Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
  World Brief

World Brief: Jamaica Faces Gay Boycott

boycott-jamaica-print1It’s known as “The Most Homophobic Place on Earth” and on Wednesday, gay rights activists are going to the birthplace of the modern gay movement to help kick-off a boycott of Jamaica over its flagrant and institutionalized human rights violations and bigotry. They’re going to, quite literally, dump the hate down the sewer.

The owners of the Stonewall Inn will dump their supplies of Red Stripe Beer and Myer’s Rum down the drain, following a similar rum dump in San Francisco earlier this month. The organizers of the boycott are calling on gays and lesbians, as well as allies, to stop buying Jamaican products and to vacation in other spots until the Jamaican government changes its policies.

lynchingThe boycott was started by GLBT activists Michael Petrelis, Wayne Besen and Jim Burroway after a state department report was released highlighting abuses against gay people in the tropical nation best known for voodoo, Rastafarian and daiquiris, however what it ought to be known for is state-sponsored brutalization of its gay and lesbian citizens. In March, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Bruce Golding said:

“We are not going to yield to the pressure, whether that pressure comes from individual organizations, individuals, whether that pressure comes from foreign governments or groups of countries, to liberalize the laws as it relates to buggery.”

Sounds like a dare, to us, especially considering just how unbearable its become for Jamaica’s LGBT population.

Some of the lowlights from the Boycott Jamaica site:

  • On Feb. 23, 2009, two men (Dwayne Gordon and Andy Williams) allegedly stabbed to death Dane Harris because he was gay. The accused murderers are trying to justify the crime by alleging that Harris made sexual advances.
  • In Jan. 2008, a mob burst into the house of a gay man, Andre, having dinner with his friends. They were screaming homophobic epithets and waving machetes, sticks and knives. 15 to 20 men kicked in the front door of the home and beat them senseless. Andre’s skull had deep cut marks and his ear was sliced in half, horizontally.
  • Two of the island’s most prominent gay activists, Brian Williamson and Steve Harvey, were murdered — and a crowd even celebrated over Williamson’s mutilated body.
  • In 2006, Kingston man, Nokia Cowan, drowned after a crowd shouting ”batty boy” (a Jamaican anti-gay insult) chased him off a pier.

And from the State Department’s report:

“Members [of The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals, and Gays] … suffered attacks on their property, home intrusions as people demanded to know the number of persons and beds in a home, and in one instance, a fire bombing at the home of two men that left one of them with burns on more than 60 percent of his body. In addition homosexuals faced death and arson threats, with some of these directed at the J-FLAG offices. J-FLAG did not publicize its location due to such threats, and its officials reported feeling unsafe having meetings with clients at the organization’s office.”

These are only a few examples of the violence that’s happening on a regular basis. With the government unwilling to act, and in many cases facilitating anti-LGBT violence, gay rights activists are saying they have no choice but to organize the boycott and are calling on LGBT and LGBT-friendly bars to join in refusing to purchase Jamaican products. Bensen says,

“If you love your gay friends and family members, you won’t visit Jamaica. If you care about the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, you won’t buy Jamaican products. We hope that all gay and gay friendly bar owners and restaurateurs across the nation will participate in ‘rum dumps.’ We can no longer subsidize our own slaughter.”

gaypride2004-0The group is calling on gay activists (that’s you) to organize “rum dumps” in your city “where Myers Rum and Red Stripe Beer are poured out in front of a bar that is participating in our boycott” as well as organize protests at bars and local Jamaican embassies and consulates to raise awareness.

This boycott, along with the online fury over Amazon this week shows how quickly and formidable LGBT activists have become by maximizing the power of the Internet, proving that the online world isn’t just for porn, but social justice as well.

By:           Japhy Grant
On:           Apr 14, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 80 Comments
    • gurlene
      gurlene

      This story reminds me of a very attractive young jamaican woman who almost lost her job because of her arrogance towards me and other black gay men when I worked in Washington DC. I refused to cower or treat her as though she were royalty like many of the ignorant black gay men I worked with did in order to “survive”, which I found quite common amongst black gay men in DC in respect to strait black men and women they worked with.

