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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Breast Cancer Month: What is breast cancer ............

Also see my report from 2010 on a lesbian breast cancer survivor then, today she is still struggling somewhat as it has returned after chemotherapy.

Breast Cancer Month: A Jamaican Lesbian’s survival story …………….

What is Breast Cancer ?

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that has developed from cells of the breast. The disease occurs mostly in women, but does occur rarely in men. The remainder of this document refers only to breast cancer in women.

Normal Breast Structure
The main components of the female breast are lobules (milk-producing glands), ducts (milk passages that connect the lobules and the nipple), and stroma (fatty tissue and ligaments surrounding the ducts and lobules, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels).

Lymphatic vessels are similar to veins, except that they carry lymph instead of blood. Lymph is a clear fluid that contains tissue waste products and immune system cells. Cancer cells can enter lymph vessels. Most lymphatic vessels of the breast lead to axillary (underarm) lymph nodes.

Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped collections of immune system cells that are important in fighting infections. When breast cancer cells reach the axillary lymph nodes, they can continue to grow, often causing swelling of the lymph nodes in the underarm area. If breast cancer cells have grown in the axillary lymph nodes, they are more likely to have spread to other organs of the body as well. This is why finding out whether breast cancer has spread to axillary lymph nodes is important in selecting the best mode of treatment.

Benign Breast Lumps
Most breast lumps are benign, that is, not cancerous. Most lumps are caused by fibrocystic changes. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs, and fibrosis refers to connective tissue or scar tissue formation. Breast swelling and pain can be caused by fibrocystic changes. The breasts may feel nodular, or lumpy, and, sometimes, a clear or slightly cloudy nipple discharge is present. Benign breast tumors such as fibroadenomas or papillomas are abnormal growths, but they cannot spread outside of the breast to other organs.

Types of Breast Cancers
Understanding some of the key words used to describe different types of breast cancer is important because these types vary in their prognosis (the outlook for chances of survival) and their treatment options. An alphabetical list of terms, including the most common types of breast cancer, is given below:

Adenocarcinoma: This is a general type of cancer that starts in glandular tissues anywhere in the body. Nearly all breast cancers start in glandular tissue of the breast and, therefore, are adenocarcinomas. The two main types of breast adenocarcinomas are ductal carcinomas and lobular carcinomas.

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS): Ductal carcinoma in situ (also known as intraductal carcinoma) is the most common type of noninvasive breast cancer. There are cancer cells inside the ducts but they have not spread through the walls of the ducts into the fatty tissue of the breast. Nearly 100% of women diagnosed at this early stage of breast cancer can be cured. The best way to find DCIS is with a mammogram. With more women getting mammograms each year, a diagnosis of DCIS is becoming more common. DCIS is sometimes subclassified based on its grade and type, in order to help predict the risk of cancer returning after treatment and to help select the most appropriate treatment. Grade refers to how aggressive cancer cells appear under a microscope. There are several types of DCIS, but the most important distinction among them is whether or not tumor cell necrosis (areas of dead or degenerating cancer cells) is present. The term comedocarcinoma is often used to describe a type of DCIS with necrosis.

Infiltrating (or invasive) ductal carcinoma (IDC): Starting in a milk passage, or duct, of the breast, this cancer has broken through the wall of the duct and invades the fatty tissue of the breast. At this point, it has the potential to metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system and bloodstream. Infiltrating ductal carcinoma accounts for about 80% of invasive breast cancers.

Infiltrating (or invasive) lobular carcinoma (ILC): ILC starts in the milk-producing glands. Similar to IDC, this cancer has the potential to spread (metastasize) elsewhere in the body. About 10% to 15% of invasive breast cancers are invasive lobular carcinomas. ILC may be more difficult to detect by mammogram than IDC.

Inflammatory breast cancer: This rare type of invasive breast cancer accounts for about 1% of all breast cancers. Inflammatory breast cancer makes the skin of the breast look red and feel warm, as if it was infected and inflamed. The skin has a thick, pitted appearance that doctors often describe as resembling an orange peel. Sometimes the skin develops ridges and small bumps that look like hives. Doctors now know that these changes are not due to inflammation or infection, but the name given to this type of cancer long ago still persists. Cancer cells blocking lymph vessels or channels in the skin over the breast cause these symptoms.

In situ: This term is used for an early stage of cancer in which it is confined to the immediate area where it began. Specifically in breast cancer, in situ means that the cancer remains confined to ducts (ductal carcinoma in situ) or lobules (lobular carcinoma in situ). It has not invaded surrounding fatty tissues in the breast nor spread to other organs in the body.

