Sunday, April 12, 2015

Angeline Jackson on Obama Effect? Quality of Citizenship for all Jamaicans!

Angeline Jackson wrote via FB

To have been recognised as a young leader by the first black president of the United States at the Town Hall for Youth at the University of the West Indies, on April 9, is an honour and a once in a lifetime opportunity. To be one of two young leaders he called by name to highlight their work and their story is amazing.

also see previous post:
Obama Hails Jamaican Lesbian Advocate's Work

This recognition, beyond being a personal accomplishment for me, is a victory for the entire LGBT community, here in Jamaica, throughout our region and beyond. The President carefully, briefly touched on a subject that many I believe were waiting to hear. For us in the LGBT community, as a way of talking about our issues; for others as a way of proving that the US has this plan to impose a “homosexual agenda” on our small nation.

20,000 people march against "gay agenda"

What President Obama did, was highlight the issue in such a way that made it human; made it more that an LGBT issue, it would take a very cold person (not impossible might I say) to ignore the human aspect of the issue, to not recognise that sexual violence affects many Jamaicans and go straight into the LGBT component.

As former Miss Jamaica World (2007) and Miss Jamaica Universe (2010) Yendi Phillips said, (I’m paraphrasing), this is what we need, these are the personal stories we need. She said she watched my reaction as the President spoke about me and thanked me for my bravery. She by no means said yay for gays. I don’t know her position, but that doesn’t matter, we don’t always need someone jumping for gays to be making progress.

Yendi Phillips

The recognition and encouragement from the President is as much to me as it is to Jalna Broderick and the organisation we co-founded in 2013, Quality of Citizenship Jamaica.

What you don’t know is that we’ve done a lot with very little. For the last two years we’ve operated on a budget of approximately $12,000 USD; we’ve spent that money conducting workshops for lesbian, bisexual women and trans* persons, creating at home posters for the stands in 2013, conducting surveys into the realities of our community, being the only organisation to bring the specific issues of the LBT Jamaican community to the international sphere through a presentation to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, collecting some of the early data on the homeless youth for others. Since our beginning we have never taken a paycheck. We’ve been doing a labour of love, and we have had volunteers who have given in their various capacities.

If I begin to name all the organisations, and individuals who truly believed in our vision and our mission, I may leave out someone accidentally. Please know that we fully remember you, remember your faith and help, your encouragement and your support. We tell you thanks.

Now as we celebrate and enjoy the conversations that President Obama has helped to foster, I have a few requests:

Volunteer with us (, everyday we think of something new to do. If you’d like to volunteer and we don’t know what we want you to do, tell us what you can do. Immediately, we need someone who can dedicate time to social media.

Help us in our search for an office space. So we can actually have desks and chairs, and meet with persons in a comfortable and safe space. If you have a space or you know someone with a space, or would like to rent a space on our behalf. Thank you.

We need counselors and persons with counselling skills, to volunteer their time.

We need experts in various fields to donate their time through presentations at various workshops we will have in the coming months.

Help us to raise $90,000 USD to do important work with and for lesbian, bisexual women and trans person. This will in turn positively impact the landscape for the entire LGBT community and provide much needed attention and empowerment to the LBT community.

Know that our name Quality of Citizenship Jamaica is very deliberate, very strategic. At the end of the day we are all Jamaicans and we want to enjoy the same quality of citizenship as our fellow heterosexual Jamaicans. We are about lesbian, bisexual women and trans people, we are about women and children. We are about a better Jamaica for all.

also hear the follow up interview locally on RJR's 

Beyond The Headlines



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