      I had to threaten a lawsuit to get management (the majority of whom were black bible thumpers) to bring her to the reality of being in america and not in jamaica where she SCREAMED on more than one occasion at decibles that would have awakened the dead that I would be dead if I were. Of course when asked no one heard anything but several, after a couple of shots at a club called Knobb Hill the following weekend, seemed to recall the incident.

      I have no love lost for ANYTHING jamaican. Don’t be surprised at how few if any blacks attend this long overdue protest.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 7:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PatrickD
      PatrickD

      Quite true. When I lived in DC in the 90′s our Politicos would get us to go to every one of their events “In Solidarity” but when it was for GLBT-folk or aids, the vast majority of “People OF Colour” were our OWN. In my 30+ yrs of being “Out”, the greatest acts of Homophobia against me or friends have been from members of the Black Community. I don’t use the term “African American” because their Bigotry isn’t limited to those Born in the USA. If anything, their Hatred of Us is mild compared to those from the Islands or COntinent. An African American will talk of getting us FIred, Thrown out of our Homes or Physically Abusing us, a Foriegn Black will start at Torturing us and end with a Bloody Death of a GLBT-person that they will Celebrate….
      This is why whenever my family, who are big cruiseship lovers offer to take my Partner and myself on one to Jamaica, we refuse. My SIL, who’s a big newager doesn’t see the problem because in her eyes anyone with darker skin is somehow more Spiritual or is excused from Bigotry simply because of the colour of their Skins….
      Truth,
      Pat

      Apr 14, 2009 at 7:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      I feel bad, if there any innocent Jamaicans who will be affected by this “boycott” and yet treat LGBT well or even champion our case. Nevertheless, I won’t ever visit that country, nor promote it to my friends. I don’t drink so, the beer thing, is a non-issue.

      @gurlene: and @PatrickD:, sadly, I’m not surprised by your stories. That sucks.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 7:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • osocubano
      osocubano

      Why should I want to visit Jamaica?
      I grew up in Cuba and I know what a tropical paradise is supposed to resemble.
      Of course, Cuba is not what it once was, but that may change beginning today.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 7:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      Oh, boy, the race baiting is starting early this morning.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 8:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Good, keep up the good work!

      But Youtube needs to be included in this campaign cos it still has Jamaica’s Buju Banton’s “Boom Bye Bye’ on there, all about shooting gays and lesbians dead.

      Take a look.

      I haven’t checked today but it also used to have Elephant Man and the other jamaican hate singers’ vids all about killing gays, chi chi men.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 8:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      Having said that, I do support the boycott because the Jamaican government has said that they could give a rat’s ass about what anyone says or does about the pervasive homophobia in their country.

      That’s the distinction that I would draw between Jamaicans and African Americans (in the USA). Many (I would say even most) political leaders, middle- and upper- miidle class African Americans will say something and stick up for gay people of all colors.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 8:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @gurlene:

      By the way, gurlene, black gay men that would not cut Miss “I’m-every-Jamaican-woman” ARE ignorant, IMO. I’ve been there as a black gay man working in mostly black-owner establishments or management and the owner’s wife got on my nerves so badly one day that I called her a “red balloon bitch” in a dining room full of people (which resulted in a knife and a fork being pulled on me, eventually). Interesting thing, there were customers in the resturant that actually stuck up for me to the owner himself. I didn’t get fired at that time, although the cunt did eventually get her revenge and I was “laid off” at a later date.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 8:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom D Frog
      Tom D Frog

      As much as I love Blue Mountain Coffee, I have switched to Costa Rican as I cannot have my money going to Jamaica.

      There are many good people there with a Live and Let live attitude. Sadly, none of them have an power.

      Tom

      Apr 14, 2009 at 9:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      I think a boycott might need to be a bit more comprehensive than just Jamaica. Not that many people visit Iran or Russia or Egypt, but in each of those cases we’re dealing with state-sponsored homophobia. Additionally, we have our own bastions of fascism right here in the form of the LDS, the Southern Baptists and extremely hostile state governments (Oklahoma attempted to prohibit the recognition of all state-issued adoption decrees involving same-sex couples).

