The Safe House 2009 Pilot for LGBTQ Youth Explained & 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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Ugandan Trans Woman's Open Letter To Parliament

In agreeing with TransGriot's Note: As a transgender child of the African Diaspora, this 'Kill the Gays' bill is my business as well. I'm sad and disgusted to say it was pushed by white American christobigots and does affect trans people who live in Uganda. A Ugandan trans woman wrote this letter asking her members of Parliament to reject the so-called "kill the gays" bill.

Dear Honorables,

I greet you all in your distinguished capacities. I have never even for a second thought that I would ever have to write a letter to parliament, that my words would even have to be read by a people as you. I find myself, though, at a point in my life, where fate — if you believe in it — has bestowed upon me this duty to speak for the many voiceless out there, who like myself, find themselves at a point where your decision will determine if they will get to take another breath in this country, as free citizens or not. I pray then, that my words may not be in vain, but that they may appeal to that humanity that I know lies at the core of each of you.

I go by the alias of Cleo. I am a 26-year-old transgendered person. With my ambitious persona and insatiable thirst for knowledge, I’ve managed to see myself through school to the post-graduate level. I am a public worker, a scientist and a researcher to be specific, and earn an honest living from that. I am a Pentecostal Christian, loving God, though with my liberalist and realist values, I respect other people’s sentiments, however divergent they are from my own.

I was born a biologically male child to two very loving parents, Batooro by decent. Despite the love and care that they bestowed upon me, my childhood was tainted with a lot of misery. Being a transgender person, with my atypical behavior, and dress code that seemed to clash terribly with the stereotypical gender requirements of my society, I was faced with a lot of rejection from friends and family alike.

My family and friends have — with time and a lot of patience and struggle — come to understand my situation and not to judge me. A few months ago, when I made a monumental decision to fully transition into a girl, they have shown me so much affection and support, especially psychologically. For me, I consider this [one of] the biggest successes in my life; That my family and friends, despite our divergent values and their earlier negative sentiments, have finally managed, through a very strenuous process — that I should say, was not without wounds and tears — to understand and accept me, as a person, as their child, as their friend, as their sibling. Because that is the basic essence of what brings us together.

Being a transgendered person is not about who I am attracted to sexually. It's about what gender I identify with. Being a trans girl means that I was born biologically male, but with the physiology and psychology of a girl. At puberty I experienced a male, but largely female, pubertal development that left me very confused and rejected in all my social circles, for I was the black sheep. My parents did not know whether to protect me from boys or girls, but finally it so happened that I was brought up in a girls’ hostel up to the age of 15.
Growing up a transgender person meant that I had to deal with my teenage burdens alone with not a soul to tell — not my parents or peers or siblings — to disclose my darkest secrets. To cry myself to sleep every night, wishing I was dead, to battle with depression and suicidal tendencies — that’s all I remember in my teenage life.

I wonder then, why people say it was my choice to be this way. Why would anyone choose a life as lonely as this, a life of misery, pain, rejection, abuse and depression? And though I made it, many haven’t, because their self-esteem, their confidence, and their vitality, fails them in light of all the negativities that surround them. It’s hardly the disgustingly abusive world that the media paints of us, for if there is any abuse sustained even then by any party, it’s by us.

I ask myself, how one can judge me, before one even knows me. I understand this though, because for so long I was hated by people before they even knew me.

Being transgender, like being gay or a lesbian, is not a choice. What is rather a choice is accepting it for a fact. What is a choice is if you — at some point in life —decide to not live a masked life, under the guise of a straight, or asexual person like I did, and restrain yourself, from everything that you know you are from the core of your being.

It is very hard living your life through other people’s eyes; trying hard to make them happy while you restrain yourself of who you are, or even demonize your actual being because of their negativities. It's a strange reality that I can loosely liken to solitude in a crowd, for even though there were so many people around me, none of them knew me for who I was — for I deliberately concealed a part of me that I considered a flaw to my being.

At some point though, I realized, just like everyone does in life, that I could not live entirely on other people’s perceptions of who I was, battling to make other people happy at my own life’s expense. For we all have but one life to live. I came to the realization that I alone knew better who I was, and that I had a rare opportunity to let people know who I was, and not let them tell me who I was. It had been a sad existence of existing, but not quite living, of living a lie, trying to convince myself —and ultimately others — what I was, what I wasn’t, and I was determined to end that cycle.

As a transgender person, I envision a utopia of gender neutrality, where all the genders in all their entireties are able to coexist together, and live in utter harmony and mutual respect of one another. So that, if not to accept, they might tolerate each other, just like we have tried to do as people of different tribes, colors, religions, value systems and races; it’s the measure of our maturity as a civilization.

I believe then, that in the same regard that all diversities — racial, tribal, religious, sexual, and gender alike — instead of being criminalized and demonized, should be celebrated and empowered, so that rather than to condemn a sect of a few people to social redundancy, all the human resource that Uganda boasts of can be fully tapped.

