Tuesday, January 31, 2012

PM Should Decry Homophobic Bigotry says Gleaner but some questions & issues present themselves

The story of Maurice Tomlinson, a lecturer at the University of Technology (UTech), reported by this newspaper yesterday, reverberates with the insensitivity of supposed students of the law and at the same time highlights the mediaeval attitude that still largely prevails in Jamaica towards gays.
And having declared her principled position on the rights of gays, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller should add her voice to the protection of Mr Tomlinson's rights under the Constitution of Jamaica.
Maurice Tomlinson is an attorney. He also teaches law at UTech. He came into public notice more recently when it was reported in Canada that he had married his male partner.

In homophobic Jamaica, where a former prime minister declared that he would have no gays in his Cabinet and his successor waffled, equivocated on and parsed his response to the subject, Mr Tomlinson's action is a potential death sentence.

Myopic law students

Indeed, he has gone into hiding and has told this newspaper that he was advised by the police that it would be unsafe to appear on the UTech campus "because my security has been compromised". Put bluntly, Mr Tomlinson has received death threats.

The university law faculty has been unable, as yet, to find a substitute lecturer for Mr Tomlinson's course, and students were advised - apparently by Mr Tomlinson - to sit in with other lecturers.

What has surprised this newspaper is the response of some part-time students affected by the disruption - an apparent absence of sympathy or concern for a man whose life is reportedly in danger.
They are angry over personal scheduling difficulties caused by Mr Tomlinson's absence, complaining that even with the arrangement he attempted to put in place, "we will still be at a disadvantage".
We would be forgiven if we concluded that this lack of empathy and compassion by the affected law students betrays both deep moral failings and weak appreciation for the course of study on which they have embarked. Put another way, it would seem that the concentration of these UTech students is on certification. The substance of the law is secondary.

Breach to one, breach to all

What even early students of the law, like those taught by Mr Tomlinson, should have already learnt is that their rights as individuals cannot be secure if his can be trampled on with impunity. The ultimate protection of one's rights is a democratic society's adherence to the rule of law. There is no more fundamental right than the right to one's life, which, incidentally, is among the first named rights and freedoms protected in Section 13 (3)(a) of the Charter of Rights in Jamaica's Constitution.

Perhaps, in time, the peeved UTech students will appreciate that the application of the law has to be universal, and universally fair, for it to be worthy. Prime Minister Simpson Miller can help in promoting this understanding.

The prime minister displayed courage in defending people's right to lifestyles of their choice when she declared that sexual orientation would not be a criterion for membership in her Cabinet. She must repeat often that there is no right to impunity against people whose lifestyles the majority does not like. For a real test of a democracy is how it protects the rights of minorities.

The PM should also champion the cause for the repeal of the buggery law.

The opinions on this page, except for the above, do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gleaner. To respond to a Gleaner editorial, email us: editor@gleanerjm.com or fax: 922-6223. Responses should be no longer than 400 words. Not all responses will be published.


How much do we want from the Prime Minister in such a short space of time?, this is almost as dumb as the JFLAG error in stating a timeline within 100 days when the issue MUST be discussed then having to turn around and do damage control so as not to make it look like an ultimatum after the fire-storm from both inside the LGBT community and outside especially with that persistent thinking that the ruling party was funded by gay interests outside so as to push the battyman issue. 

Why should the PM only deal with this because it's Maurice Tomlinson, is he so special over all the others before and with him especially those persons who do their respective work quietly in the community without a song and dance? After all he chose to put himself out there so it comes with the repercussions.

The glaring contempt towards persons who work quietly in the local community is showing its head again as JFLAG operatives themselves have brought to bear when some rude criticisms have been brought to the fore regarding the recent departure of Mr. Tomlinson under questionable circumstances. He complained that the Observer for example published an unauthorised photo of him hence putting his life in danger yet he forgot to mention his very public television appearances long before the shots were seen in print and why did he send the shot of his signing the licence in Canada to a Catherine Porter of the Gay Star News? and the subsequent timing of this to coincide with the David Kato award collection in London with the large purse attached has left some doubt in the minds of many as professional dishonesty is reeking from all these circumstances. All the Observer had to do was republish the story under the creative commons license protection originally carried by Star News Canada written by the aforementioned author in a piece entitled: "Jamaican gay activist, Maurice Tomlinson, married a Torontonian" whils stating the source. The photo clearly showed it was courtesy of Tomlinson, if he did not want this issue out there why allow the overseas article to be put out in the first place?

All these set of circumstances so close to each other and so well timed does not look good. 

Criticisms have been rising about these and other issues and reputations are being re-examined to find out why is it some persons seem to easily benefit from activities in the name of defending the community? I have been on record to say it is all about superstardom and not about looking at the community as a whole, this first pass the post drama to see who will get the recognition is just too glaring these days while the least amongst us continue to struggle. The Gleaner also carried this piece: Threats force gay lecturer to flee which has had some reaction from influentials. This is how strong a comment that came from such a person:

"Frankly, from reading this article, I don't get a sense of someone who's been forced to "flee". People who "flee" don't have a return date scheduled. If someone is fleeing for their life because of circumstances beyond control, how exactly did he suddenly regain enough control to be able to"schedule" when his safety concerns had been resolved? What I do get a sense of is someone who's taking advantage of the reputation that Jamaica has gained, and using it to his own ends. That is, how convenient that such "safety concerns" emerge as significant right around the same time when he goes to London to go pick up his award?

And who told the newspaper that he was away from work? Let me guess....

Suffice it to say, this story reeks of unprofessional and unethical behaviour on Maurice's part. It may well be that faculty members in Jamaica can and do mistreat students however they want - cancel classes, don't show up, don't give the students their grades, etc. - with no repercussions. But to use homophobia as the excuse for not showing up, ad to have the administration in knots over how to deal with this crisis, when I'm sure they sense that things are not as they appear - that is beyond selfish and self-involved.

I am totally sick and tired of lgbt Jamaican individuals manipulating the already hostile situation at home by making themselves into scapegoats and victims, just so they can appropriate resources and attention for themselves. I was wondering where the leaked story of the wedding was going, and I can already see.

