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

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Parents issues ultimatum for suspected gay man to relocate

So as expected and seen in my time in full time work in the LGBT lobby some years ago whenever there is a public campaign or discussion on homosexuality there is usually a spike of sorts in homo-negative and homophobic incidents and I have been getting some reports of same via email and otherwise and feeling kind of overwhelmed by some of this as there is not much ordinary LGBT people can do without the needed resources. Displacements usually inch up as the most visible evidence of ostracism; evidence of this is growing numbers of young men and youth teetering on homelessness and unemployed or unemployable. It is difficult as it is in this economy now as austerity measures take effect as part of the latest International Monetary Fund deal although the administration refrains from saying it outright and they continue to plant false hopes in the nation when they are partly to be blamed for the present set of circumstances when their eighteen year tenure in the nineties and the improperly managed liberalization of the economy led to all kinds of challenges some of which we still see today.

A young man in his early twenties in the Whitehall Avenue area is the latest to be added to the list of LGBT people who are facing homo-negative reactions from relatives fortunately for him he has a job and can probably bounce back with some ease. Upon returning home some days ago he was met with a written message that his mother left that she wanted to talk to him when she got home as she had gone out for the day. Upon her arrival even before entering the home she loudly went on a verbal blast accusing her son of the usual with the colourful Jamaican words “battyman” “fish” and so on were used; the man who was shocked at this response and tried to put in a word or two according to him when we spoke over the phone. He was also concerned that neighbours were hearing the exchange and nervously wondered how they’d react as he had never had such an experience before apart from possible profiling at work or school when he was younger since he does not aesthetically or behaviourally present the stereotypical effeminate traits used to size up persons.

Another youngster was not so lucky as unconfirmed reports suggest he was killed earlier this month with condolences being expressed on social media following his demise and accusations of his case being a homophobic killing, another man was thrown out of his home as well in St Catherine by a roommate in March of this year with whom he was sharing the space following an alleged argument over his perceived homosexuality as it was alleged he had no female companion visitors or spoke of any; an activity in the hegemonic masculinity scheme of things to determine or prove manhood by local standards. As indicated before as long as there is public discourse on homosexuality in general or buggery there is always some increase in scrutiny and nonsensical and unnecessary problems. Some of the displaced and homeless men in downtown have seen a sharp rise in public resistance to their presence and mini chasings have ensued. The fate of the problematic populations in the Millsborough Avenue area is still unsure even as JFLAG is more concerned about the upcoming buggery challenges more so than real social justice and welfare issues and its three day a week feeding program for a few of the growing numbers had not recommenced fully. Now that the buggery review has become an official promise despite some unease by some of the ruling administration’s stalwarts such as Chairman of the ruling PNP expressing the differing views as to the route to be taken to have it done (referendum instead of a parliamentarian only vote) what will happen after and indeed during this very active period especially for the displaced and homeless, who inside the leadership looks at creating some buffer system or crisis intervention catchment for expected fallouts when we know these happen once there is stepped up public agitations?

A lesbian couple also had to move from Portmore as well late in April as they too were warned by men to take action as other men in the area nearing Christian Pen were not pleased of how they were cohabiting as a couple. It is alleged that one of the ladies presents with some masculine aesthetics while the other the cisgender imperatives are clear of feminine or “soft” as the colloquial dictates it. They have since relocated but what is even more disturbing about that particular case is that while same gender loving females do not get the kind of harsh reactions as their male counterparts after the ladies left the empty home which is up for rental by the owners was stoned by a mob during a street dance nearby by the egging of an over enthused disc jock who selected anti gay songs at that event. What would drive such a reaction that after the women left persons would feel so moved to attack an inanimate object of unoccupied space is puzzling to me. This is not the first time though I have heard of rage expressed such as this after the intended targets have left the occupied space which tells me we have deeply rooted homo-negative and indeed homophobic feelings lying in wait for some stimuli to reawaken them.

So the proverbial unease with opposite gender traits presenting in persons is cause for negative responses and confirms to me something I have always suspected that the conditional or provisional tolerance that has been in vogue was only just that. The homophobic feelings are always in the subconscious waiting to be stoked by the right environmental circumstances and with more vocal and mobilized religious movement complete with a castigatory and combative tone what is there for that to transcend past secular wisdom to some homophobe who happens to be idle and finds exercising their hate a sport? Yet we were told by some convoluted study as supported by JFLAG and AIDSFREEWORLD that Jamaica is more tolerant by some far out percentages! Yet the reality on the ground has been and still is telling us otherwise.

How many more cases such as these that I am not aware of are out there, what are other LGBT folk and influentials are seeing from their vantage points?

Even though I am out of the system since 2010 I still get the thousand+ worded emails, lengthy late night phone calls, BlackBerry/Text messages and Facebook messages (some thousand worded too) of persons going through issues and feel so helpless at times. What is even more challenging is why is it that when I suggest persons make a formal report to the relevant agencies for if only tracking purposes they refuse to do so instead prefer to either absorb the particular interruption in their lives and try to move on or share with on a one on one basis for the most part. I and others have found ourselves becoming unofficial counsellors and we too have to seek professional help in unloading some of the heavy psycho social materials we are bombarded with at times. Yet the official systems and agencies such as JFLAG seem not caring to improve their social components and service delivery and we the community are left with the scars. In a bid to try and explain away responsibility for the homeless MSM challenges in recent years they have chosen to include in their public relations an excuse that JFLAG only has a small social support initiative and more so is an advocacy when those of us who have been around long enough we know that that is not true, JFLAG was formed among other things to address the immediate needs that of displacements which pre-dates the formation or agitation for any gay rights in this country.

What is next for this young twenty year old is unknown but he has been encouraged to press on as he at least has an income, a friend has offered some shelter for now as the community based shelter assistance chips in if only temporarily so and even as others struggle for maintaining a decent standard of living, a letter in one of our leading newspapers bemoans the fact that many qualified professionals are also having challenges finding meaningful employment; that too is cause for some concern as displacements also comes from lack of sustained income support and financial viability.

Why aren’t parents more sensitive to their children in this business of homosexuality and or sexual orientation?

Are we seeing the results of years of an education system that for generations has in essence taught sexual reproductive activity more so than sexuality in its purest form?

That is why the argument about procreation does not wash and the fallacy that homosexuals will end the human race and destroy marriage as we know it when it is heterosexuals who are having offspring that turn out to be LGBT as a percentage of births. But with the growing numbers of idle LGBT youth and unemployable persons isn’t this recipe for some social unrest of a different hue, are we seeing the early signs of this with the abandoned set in terms of the relevant responses becoming a part of the crime wave already in vogue? Lest we forget we have had reports of robberies of other LGBT people in the New Kingston area by the ATMs or after parties where persons deemed physically weaker being targeted by stronger thugs from this and other MSM sub groups who can easily over power their intended victims. The make, look and feel of the MSM populations is rapidly changing and if the powers that be do not pay attention we may find ourselves with a new set of circumstances never before seen; we are already seeing the consequences of the bizarre decisions at the leadership levels of ignoring and sidelining the same homeless groups who were a part of a residency program that was scrapped in the easy way out not to address the early anti social challenges now we are forced to reap the results of that initial institutional rejection of this group.

I am expecting more fallout as the constitutional challenge on buggery and the sexual offences act commences today in the Supreme Court.

Peace and tolerance



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.