January 18, 2013
Nice to see that Jamaicans are continuing to work to make a change. A series of videos designed to address homophobia in Jamaica.
To the music of Mackelmore and Ryan who created the wonderful ‘Same Love’ video.
Blabbeando reports that J-FLAG produced a series of videos to address the issue.
J-FLAG Boss Headlines New Human Rights Video Campaign
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Dane Lewis, the executive director of J-FLAG, Jamaica’s foremost gay rights advocacy organisation, is headlining a new a human rights video campaign featuring straight, gay and lesbian Jamaicans.
The campaign, which is called We Are Jamaicans was launched today to raise awareness among Jamaicans about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) identity and community, human rights, stigma and discrimination. We Are Jamaicans is a participatory video campaign hosted on YouTube at
. It features prominent Jamaicans such as Susan and Alexis Goffe and Javed Jaghai.
According to Lewis, “the campaign was developed following recommendations from consultations with LGBT persons, activists and allies to show the experiences of Jamaica’s LGBT community in a more diverse way.”
There is an urgent need to interrupt prevailing discourse on LGBT realities in Jamaica. Opportunities must be created for Jamaicans to see and hear about the experiences of LGBT people so they can understand what it means to be LGBT.
“Regrettably, the diversity and the complexity of Jamaica’s LGBT community is masked by media and advocacy narratives that too often focus on sex, victimhood, crime and HIV. These themes are not identity-affirming and they sometimes further entrench the marginal position of LGBT people in the society,” Lewis said.
Javed Jaghai, an openly gay Jamaican, says that ignorance helps to fuel homophobia and the campaign will be critical for increasing understanding among the Jamaican public about gender and sexuality variance. “By diversifying the stories told about LGBT lives, the complexity of LGBT identities will be made apparent and it will be easier to evoke empathy and secure general support for tolerance,” he highlighted.
The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) through its Global Fund Vulnerablised Project funds the campaign. It is expected to lead to greater understanding and help change minds and hearts about Jamaica’s LGBT community. Gay, lesbian and straight Jamaicans are encouraged to use creative ways of sharing their experiences with LGBT issues and join the campaign whether they wish to show their face or not.
Contact: Dane Lewis | Executive Director
P.O. Box 1152, Kingston 8 T: 978-8988 | M: 875 2328 | F: 946-3244
W: http://www.jflag.org | E: firstname.lastname@example.org | T: @equalityJA
Watch the series on
November 5, 2012
Via @georgiap Needs no comment except to say give this woman a prize.
October 20, 2012
I watched this when it was first uploaded and while I loved the general message even if I didn’t necessarily agree with some things like him and his former partner praying to change. Then, I thought about it and it really is his story and his life. The message is powerful.
May 21, 2012
Those who obsess about others not being ‘normal’ should learn that on a cosmic level our little blue planet isn’t normal either.
May 2, 2012
My Twitter friend, actor and director Ryan James Yezak releases a powerful look at 30 years of AIDS. So sad that most or even all of those who died could have been saved by today’s medications. If HIV/AIDS was a test of our humanity then many failed the test.
April 18, 2012
A few weeks ago I was privileged to be a consultant to a group started by Jeremy Steffan Edwards and comprised of young people who, spurred by yet another teen suicide in Trinidad and countless others around the world, decided that enough was enough and that they would make a difference. Sitting in that first meeting held at a conference table at the University of the West Indies I looked at the young faces and listened to them emphatically stating that young people being driven to despair because they were lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or questioning was not acceptable and I can’t really describe how proud I felt and how full of hope for the future.
Out of a series of meetings the George Kasanjian Foundation which later became The Silver Lining Foundation was born. Driven by some of the most passionate young people I have met in recent years the group has finally crafted its mission statement and vision statement.
The Silver Lining Foundation is committed to facilitating safe access to the relevant psychological, sexual, medical, recreational and media resources necessary to educate, equip and empower youth to deal with difficulties regarding sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
To create an environment conducive to respect and self acceptance, and to provide a support system for marginalized youth regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, leading to a sustainable and functional Life.
It has also embarked on a project that will be a first for T&T – a Day of Silence which will be observed on Friday. Those participating will tape their mouths and hand out cards to others on campus explaining the purpose of the group. The Trinidad Guardian published an excellent article on the day here.
This might seem like a small act to achieve a very big change – and it is – but it is a start and it will mark a major turning point in the fight for LGBTQ kids to be given the dignity and respect that they deserve as equal human beings. This is also being done in a country in the English speaking Caribbean – not normally viewed as an especially tolerant environment for such vulnerable kids. In practice T&T is nowhere as unwelcoming as say Jamaica but there are still discriminatory ( though rarely enforced) rules on the books and LGBT people face discrimination on a daily basis simply because of who they are.
2012 will go down as an interesting year for us with this inspiring project by The Silver Lining Foundation and by CAISO which has embarked on a series of weekly meetings to push equality onto the national agenda ( I am on the – wait for it – Media Committee). This could be the start of something really good.
April 16, 2012
At the last CAISO meeting the youth group said they are braver than previous generations. Really? I think not. Brave is resisting arrest in New York, Toronto ( my home at the time) and lots of other places.