Friday, April 25, 2014

Archbishop of Kingston Denies Claims That Clergy Members Abusing Alpha Boys

So it seems this issue has no end any time soon as more voices throw their hats in the ring over the Alpha Boys fiasco as I call it since the youth Minister's faux pas on babbling her mouth on a most sensitive issue that ought to have been handled more delicately than allowed over the past few weeks, 

I was not aware that it was the clergy that was accused of sexually abusing the boys but the boys on each other as so crassly put by the Minister Lisa Hanna in driving home her point in trying to make herself look productive when it is her ministry that ought to have picked up on this eons ago.


today the Gleaner carried this piece adding to the furore:


Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter: 

Reece Denies Claims That Clergy Members Abusing Alpha Boys

Archbishop Emeritus of Kingston Donald Reece has flatly denied allegations that senior members of the Catholic Church have been preying on the wards of the Alpha Boys Home.

Reece told The Gleaner yesterday that these allegations could not be true, as senior members of the clergy were never working at the home.

"There is no high person in the Church at Alpha. It's lay people who are working with the boys. There are no high-church person there! So I think somebody is way off base here," Reece stated.

He said the claims of abuse were simply playing into a sort of anti-Catholic hysteria.

"There is a certain anti-Catholic sentiment in our society and, therefore, they jump into that and probably project from that what has been published in papers abroad regarding paedophilia and apply (it) to Alpha," Reece said, adamantly reiterating that there are no priests at Alpha.


Reece was speaking in relation to recent letters to the editor that demand a fulsome investigation into allegations of rampant sexual abuse being carried out at Alpha, both by caregivers and some wards.

In a letter titled 'Don't Cover Up Alpha Sex Horrors' published last Friday, noted attorney-at-law, Jacqueline Samuels-Brown, said she was aware of a case in which "former residents of Alpha, now grown men, will speak privately of employees (including persons holding high positions in the Church) who would ritualistically enter the dorm in the nights and select the boy(s) of their choice who would be forced into inappropriate relationships".

Samuels-Brown said the situation may be more pervasive than Youth Minister Lisa Hanna has intimated to the public.

Shirley Richards, former president of the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship, said based on the minister's revelations and Samuels-Brown's letter, a probe should be launched into the happenings at the place of safety.

Reece said while he agreed a probe should be launched, care must be taken to not make this investigation "flamboyant", and efforts should be taken to ensure that the welfare of the children is at the forefront.

He added that Alpha should not be singled out for any such probe, as abuse may also be taking place in other children's homes.


In case you missed any discourse on the issue here are twp recordings of the matter from Nationwide radio Jamaica:

also see:

Youth Minister Lisa Hanna's conflation of same gender sex & abuse responded to part 2

Alpha Boys' Nuns say Youth Minister homosexual abuse/grooming comments hurting their image/

No Reported cases of Paedophilia say local Catholic Diocese Representative Reece from a 2010 interview 

Youth Minister Lisa Hanna's conflation of same gender sex & abuse responded to (Yvonne McCallah Sobers responds to a recent announcement that homeless LGBT youth may get help)

I am sure this is not the end of this by a long shot

Peace and tolerance


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Homosexuality in Africa (Part 2)

also see: Homosexuality in Africa - (Part 1)

A very exceptional case was provided by the Nkund¢, a Mongo people of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their tradition of homosexuality among men included the requirement that the younger men assume the top position. That tradition had died out by the time it was reported, but had been replaced by several others. One replacement was a game called yembankongo wherein younger boys pretend to be monkeys. Another replacement was the game of "playing parents," which is very commonly reported. Among the youngest children the game is merely imitative of adult sexual positions, but as the young people mature the game becomes perfectly conscious sex. And in the game not much attention is paid to whether the partners are of the same or opposite sexes. Among the older boys, when they lay together, one would say to the other, "This is what I do to your sister." The missionary who made this report then suggests that the boys are not really doing anything homosexual because they say that stuff about each other's sisters. Female homosexuality was well known and was called ya¡kya bons ngo which can be translated very roughly as "bumping pussies." The missionary writes, "Homosexuality has been known among the Nkund¢ since time immemorial, among men as well as women." But then he tries to explain it away, saying it is difficult for the young people to get married (Hulstaert). This kind of doublethink is found over and over in the literature whether the writers are missionaries, colonialists, historians, or anthropologists. A tradition is something that the average person in society knows about and reports. Since the average person in any society is non-gay, traditions of homosexuality are filtered through non-gay perceptions. Then when the traditions are reported, they are filtered again through the prejudices of the anthropologist or the colonial civil servant or whoever. Finally, before the report is printed, it is often is edited or censored. Sometimes we end up with a few sentences in bad Latin, if we are lucky. Often we find only a reference to "unspeakable acts" or "reprehensible scenes." We have a good idea what is meant. But the details are lost. Then we may find a later report that is more candid. We just have to suppose that the later report explains what the "unspeakable acts" were.

Here, however, is an example in which the earlier investigator gave the better account. The Fang live in the forest on the border between Gabon and Cameroon. The Fang were so called Bantus who replaced the original Pygmy inhabitants of this area three or four hundred years ago. One writer (Trezenem) reported: "Neither homosexuality or bestiality have ever been recorded, to our knowledge, among the Fang." That writer did his fieldwork around 1935. Writers who treat homosexuality and bestiality in the same sentence do not merit our trust. The Fang deserve a closer look. Sure enough, a writer who did his fieldwork around 1905 recorded traditions of homosexuality among the Fang. First Gunther Tessmann gives the usual reports of younger people playing parents. He reports a game played by older boys among the neighbouring Pangwe: one boy plays the wife of another and presents the play-husband with a mud pie. If the husband accepts, he pretends to eat the mud pie. They do not, however, pretend to have sex, but have sex in fact. Adult Fang excuse this sort of thing by saying the children do not know what they are doing and that children have no sense of shame. Adult Fang imply that such things never happen between adults. Tessmann then writes: We have spoken of homosexual relations among 'children.' In adults such conduct is regarded as something immoral and unnatural, simply as unheard of. In reality, however, it is frequently 'heard of' that young people carry on homosexual relations with each other and even of older people who take boys, who, as is well known, 'have neither understanding nor shame'. And they readily console them by saying: [we are playing a game]. The children are excused with the well-known assertion, which in its deeper sense can rarely be defended: [they don't know what they are doing]. Adults are excused with the corresponding assertions: [he has the heart of boys], which is, of course, by no means flattering to them.

