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

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Jamaican Clinical Sexologist on Human Rights for All

Clinical Sexologist Dr Karen Carpenter hit the nail on the head on some things with our advocacy and the areas they have been afraid or refused to properly engage.

The myths and misconceptions surrounding the practices of the community can only be dispelled if those organisations that advocate for LGBT rights also advocate for the protection of the child, the encouragement of safe-sex practices, and all other behaviours that support the human rights of all citizens.

Protect The Rights Of All Jamaicans

Karen Carpenter, Contributor

IN JAMAICA, when it comes to the sexual orientation of minority groups, we are perhaps most familiar with the terms 'homosexual', 'bisexual', and 'lesbian'. Same-sex attraction and activities have not generally been accepted as part of the sexual culture of the country. Additionally, how Jamaicans view themselves sexually - as opposed to how they are viewed by the world media - differs.

Rebecca Schleifer of United States Human Rights Watch produced a report after three weeks of extensive interviews with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, non-governmental organisations and government officials. She dubbed Jamaica "the most homophobic place on earth" (November 2004, Vol. 16, No. 6 (B)). It seems this label has been accepted by the foreign press without much consideration for Jamaica's cultural norms, or the history of the LGBT movement in Jamaica.

In contrast to Schleifer's comments, former Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green of the Scotland Yard Police asserted, after three years of working in law enforcement in the island: "I think Jamaica is far more tolerant than the public hype. There is a vibrant community in Jamaica, and there isn't the sort of backlash that some people say." The gap between what is often given media coverage and what obtains on the ground is large. Few attempts have been made to provide a balanced argument that considers both the perspective of the local community and the foreign press.


Jamaica's reputation for being irrationally fearful of, or aversive to, persons who are same-sex-attracted, or 'homophobic', is not supported by the statistics regarding the numbers of such persons living undisturbed in communities. That Jamaica, as a society at large, does not support, condone, or accept same-sex attraction and activities is indeed true. Evidence of this is easy to find in numerous public opinions published in the newspapers and broadcast on radio and television; however, it is important to distinguish between a fear of homosexuals and a negative attitude towards homosexual behaviour.

Jamaicans are generally homo-negative. The attitude towards same-sex activity is that it is biologically unnatural, medically unhygienic, and it goes against Christian values. A few weeks ago, I participated in a radio discussion about Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's comments on same-sex-attracted persons serving in Parliament and the nature of same-sex attraction. One of the most impassioned remarks came from a Christian woman who described my neutral approach as "demonic".

The truth is, in a democratic society, people are entitled to their opinions and to have these opinions heard. What we are certainly not entitled to is denying the rights of others in the pursuit of our own beliefs. All citizens must enjoy the rights and share in the responsibilities of a nation.

Curious to find out what exactly are our rights and responsibilities as Jamaicans, I visited several websites. The first search for 'gays in Jamaica' turned up over 34,200 results and 'homosexuality in Jamaica' 15,200 results. Several of these were captioned with Ms Schleifer's now-infamous comment.


The civics section of the National Library of Jamaica provides a very user-friendly and easy-to-understand definition of citizen: "Citizenship is defined as membership in a state, nation, country, with guaranteed rights, privileges as well as duties and responsibilities. Citizenship of Jamaica is acquired through birth, marriage, or naturalisation."

The section goes on to outline 12 rights shared by all citizens of Jamaica:

1. Protection of right to life;

2. Protection from arbitrary arrest;

3. Respect for private and family life;

4. Protection to privacy of home and property;

5. Protection of freedom of conscience;

6. Protection of peaceful assembly;

7. Protection from discrimination;

8. Protection of expression;

9. Right to fair trial;

10. Right to vote;

11. Freedom of worship;

12. Freedom of movement.

There is a much shorter list of four responsibilities:

1. Pay his/her share of tax that is levied for the good of the community;

2. Obey the laws of the land;

3. Serve as a witness in the court if summoned;

4. Serve on a jury if called.

These rights are not subject to the approval of one group of individuals over another, but neither are the responsibilities restricted to any one group of persons, and certainly not on the basis of sexual orientation. The section goes on to cite that "one of the greatest rights of citizens is to share in the government of the country". (