In my opinion, there needs to be a total news lockout against Maurice Tomlinson unless what he's talking about or doing DIRECTLY involves broader community, and there's sufficient corroboration of his accounts. He is being very manipulative in his conduct, and is harming the movement in many ways. Others have pulled similar stunts in the past, but Maurice is taking the situation to a whole other level. And he's counting on the silence and gullibility of lgbt Jamaicans as well as the fears of straight people to help him accomplish whatever he's set his mind to, and which won't benefit anyone but himself. Enough already."

The comment when first made/posted was deleted from a Facebook group where JFLAG operatives converge by one of the administrators who work with the organization I have since gathered. Another dangerous precedence for muzzling and or dictatorship to the rest of the community? yet we ask for tolerance elsewhere.


Frankly this whole episode has stirred up a hornet's nest and the bigger issue of ethical professionalism is back at the forefront but for how long will it remain as usually when it does make centerstage some other items are quickly found to create a diversion.

Peace and tolerance


Monday, January 30, 2012

It's bigotry if church discriminates against homosexuals (Observer Letter) .....

Dear Editor,

As a devout churchman I fail to appreciate the concern that many of my church folk have about the buggery law. The practice of faith, the last time I checked in my church, was based on the teachings of the Bible, not on the legislature. The church does not need the support of the state in order to practise its beliefs. If it does, then we must worry. But what would be the legal implications if the buggery laws were repealed in Jamaica?

It seems to me that it would come down to a question of whether the right to choose one's sexual expression isn't one that can be surrendered to the dictates of a religious body to which one belongs - meaning that one's belief and practice of one's sexual expressions are subjected to the authority of the church. If choosing one's sexuality is an inalienable right, then the church would be practising its belief in violation of the law. But if it is not an inalienable right, then legally the church is within its right to maintain its position that homosexuality is wrong.

I agree with those who are convinced that the issue is not about homosexuality as it is about rights, which is a discussion that must take place well beyond the parameters of one's sexual orientation. God made man with the power of choice, and unless in the exercise - in particular instances - infringes on another's right, then those choices should be between God and the individuals.

Granted, as God's servants whose understanding would place the burden on us to appeal to those who are leading an objectionable lifestyle, we are obliged to publish our beliefs - not in a manner as to condemn, but to persuade those we are concerned about that it would be in their best interest to follow God's recommended way to live. And we do this with the full knowledge that there is an extensive list of unholy practices that would separate us from God. We therefore do not discriminate against homosexuals. That would be bigotry.

I would take exception to any individual or group who would, without the support of scripture, want to redefine the belief system of my church. With the many religious options there are in the world today, among which are sympathisers to the homosexual way of life, coupled with the fact that church membership is not an inalienable right, why would an individual or a group want to take a church to court? If it were me, I would find one where I am accepted, or create my own. You need your space to live as you believe, please allow me mine. But if you won't, the Bible rules.

Charles Evans



Pity the church was not named which makes the authenticity of the letter questionable but if it is so according to the writer the separation of church and state seems unclear to the writer when in the end the subtle suggestion of the Bible being the end all for LGBT people to follow.

But locally the moral authority and their motives of the religious community comes into serious question when the groups and the Council of Churches find time to aggressively and publicly block the newly instituted Sunday racing yesterday crying fowl and the gambling issue distorting the moral fibre of society, 

also see the Gleaner's: Church Livid

yet hypocritically Saturday racing has had no major opposition all these many years not even from the powerful Seventh Day Adventists who worship on a Saturday or Friday racing where the Sabbath starts for some on that evening. Some critics go as far to say that the complaints from the church are due to the possibly loss of income in tithes and offerings with the prosperity gospel line some denominations take. The head of the Council of Churches Reverend Harriot in a radio interview said the church has always been opposed to gambling as it is poor people's money who are used to enrich rich, when questioned about the right of persons to choose he said that while they are not forced they are subtly made to gamble. He continued that families get destroyed etc but doesn't stigmatising lgbt people and bashing them also damage families when we see displacement, estranged loved ones and churches who openly read out perceived LGBT people? Other leaders in the grouping have said that racing can take place without the gambling component present and the opening of the betting shops. 

Why does the church feel it must impose its will over freedom of choice of the sinner? this seems like a kind of absolute monarchy wanting to rule every aspect of life.

The thousands of missing children as I have referred to in previous posts and the daily Ananda alerts in the newspapers also does not get the attention and coordinated aggressive responses from the church as homosexuality does and this perception that the gay lobby is trying to impose same on the society when all that is asked for is the right for consenting adults to practice a form of sex associated with male homosexuality, not all same gender loving men or men who dabble in anal or male to male play are homosexual either, a fact that has been left out of the discourse from most sides.

Time and money are found for those with information coming to the fore for recent anti gay public education campaigns with multi million dollar full paged print ads but not for rehabilitation of things and societal ills right before our eyes, we have a long way to go it seems. What about the homeless or destitute and aren't there churches and related folks wealthy too?

Do you agree with the letter writer ??

Peace and tolerance

Gay "scrubbed clean" in the United Arab Emirates ???

After seeing this video and the comments it is obvious the supposed gay character was not a real effeminate man and was acting.

Gay people in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have attacked a YouTube video ‘tutorial’ which shows how gays can be ‘cured’ or ‘scrubbed clean’ of their sexuality.

The six-minute ‘tutorial’ entitled ‘Be Yourself’ has shocked the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of the UAE.

The video depicts five young men as the starring characters: Rashid Al-Muaini, Majid Al-Muaini, Ali Al-Ghaithi, Jamel Al-Ghaithi and Mohammad Eissa. The scene is set in a typical suburban neighbourhood of one of the UAE cities (most likely Ajman), where the five meet.

Two are in a traditional Emirati dress of Kandura and Kiffayeh greeted by a visibly shy effeminate guy with long hair, wearing a t-shirt and jeans, who says ‘Hi guys’ in a high pitched voice, proceeding to shake their hands in a camp manner and playing with his hair.

He is contrasted with two other guys dressed in western style who pass-by and greet in a ‘brotherly’ macho-like manner.

The effeminate guy acts all shy and blushes when he’s invited, with a ‘wink’ to come inside the villa next door.

Once in the villa’s living room, the effeminate man is told that he needs to change his personality. One of the traditional-dressed men asks: ‘will you change it or not?’ He replies ‘yes but now?’ And is told ‘leave it to us’.

They proceed to show the effeminate guy how to mimic masculine gestures. Later he is given a ‘make-over’ where his hands and face are almost violently scrubbed with scouring cloths, and then his nails and hair are cut.

