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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender & Queer Jamaica: Lesbians and Safer sex ........

Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender & Queer Jamaica: Lesbians and Safer sex ........

My comment:

More lesbians and WSWs need to know of this as many believe that they're not at risk of HIV and so they tend also to over look other sexual infections.

Then comes the part where you put your knowledge into action. I have the knowledge, but action? I honestly believe its easier to to get a male to put on a condom than for WSWs to use dental dams. I'm certainly not turned on at the thought of using a square of latex to have sex :(

Its gonna be necessary though to educate WSWs, sensitize and encourage them to practice safer sex. also we need to have more research done in the WSW community world wide and also locally.

My two cents.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Latin American Victory and my thoughts

Yay!! Argentina legalised same-sex marriages today, becoming the first country in Latin America to grant all the legal rights, responsibilities and protections that marriage gives to heterosexual couples, nationwide. The vote ended after 4 a.m. in Argentina's senate.

Wow this is great, we have same-sex civil unions legalised in Uruguay and some states in Mexico and Brazil. Then there is the Constitutional Court in Columbia granting same-sex couples inheritance rights and allowing them to add their partners to health insurance plans. Finally Mexico City seeking to 'out-do' (?) all others legalises gay marriage and launches tourism campaigns to encourage foreigners to come and wed.

Of course with the victory comes the cries of Christians and various Christian groups. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio said, "children need to have the right to be raised and educated by a father and a mother." "Marriage between a man and a woman has existed for centuries, and is essential for the perpetuation of the species," insisted Sen. Juan Perez Alsina.

Let me look at these statements.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio says children ought to have the right to be raised and educated by mother and father. Question, does giving gay couples the right to marry mean that all children will be denied being raised by a mother and a father? No. This is so because not all persons will be gay and, not all persons will chose to be married to someone of the same-sex. Therefore for children born to heterosexual couples they will be raised and educated by mother and father. One more question though; I wonder what the Cardinal would have to say about those children born to single mothers or those raised and educated by single parents?

"Marriage between a man and a woman has existed for centuries, and is essential for the perpetuation of the species," insisted Sen. Juan Perez Alsina. Seriously Senator are you going to decry gay marriage based on a tradition that has been around for centuries? If we were to follow tradition:
1) Women would have remained as property, and inferior to men
2)Slavery would have remained
3) Segregation and racism would have remained and applied to the free slaves and mulattoes
Tradition, Sen. Juan Perez Alsina, is not always good there are times and stages within development when tradition is no longer practicable and so we have to develop new traditions and practices.

"Marriage... is essential for the perpetuation of the species", Senator! Legalising gay marriage does not mean that tomorrow morning all persons will want to get married to someone of the same-sex, it does not mean that heterosexual couples will be prevented from getting married. So if marriage is essential to ensure the longevity of the human race then single men and women should be forced to marry and have children, and couples who cannot reproduce should be forced to divorce.

Though we see these arguments being made here they are the same arguments that opponents of gay marriage use world-wide. Are these fears irrational? Probably at first glance they seem that way but when you think about it they aren't irrational. If these persons would just listen, then its possible that some of these fears could be spoken about and each could help the other to understand one-another.

I'm happy for this victory in Latin America and looking for the day when the fever will spread through Latin America and even further into the Caribbean, it may be a long way off but it's not impossible, for with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Tek Care
Alexis

Monday, July 5, 2010

JFLAG at it again







The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) mounted a Stand Up to CARICOM across from the entrance to the Hilton Rose Hall Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica, the site of the 31st CARICOM Heads of Government meeting. The continued presence of "anti-buggery laws in 11 of the 14 member states in CARICOM which contribute to discrimination, marginalization and other serious human rights violations of CARICOM citizens", lead to the decision to 'mount the stand' (Jason McFarlane, Programme Manager of J-FLAG).  The group bore placards calling for the repeal of the anti-buggery laws, as well as an end to gay discrimination and improved human rights for all citizens in CARICOM. The group was able to stand peacefully for 17 minutes before they were professionally asked by the police to relocate due to security concerns. 


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I haven't heard of any physical violence against the group only verbal assaults and a few finger showing, otherwise it seems to have gone over smoothly. It wasn't on the news either so may we assume that it was a low keyed event and accomplished that objective? Lets watch the news media in the coming days to see what may happen. Overall though I'm happy that all things turned out well. It does seem that J-FLAG is indeed coming out of its hiding place and aiming to silence dissenting and frustrated community members and bloggers. J-FLAG seems to be more active now as well, remember the Walk for Tolerance in April, the Stand Against Silence in May, the remembrance of a life lost done in June, and now a stand against CARICOM. Is this just one of those phases that will come to an end soon, or something that will continue? Only time can tell.


Tek Care
Alexis

J-FLAG Remembers Fallen Brother and Calls for an End to Hate Crimes

Montego Bay --- June 18, 2010

June is International Gay Pride month and today marks the sixth (6th) anniversary of the mob slaying in Montego Bay of 26 year old Victor Jarrett on the mere suspicion of being gay. Victor was on Dump-up beach with some friends when two police officers approached, accused him of being gay and watching men on the beach. They started hurling insults at him and ordering him to leave the public beach. A mob soon formed and Victor was chased from the beach into his community in Canterbury St. James where he was bludgeoned to death.

To commemorate this tragic event, J-FLAG organized a memorial on Dump-up beach under the theme ‘Never Again’ to draw attention to hate crimes which continue to be perpetuated against Jamaican gays and lesbians. While police instigated attacks against Jamaica’s gay community have declined in recent times, there is insufficient prosecution of crimes committed by private citizens.

Jason McFarlane, Programme Manager at J-FLAG stated ‘We are here to honour Victor’s memory, calling to the mind the many brothers and sisters who have suffered at the hands of Jamaica’s intolerance towards gays. It is sad that in 2010 gays and lesbians are still being attacked and beaten because of their sexual orientation. Maurice Tomlinson of AIDS Free World stated “We are proud to stand with this group to call for an end to the intolerance and abuse of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community which is driving them underground and severely undermining the national fight against HIV.”

Despite Jamaica signing onto three OAS Resolutions condemning violence against citizens because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, the country continues to record numerous human rights abuses of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender citizens. Between 2009 and 2010, J-FLAG received reports of some 16 cases of persons who suffered some form of discrimination and abuse including but not limited to being ejected from their homes, Lesbians being raped to ‘make them straight.’ and men being stabbed.

A wreath of 26 red roses representing Victor’s age and 6 yellow representing the years since his death lay on a rainbow flag symbolizing the reason for his murder. Participants shared memories of Victor being a mild-mannered, warm, caring, fun-loving friend. At the end of the brief memorial participants scattered petals off the roses in the sea representing the waste of a beautiful life.

Tek Care
Alexis
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