Supporters of the LGBT community here and abroad point to the archaic Offences Against the Person Act, Sections 76, 77, 78, which speak to"the abominable crime of buggery, committed either with mankind or with any animal". I suspect that few persons actually know that the so-called 'buggery law' does not actually constitute a law against same-sex activity. Further, according to an interview carried out by The Gleaner Company's Western Bureau with attorney Clayton Morgan of the Cornwall Bar Association, attempts at prosecuting men for violation of the same law have been unsuccessful due to the practical and legal requirements for proving that the law has been breached.

Advocates further point to the international conventions, which have been signed by the Jamaican Government, supporting full human rights for all members of the society. What has not been made clear by these proponents is that the laws and constitution of a country have priority over international conventions.

What, then, are we left with 50 years after the Constitution, given its shortcomings?

The current prime minister of Jamaica came in for considerable criticism for her public support of persons of all sexual orientations being part of the business of the country. More public information is needed, not on the international conventions which may not be reflected in the country's Constitution of 1962, and which cannot supersede the Constitution, but on the basic guidelines that allow us to maintain civility and agree to disagree, even where our personal beliefs may not support the lifestyle.

Recently, we witnessed the rather civil statements made by dancehall king Beenie Man when he, too, demonstrated his respect of and tolerance for all persons regardless of sexual orientation, which he deems a private matter. Beenie Man's declaration shows that he, too, has 'evolved' away from the anti-homosexual vitriol to a more reasoned acceptance of the right of others to be different. And while this has not stemmed the tide of anti-gay pro-gyalist lyrics emanating from dancehall, it is a step in the right direction. Many other artistes need to take a page from his book if they are to regain international respect and the privilege of working abroad in societies where these rights are observed.


What started off as the Gay Freedom Movement of 1974 has evolved, and new groups have been formed to protect and lobby for the rights of LGBT and persons affected by and infected with HIV/AIDS. The most well known of them are the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays and Jamaica AIDS Support for Life.

These organisations have worked hard to secure the rights of sexual minorities in Jamaica. The challenge is to uphold the responsibilities and to protect the rights, not just of the community, but of all Jamaicans. It is the responsibility of the LGBT support groups to participate fully in the life of the country - in those areas of public life that affect sexual minorities as well as all aspects of citizenry. It is short-sighted to believe that any real justice could be had by speaking out only when there is violation of the rights of the LGBT community.

We need to examine the real, or imagined, aversions and fears of the larger society, and address these honestly. Some of these include the belief that same-sex-attracted persons prey on underage boys and girls, and that same-sex practices are inherently more likely to increase the spread of HIV/AIDS. Other objections include what some see as inappropriate public displays of affection, displays which heterosexuals themselves do not perform in public. If the first thing a person knows about you is your sexual orientation rather than who you are or what you do, you may also be inviting public commentary on and reaction to your private life. This is indeed a challenge which immature heterosexuals and homosexuals alike face.

The myths and misconceptions surrounding the practices of the community can only be dispelled if those organisations that advocate for LGBT rights also advocate for the protection of the child, the encouragement of safe-sex practices, and all other behaviours that support the human rights of all citizens.

There used to be a Virginia Slims cigarette advertisement that had as its slogan, "You've come a long way baby". The same is true of the LGBT community. The very fact that this article and so many others exist is testament to that fact. There is a bigger picture and perhaps we need to return to public education on civics if we are to behave in a civilised manner.

US Human Rights Watch has emphasised in its recommendations ways in which the Jamaican Government could better meet external criteria for guarding the rights of all sexuals. However, other than the suggestion for the repeal of the commonly termed 'buggery law', little attention has been paid to the existing laws, statutes, and civil agreements that ensure the human rights of all citizens and how these can be upheld. More focus needs to be placed on these to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of all Jamaicans are protected.

Karen Carpenter, PhD, is a lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Mona.


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.

Other Entries you can check out

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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.