This is in fact an anomaly . This is not the everyday reality


This is in fact an anomaly

This is not the everday reality

“The CNN interviewer asks Dane Lewis, “Does this in anyway, this case, represent a pervasive feeling in the country of Jamaica or is this an anomaly?”

“This is in fact an anomaly,” Dane Lewis blinked, replied, and later added, “thankfully, this is not the everyday reality.”

He did not interrogate his own statement with reference to evidence of many gay persons contacting JFLAG about how they were abused in their communities (or perhaps, JFLAG has not been properly archiving those histories). Neither did he allude to the statistics collected by American, English, and Canadian immigration bodies that shed light on the many incidences of gay Jamaicans fleeing to their borders as refugees. And Dane Lewis didn’t consider the reports and scholarships archived by international human rights organizations condemning Jamaican homophobia.

If Dane Lewis had just done his job a bit, he would have spoken to a tradition of violence that manifests itself even this past month alone, forcing Maurice Tomlinson to write about the “Jump In Reported Gay Attacks Across Jamaica.

Might we speculate that, perhaps, JFLAG’s executive director was strictly advised not to talk too much or he might have gone off script? And if there was a script—who would have written it? Was/Is Dane Lewis really speaking on behalf of JFLAG? If not, who is the new JFLAG? Could it be the Jamaican government? Or—is Dane Lewis just afraid of becoming another dead victim so he lied to the world about the extent of homophobic Jamaican criminality?

I expect there will be some who will quickly ask me where is the evidence that permit speculation that Dane Lewis’s integrity might have been compromised. I will respond saying, the idea that we mustn’t announce our speculations when we have no “evidence” needs revision.  If I were to assert that JFLAG’s Dane Lewis is “perhaps” compromised by government intrusion, my assertion must certainly be backed up with evidence.

But evidence shouldn’t mean I must be able to produce only facts of exchanges of political patronization or intimidation. Evidence also includes highlighting traditional modes of political corruption among organization leaderships in Jamaica, contextualizing sociological incidences of those patterns to JFLAG’s leadership, and also weighting the speculative viewpoint of community opinion/observations.



Jamaica’s LGBT community is holding its first gay pride celebration in the island’s capital, a weeklong event that was previously almost unthinkable in a Caribbean country long described as the one of the globe’s most hostile places to homosexuality.

Events in Kingston have included a flash mob gathering in a park, an art exhibit and performances featuring songs and poems by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans.

Jamaican gay rights activists said Tuesday the peaceful events are a clear sign that tolerance for LGBT people is expanding on the island even though stigma is common and longstanding laws criminalizing sex between men remain on the books.

“I think we will look back on this and see it as a turning point because many persons thought that it would never actually happen,” said Latoya Nugent of theJamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, or J-FLAG, the rights group that organized the event.

For years, Jamaica’s gay community lived so far underground that their parties and church services were held in secret locations. Most stuck to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of keeping their sexual orientation hidden to avoid scrutiny or protect loved ones. A number of gay Jamaicans have won asylum overseas.

But while discrimination against gays remains pervasive in many parts of Jamaica and anti-gay violence flares up recurrently, Nugent said there’s an inaccurate perception overseas that homosexuals in Jamaica “can’t even walk on the streets because if you do you are going to be stoned or stabbed to death”.






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