Publicly, of course, homosexuals are treated with the greatest contempt, and they were therefore forced, as a matter of course, to cast about for a protective covering to shield themselves from the attacks of those who are different, just as a porcupine is protected by its covering of quills, a covering on which the attackers would cut their mouths and their caustic tongues. Such a covering was supplied by medicine, it was said that homosexuality is 'wealth medicine.'

Well, do you think that homosexuality among the Fang had completely disappeared by the Thirties, so that the writer who denied it was being completely honest? Or do you think it more likely that he was not sufficiently interested to ask the right questions of the right people. Certainly he made no great effort to survey the literature on the point. Clearly the Fang are as capable of being hypocritical as anyone. Perhaps by the Thirties they had learned to be more careful about what they said to Europeans. The Fang were not proud of their traditions of homosexuality. Adult male homosexuality was not generally accepted by the Fang. Fang homosexuals had to have a cover story. They told the other Fang: we are not really homosexual; we are just making money. Perhaps the Fang, as much as any of us, realised it was just an excuse, but at least it was an acceptable excuse. This is an example of a homosexual tradition and also an example of a tradition that not everyone in society thinks well of. According to Fang belief, the bottom man has the wealth medicine and the top man acquires it. Tessmann writes: "In actual fact it might turn out the effect of the medicine consists in the mutual support the 'friends' render each other, based chiefly on the consciousness of common guilt and the endeavour not to let this guilt be known." The wealth medicine is called bian nkuma which is generally used as an euphemism for anal sex between men. There is also a down side to this. Fang think homosexuality causes diseases such as leprosy and yaws.

The Fang are great story tellers and you are likely to find some of their stories in any anthology of African folktales. One of the stories involves four suitors who arrive at Bongo's house to court his beautiful daughter. The suitors were Schok I, Schok II, Schok III, and Schok IV. The daughter liked Schok IV. The mother liked Schok III. The brother liked Schok II. Bongo, the father, liked Schok I. Night fell and when they laid down, Schok IV laid with the daughter, Schok III laid with the mother, Schok II laid with the brother, and Schok I laid with Bongo. Schok IV tried to get romantic with the daughter, but since they were all in the same hut, the others made remarks to discourage him. Instead, he and the daughter planned to run away together, and the next day that is what they did. When it became apparent what had happened, Schok III flew into a rage, killed the mother, and fled. But Schok II decided to stay with the brother and be the brother's lover. Bongo wanted to make it up to Schok I, so he offered Schok I money and a wife. But Schok I refused, saying: "No, I don't want it. Rather, let it be that we shall always be together; when you urinate I shall urinate; when you defecate, I shall defecate; when you sleep, I shall also sleep with you in the same bed." Those Fang! Such romantics! Anyway, that is the Fang pledge of eternal love. So Schok I stayed with Bongo and was his lover. They became quite rich. But this is, after all, a Fang story, and the Fang do not approve of homosexuality, so eventually one of the lovers died of leprosy and the other died of yaws, while the Schok who had murdered the mother got away scot-free. In stories, disease awaits all those whom the Fang consider to be sexual deviants, such as anyone who has sex in the daytime.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Continued oversight or deliberate overlooking of Jamaican SGL Women in HIV Prevention?

Given what we now know of the recently concluded ‘Justice for All” campaign that is supposedly designed to address HIV/AIDS issues, dignity for persons living with the disease, addressing stigma and discrimination and the all important vulnerable populations, although we know that that means MSM for the most part and one is aware of the thirty year history of the epidemic which started in the gay community in the US predominantly but after seeing the expansion of the problem into heterosexual populations and women in particular why hasn’t the prevention strategies both nationally or at the none state actor level improve to include same gender loving women? Why has the regimes over the years seem to have fostered and maintained a culture of almost with normalcy ignore SGL women as if they do not exist in the scheme of things? 

Bisexual, Lesbian and some trans-invisibility still is present.

Knowing that bisexuality is a bridge for the disease especially owing to our multiple partnering culture steeped in misogynistic imperatives.

The recently hyped lesbian transmission story in the United States brought the matter back to some mainstream prominence, I remember my days in the national system where a few voices were asking similar questions as posed above but were met with a deafening silence and as for the NGO community they were not interested in moving on it as the general feeling is that their concentration was and is more on MSM getting testing up, condom distribution with very little psycho social/sexual supportive interventions. Local studies as early as 2003 from memory have suggested that there is a problem in continuing to ignore this group when they also are a main part of the bridge although mother to child transmission work is exemplary the specific identification and targeted work of same gender loving women to include polyamorous practices that do exist locally is yet to be strengthened; yet I am left thinking it seems to be a cat and mouse game that is at work where professionals are more about keeping their jobs with the holy grail of Global Fund money more so than anything else. The concluded Justice for All conference here in Jamaica and the platitudinous announcements of increased funding for HIV prevention and the Prime Minister with a flowery speech on protecting marginalized groups albeit the smoke has not settled from her dodgery yet again on a suggested conscience vote on buggery how is anyone to take her word on such groups even also as homeless LGBTQ population numbers increase with all kinds of challenges with arrests yet again of two only last week.