After the make-over the still effeminate guy gets a slap when he is about leave for saying ‘bye guys’ in his high pitch voice, and given a tip: ‘Thicken your voice!’

In the concluding scene all five characters meet up again. The effeminate guy seems less distinguished by his looks. His friends seem happy and proud of what they did and finish by thanking Allah, who helped bring about the ‘change’.

A Hadith appears in the closing scene roughly translating as: ‘If you see something wrong being done, speak up. If nothing happens, do something. If nothing happens then, change things with your heart.’

While the title ‘Be Yourself’ and video may look paradoxical even laughably ludicrous it nevertheless touches upon some profound issues for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the UAE.

Activists’ flashbacks

Gay Middle East spoke to three activists from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transexual Rights UAE about the video on behalf of Gay Star News.

Abdullah, 24 from Abu-Dhabi, founder of the group commented: ‘The video signifies the level of challenge, we, the UAE LGBT community, have ahead of us. We don’t merely have to change the views of the government but also society itself. It angers me no end, but it also saddens me, this video would have been devastating if my 16-year-old self had watched it.

‘As a 16-year-old, I can still hear echoes in my mind of mom yelling at me not to flail my hand too much when I speak, which only lead to me being robotic and stiff, feeling I must keep both hands down when I speak, something that took a long time to get over.

‘My mom would also shout at me for using English terms like “guys” in her presence because it emulated the westerners and was a direct “attack” to the Arabic language and my [masculine] mannerisms.’

Abdullah told us his parents would force him to get a to ‘a crew cut’ so his hair won’t look like ‘a western propaganda’ gay person, something that deeply humiliated and angered him. He said they refused to buy him jeans and t-shirts because it made him ‘act girly’ telling him instead he must wear the ‘traditional Emirati dress’.

He said: ‘In the UAE, men are required to act in a away that reflects the Bedouin tribe which we are descended from. Many view homosexuality as a western invention and not a very good one.

‘[The video] brought flashbacks to me how on endless hot Friday afternoons I was forced to observe how men interact, or how they drink coffee by my father, so that I should emulate to make him proud.’

He adds: ‘I was banned from hanging out with my sisters too much because my parents alleged they were turning me into a woman.’ Finally his father gave up and rejected him, choosing one of Abdullah’s brothers to ‘make him proud’.

Fatima, a 31-year-old secretary from Abu-Dhabi points out more issues with the representation of the effeminate gay character: ‘The director, having chosen this particular young man and his looks to play the deviant, gender-confused homosexual is openly insulting every gay man on earth.

‘It's typical to have young, macho-wannabe boys chasing a ball in the street, god forbid the director shoots the film in a library or a study room that could really harm the image of what a real Arabic man is supposed to be doing in his free time.

‘They have a femme-fatale gay man to represent the entire population of homosexual men in the region, assuming that gay people are not being themselves, they just spend their lives pretending to be someone else for, I don't know, attention? And then to have a homosexual "cured" with a firm rub and a neat haircut and if he shows signs of relapse, just slap him back to his senses.

‘The massage of this video is ugly, hurtful and very dangerous. I hope whoever came up with this sick idea gets a visit from a gay cupid. Ha!’

Ali, a 25-year-old law student from Dubai was outraged by the video: ‘I found “Be Yourself” extremely offensive. When I read the title, I was thinking “Wow, finally some of these people have actually learnt something! Perhaps we can have a go at acceptance!” only to discover a video filled with prejudice.

‘I was gutted at the confidence in the faces of the actors on the fact that they can treat homosexuality just like that.

‘To all of those who think they can treat homosexuality by grooming, abusing and hurting I want to say “are you proud to be homophobic people? Leading people into an illusion that being gay is all about flapping your hands and having a girly voice?”’

Changing hearts

The UAE is a federation of seven emirates who each have different harsh laws regarding homosexuality, from up to 10 years in prison in Dubai to 14 in Abu-Dhabi, while Article 354 of the Federal Penal Code may even prescribe a death sentence for ‘consensual sodomy’. So punishment for homosexuality can include prison, fines, deportation, flogging and death.

Meanwhile psychologists and psychiatrists in the UAE regard being gay as a psychological disturbance that is, in some cases, to be ‘cured’ with hormonal ‘treatments’, despite global clinical guidance to the contrary.

Abdullah told us: ‘Homosexuality has always been a part of the Arabian world, it existed in poetry and writings that are found in Islam and even predate it. Not to mention it’s a natural part of humanity.’

But stereotyping of LGBT people and the idea that non-conforming sexuality is westernized or can be changed are rampant.

Abdullah said: ‘We want to change that, so that another 16-year-old or the impressionable LGBT youth, wouldn't have to go through what others, including myself, before them did. We will challenge those beliefs and misconceptions one person at a time, and if we don't change them we will reach to their hearts.’

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Courage, cowardice and men's health (prostate)

Every now and again Blakka Ellis makes us think as a nation with very good articles pity like his counter part Leighton Levy is limited to the Star News tabloid and ought to have a better platform for them to be seen, no blogs or independent sites are around for both gentlemen at this time, have a read of his take on prostate examination. Who can forget his piece on homo-social behaviours in Jamaica?
with Blakka Ellis

I was sitting in a defenceless position and feeling completely vulnerable. I was nervously gripping the handles of the chair with stiff and sweating hands, as I anxiously arched my back and stiffened my neck in anticipation of mind-shattering physical hurt.

I closed my eyes momentarily in an attempt to zone out and mentally prepare for the horror, and when I opened my eyes again I saw him moving towards me holding a massive and threatening weapon with a long, sharp and shiny point. I wanted to scream, but my ever-present pride reminded me that I'm an adult male and screaming would not be cool. So I recoiled and whispered a soft prayer.


periodontal probe

The above description is rather dramatic, isn't it? And it sounds like somebody in a hostage situation involving torture, right? Well it was nothing of the sort. That was actually just me getting some much needed dental attention earlier this week.

The threatening looking 'weapon' was really a harmless little thing called a periodontal probe and when I was about to leap out of my skin, I was gently advised to relax because the dentist done use the thing already, and not only am I still alive, I didn't really feel any pain. But fear is a hell of a thing.