      Somewhere down the line, the focus must shift, out of necessity, to countries where gays and lesbians are facing everyday brutality, and not the more mundane indignities we face in the US.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jake
      jake

      My sympathies go out to all homosexuals and oppressed people in Jamaica. I didn’t know the problem was this severe.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 9:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Alec:

      Agreed.

      You might want to add the Gaza Strip to that list, Alec. And diplomatic situations being what they are, this cabn get dicey. I do know that Canadian and British gay groups have been working with the Jamaica issue.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 10:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Chitown Kev: Yes, although the Israeli intelligence operations are partly to blame for the crackdown, imo. The differences between how they operate in the occupied territories and in the state of Israel can be stark, when it comes to gay rights. Threatening to out someone to enlist them in intelligence operations is not a particularly praiseworthy practice.

      The situation doesn’t seem to be as bad in the West Bank. But I’d say that Iran, Saudi Arabia and a few others are just as bad, and probably worse.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 11:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MadProfessah
      MadProfessah

      I’m currently not supportive of the boycott.

      I’ve heard from exactly one Black person (ex-JFLAG spokesperson Gareth Henry) who has supported the boycott.

      The official LGBT group in Jamaica has released a statement NOT supporting the boycott, and pointed out that RED STRIPE beer has actually cancelled support for homophobic artists performing at music festivals.

      To me this smacks of a bunch of privileged gay white boys deciding to do what makes them feel better, uninterested if it will actually improve life in Jamaica for LGBT people. How many Black (i.e. Caribbean diasporic) groups have these US-based activists talked over these actions with or asked to be involved in the “boycott.”

      If they actually wanted to improve the situation for people on the ground they would be sending money and resources to J-FLAG and perhaps working with our state department to put pressure on the Jamaican government that does not reinforce Jamaican homophobic stereotypical beliefs about American queers.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ducdebrabant
      ducdebrabant

      Apart from the goal of punishing Jamaica, why would any gay person go there anyway? It’s not just that gays are treated rudely there. They are in actual danger.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 12:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dgz
      dgz

      “buggery?” seriously? i haven’t heard that one since…well, ever. but this boycott is starting off terribly. “rum dumps?” y’all KNOW that means some peeps are going to go out and buy the stuff, then dump it.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 12:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ducdebrabant
      ducdebrabant

      “If they actually wanted to improve the situation for people on the ground they would be sending money and resources to J-FLAG and perhaps working with our state department to put pressure on the Jamaican government that does not reinforce Jamaican homophobic stereotypical beliefs about American queers.”

      If those homophobic stereotypical beliefs include the belief that we can and will use our economic and political power to protect ourselves, I say reinforce the hell out of them.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 12:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevin (not that one)
      kevin (not that one)

      It’s already been said here before but it should be pointed out that Jamaican LGBTs aren’t going to come out and say they support a boycott, since doing so would bring even more wrath down upon them from the intolerant bigots that make up their countrymen/women.

      However, I’m certain that oppressed LGBT folks in Jamaica silently support the boycott, even if some of their spokespersons say otherwise.

      I also think it’s a good idea to target not just travel, but products from the country as well. Perhaps we should also see what foreign aid is going to the country and think about a divestment campaign?

      Apr 14, 2009 at 12:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @MadProfessah:

      If they actually wanted to improve the situation for people on the ground they would be sending money and resources to J-FLAG and perhaps working with our state department to put pressure on the Jamaican government that does not reinforce Jamaican homophobic stereotypical beliefs about American queers.

      So that we can again be accused of “colonialism,” huh? Because the only acceptable state of affairs for the far left critics of these campaigns seems to be an unacceptable degree of cultural relativism. As though any country is entitled to our tourism and trade dollars.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      MadProfessah – we’ve had this sort of bullshit from people like you over here in the UK when we tried to bash back against jamaican hate music shiteheads like Buju banton. The usual bullshit “You’re racist” arguments were trotted out.

      There was even a demonstration outside of the Home Office Building in central London protesting against white racism and persecution of blacks! Blah blah blah

      Sorry matey, I am immune to it. I fight homophobic fascism even if it is black or brownskinned fascism.

      If you find someone bashing you I tend not to care too much about the skin colour of the basher, but I just bash back.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @MadProfessah:

      If the National Black Justice Coalition supported this boycott, would you support it then, MadProfessah?