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS): While not a true cancer, LCIS (also called lobular neoplasia) is sometimes classified as a type of noninvasive breast cancer. It begins in the milk-producing glands, but does not penetrate through the wall of the lobules. Most breast cancer specialists think that LCIS, itself, does not become an invasive cancer, but women with this condition do have a higher risk of developing an invasive breast cancer in the same breast, or in the opposite breast. For this reason, it's important for women with LCIS to have a physical exam two or three times a year, as well as an annual mammogram.

Medullary carcinoma: This special type of infiltrating breast cancer has a relatively well defined, distinct boundary between tumor tissue and normal tissue. It also has some other special features, including the large size of the cancer cells and the presence of immune system cells at the edges of the tumor. Medullary carcinoma accounts for about 5% of breast cancers. The outlook, or prognosis, for this kind of breast cancer is better than for other types of invasive breast cancer.

Mucinous carcinoma: This rare type of invasive breast cancer is formed by mucus-producing cancer cells. The prognosis for mucinous carcinoma is better than for the more common types of invasive breast cancer. Colloid carcinoma is another name for this type of breast cancer.

Paget's disease of the nipple: This type of breast cancer starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the skin of the nipple and then to the areola, the dark circle around the nipple. It is a rare type of breast cancer, occurring in only 1% of all cases. The skin of the nipple and areola often appears crusted, scaly, and red, with areas of bleeding or oozing. The woman may notice burning or itching. Paget's disease may be associated with in situ carcinoma, or with infiltrating breast carcinoma. If no lump can be felt in the breast tissue, and the biopsy shows DCIS but no invasive cancer, the prognosis is excellent.

Phyllodes tumor: This very rare type of breast tumor forms from the stroma (connective tissue) of the breast, in contrast to carcinomas which develop in the ducts or lobules. Phyllodes (also spelled phylloides) tumors are usually benign but on rare occasions may be malignant (having the potential to metastasize). Benign phyllodes tumors are successfully treated by removing the mass and a narrow margin of normal breast tissue. A malignant phyllodes tumor is treated by removing it along with a wider margin of normal tissue, or by mastectomy. These cancers do not respond to hormonal therapy and are not so likely to respond to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. In the past, both benign and malignant phyllodes tumors were referred to as cystosarcoma phyllodes.

Tubular carcinoma: Accounting for about 2% of all breast cancers, tubular carcinomas are a special type of infiltrating breast carcinoma. They have a better prognosis than usual infiltrating ductal or lobular carcinomas.


There is no certain way to prevent breast cancer. For now, the best plan for women at average breast cancer risk is to reduce risk factors whenever possible.

Breast cancer risk reduction with tamoxifen or raloxifene: Tamoxifen has been used for many years to reduce the risk of recurrence in localized breast cancer and as a treatment for advanced breast cancer. (See "How is Breast Cancer Treated?") Results from the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT) have shown that women at high risk for breast cancer are less likely to develop the disease if they take the antiestrogen drug, tamoxifen. After taking tamoxifen an average of 4 years, these women had 45% fewer breast cancers than women with the same risk factors who did not take tamoxifen.

Like tamoxifen, raloxifene also blocks the effect of estrogen on breast tissue. In a study to evaluate raloxifene as prevention for osteoporosis, the researchers also noticed that it also seemed to lower the risk of breast cancer. A study to compare the effectiveness of the two drugs, called the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene or STAR trial, is currently underway. For now, raloxifene has not yet been approved for use in breast cancer risk reduction.
Prophylactic (preventive) mastectomy for women with very high breast cancer risk: Occasionally, a woman who is at very high risk for breast cancer will choose to have a prophylactic mastectomy. The purpose of the surgery is to reduce the risk by removing both breasts before breast cancer is diagnosed.

The reasons for considering this type of surgery may include one or more of the following risk factors:

Mutated BRCA genes found by genetic testing
Previous cancer in one breast, strong family history (breast cancer in several close relatives)

Biopsy specimens showing lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
There is no way to know how this surgery would affect a particular woman. Some women with BRCA mutations will develop a fatal breast cancer early in life, and a prophylactic mastectomy before cancer occurred might have added many years to their life expectancy. Some women with BRCA mutations never develop breast cancer, and these women would not benefit from the surgery. Still other women might develop breast cancer that can be found by mammography or breast examination, and be successfully treated; these women's life expectancies would also not be affected by the operation. It is important to realize that while this operation removes nearly all of the breast tissue, a small amount remains. So, while, this operation markedly reduces the risk of breast cancer, it does not guarantee that a cancer will not develop in the small amount of breast tissue remaining after surgery.

Second opinions are strongly recommended before any woman makes the decision to have this surgery. The American Cancer Society Board of Directors has stated that "only very strong clinical and/or pathologic indications warrant doing this type of "preventive operation." Nonetheless, after careful consideration, this might be the right choice for some women.


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.