Let’s not then condemn ourselves, so that when people in the future look back at us, they will do so, just like we do at our ancestors, and exclaim how inhuman and selfish they were to disregard the existence of a few people because of their color and race. Gender diversity and sexual orientation is no premise to crucify someone, just because you do not agree with how someone dresses, what they act like, or who they sleep with.

What then, I ask myself, are we teaching the future generations? Morality even at the expense of life? Morality in the eyes of a few self-righteous people? That all people aren’t the same, if they are different? That it is okay to be selfish?

But being transgender — as much as it is my gender identity — does not holistically define who I am.
As people, like facets of a gem, we are complex in our ambitions and aspirations. We are unique in our personalities, talents, and value systems. It is these things in their entirety, but none of them in unison of others that defines us. The binary reductionist paradigm of looking at life as being either black or white — rather than as a continuum of several shades — fails to address the issues of life as it is. I am only different because I am transgender, but other than that, I am human, with red blood coursing through my veins just like you, with family and friends that care for me deeply, with personal sentiments and feeling like you do. I cry and laugh like you do, but I cannot be reduced and labeled as transgender, as an item on a supermarket stall, because that’s not all I am. As a person, I am more than that.

Being transgender and having been rejected most of my life has taught serenity in the storm. It has taught perseverance, even when the storm wails on. It has taught me to respect other people despite their differences, and has taught me to be patient. It has taught me that life is not about being perfect, because in our flaws, in all our insecurities and in our inadequacies, we all have something to offer on the table. And that we are meant, as humans, to shine together, but not in solitude. And that we must help our brothers and sisters to shine, but not to trample upon them. To exist and live together, that is what humanity was meant for. For no man or woman is an island. For alone we burn out, and fail, but together we flourish.
Finally, we must not forget our ultimate calling and obligation. For by virtue of our humanity, we ought to love others like we love ourselves, and treat them with the same delicacy and sensitivity that we wish be accorded us.

I pray then, that in your deliberations, by the power vested in you, you may not forget our concerns — as humans, as Ugandans, as your brothers, sisters, mother and fathers.

With respect,
Cleo. K.


Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website

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)


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


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

War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

A war of words has ensued between gay lawyer (AIDSFREEWORLD) Maurice Tomlinson and anti gay activist Dr Wayne West as both accuse each other of lying or being dishonest, when deception has been neatly employed every now and again by all concerned, here is the post from Dr West's blog

This is laughable to me as both gentleman have broken the ethical lines of advocacy respectively repeatedly especially on HIV/AIDS and on legal matters concerning LGBTQ issues

The evidence is overwhelming readers/listeners, you decide.

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Homeless MSM Challenges and relationships with agencies overview ........

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 realise the issue he held so dear in his time was treated with such disrespect and dishonour. 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


see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

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.

Popular Posts

RJR - Surprise Yes vote by Ja on Sexual Orientation Removal from Summary Executions Resolution

Beyond the Headlines host Dionne Jackson Miller has Arlene Harrison Henry and Maurice Tonlinson on Human RIghts Day 2012 on the the removal of language in the form of sexual orientation on the Summary Executions UN Resolution - On November 21, 2012, Jamaica voted[1] against resolution A/C.3/67/L.36 at the United Nations condemning extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions which urges States “to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings, including… all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation

Homeless MSM evicted from Cargill Avenue (evening edition)

28/08/12 CVM TV again rebroadcast a story of homeless MSM and the deplorable living conditions coupled with the almost sensationalistic narrative of the alleged commercial sex work the men are involved in. Gay Jamaica Watch has been following this issue since 2009 when the older populations of MSMs who were for the most part displaced due to forced evictions and homo negative issues and their re-displacement by agencies who on the face of it refused to put in place any serious social interventions to assist the men to recovery CLICK HERE for the CLIP

Information, Disclaimer and more

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 theHappenings 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 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.


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

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

What Human Rights .............

What are Human Rights?

By definition human rights are our inalienable fundamental rights. Inalienable means that which cannot be taken away. So our human rights are bestowed upon us from the moment we are born and, thus we are all entitled to these rights. Because we are entitled to our human rights and they cannot and should not be taken away from us, we as a people must strive to protect them, government should protect them and breaches of our rights should be highlighted and addressed appropriately.

Human rights are the same for everyone irrespective of colour, class or creed, and are applicable at both the national and international level. In Jamaica, our human rights are enshrined in and protected by our Constitution. Internationally, there have been numerous laws and treaties enacted specifically for the protection of human rights.

Milestone document

Most notably of these is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration is seen as a milestone document in the history of human rights. It was proclaimed by the United Nations, in 1948, as a common standard of achievements for all nations, and sets out the fundamental human rights to be universally recognised and protected.

The Declaration sets out the following rights:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Equality before the law

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement

Everyone has the right to a nationality.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government;

Everyone has the right to education.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.