Dr Karen Carpenter in a 2000/1 study published a set of phenomenology papers in the Social & Economic Studies Journal ISSN 0037-7657 Vol. 60 #1 March 2011 Sexualities in the Caribbean a study sub titled “Love on a Continuum” that took a look at MSM and WSW (women who have sex with women) and HIV. The publication also had as subject matters:

Christopher A, D. Charles: Representations of Homosexuality in Jamaica

Noel M. Cowell: Public Disclosure and Popular Attitudes towards Homosexuality in Jamaica

Annecka Marshall: Reclaiming the Power of Black Women

In 2003 the Ministry of Health had commissioned the study on MSM/WSW populations for to find mapping of the risks in those groups, it found that a continuum of descriptions among male homosexuals however hence it was reasonable to also assume that a similar diversity was at hand in the same gender loving female group as well then in 2006 another study was conducted specific to the women who have sex with women grouping and Mckenzie conducted a further MSM study replicating the phenomenological approach of Carpenter’s WSW research. The data was collected through audio recordings of 24 in depth interviews via email, face to face, phone and internet messaging. Previous studies only looked at MSM, there were no known efforts prior in the Caribbean overall as WSW have been overlooked and indeed ignored for some time so no consideration was taken into account in as far as HIV prevention or mapping was concerned.

The constructs of sexual identity are still larger defined by behaviour and sexual practice on all sides (anti gay groups included hence the HIV is a gay disease construct in their public advocacy) without taking into account psychological and internal desires of the individual as we also see this gap in the lack of response to the homeless issues for e.g. the haste in the premature closure of the 2009 Safe House Pilot project by Jamaica AIDS Support’s then board citing “bad behaviour” as the reason yet no psychological courses that were written in the project rationale’s were executed to see their effectiveness or lack thereof. Much of the theoretical underpinnings of tend to encourage a view of sexuality as a dichotomy and this is largely restricted in many instances to a notion of exclusive homosexuality and heterosexuality. This narrowed focus therefore works on the premise that MSM or WSW do not have sex with opposite sex partners and that women who have sex with men do not see themselves as lesbians or MSM do not see themselves as gay if they engage women sexually. The Center for Disease Control, CDC in the US reported “ ....... Through December 2004 a total of 246,461 women were reported as HIV infected, of these some 3,461 were reported to have se with women .......” (Center for disease Control 2006, 2),

This raises other issues as well in terms of unprotected sex involving WSW who actually self identify as lesbian, then the biphobic nature of the exclusively gay individuals towards, bisexuals, pan polyandrous, polyamorous or polygamists for that matter as they are considered confused and disease carries hence the untrustworthiness quotients and deep mistrust that surfaces every now and again. Gay men for example who do not endorse the notion of bisexuality as an identity believe that over time a collection of experiences strengthens this preference towards what may be considered a more solid homosexual identity although some have had past experiences with women as response to societal demands and not an expression of identities. This belief is at the heart of the negative sentiments to the idea of bisexuality as a solid identity. It is at this cross over juncture in a bid to meet those societal demands proof of manhood via offspring is crucial hence higher HIV risk is eminent.

Sex as identity is restricted to a definition based on a biological concept (as anti gay group JCHS repeatedly does in their sometimes belligerent advocacy) which highlights the anatomical distinctions between males and females thus sexual relationship’s social underpinnings is grounded in genitalia (Cesso & Shirley 1984) ways however in which persons define themselves is also important. 

Power and control also play a key role in HIV risk I feel especially owing to the personality dynamics involved or assumed hetero-normative gender roles with sexual positions as a major factor. Material gain is crucial as well linked to power differentials understood in social labels for, e.g. butch, fems, lipstick lesbian, jeans lesbians, stud (most problematic of the group in terms of rejection and stigmatization from within the WSW community); it determines the “how” of sex, roles, when and has implications for abuse leading to HIV risk, another example of high risk is tribadism practised by exclusively lesbian women or women who get into gay sex for money or the sex industry (porn, strip clubs, massage parlours by request of male clients, or substitutional sex in same sex environments such as prisons, places of safety etc.) the actual meeting of both vaginas to create friction while pleasurable is highly risky as passing of infections such as yeasts, dermatophites as tinea curis is critical one can therefore assume that if the labia minora or lips of the vagina has been compromised and blood is exposed then transmission is possible even if the other party does not have broken skin but simply as the vagina is a receptive organ the opening allows for the orifice acting as a gateway.

Dr Carpenter also spoke to “Sexual Health Issues in Women who Have Sex with Women” at the Ena Thomas Memorial public lecture & Symposium on the 24th November 2013 where the matter of overlooking the WSW population came up for mention she referenced the 2003 study where she went further into the findings outlining some seminal data though dated but it appears not much has changed, for e.g Kingsley report says that vaginal penetration with sex toys serving as substitutes for the penis had been quite rare in WSW history that is of course exclusive lesbian women, another overlay that we need to also grapple with is pornography as hinted to above; while porn is meant to be a fantasy WSW scenes is a glamorised view catering to a man’s ideal concept of a lesbian not a lesbians’ lesbian as men think they will have more fun with more women hence the massage parlour phenomenon and lesbian entertainment on stage in strip clubs with all kinds of risky behaviour to include penetration with toys, drink bottles (Heineken or other typed pouring of beer in a dancer’s vagina to create the volcano effect) and fingering (orgasms on stage at times) and anal play. During her attempts to collect the data the “what about dildos and transmission?” question came up and it was clear that the response had not been taking into account these issues on a large scale. For those who do use toys however there is a concern I have had for years about simultaneous use of toys in a single sexual episode without a condom, an issue from memory that was discussed at the now defunct Couture Elements weekly forum at the Oasis bar and as far back as 2000 when Women for Women had Friday night lymes with guest speakers. The rapid passing of the toys is the issue as persons either do not wait for a time before use in fear of losing the “high” of the moment nor do they do not cleanse the device/object prior to use nor employ any barriers as it is assumed once the vagina is not offensive looking or smelling then all is well.

She also went into a polyamory forum (persons with more than one consenting partner who are aware of each other) that she conducted out of which came the continuum hence the Love on a Continuum caption. Some of the agencies seem to be guilty of not getting more background information on women who come in for HIV testing (apart from refusal to disclose) as the culture seems to suggest they do not want to hear about lesbians testing for HIV, one main NGO was named as having this misnomer as evidenced in their customer experience, the nurses when questioned by Dr Carpenter they had two formally registered cases of lesbians who tested yet the cohort when interviewed had been tested for the most part, so it is safe to say that it is assumed that if you’re female then you must be having sex with a man and you couldn’t be having sex with a woman and coming in for testing.

