provision as incorporated into the bail act in the late nineties

 Once a citizen is arrested bail must be considered within twelve hours of entering the station – the agents of the state must give consideration as to whether or not the circumstances of the case requires that bail be given

 The accused can ask that a Justice of the Peace be brought to the station any time of the day. By virtue of taking the office excluding health and age they are obliged to assist in securing bail

"Bail is not a matter for daylight

Locked up and appearing in court

 Bail is offered at the courts office provided it was extended by the court; it is the court that has the jurisdiction over the police with persons in custody is concerned.

 Bail can still be offered if you were arrested and charged without being taken to court a JP can still intervene and assist with the bail process.

Other Points of Interest

 The accused has a right to know of the exact allegation

 The detainee could protect himself, he must be careful not to be exposed to any potential witness

 Avoid being viewed as police may deliberately expose detainees

 Bail is not offered to persons allegedly with gun charges

 Persons who allegedly interfere with minors do not get bail

 If over a long period without charge a writ of habeas corpus however be careful of the police doing last minute charges so as to avoid an error

 Every instance that a matter is brought before the court and bail was refused before the accused can apply for bail as it is set out in the bail act as every court appearance is a chance to ask for bail

 Each case is determined by its own merit – questions to be considered for bail:

a) Is the accused a flight risk?

b) Are there any other charges that the police may place against the accused?

c) Is the accused likely to interfere with any witnesses?

d) What is the strength of the crown’s/prosecution’s case?

 Poor performing judges can be dealt with at the Judicial Review Court level or a letter to the Chief Justice can start the process

Human Rights Advocacy for GLBT Community Report 2009

Popular Posts

What I am reading at times ......

Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact: glbtqjamaica@live.com or Tel: 1-876-841-2923 (leave a message just in case)




Activities & Plans: ongoing and future

  • To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus

  • Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives

  • To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony

  • Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions

  • To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term

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

  • Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public

  • Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner

  • Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise

  • Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL

Thanks again
Mr. H or Howie

Tel: 1-876-841-2923
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

Battle Lines Javed Jaghai versus the state & the Jamaica Buggery Law



Originally aired on CVM TV December 8th 2013, apologies for some of the glitches as the source feed was not so hot and it kept dropping from source or via the ISP, NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED and is solely for educational and not for profit use and review. The issue of the pending legal challenge in the Constitutional Court in Jamaica as filed by Javed Jaghai an outspoken activist who happens also to be openly aetheist.

The opposing sides are covered as well such as
The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society
The Love March
Movement Jamaica

The feature seems destined for persons who are just catching up to the issues and repositioning JFLAG in particular in the public domain as their image has taken a beating in some respects especially on the matter of the homeless MSM front. They need to be careful that an elitist perception is not held after this after some comments above simplistic discourse, the use of public agitation as beneath some folks and the obvious overlooking of the ordinary citizen who are realy the ones who need convincing to effect the mindset change needed and the national psyche's responses to homosexuality in general.


John Maxwell's House