      Apr 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AJ
      AJ

      @Tallskin: But he’s right, Tallskin. Do you think anyone of them pouring rum into the sewers really gives a shit about Jamaica? I’m not even saying they should, but, c’mon.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Attmay
      Attmay

      @Tallskin: It needs to be said that bigotry comes in all colors.

      From now on anyone who whines about the boogey man of “gay white privilege” is an anti-white racist.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wayne
      Wayne

      I’m planning on attending the Rum Dump at Stonewall. I used to visit Jamaica often. I spent many a Christmas holiday in Negril, Jamaica in the early 90s. But after a very scary experience on the beach in which a knife was pulled and taunts of “battyboy” were being screamed at me and my partner (fortunately the hotel security intervined) but it was more than enough to convince us to discover another less homophobic island to vacation on. We “discovered” paradise on the Hawaiian island of Kuaii and have never returned to Jamaica. But I often think of the young gay Jamaican guy I met there (he was one of the hotel workers, and became our tour guide and taxi driver on one vacation). He was so amazed that my boyfriend and I lived together openly as a couple in America. I remember he wanted so desperately to get out of Jamaica and come here to the U.S. I sure hope he made it.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Attmay:

      Yeah, I am a bit tired of straight African Americans (in particular, and you can throw in black church queens too) that want to hurl the “racist” charge or the “uncle tom” charge (for gay black americans) that call them on their homophobic bullshit.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Chitown Kev:
      [REWIND]
      Yeah, I am a bit tired of straight African Americans (in particular, and you can throw in black church queens too) that want to hurl the “racist” charge or the “uncle tom” charge (for gay black americans) at those who call them on their homophobic bullshit.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Attmay:

      Urgh, way to go in the deep end dude!

      Everyone knows humans are deeply disturbed and self involved bastards. Black, white, pink and green.

      But intelligence means you can call people out…black, white and…er green, with BS.

      No need to flip the whole concept and defensively attack.

      So, erm, insecure.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PatrickD
      PatrickD

      I’ve found as I’ve gotten Older that I spend less time in Mental Masturbation on subjects…then it could be having an aids diagnosis since “85″;>.
      It’s very clear to me: You Hate Me and Mine, you don’t deserve our support…PERIOD. I HAD friends when I lived in San Francisco that would assist in helping families provide “Female Circumscision” because, well anything not European, American, Western or Christian should be supported….just because. Not to me. I admit to being Simple. I have no problem turning my back on folks that wish to hurt Me and Mine…no matter who they are or where they or their Ancestors came from….
      Truth,
      Pat

      Apr 14, 2009 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s):

      True, but I have encountered that in online and some live conversations with straight black people myself; the belief that if I am down with gay civil rights, then I must be “down” with the white man and, hence, “a gay uncle Tom,” a slur which has been hurled at me in the blogosphere.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 2:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Chitown Kev:

      So have I and argure your point down! I’m not disputing that political correctness has gone , horribly, horrible wrong..but he’s statement was too knee jerk of what I always see.

      Life sucks but a boycott of Red Stripe is the only way. We’re not dealing with cute little endagered animals but a govt that doesn’t CARE.

      Hit them were it hurts. Though your are dealing with irrational, fearful people who are fed a spoonful of hate with huge dollop of religion AND a sociopathic government..

      Still makes me shiver what happened in Zimbabwe after international pressure made Mugabe relent and give Tsivinagri a position in the govt.

      He killed his wife! Then tried to kill him!

      :(

      Apr 14, 2009 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s):

      Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of to.:( The blowback!

      That’s why while I support the boycott, I also want to know what else is going on, esp. with the State Department. I know that Canada and England has opened up their asylum policies somewhat for Jamaican GLBT’s.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Chitown Kev:

      England not that much…they could do better..

      Their are lots of Jamaicans in the UK and they won’t do anything…Afro Americans are genetically Jamaicans..what would YOU do with your culture??

      That would be the same thing with Jamaicans..

      I’ve never mastered how to deal with hot tempered dogmatic people..