Sadly also some in the cohort do not disclose to their lesbian partners that they are having sex with men now we see how infection can occur as here is another bridge for the virus’ transmission.

There must be a concerted effort by the powers that be to include and not only include for a short time but onwards for specific populations with tailored interventions, we have had conference after conference after conference yet they seem to be nothing more than a meeting place for polite society than actually formulating and enacting better and specific responses to so called marginalized groups. It is interesting the ease at which the call letters LGBTQI are used at these conferences, human rights meetings by “experts” to sound good and have an inclusive image in the name of public advocacy but take a look at understanding the specific needs on the ground especially and you’re left thinking something else. One wonders if the slow march to dealing with these challenges with the cop out excuse that funding is not available is deliberate, is it that there must be a reservoir of victims all the time so agencies and bureaucratic systems can be around forever, was it ever about addressing the issues as they become apparent, why does the older agencies especially have to wait until issues get out of hand before they act, where is the needed pro-activity?


Peace and tolerance


Friday, April 11, 2014

Jamaica Increasing Funding For HIV/AIDS Programmes

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson (centre) greets Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Denzil Douglas (left) prior to the start of a Global Fund press briefing at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on April 9. Also sharing in the moment is Executive Director, Global Fund, Mark Dybul. The Global Fund provides support for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria projects around the world. It is an international financing institution that supports countries in their fight against three of the world’s most devastating diseases.
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson (centre) greets Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Denzil Douglas (left) prior to the start of a Global Fund press briefing at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on April 9. Also sharing in the moment is Executive Director, Global Fund, Mark Dybul. The Global Fund provides support for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria projects around the world. It is an international financing institution that supports countries in their fight against three of the world’s most devastating diseases.
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson says while funding support from international agencies is crucial in combating HIV/AIDS, the country is taking gradual ownership of specific programmes related to the disease.

The Health Minister was responding to questions during a Global Fund press briefing at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Wednesday, April 9.

“In spite of the difficulty, we are moving from a position of 80 per cent external funding where we are now at about 46 per cent (local funding) in support of the HIV/AIDS programme, and so while we have gotten what we could consider transitional funding that will be specific for the high risk groups, Jamaica has demonstrated, in relation to the antiretroviral drugs, that we are taking gradual ownership in that regard,” he said.

Through the Global Fund, a total of US$16 billion has been allocated for disbursement to small, developing states, like Jamaica, to fight debilitating diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

The sum is being provided under the Fund’s revised financing model for 2014 to 2016, and is available for distribution to eligible nation states, with each country having a specific allotment, depending on its national income level and disease burden.

The sum is 20 per cent higher than the amount disbursed by the Global Fund over the previous period.

Under the revised plan, Jamaica is eligible for US$19 million draw down over the next two years, to tackle the diseases.

Jamaica was originally slated to receive US$11 million from the Fund but following further discussions, the allocation was increased.

Dr. Ferguson noted that the funding will be used to facilitate the needs of the most at-risk groups.

The Minister also noted that despite the reclassification of Jamaica and other Caribbean states as ‘upper middle income’ countries, which has affected their ability to access funding from international agencies, other factors need to be taken into consideration when determining funding support.

“Even as we look at country classification, it is important also to take into account health indicators in the country, the debt to GDP ratio in the countries, so that in the final analysis we would be able to get a real appreciation as to a country’s ability to fund not just HIV but to carry forward the overall national health agenda,” he said.

He said the country continues to tackle HIV/AIDS, which is as much a public health matter as it is a developmental issue.

“Any phenomenon relative to the disease process that has a profound effect on public health, robs a society of productive capacity. This is in relation to productive capacity, which will ultimately affect development, therefore we continue to make the point that health issues are developmental issues and we will continue to press this agenda,” he said.

Executive Director of the Global Fund, Mark Dybul, said Jamaica has had tremendous success in combating HIV.

He also noted that reduction rates regarding mother to child transmission “are very close to what are seen in the United States and Europe,” adding that this success is mirrored throughout the region.

He added that significant declines have also been seen in tuberculosis and that the region is on a path towards eliminating malaria.

The Global Fund provides financial support for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria projects around the world. It is an international financing institution that supports countries in their fight against three of the world’s most devastating diseases.

Created in 2002, the Global Fund is a unique partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector, and affected communities. The Fund channels approximately US$3 billion a year to health professionals to treat and prevent AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in their countries.

It does not implement or manage programmes, relying instead on local experts to select and administer the programmes that save the most lives.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society continues its “HIV is a gay disease” campaign with more deception added

After listening an interview on Power 106FM’s Justice show with host Marlene Malahoo Forte former resident magistrate, former Minister of Foreign Affairs in the last Jamaica Labour Party administration with a spokesperson from the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, I am just baffled as to the depths of which they will continue to employ deceptive and dodgy narratives to make to enhance their public advocacy against homosexuality as it were albeit they are supposed to be a Christian organization.

Scribes and Pharisees anyone?

JCHS on the backdrop of the consultations with parliamentarians of the review or possible conscience on buggery vote as suggested turned promise by the present Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and a newly launched campaign named Justice for All held at the Conference Centre April 9. 2014 to go on for two days lead by PANCAP, the Coordinator for the Greater Involvement of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS, GIPA, Ainsley Reid spoke to the issue via media where he among other things said “The Justice for All initiative is primarily geared at consciousness of the society around issues relating to people who are living with HIV/AIDS, people who are at risk and people who are directly affected, we know that there are dignity issues, social and economic issues, primarily for people living with HIV health issues in terms of access to treatment, long term counselling and so on. He also spoke to stigma and discrimination issues including forced evictions, workplace policy and other developmental matters. He also outlined that the old perception of HIV/AIDS being a gay disease is still out there via gossip, confidentiality and cultural misnomers which was evidenced in the JCHS interview germane to this post.