Yes friends, recent moments spent in dentists' chairs have reminded me how fearful I am of doctors generally and dentists especially. Clinics and hospitals are fearsome places. Every piece of equipment seems threatening, and little needle looks like a potential source of excruciating pain. No matter how convincingly I argue with myself, or how badly I curse myself or how gently I try to coax myself, it takes great effort to drag myself to the doctor even for a simple routine check-up. Is that a typical 'man thing'? I don't know.

Anecdotal evidence does seem to suggest that men commonly resist dealing with health issues. And the most common explanation seems to be the suggestion that we're so big, tough and macho, and we strongly internalise a sense of masculine invincibility that prevents us from accepting that we're also susceptible to illnesses. Well, I could pretend that that's my situation but I'll just openly admit the truth: I'm just scared. I'm scared of being probed, poked and prodded. I am afraid of being inspected and injected. And I'm fearful of finding out that I may be sicker than I think I am. Yeah, I know that it's not really manly to admit it, but this man is just afraid!

Peter Griffin from that infamous Family Guy episode where he was due for a prostate exam and ended up suing the doctor for sexual abuse 

prostate exam

Someone once told me that fear usually walks hand-in-hand with ignorance, so I've tried to clothe myself with the armour of knowledge. But still, fear persists. I know for example, that fear is the biggest reason preventing me from getting that prostate examination that all men my age should be getting. I also know that whether driven by fear, ignorance or cultural expectations, Caribbean men seem to be giving less than adequate attention to issues relating to our health.

Right now, my father is dealing with some serious health concerns, and it seems almost difficult, nigh impossible, for him to even just admit that he's feeling pain. What pain? He is a man, and maybe he has bought into the idea expressed in the lyrics of the Mighty Diamonds' 1976 hit called Have Mercy. You know the line? It says "Man was made to suffer and women were made to feel the pain".

So Caribbean men, are we courageously suffering or cowardly avoiding our vulnerability? What will it take to make us deal more honestly with our health and wellness reality?


*photos added 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Stigmatization of Effeminacy in Gay Jamaican Culture Part II

In April 2009 I had briefly touched on this issue in part 1 of masculine types complaining about effeminate men and not finding them sexually attractive but only as friends in private settings for the most part. Who knew that almost three years later this issue is still a contentious one despite the metrosexual revolution as I term it in aesthetics and attitudes nationally as well trickling into the previous hardened dancehall and male driven societal culture. It was also in January another subject linked to this question of identities under the MSM umbrella was mentioned on my sister blog GLBTQJA on Wordpress looking at role play between masculine types and so called bottoms or passive partners.

See: On Tops bottoms and hyper-masculinity ……………..

Reactions to effeminacy varies according to the space one finds oneself in or the perceptions others may have of one if seen with a girly individual in public given the stereotypes on male homosexuality in Jamaica.

International pop stars such as Prince photoed above or Caucasian eighties Icons such as David Bowie get away with some variant of effeminacy or metro-sexuality in the mainstream as men become very comfortable with either experimenting with near uni-sexual or feminine feel attire versus traditional male accoutrements. Homosexuality linked to effeminacy however has and still is in some circles viewed as a "white" thing and an European import to cultures of predominantly African descent but same gender loving men who are not so effeminate or down right hyper masculine carrying the new swagger type imagery have been getting very vocal in some quarters regarding their non transvestite yet effeminate counterparts in the MSM world. At a new waterhole of sorts in St. Catherine where many brothers hang out as of late the topic came up for mention while I happened to have been present there for the first time and my opinion was sought, I cautiously tried to be neutral and said I had no issue with effeminate persons albeit that I too can be flaming when I wanted to and very masculine almost at the same time after years of mastering the gift of stealth changing over with the greatest of ease. Reference was made of my DJing sessions these days at parties where I spin predominantly dancemusic, international gay club hits and vogue materials for lovers of such music forms and the drag community and have been nicknamed the "dancing DJ," a brother who remembered me from one of my sessions said in the exchage that he did not have an issue with drag queens generally but that some were ugly and did not present themselves well and he would not be caught in public with one either, he also said he would more appreciate a brother who could switch when needed to. Another more ruffian typed brother at the table where we sat said he disliked them period and that he preferred his men manly, "if mi did want a woman mi woulda go look one, not a man weh waan gwaan like gal starrr," (If I wanted a woman I would have gone after one and not a man wanting to be a woman my brother), is this brother subscribing to the stigma from the mainstream in a sense here?

After that remark nearly all the other five brothers who were around the table agreed in some form and this led me to wonder why this dislike or fear of the effeminate from same gender loving males? How easy it is to sway others thought on this issue, we may never know the others true feelings of the other men except in another space or one on one as our culture has a desire to conform attitude following what is politically correct for the group. It was refreshing however to see these new faces as far as I was concerned who were expressing themselves in this space about same sex matters, I hope the space stays safe long enough for more long term socialization and discourse. The brother who had expressed his dislike continued and agreed with the first speaker about not socializing with transvestites in public or even at parties hence his refusal to do gay parties unless they have a certain theme to them. He prefers to go to straight events as it were and find a hot brother than stomach a drag show or see them dancing mimicking the girls on their head tops in mainstream dancehall. 

The fabulous Nina Flowers, Rupaul's Drag race entrant and personality who performed in Jamaica in 2011 to a warm response as many non regulars to local LGBT events came out to see her and Jamaicans who prefer this type of entertainment but outside of Jamaica such as in New York or Miami, notably South Beach.

Even in local LGBT entertainment offerings there has been a steady decline in receptivity to effeminate typed shows with a certain tinge to them save and except for a more dancehall type presentation and more swagger typed hip hop based offering are more popular these days. Drag Queens are still a feature but they are far more looking transgender and closer to a real woman than the drag elements that made the art form popular (I still see it as an art form born out of ones personality) such as the buffed look, butch queen (mix of feminine and masculine attitude complimenting each other) overdone makeup or scary aesthetics so as to indicate it is in fact a man in women's clothes as entertainment. We continue to steadily adopt hetero-normative typed entertainment especially from dancehall culture which is the dominant feature while even drag entertainment is snubbed by the very LGBT community.

