Friday, April 10, 2015

Obama Hails Jamaican Lesbian Advocate's Work

The timing of this recognition could not have been more opportune as April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month in some jurisdictions. 

Congrats to Angeline Jackson firstly but I am a bit disappointed that more mainstream media coverage of this recognition is not forthcoming or evidenced, is it due to the sexual orientation of the lady in question who has been hailed by President Obama?

Then again I should not be surprised the omission or overlooking of LGBT matters has been a feature of our media landscape for decades since organized public advocacy from the days of Gay Freedom Movement in the 70s. 

During a town hall meeting with young professionals and students for the most part in attendance the visiting US president who seemed quite comfortable sleeves rolled up and connected with his captive audience. 

President Obama told young leaders at the town hall meeting at UWI that we should care about the rights of every human being 

"..........regardless of who they love" 

while highlighting the difficulties Angeline Jackson experienced growing up as a lesbian in Jamaica and her work in ensuring that people get a better quality of life

"no matter their colour, class or sexual orientation can live in equality."

See the full clip of the LGBT reference and Angeline's work.

“As a woman and as a lesbian, justice and society weren’t always on her side,” said the president. “But instead of remaining silent she chose to speak out and started her own organization to advocate for women like her, get them treatment and get them justice and push back against stereotypes and give them some sense of their own power. And she became a global activist.”

“More than anything she cares about her Jamaica and making it a place where everybody, no matter their color or their class or their sexual orientation can live in equality and opportunity,”

some of the other reactions that was in the audience when the matter was mentioned to which Miss Angie responded.

The faces of some of the audience members sadly shows we have a long way to go change hearts and minds.

QCJ shared their two cents on the Professor Bain matter

QCJ's survey they had done: 

click for more: 

Her most recent appearance was at meeting in the US:

“Boom bye-bye ina batty bwoy head. Rude boy naw promote di nasty man. Dem haffi dead.” The year was 1992. ...

Angeline Jackson is co-founder of Quality Citizenship Jamaica QCJ filling the longstanding gap of lesbian invisibility over the decades of formalized gay rights advocacy that focused more on MSM population challenges. Her rape case from 2009 that the president referred to was carried on this blog during my time at JFLAG when she made the report and afterwards with the court case.

Then of course due to the nature of the case and the psychological concerns for such victims the report was a bit subdued as present cases also are treated so as not to have the client relive too much of the horrifying event.

QCJ has also been responsible for enacting a long standing recommendation/suggestion of self defense classes for same gender loving women to mitigate assaults as best as possible.

Jackson told the Washington Blade a few hours after Obama’s speech that his remarks “give me encouragement.”

“It also in some ways provides a validation for what I have been doing because it’s rough and moving forward with LGBT rights in Jamaica is certainly not going at rapid speed,” she said. “This mention, speaking about (my work), mentioning my name, speaking my work and mentioning my orientation brought to light the issues of the LGBT community because it brings a personal story, it brings a human to the conversation, so it’s not just them, it’s not just an abstract person. It becomes a person that they can recognize.”

Jalna Broderick, who co-founded Quality of Citizenship Jamaica alongside Jackson, was attending a meeting in D.C. when Obama spoke at University of the West Indies.

Broderick told the Blade during a reception at the Human Rights First office near McPherson Square where she and advocates from Belize, St. Lucia and the Dominican Republic were highlighting efforts to expand LGBT tourism in the Caribbean that she was crying when she watched Obama’s speech on YouTube.

“It is amazing to be recognized by anybody,” said Broderick. “It is even more amazing to be recognized by a man who is the leader of the free world.”

“In your country that is so homophobic she has been mentioned as a young woman, a woman, an LGBT activist, a lesbian, a survivor of sexual violence,” she added. “These are the things that we fight for, you want recognition of the issues and solutions to the problems.”

also see: 

Sexual Assault Awareness Month ... 2013

Serial rapist gets 29 years in rape ring, Look out my sisters 2009

Lesbians becoming increasingly nervous

"Corrective Rape" in Jamaica? ..... Yes 2009

When is rape a “sexual depravity” and not just “an unfortunate and tragic event” 2009

Woman Labelled “Man Royal” Forced to Relocate from a St Catherine Community

another podcast I had done back in the day (3 years ago) when invisibility or oversight of lesbian issues:

Now that visibility has increased in the last two years and has been given a shot in the arm by this recognition by no less a person than the most powerful man in the world I hope we can capitalize on it to bring to bear credibility on crisis reporting in as far as lesbophobic/homophobic crimes. GLBTQ Jamaica & Aphrodite's PRIDE Jamaica has worked with QCJ as well and recently held a stakeholders meeting with documentary producer (Taboo Yardies) Selena Blake on a recent visit by her.

Again congrats to Miss Angeline who has risen from victim to advocate and effectively so.

UPDATE April 10, 2015


her comments on the recent heckling of the PM in new York by overseas based Jamaican activists

Peace and tolerance



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