One Miss Angela Temple representing the JCHS says there is an international imperialistic agenda to change the structure of the family, silencing of religious voices in the secularism agenda pinged to the struggle and that HIV prevention/reproductive rights used as a mask to hide the gay agenda. She referenced the Queen Ifrica matter, the Duck Dynasty actor issue the UK street preacher matter and the recent Mozilla CEO resignation issue after he donated money to supporting a no to gay marriage campaign and that persons won’t have free speech, she claims that the justice for all campaign here is only for a meagre four percent and the rest of persons will be up against law suits and doesn't make sense, so the minority is unimportant in her eyes and must be trampled upon. She went on to suggest the conscience vote must not be private if it happens and that a referendum would be more acceptable. She is obviously not taking into account that given her and that of JCHS/Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship’s posture no political party at this time despite slow increase in fragile tolerance and international or diplomatic pressure will take the risk to be perceived in the end as letting in homosexuality in the face of a lack of proper education and conversation not pronouncement.

The deep mistrust and lies on all sides is disturbing to me as well, the claim that future victimization of the church as I had postulated as a false dichotomy maybe not so if everyone continues to hold hardened positions with name calling, deceptive narratives devoid of factual information on all sides may I reiterate.

The sides seem to be intent on throwing blows and with each blow that comes it must be a knock out punch bigger and impactful without listening a key component in any struggle but ethics seem to have gone through the window on all sides, fear and fearmongering abounds on the part of the JCHS and related names and groups while head strong LGBT names keep pushing on their own narcissistic quests while also not listening but editorialise and academise the issues to look good on the international circuit. And where is the care from the Christian minded folks or even the existence of gay Christians or such minded persons by all sides as well. JFLAG seems not to understand that such persons also exists and must be represented in the struggle since the belief systems and God’s presence or none thereof is becoming the core of the argument. I warned about this in an earlier podcast after the full public introduction of the secularist ambit by Javed Jaghai when he was spokesperson and Education Officer of JFLAG in 2012, now comes the backlash from a more organised religious right that complains the lobby is using the strategy of rights and public health as linked to the Justice for All campaign falls, so what is wrong with such campaigns, I thought that the overall struggle for rights any at all isn't for the least numbers or outcasts? And as for imperialistic isn't this obvious tyranny of the majority thus an imperialistic thinking, theocracy anyone?

She quoted the late Paula Ettelbrick who passed in 2011, lesbian lawyer and former chair of IGLHRC where she had said “Being queer is more than setting up house sleeping with a person of the same gender and seeking state approval for doing so being queer means pushing the parameters of sex sexuality and family and in the process transforming the very fabric of society, we must keep our eyes on the goal for providing two alternatives to marriage and radically reorganising and radically reordering society’s view of reality.” As if the message implies some imperative to block or take away parental authority, rights already in vogue (marriage included) and stifling of free speech of those who express otherwise. The JCHS rep said if we touch the buggery law in any way it would be a change in the fabric of Jamaican society implying fire and brimstone from the skies, I will grant her that is true as it would in terms of the change in the fabric of society as persons who once hid may consider reorganizing their lives to be open (despite the expected cultural backlash) and I do not expect a radical or seismic shift either as persons adjust in their own ways to the new reality, these kinds of changes sometimes takes generations before one sees settling on such contentious matters as we have a cultural problem more than a legal one with decades of ingrained and normative homo-negativity.

The deceptive use of the words/terms “new sneaky rights” “new morality” and “lifestyle” (also used by the host) instead of the appropriate term sexual orientation and real attraction of persons to other persons of the same sex while imputing predatory intent is wrong and is a deliberate strategy to inflame public opposers without teaching those who are easily led. The rep also said that children as early as three will be taught that anal sex in normal when children at that age are not taught sexual reproductive health in the present hetero-imperative arrangement, she was unable to provide any proof of this future plan.

Then came the other deception of manipulating research, where the rep used the old 2010 French study (yet again) without a buggery law for over 200 years had rates of new cases to be 1006/100,000 persons in comparison to 86/100,000 intravenous drug community and 9 in the heterosexual community suggesting that persons wantonly going out there to contract HIV and what she did not put is that most of the infected MSM had never engaged the health care systems prior to study so being in the underground obviously has a ripple effect of prevention work.

What bothered me more so in this exchange is the ignoring of a fundamental question posed by Mrs Forte as to the history of the statue and why it was implemented in the first place by our former colonial masters, the JCHS representative totally dodged the matter and instead went on a well flowery and obviously scripted rant on reproductive health manipulation by the gay rights lobby and so on. I smell the hand of Dr Wayne West’s here and his influence as the sentiments about Philosophy and law were espoused though clumsily at times as if she was reading a document or being prodded behind the scenes.

Mrs Forte asked “............Do you know what was the basis of that, what it is about anal penetration that would cause lawmakers in their wisdom of yesteryear to say this is something that we need to say not at all?” the JCHS rep dodged the direct question completely by answering from a script I dare say, using terms she couldn't bother to explain to the listening audience.

“One of the things that people confuse is that they try to suggest that anal penetration is sex and it is my understanding that the intestine is not a sex organ it can’t procreate, buggery, it is the misuse of the anus can do physical harm to the recipient in terms of the sphincter muscle going, people say you’re not gonna get HIV AIDS if you use a condom but the person being penetrated has on a condom is at risk and harm because the insides of the intestine were not never meant withstand the types of friction from that type of penetration, it tears easily and then you end up with a myriad of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV which is most easily transmitted in this type of environment, it must be noted that HIV is not only an epidemic it is a pandemic ........ The buggery law must remain as a danger sign because it does harm not only to the individual but to society and the world at large ..........”

Nice run to not let Mrs Forte come in with any rejoinder while deliberately avoiding the direct question, I am shocked however that Mrs Forte allowed her such a long run but I guess fairness must be shown since “freedom of speech” is about to be quashed in the eyes of the JCHS. My mind runs to an older interview with Mrs Forte and Dane Lewis in June 2013 where the same HIV is a gay disease ploy was used in a set of trick questions, she asked for eg about containing conduct if after the buggery law in its present form what would obtain to which Mr Lewis answered “........... Does the state have a right to legislate what consenting adults do in private regardless of their sexual orientation.....If we address that first then we can begin to talk about where that threshold is and so I speak about consenting adults when we talk about threshold........... Protecting our most vulnerable which would be our young people.” He also called for the non discrimination clause that was removed in draft from the Charter of Rights.