Outside of the questionable low quality sometimes of said transvestite offerings however if an overseas big named star is on the bill for events there tends to be some support from the community which may suggest a need to improve local standards in as far as drag shows are concerned. The very dancemusic or "beats" is sometimes not easily digested or accepted any more in local settings as before when the dancehall culture was openly caustic to homosexuality in general, to a certain extent dancehall has burrowed tremendously from the gay underground and ballroom scenes from the United States with sped up beats per minute (BPM) on tracks, triple drop counts, and the sampling of queer sounding voices in some tracks. But with the metrosexual revolution of sorts the aesthetic in dancehall is changing though it has been slowed down due to the absence of its leading personality and bleaching king Vybz Kartel who has been having serious legal woes, murder charges and all. Male dancers in the dancehall community especially those who bleach or lighten their skin for acceptance in the idiom have been and are still castigated as being closeted gays as the dress code in the form of tight pants, plunging neckline tees and brand name gay designer clothing abound and are markers of acceptance especially those with a hefty price tag.  

Could it be a rub off from the national effemophobic response which is embedded in the general homophobia meted out to gay men who are perceived as such with the stereotypical link to effeminate behaviour and the misconceptions of gay men wanting to "replace themselves" in the role of women that has led to the LGBT community also following suit in a sense?

There are some masculine brothers however though who prefer femininity in a guy just that they were not present at that discussion. I am aware of brothers who do not have an issue appearing in public with their spouse or friend or even in drag as many cross dressers  in recent years have presented in public as themselves and have passed easily without incident. Then there are those cases where someone figures it out which leaves a perception that it takes another gay man to recognise a gay man. 

As we evolve we may just see a change again to the widespread recognition of effeminacy again, who knows? it could all be a phase as nothing stays the same.

UPDATE: 26/01/2012
Talk about effemophobia or transphobia ? here is a planned event in the form of a lyme, with some support from guess who? JFLAG!!!!! ...... take a good look at the wording of this invitation sent around the community via various means:

‎::::::::::::::::::::NO Drag Queen are Allowed::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

On February 3rd, 2012, T.A.B.S (founded by Ashe)...will be hosting an MSM LYME titled....Attractor Factor Project Edutainment Lyme.

This lyme promises to be a fun filled event, with a bit of education and gives the option of meet and greet in a comfortable setting with ONLY MSM's. Free HIV testing will also be available for those who wish to get tested, and LIVE performance from the World Renowned...ASHE.
So come out guys, get tested, eat, drink, dance and be GAY...but be on your BEST behaviour, as violence or boisterous behavior will not be tolerated.

It is to be held at (******** ***** ****) and it set to commence at 7pm SHARP!!!!!! This event is invitation only, so if ur name is not on the list..then stay home (lol). interested persons can inbox me their CORRECT name.... Save the date. 

My response to this in one of the avenues used was: cross dressers I would imagine are not apart of the msm community? ........... oh boi, the foolishness continues ........ don't they need to be tested too, what if the persons permanently presents as a cross dresser or is a member of the transgender community pre-operatively? who do they have sex with, isnt it other men in some cases?

This shows we have long ways to go yet.

Peace and tolerance


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Facebook & unintentional outings to family members ........

With Facebook now the most widely used social networking site by Jamaican LGBTQI people these days there was sooner or later bound to be some anancyism turning up at some point as we are a people good for that kind of crap. With no clear rules by Facebook as to the use of the account holder having a real photograph of themselves on their profiles dishonest individuals have been running rough shod with photos of buffed man or provocative male images with some intended to lure unsuspecting MSMs in particular who in a short time arrange hook ups while not even verifying and developing any long term e-lationship or chat before the face to face or supposed sexual encounter.

Men who have sex with men are not the only ones who have been duped into this practice with disastrous and near death results.

Such was the introduction to a previous post in June of 2011 where I tried to raise awareness of the fast changing LGBT social scene and the use of social media in hookups and ones own safety from gay for pay predators and fake same gender love seeking folks who have other motives in mind including robbery.

Now we have the issue of family members inadvertently being exposed to persons private socialization in as far as privacy is concerned based on ones settings on their profiles. While many LGBT people in Jamaica are making use of improved free medium to keep in touch and to meet new "friends" and the latest sharing of information the less tech savy user may find themselves in problems with family members and siblings if after when they peruse information and "likes" on the respective profile at the time. Such was the case with this latest episode that has led to this post along with other reports of persons being "discovered" probably family members think they know their relatives until, FACEBOOK!

A twenty odd year old has found himself estranged from his father after they recently reconnected as he resides overseas and was absent from the young MSM's life for some time. His father soon recognised that he was apart of an LGBT group on Facebook as his profile settings was left "open" to reflect where he is active etc, a tersely worded email soon was sent by the curious elder who inquired if he was apart of a gay movement and if he realised that homosexuality was wrong in God's sight?

They have not spoken with the regularity they used to since and this has caused some distress to the young MSM so much so that he removed himself from all gay related groups and pages so as to present a "clean" image to his father who by the way is still on his friends list but hardly responds to pokes and messages sent by his son. I tried suggesting he find a counselor to deal with this issue as I am not qualified for that deep level issue but there are other stories similar to this coming to the fore since this revelation was made in one of the groups just before he removed himself from it. Same gender loving sisters in that group have also shared some concerns and one simply said she closed her old profile and created a new one. The young man had reached out to influentials but as usual we do not have the needed resources and the main stay systems hardly address issues like this so what to do? At best I suggest the following settings under the privacy and account setting tabs to avoid conflicts or unintentional outings. On your profile page beside home (top right hand corner) click the drop down arrow:

Go to: 
Apps and Websites
Control what gets shared with apps, games and websites........ then select Edit Settings

then go to:
How people bring your info to apps they use
People who can see your info can bring it with them when they use apps. Use this setting to control the categories of information people can bring with them......then edit settings .... the following should appear 

Then deselect the persons or relationships etc you want to be seen or not to be seen, the groups etc you are in. That is of course if you had set up a family and relationship group apart from your friends list.

Also on ones profile one can customize the viewers of posts at any given time, it might take a few more seconds to do so but it is worth the wait, that is also of course if you are willing to go through all that.

some control can also be here as well:

select the last option and you can literally type a name or names of persons who may want to block generally while using the above to control what goes fully public or to friends only etc.