      :(

      Apr 14, 2009 at 3:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s):

      Well, African American culture is a little different from Jamaican culture, as far as I can tell. African Americans seem to be a lot more tolerant of “difference, or at least it seemed that way 20 years ago as opposed to today. I think the AIDS crisis and the resurgence in black nationalism in the 80′s ushered in an era of intolerance that I don’t remember from the 70′s when I grew up (outside of the churches, of course).

      Apr 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MDK
      MDK

      I’m all for doing my part to eliminate homophobia etc, but is this boycott really going to effect any change? What percent of GDP does Red Stripe beer represent in the Jamaican economy? Let’s make sure this is actually a productive thing to do and not just fashionable reactionism.

      The Coors beer boycott back in the day directly targeted the source of homophobic policies. We need to ask ourselves whether this boycott is actually going to do anything.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Chitown Kev:

      I know.

      I was being ‘devils advocate’…

      But can you see were I’m going? How was it able to change in AA world??

      Y’know? Gay rights group there should set up councils etc to compare qualitatively and quantitatively…

      It’s soo different in the UK because of our past etc…but Jamaicans HATE me when they meet me…why? Cause a) I’m East african from parents (I’ve also had this from AA) and b) because they think I’m ‘selling out’ because my method is to understand thus work the system…

      So I couldn’t begin to know how, as I’m always told to piss off by the Afro-Carribean/English Orgs..

      Again, food for thought…these are like you’re ancestral ‘couzins’…

      :/

      Apr 14, 2009 at 3:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @MDK:

      True

      Apr 14, 2009 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s):

      Ah, yeah, the prejudices among different cultures and ethnicities in the African diaspora…very familiar with that…

      Apr 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Chitown Kev:

      You could start something?? I would support…

      I think Queerty needs to have something so we can see who contact’s who, etc…I know it’s privacy BUT contacts happen…

      We can all work on contacting each other with really good ideas..

      C’mon Queerty!

      Like Gawker does…

      You create a database of contacts and loyal fans…know you’ve thought of it already BUT I thought I would..bring it up again..

      Apr 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anderson Didier
      Anderson Didier

      A LETTER FROM J-FLAG

      Dear Friends and Supporters:

      We thank our international allies for their continued interest in the state of LGBT affairs in Jamaica. Your support over the years has strengthened our voice and made it possible for us to make progress where we hardly thought it possible. One of the most significant ventures in which our international allies have collaborated with us was the SMM campaign that started in 2004, and which culminated in a local debate about the appropriateness of violence and hate in Jamaican music played in public places. Despite the occasionally homophobic rant by rogue deejays, we have seen a general decline in the level of homophobia coming from new Jamaican artistes and in new music from Jamaica. We have also seen corporate sponsors withdrawing their support from music that promotes violence or discrimination against any group.

      It with this in mind that we find it unfortunate that a campaign has been launched calling for the boycott of two Jamaican products, one marketed by a company that unequivocally distanced itself from the hostility and violence typical of Jamaican music towards members of the LGBT community. In April 2008, Red Stripe took the brave and principled stance to cease sponsorship of music festivals that promoted hate and intolerance, including that against members of the LGBT community. The naming of Red Stripe, therefore, as a target of this boycott is extremely damaging to the cause of LGBT activists in Jamaica.

      In the global arena in which we operate today, events in one place can and do have repercussions in another. Concomitantly, information about occurrences in different places across the globe is easily accessible everywhere. We believe that any overseas entity or organisation seeking to agitate for change in a context with which it has only passing familiarity should first do its homework to ensure that it does not do harm to its credibility and ultimately to the cause of the local community whose interest it seeks to defend.

      It is unfortunate that the organisers of the current campaign to boycott Jamaica have failed in the key area of fact finding. The misguided targeting of Red Stripe does tremendous damage to a process of change that we began almost 11 years ago. The boycott call has now left us not only with our persistent day to day challenges but with a need to engage Red Stripe and attempt damage control as a result of actions that we did not take. Against this background, we would like to reiterate that while we appreciate the support given by our international allies, and understand their impatience for change, we who live in Jamaica best know and understand the dynamics of our situation. We also know that change is a slow and tedious process and those engage in it must be patient.