Truth as I have been agitating needs to be the core of all this but with the hardening of positions taking place somebody has to loose in the end, who will it be?

If you can stomach it have a listen here:

GOVERNMENT COMMITS TO STOMP OUT HIV/AIDS STIGMA … WE HOPE IT’S NOT JUST PAPER LEFT FOR FILING (starring the very host of this post's interview when she was a government minister)

Queen Ifrica's "Freedom of Speech" & advocacy found wanting

UPDATE April 16
an article (very lengthy) by another JCHS advocate: Tolerance, Political Correctness And The Death Of Truth

Peace and tolerance


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Northern Caribbean University female Cheerleader Suspended After playing male role in cheerleading show, thumb ring/pierced tongue designated as infractions

Clear discrimination here folks, no question asked sheer ignorance and a theocratic agenda by the the Seventh Day Adventist institution located in Manchester but I am not surprised as they have factored before in homo-negative matters with even one of its own heads facing scrutiny some years ago and an infamous attack of profiled students by other students. See the SDA's position on homosexuality HERE

First here is the Gleaner version of the matter  

NCU cheerleaders are seen here enacting a proposal atop a human pyramid. - Photo via Facebook

A female student at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) who was suspended after she played the role of a man in a cheerleading routine is accusing the university of discrimination.

During the March 4 cheerleading competition, the student enacted a wedding proposal and allegedly kissed the hand of another female atop a human pyramid while doing her routine.

In a Facebook post yesterday, the student disclosed that she had received a two-week suspension from NCU.

However, she believes the punishment was not fair given that she was the only one in the cheerleading group who was penalised.

According to the student, she was not the only one who performed or who was atop the pyramid and who took part in the mock proposal.

She says it was decided that she would represent the male in the proposal because a man would have been too heavy for the top of the pyramid.

She says the Brodie House Cheerleading team did not see anything wrong with the pyramid as they were aware of what the group was trying to depict.

No discrimination

Meanwhile, the NCU’s student government says there was no discrimination in the imposition of a penalty on the student.

A member of NCU’s student government in charge of student services, Darren Barrett who sat on the committee that met with the female student said she breached other university regulations.

Barrett says it was later determined that the student was responsible for changing the original routine which was not approved by a social committee.

He further says the student appeared before the Citizenship Committee without her identification card and had a pierced tongue.

Barrett says the other female student who was involved in the mock proposal was called to a meeting but did not turn up.

He says no action has been taken against that student.


The subsequent audio with a voice described as Barrett's also reflected a disturbing mindset and autocratic decision making process at the leadership levels here singling out the student Mr Barrett said "She knew that she had a meeting with the Vice President of the University and came to the office without displaying her, without an ID, the student ID, also with a thumb ring whichever colour it was but she wore a thumb ring which she had no; which she knew I should say that she shouldn't have worn and so with that in mind the administration saw that as blatant disregard for the policy of the university therefore that adds to the suspension."

Really Mr Barrett? nitpicking here to find something to punish her for breaking the gender norms when it was a clear logistics matter in terms of weight of male students who would have been too heavy on top of females in forming the pyramid, I don't see the other participants complaining and some if not most of the students in the audience cheered in fact when the kiss was planted as the video shows the actual session @ 6:14/5 there was also some dissent as well if one closely examines the clip but be that as it may it is clear where the student services and leadership wanted to go with this.

When will our tertiary institutions step ahead and become forward thinking or is it a lack of multi-generational ignorance and lack of exposure to sex and sexuality matters in our education system playing itself out here via those autocratic rules about dress on a campus where ADULTS mostly are in attendance and since she had these items prior to know why wasn't action taken before now? 

HFLE anyone? more on that HERE

Hmph waiting for her to trip eh?

some comments from the Gleaner shows the ignorance and some sense at the same time:


I thought females expressing emotional attitudes to each other in Jamaica was somewhat accepted here or is this specific lesbo-profiling of the particular student to her demeanour as some other comments on social media seems to suggest. A thumb ring or pierced tongues or ear tops by women are considered as markers for some folks out there and serves as justifications to discriminate on spot in some instances.


Anyway congrats to the team for being so forward thinking, one more institution to bring into the light of modernity I suppose. Also see: UTECH Tolerance campaign following the student abuse by guards caught on tape, the case was dismissed and the two accused were set free.

also see: NCU Has Rights Too! 

CVM TV's midday news carried the matter as well where Miss Carolyn Gomes redeemed herself of sorts after the "H" word infraction at the IACHR meeting  other matters were covered at that press conference as well as the new ED for Jamaicans for Justice made her debut appearance and it was none other than former TVJ head Kay Osbourne who denied the tolerance ad airing at the time, hope she has come to some understanding now.


UPDATE April 9th Lasmay of the Gleaner touched the issue via a Victorian themed toon, the inquisition comes to mind:

RJR's Beyond the headline had a follow up discussion on this with attorney at law and talk show host Clyde Williams:

CVM TV carried the item finally on April 9th:

Here was the institution's attempt to out the fire
AUDIO: NCU Says Suspension Of Cheerleader Is Justified, Punishment Lenient CVM TV's Live @ 7 had the cheerleader herself on set to explain her case, Sha Shana James also revealed she will be leaving the institution. 

Watch the full interview on CVM TV's website from last evening's Live @ 7 show HERE More follow up news items as the furore continues:

April 16th UPDATE Gleaner article: Sex And The University

Carolyn Cooper

Also see Sociologist and talk show host Dr Orville Taylor's take in the Sunday Gleaner: NCU, JCF & Justice

also listen the last interview I was able to get my hands on:


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Jamaican Transgender Activist Turned Away From Bacchanal

I am so mad after seeing this article on the Gleaner's Entertainment page today, clear case of transphobic hate here as the leading public face for trans persons after decades of trans-invisibility now this, not to exclude the work done by Miss L Garcia and local allies. She (Tiana) recently also ended the Aprhrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica Enterprise training session and recieved her certificate of participation/completion only last Sunday at the closing ceremony.