Some previous safety suggestions that appeared on that June 2011 entry on hookups are posted are below:

Please bear in mind the following if you or someone you know is planning a face to face meeting following an continued e-lationship
  1. Make sure the profiler has a real photo or photos of themselves
  2. Ask questions about them, get to know as much as possible as timely as possible
  3. Establish telephone contact as early as you see fit
  4. Listen for any change in mood, tone or information shared over time
  5. Keep the e-lationship going with regular interactions to pick up any changes as well
  6. Archive or save suspicious exchanges as you see fit
  7. Avoid instant hook-ups without first developing some rapport in the e-lationship
  8. Tell a close friend where and when you are going to meet an online friend for the first time
  9. Develop a trend in communicating for e.g same times if possible per day for chatting
  10. If you decide to meet find an open public area as best as possible, and decide how to behave in that space to avoid any unsuspecting onlookers who may deduce it's a gay link up
  11. Decide on clothing and colour or change colours previously agreed to if you are not sure of the individual
  12. Study your surroundings when there and get there early (as this young man did)
  13. Plan your possible route(s) of escape if necessary
  14. Have a weapon of some sort or maze that can create a distraction then escape as quickly as possible
  15. Have a trusted friend accompany you if possible and have them away from the actual meeting spot but make sure they can see you
  16. Make a call if needed to the person(s) who followed you and keep the line open so they can hear your conversation and call for help elsewhere if needed
  17. Set your Facebook profile to "Friends Only" as under "Friends of Friends" all other persons can see you
  18. If you are in a group and are active you may turn off the feature where non friends can send you a message or see you photos
  19. Use only a sensible face picture as your profile thumbnail so as to avoid stalking
The problematic adding of persons to groups without any restrictive action or vetting that action is also of concern as that has also caused some accidents for persons as sometimes especially if the group is an open one ones activity may appear on their wall viewable by all on their friend's list.
Tinker with the settings and see the ones that suit you best if you do not want to be exposed. Just some suggestions friends.

If all else fails just open another account that they do not know of and do your business.

Peace and tolerance


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel call out Jamaican government on buggery law

Jodee Brown

Internationally acclaimed Reggae superstar, Queen Ifrica and Tony Rebel are letting their feelings known regarding the recent announcement by Jamaican Prime Minister, The Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller to repeal their buggery law.

Both artistes were headliners on the 19th staging of Rebel Salute at the Kaiser Sports Club in St. Elizabeth this past weekend. The annual concert, hosted by Tony Rebel, took place on the Reggae artiste’s 50th birthday; producing a strong lineup card that included Romain Virgo, Capletonand several others.

Queen Ifrica, who recently revealed that she’s pregnant with her third child, gained strong favour with patrons by performing several of her hit singles, including Below The Waist where she pointed to her growing belly in glee.

However, she got the loudest applause from fans when she called out Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Millerregarding her announcement that she’d look into tweaking the buggery law that’s been in place for several years. The law, which refers to the dispelling of particular sexual acts amongst heterosexuals and homosexuals, has been a strong topic of contention for several months.

During Ifrica’s performance, she warned that, "I would like to send a message to those who want to change the laws of nature. No buggery law nah repeal a Jamaica." She then performed the thought-provoking song, Keep It Yourself as a means to re-emphasize her stance.

Tony Rebel later entered the stage, performing several classics on his milestone birthday such as If Jah, Fresh Vegetable and I Can’t Recall. During his set, he called on Jamaica’s new Youth and Culture minister and former Miss World, Lisa Hanna not to review said buggery law.

Otherwise, many strong performances took centre stage; notably, Damian Marley and Stephen Marley. Both artistes gained mass appeal for their strong set and even took the time to shout out incarcerated Reggae superstar, Buju Banton, who awaits an appeal decision regarding his ten-year sentence on drug-related charges.

In October 2009 I did a previous post on this sister Queen Ifrica and a song she did basically insisting that we (gays) keep it to ourselves. The subtle anti gay song "Keep it to yuself" echoes that message oh so loudly in which it says:

"Yu feel like a bad man (Keep it to yu self)Doan bring it to Jamaican (Keep it to yu self)We nuh want dat a jamrock (Keep it to yu self)Wi can't tek no more slackness (hear dis) .....

Yu can change di laws of manBut yu can't change di laws of god

So if dem nocking a big glass dem glad

Wan wi fi change a must mad dem mad

Somebody tell mi what is happening

A don't want no fish inna mi Ital dish

To see mi son become a father

Mi greatest wishDi situation kinda very ticklish

But everybody fed up from parish to parish(Yes) and to whom it may concern

A nuh dat deh way wi want di table fi turn

As a citizen wi got a lot of concern

Di truth is a nuh dat. Wi want wi chrilden dem, fi learn


Verse 2:

Yu fi multiply an replenish di Earth

An dats why di woman labor inna child birth

Mi nuh want si mi brother Dress up inna no skirt

An mi sister nuh fi mek lift up her skirt

As a nation nuh matter what wi put god first

If yu pass eighteen issa blessing not a curse

Lighting an thunder Bown fi mek di cloud burse

A just di water from

Di Sugar Cane can quench nany thirst(Yes) and to whome it may concern

A nuh dat deh way wi want di table fi turn

As a citizen wi got a lot of concern

Di truth is a nuh dat. Wi want wi chrilden dem, fi learn"

Clearly the song outlines that heterosexism is to replenish the earth's population which enhances a popular sentiment expressed by the christian community and others, a challenge to the cross dressing of males is also evident. The "Fish" in the verse is a subtle term used here to refer to gay men who are mostly effeminate.

See: "Keep it to yuself mentality" on homosexuality and "Keep it to Yuself mentality" on homosexuality part 2 .... on "str8 Jamaica

Peace and tolerance


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Did Apostle Paul actually accepted Christian homosexuals?

Maybe yes, just was able to share this as so many other stuff have been happening here in Jamaica as you may have realised by the posts. In November 2011 this news came and also  a book (photo below) with accompanying YOUTUBE videos to explain the legal paradox and the supposed unsolved Romans text on homosexuality. 

For the last 2,000 years, Christians have been taught to believe that Apostle Paul condemned homosexuality. But a new discovery documents that he deliberately acknowledged that it does not prevent anyone from entering heaven. This discovery by internationally acclaimed cryptographer Michael Wood removes the final barrier to full societal acceptance of gays and lesbians.

“Michael Wood’s discovery is remarkable because it solves a colossal paradox regarding Paul’s Greek that has baffled scholars for 2,000 years,” says Dr. William Berg, former professor of Greek and Roman Classics at Stanford University, UCLA, and other academic institutions.