The Gleaner reported:

For several years, Tiana Miller has been a regular patron at Bacchanal. This year, she even attended the launch in January. But two Fridays ago, the avid soca fan told The Sunday Gleaner she was quite surprised and embarrassed when, for the first time, she was denied entry.

Miller is a fairly well-known transgender woman and human-rights activist. Last year, she appeared in the 'We Are Jamaicans' campaign, a landmark viral video spearheaded by the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG).

"My friends and I went to the gate, and just as we were about to go in, a male security guard started gesturing at us. When we got closer to him he said that he did want any of us in there tonight. My friend asked him what he meant by that and he said 'no cross-dressers'," Miller stated.

Embarrassed and confused, Miller left the venue.

According to Dane Lewis, executive director at J-FLAG, "What has happened to Tiana is evidence of the very real exclusion and discrimination that many LGBT Jamaicans face. It's not just about violent homophobic responses to LGBT people, it's about homophobic responses overall," Lewis said.

'We are humans'

Though she has not ruled out returning to the event, Miller had strong words for the security officers and promoters of the event.

"You can't treat LGBT people like this. We are humans; please respect us. I go to Bacchanal to enjoy myself. I don't violate any rules. I behave like any other female patron would. I am a transgender woman. Don't treat me or any transgender person like this. You shouldn't deny people entry because you think they are not what you think is 'normal'," Miller, who is also trained to go into communities and organisations to talk to them about LGBT issues, told The Sunday Gleaner.

Lewis also expressed surprise at the incident happening at Bacchanal.

"I was quite surprised to learn about this incident because Bacchanal is known for being an inclusive space for LGBT Jamaicans. I hope the organisers will not only provide some clarity on this, but ensure that LGBT people are not excluded from the event," said Lewis.

Miller is certainly not the first transgender Jamaican to have experienced discrimination or hostility at an event in Jamaica, and Miller has had at least one similar incident at Bacchanal prior to this one, but she says it was dealt with very professionally by the organisers and the security personnel.

When contacted, Marcia McDonough, managing director of Touchstone Production, the public relations company in charge of Bacchanal, told The Sunday Gleaner she was unaware of the incident, but that it was unusual.

"I don't know anything about it, so I wouldn't be able to comment on it because I am not one of the organisers. Apart from persons who are underage, I am not aware of any rule barring anyone else," she said.


Annually we have issues at Jamaica carnival but I was not expecting this as cross dressers or transwomen (mistaken as drag queens) are usually tolerated at certain spots in Kingston especially and there is the long held perception that the gay community used the occasions as a gay pride celebration of sorts. Tiana Miller is also slated to appear on All Angles shown on Television Jamaica as well.

Peace and tolerance


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Same gender loving sister clashes with bus crew in Half Way Tree

It’s been a while since I got out and about on a weekend since I have some free time from the conclusion of the Seismic Project with Aphrodite’s PRIDE Jamaica so some of my brethren had a drink out of which I attended last evening. We were returning from the shing-dig to travel separately home when we ran into a shouting match just by the outside of the Half Way Tree transportation centre that was closed at the time since it was around 11pm westwards along Eastwood Park Road and where robot taxis and coaster buses (often having challenges with both crews and loaders and suspected gay/lesbian folks) would operate JUTC main trunk routes until the wee hours of the morning by the Shell gas station at the stop lights alongside Molynes Road. 

The shouting match from our vantage point at first looked like some men arguing but as we got nearer with some of my colleagues taking another route in some trepidation we soon realised it was a stud identified woman and one of the conducters/sideman on the bus where he chastised the girl as a “dutty lesbian gal” other passengers who were disembarking the bus were also boisterous but not in defence of the crude conductor but in defence of the waiting time apparently they had to endure from Spanish Town where the bus route originated which was what the SGL sister was initially upset about, buses such as these are prone to expose passengers to lengthy delays (while charging more than the formal buses with sometimes deadly reckless driving to make up for time) the woman as we settled at the spot to decide which bus to enter into as loaders while laughing intermittently try to convince us to take our seats however one of my lesbian counterparts who was going in my direction suggested we wait and see how this go down.

I also wondered why was there some many challenges with these buses as of late owing to the recent draconian changes by the Transport Authority and their granting of licences to these operators whose numbers have been significantly reduced.

The newly arrived bus continued emptying its passengers and the argument ensued getting loader as decibels and harsh language became pronounced. The lesbophobic/homo-negative comments continued by the conductor who now was joined by the driver who while seated shouted supporting anti gay arguments. An older female passenger sided with the obviously angry same gender sister as it was at this time myself and my female companion realised she was a community member as she hailed one of my young gay friends also in my company but who had stopped at a vendor to buy snacks before. They greeted each other as he joined us and as she explained why she was upset to all three of us by this we all were now the target of the verbal assault, my female friend was about to move to one of the men where I grabbed her hand and reminded her how to defuse situations like this with ignoring the rage at first and if to fight then fight to end it not to win. 

Other passengers who had disembarked stopped to watch the standoff, taxis parked under the gas station loading for various destinations also saw their already seated clients alighting to watch as well with comments for and against coming from them, even persons who did not know the genesis of the matter sided with the lesbophobic conductor/sideman/driver, typical in cases like this I have seen over the years in stereotypically profiling LGBT persons.
Words to the effect such as “dutty lesbian gal”(dirty lesbian girl) “suck pussy 'oman” (suggesting her sexual activity is limited to oral sex a perception held in the mind’s of many Jamaicans of lesbians) and derogatory suggested sex change remarks were used to challenge the woman’s semi masculine demeanour by this time my two counterparts joined in the dispute with my male friend who is known to her tried to pull her away and to leave the scene as he hugged her in an effort to convince her while my female friend proceeded to respond to the never ending lesbophobic and other awful remarks with and ever rising decibel level, a typical style of public embarrassment by arguing parties. 

The other crews/loaders still while laughing were remarkably still trying to entreat us to take our seats in the waiting bus as other persons joined the curious onlookers or passed by, that was when I broke my silence and suggested to the aggrieved woman go on her destination as this was going nowhere besides we are now the target of the assault seeing we were guilty by association. The driver took me on suggesting that the young lady was rude and must “gwey from yasso” (leave here or a place in disgrace by cutting ones loses) I in turn responded that the crew was not making it any better and besides they know that passengers want to go about their business and are forced to wait at their pleasure (not in such nice words), the rude crewman then used the “B” word to describe me, so in dealing with the real issue I am now battyboi, so what.

That’s when the aggrieved sister went haywire and said that I was defending the right thing while my other female friend joined in the exchange with all sorts of expletives and curse words in Jamaican parlance flew however I stayed as cool as I possibly could with an unfinished beer in hand that I sipped every now and again as it got less cold but clearly showing we were not afraid of them and their rant besides he was telling me something I already know. Their refusal to take the blame for the passengers’ upset due to delay continued and the older woman who had sided with the aggrieved woman was still on the scene with other passengers who remained, some others left, it was then when a comment that seemingly challenged the manhood of the rude man from the profiled lesbian caused a physical response from the crewman as he lunged forward towards the woman hand raised as if he wanted to hit or punch her, she in turn stood her ground while partially pulling what looked like a knife or weapon from the left side of her waist, in response shouts of “a what dat” “noooo no bada wid dat” and so on came from the now transfixed audience and persons driving by slowed to see what was going on, the older woman who had defended the girl asked her not to go there and to leave it alone while the other crewmen and taxi drivers seemed livid that the woman had defended herself (how dare a woman who is about to be attacked by a man stand up) the driver in the meantime was livid and he tried to raise his plump self from his seat supposedly in a bid to “defend it” while spewing a slew of expletives (mouth full of food, rice flying) encouraging the sideman to “rass de oman, she [expletive] bright.”. (hit her she is out of order and deserves it etc.)

To think my last session in the Seismic project was safety and defusing an aggressive scene now here I am in one, coincidental eh? fortunately the police station was nearby on Maxfield Avenue southwards from us just in case things got ugly I thought, I also went over piercing through the growing crowd who had encircled the two, the angry woman was fuming and also the crewman who felt he was dissed (Jamaican men do not like that especially when it comes from a woman) myself and my friends tried to calm her down while acting as a buffer between her and the other men, homo-negative comments continued from various voices seeing we were supporting the aggrieved woman, the particular crewman also had other crewmen/loaders holding him and trying to also calm him down, the driver still seated and shouting from inside the bus instructed the men to leave him alone to take action as he saw fit, how could he let a woman do him like that? Or words to that effect came from him. 

Others found it comical with intermittent laughter and urgings as if to look for a fight for some sort of sick entertainment (including the same loaders who wanted us to take our seat in the waiting bus in the front of the line in the first place) Things started to calm down as both parties were pulled aside by their various support or onlookers as the hour passed and less persons travel apparently our patronage was also of import for the loaders/buscrew of the waiting bus (not the same as the bus with the seated screaming fat driver) so the loaders started to insist we take our seats while we consoled the sister but she took a while to calm down as she threatened that she intends to have her “friends” deal with this bus crew. I intervened and suggested that made no sense and was better to move on. A time after the onlookers numbers started to shrink, the taxi drivers took their places by their cars discussing the issue (typical post excitement in their eyes discussion) as business seem to return to normal and the loaders started calling out to oncoming members of the public to see if they were going in the buses direction.

Well we know that we are marked at that bus stop and by the crews but who cares? I have witnessed crap at that area before and some of the guys truth be told are known. The woman calmed after about ten minutes or so while the discussion continued, we could still hear the still seated driver making muffled remarks but he was ignored, the woman introduced herself to me and she continued talking to my gay friend who knew her, meanwhile the loaders insisted we enter the waiting bus as it was soon ready to depart. My brethren joined myself and my lesbian sister on the bus as we settled and the woman eventually left for her travels obviously still not pleased. We discussed the matter in the bus prior to its departure and the conductor for our bus made a remark as he entered the unit that almost started a second square off where he suggested that no woman could dis him like that, obviously it was a comment to also take a swipe at us but we looked at each other and continued our convo almost all the way over to Spanish Town, other passengers were talking of it but from a standpoint of disrespectful crews and indiscipline. We have since kept in touch via Facebook and so on and the woman is ok now as at the preparation of this post.

Such are the travails out there but it is not the first time that Spanish Town and indeed other coaster routes have seen similar scenes in Half Way Tree as bus crews themselves have come in for harsh exchanges between themselves and with passengers and members of the public about suspected gay crew/loaders/drivers, some years ago a transwoman was stabbed as well caused by another woman who pointed her out, clashes with homeless MSM/trans persons or cruisers alongside those who met in the city centre back in the day prior to it getting a bad rap for being gay town. The controversial shooting incident as well of a cash for gold selling lesbian sister only last year is a reminder of how fickle the town centre can be for same gender loving folks be it anti gay reasons or gay on gay violence. Things changed over time following that gathering of persons with machete’s after an announcement that gay groups were intending to march in the square. Then we can also add to that the clashes at Bargain Mall by Clock Tower Plaza and so called K12 threats, even recently in 2014 there was a standoff with men and some youngsters. Just look out there if you are reading this and happen to traverse the area or know of anyone who does.

Other coaster bus related matters:

Gay joke goes wrong ... bus personnel escapes thrashing

Brawl on Coaster Bus from Portmore ... man accused of riding another's ass while in transit

Pickpocket victim labelled gay, crowd advances then retreats

Alleged Gay advance upsets 'loader man' in Half Way Tree

Lawyers' Christian Fellowship's Shirley Richards says lesbian sex should be criminalized as buggery ...

Peace and tolerance


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