Paul’s only unequivocal reference to homosexuality is found within Romans 1:18-3:20, a Biblical passage that has mystified scholars for two millennia. “The interpretation of Romans 1:18-3:20 has been notoriously difficult for almost every commentator,” Richard Longenecker, a distinguished New Testament scholar, writes in his book ‘Studies in Paul.’ “Earlier interpreters such as Origen, Jerome, Augustine, and Erasmus wrestled with this issue and it continues to plague commentators today.”’

The passage is riddled with paradoxes. It says that “only the doers of the law will be vindicated by God,” and “by the works of the law no one will be vindicated.” The passage also mysteriously separates idolatrous, homosexual, orgy fests from transgressions worthy of spiritual death. “In finding the definitive solution to Paul’s legal paradox, I inadvertently discovered why he separated the idolatrous, same-sex orgies from the things he considered worthy of spiritual death,” said Wood.

Dr. Berg has spent many months examining the linguistic and historical basis of what he describes as Wood’s “remarkable” discovery. “Michael Wood reveals to the public a well-kept secret, namely that the apostle Paul, like the rest of his contemporaries, divided the commands of the Jewish law into two groups demarcated by Leviticus 19:18—‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the commandments based on loving your neighbor were ‘Justices of the Torah.’ Those not based on Leviticus 19:18 were ‘Jobs of the Torah.’” Dr. Berg explained.

Wood’s solution is definitive, elegant, and verifiable. Romans 2:13-26 teaches: Only the doers of the ‘Justices of the Torah’ will be vindicated before God. Romans 3:20 says, “By the ‘Jobs of the Torah’ no one will be vindicated.” Not only is there no contradiction, but the two teachings have always been simple restatements of each other; the “Great Paradox” is no paradox at all! MORE


Monumental Cryptography Discovery Reveals Homosexuality Not Forbidden in Bible

Apparently Paul’s paradoxes laid out in the book of Romans in the Bible have plagued theologians and historians for thousands of years. A classic argument against cultural permissiveness toward homosexuality stems from Romans, in which Paul appears to say homosexuals need not apply for an all-inclusive pass to Heaven – because they will be denied.

But Wood’s discovery has turned the entire scripture upside down, and it appears that the Bible has had a welcome mat out for the gays all along.

“Michael Wood’s discovery is remarkable because it solves a colossal paradox regarding Paul’s Greek that has baffled scholars for 2,000 years,” says Dr. William Berg, who taught Greek and Roman Classics at Stanford University.

Paul’s only unequivocal reference to homosexuality is found within Romans 1:18-3:20, a Biblical passage that has mystified scholars for two millennia. “The interpretation of Romans1:18-3:20 has been notoriously difficult for almost every commentator,” Richard Longenecker, the Distinguished New Testament Scholar at Wheaton College, writes in his book Studies in Paul. “Earlier interpreters such as Origen, Jerome, Augustine, and Erasmus wrestled with this issue and it continues to plague commentators today.”

The passage is riddled with paradoxes. It says that “only the doers of the law will be vindicated by God,” and “by the works of the law no one will be vindicated.” The passage also mysteriously separates idolatrous, homosexual orgy fests from transgressions worthy of spiritual death. “In finding the definitive solution to Paul’s legal paradox, I inadvertently discovered why he separated the idolatrous, same-sex orgies from the things he considered worthy of spiritual death,” said Wood.

Wood’s solution is definitive, elegant, and verifiable. Romans 2:13-26 teaches: Only the doers of the “Justices of the Torah” will be vindicated before God. Romans 3:20 says, “By the ‘Jobs of the Torah’ no one will be vindicated.” Not only is there no contradiction, but the two teachings have always been simple restatements of each other; the “Great Paradox” is no paradox at all!

This legal solution fully explains Paul’s treatment of homosexuality. Paul’s passage excludes idolatrous, homosexual orgy fests from things which he considered worthy of spiritual death, things such as “bad-mouthing others,” “deceiving,” and “inflicting pain.” Those engaged in idolatrous, homosexual orgies weren’t violating the Justices. (They weren’t violating the precept “Love your neighbor as yourself.”) Therefore, Paul was obliged to separate this from his list of things which did violate the Justices.

The finding is significant because it documents that Paul purposefully separated the same-sex acts; it was a conscious, deliberate decision consistent with the rest of the passage. In fact, it was demanded by the rest of the passage. The resolution of the paradox empirically proves that Paul’s view on homosexuality was very different from what Christians had thought for 2,000 years.

Although Romans 1 contains the only unequivocal reference to homosexuality, anti-homosexual statements have been introduced into other passages in newer versions of the English Bible. As for these modern changes to the Biblical text: “Michael Wood has gone the extra mile in being faithful to Paul’s Greek,” said Dr. Berg. “He shows, time and again, that the words traditionally mistranslated as ‘homosexual,’ ‘effeminate,’ ‘impure,’ and so forth, are really targeting selfish, unloving, unjust activity and have nothing to do with sexual orientation. He shows that once again Paul was condemning those who violate the Justices of the Torah, and nothing more.”

the book can be had at AMAZON

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CVM TV @ Sunrise on the Buggery review & JFLAG's 100 days hope for meeting with PM

CVM @ Sunrise earlier today January 11, 2012 dealt with the supposed JFLAG gauntlet of sorts for a meeting with the new Prime Minister Mrs Portia Simpson Miller on her promise as it were to review the buggery law and a subsequent conscience vote in parliament on repealing it, she had not issued a timeline for the suggested move but JFLAG has been reported as saying they want the matter to be brought up within 100 days of the new government taking office and this is not going down well in certain quarters including the religious community who have arrived at conclusions that the lobby group is demanding action on the strength of some possible donations to the PNP political party during the last election campaign. They have denied such allegations since. 

video: here is a reminder of Mrs. Simpson Miller on the matter during the leadership debate preceding the elections:

In a post on my sister blog GLBTQJA on Wordpress entitled: JFLAG wants PNP to discuss Buggery Law within 100 days of assuming office a CVM TV news item was also included

Dane Lewis Executive Director of the J told CVM TV that he expected the issues to begin to placed on the table within 100 days, "To be realistic we would imagine within the first 100 days the issue could be raised we can look at how to proceed," Mr Lewis said while JFLAG is not expecting a conscience vote to repeal the buggery law within the first 100 days discussions are important as Jamaica has a 2012 deadline to meet according to the international covenant on human rights, “….one of the leading recommendations made in November last year was that Jamaica should report by 2012 on what concrete steps to removal of discriminatory laws,” Mr Lewis said.

According to Mr. Lewis JFLAG is willing to make small steps in acquiring legal recognition for homosexuals he says although gay marriage is legalized overseas JFLAG is not pursuing that as part of its lobby at this time, "gay marriage is certainly not an item on our agenda, we still have a large issue of discrimination …. people are being evicted from their homes, people are being physically abused because of their sexual orientation and we want to begin to address those issues."

He acknowledges that the discussion of gay rights will be met with strong public opposition however he says as was demonstrated by Mrs Simpson Miller we should be strident in dealing with issues impeding human rights, a solution to the issues concerning gay rights will help to deal with HIV/AIDS.

Co-host of CVM @ Sunrise Rohan Dailey had the Reverend Dr. Henley Morgan and attorney-at-law Arlene Harrison Henry of the Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights at first to discuss the JFLAG's position on 100 days for a meeting with the new PM, as you may have gleamed from the audio above Reverend Morgan walked on eggshells trying to make his position between the folds thus leading to the church's position versus his own and some clarification from Ms Henry. He also made it clear he didn't think gay marriage rights are to be extended same gender loving persons. It almost sounded scripted on his part, he struggled with the nature versus nurture matter whether persons were born gay or not while Ms Harrison Henry was on the ball from the get go where she clearly stated the gay community was not asking for gay marriage rights. She also made mention of the fact that the Charter of Rights made it clear that marriage is between a man and a woman obviously infused in anticipation of the issue being raised again by the then joint select committees who finalized the document. She also said a conscience vote could not be had unless there is national debate and education. 

One thing I had an issue with in as far as Mrs Henry's definition of buggery was concerned was where she said "...the legislative scheme sections 76 of the Offences Against The Persons Act treats with Buggery which is intimate relations between man and man or man and woman,it is that which is prohibited but the loving of same sex is not an illegal act...." she was speaking in the context of homosexuality not being illegal in Jamaica. To simply leave it open as intimate relations is vague in my view seeing that the buggery law is specific to anal penetration intimate relations can also mean non penetrative sex or so called compromising positions which may include partnered masturbation, intercrural sex (faking penetration by placing erect penis between legs of a passive partner, practiced by heterosexual couples when the female is seeing her monthly cycle) and or frottage, gross indecency would probably cover those outercoursal activity. She also said with women they cannot commit any act of buggery but I am thinking what about women who employ sex toys as part of their activities and said toy is used in anally penetrating a consenting partner?

Rev Dailey also reminded us of the former Senator Oswald Harding's position in 2004 on the buggery law repeal suggestion.
Here is Mrs. Simpson Miller in a subsequent outdoor political campaign meeting defending her comment 

Portia Simpson Miller - SIMPSON MILLER DEFENDS GAY COMMENT 23.12.11 by glbtqja4

We must not forget the presence of some anti gay figures in the PNP who are still in the structure that of former Attorney General A. J Nicholson who supported nearly every anti gay move during his years including the tumultuous years of the Sexual Offences Bill Debates, the Charter of Rights struggles and his open castigation of gay marriage, even Portia Simpson Miller herself sided with Bruce Golding on the no to gay marriage smoke screen after digging my archives I found the presentation by Mrs Simpson Miller in 2009 (poor audio though) where she sided wholeheartedly with the then Prime Minster Bruce Golding (his speech linked) on the banning of gay marriage, gay marriage rights by the way was never asked for by the LGBT advocacy structure but it was dishonestly pushed on the agenda during the Charter of Rights debate then as a smoke screen to deny us recognition in the Charter. The same document that clearly defines marriage between a man and a woman, it also does not protect persons from discrimination due to sexual orientation but only on the grounds of ones biological form.

She said on October 20th 2009 - "Mr Speaker when we accepted the final report from the joint select committee that were looking at the bill we were completely satisfied with their recommendation of a provision to restrict marriage and like relationships to one man and one woman within Jamaica and that the provision should be specifically spelt out so that there could be no ambiguity .......... yes one man one woman (laughter in the house) and if you are Jamaican and go overseas the same applies ..........."

Has her position changed so radically? ........ Interesting times lie ahead people.

Peace and tolerance


UPDATE Jan 13, 2012
Meanwhile JFLAG tries to clear up the ultimatum versus request mess on the 100 day issue with the PM and the buggery review via yet another press release:


Kingston — January 12, 2012
The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) wishes to clarify that the organisation has NOTgiven the government an ultimatum.

On January 3, 2012, CVM TV contacted the organisation for a comment on its expectations of the new administration following the Peoples National Party’s (PNP) win in the General Elections. This was in the context of the bold pronouncements the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller had made during the leadership debate. NewsWatch reported, J-FLAG’s Executive Director, Dane Lewis as saying “To be realistic, I imagine within the first hundred days at least the issue could be raised, with a look at how to proceed.”

However, many have misinterpreted this statement of expectation as an ultimatum. Mr Lewis also highlighted that Jamaica is required by the end of 2012 to report to the UN Human Rights Committee reviewing Jamaica’s status under the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights “on what concrete steps it’s [Jamaica] making towards removal of discriminatory laws”. It is within this context that the comment was made. J-FLAG wishes to reiterate that it has not issued an ultimatum but offered a comment on what could be done by the Government within the first hundred (100) days to demonstrate its recognition of the broad human rights concerns that affect all Jamaicans. This is a common strategy which has been used by many other organisations in civil society and private sector.

Like all Jamaicans, J-FLAG remains committed to the human social and economic development of Jamaica. In so doing, J-FLAG will continue to defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans from discrimination, harassment and violence.


As I hinted in a previous post on my sister blog GLBTQJA on Wordpress mistakes such as granting a telephone interview (sans any consultations with the community I might add) to the media in a "hot environment" when homosexuality or related matters are in the public domain is a no no, all the J should have done was waited and not mention anything at all to do with any time line in any way, shape or form now for it to be misrepresented as an ultimatum. We have had previous misconceptions before of JFLAG's position by media and one would have thought that as a former media participant himself the Executive Director of JFLAG Mr. Lewis would have known the ins and outs of local media with regards to hot button issues such as this. The San Francisco boycott some years ago and the suggested EGALE tourism boycott as well are prime examples of learning curves for the group and speaking just a little too much but when it's time to speak there is silence. How many mistakes are there to be made before it is perfected? one never knows.