      Jamaica’s deeply ingrained antipathy towards homosexuality and homosexuals is a social phenomenon that will not be undone by boycott campaigns or government dictate. It requires the painstaking effort of confronting the society and talking to social actors who can bring change in the way society sees LGBT people. We have been doing this through a small but growing group of increasingly aware opinion leaders who are concerned about the damage homophobia does to our society. We need those ears to continue being open to us and we need the relative safety that some of us have been given to speak to them.

      It is important that our international allies understand the nature of our struggle and engage us in a respectful way about it. Unless they are willing and able to lead the struggle in the trenches as we have done, it is important that they be guided by us. To do otherwise would be to act in a manner that destroys the space for dialogue that we have managed to create over the past decade and to set back our struggle. It is for this reason that we urge those in the international arena who seek to act in our name and on our behalf to do so not only with the utmost care and responsibility but also with due consideration for our efforts and concerns as members of the local activist community.

      Sincerely,

      Jason McFarlane

      Programmes Manager

      Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays

      Apr 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Anderson Didier:

      Queerty, is this legit?

      If so, about time…

      Apr 14, 2009 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Whup-Ass Master
      Whup-Ass Master

      Sorry, Mr. McFarlane…boycotts are not intended to change hearts and minds. They are aimed at the bottom line. We shouldn’t stop at rum and red stripe, we should also boycott Jamaican sugar cane, coffee, music and everything else. And we should pressure straight establishments to do the same.

      When the people of Jamaica see that their hateful ways are hurting their (already precarious) economy, you’ll be surprised how quickly the powers that be take real action against hate.

      That said, it’s easy for us to march in parades and hold hands in public. That’s only because of those before us who marched in parades and held hands when it wasn’t so safe. J-FLAG is fighting the real fight, and future generations of Jamaican homos will owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jamie
      Jamie

      This boycott, as well as many of the comments on this page, exemplify the truly sad state of the current gay rights movement. Boycotting an entire nation and anything that comes out of it is just stupid, simplistic, nationalistic, and racist. Yes, racist: what else can one call it when a uniformity of thought and attitude is attributed to an entire ethnicity?

      ALL Jamaicans are homophobes, and anything and everything Jamaican must be boycotted simply because it is Jamaican, and therefore automatically homophobic. That doesn’t sound racist to you????

      Personally, I’d be embarrassed to be associated with this in any way, and those of you participating in, or supporting this, you should be embarrassed too. Turn your brains back on, guys.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sal
      sal

      @gurlene: amen

      Apr 14, 2009 at 4:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Jamie:

      No. The homophobia in Jamaica is state-sanctioned and Jamaica’s big business is tourism (unlike Russia). Go and read some of the comments on this blog under the Jamaica tag.

      And that’s not to say that there isn’t other state sanctioned homophobia, Iraq seems to be another example on that. We don’t have diplomatic relations with Iran. Gaza…well, that’s a tough one.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @sal:

      how’s it going, sal?

      Apr 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sal
      sal

      @Chitown Kev: i live in the caribbean,aint race baiting its the darn truth

      Apr 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sal
      sal

      what shocks me is that allot of people on the outside (even gays)had no clue what is happening in the islands,the image people here did a good job of hiding the ugly side of here.that’s why im thankful this message is being pushed so HARD.It aint “paradise” for allot here

      Apr 14, 2009 at 5:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @sal:

      I know you do, sal, that’s why I asked how you were doing.

      It was just that gurlene started a digression into african-americans in the usa. There are cultural differences to account for.

      But I know where gurlene was coming from though, straight African Americans who think they are all of that do get on my nerves.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 5:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sal
      sal

      ..that is what makes it different from iran etc.We are sold to the world as “paradise”..when the truth is sooo not like that

      Apr 14, 2009 at 5:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @sal:

      I mean, linign up in the streets like a greek chorus just to stone you, that’s not good. And I can’t think of , say, an african american congressperson ( other than Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, maybe, but she needs to tend to her thug son) that would call for violence against gay people and refuse them legal protections. Maybe this is something we should get the Congressional Black Caucus in, now that I think about it.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sal
      sal

      @Chitown Kev: oh thanks fo askin,i’m as cool as i can be..can be better,but i do what i do

      Apr 14, 2009 at 5:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InExile
      InExile

      I live in the Caribbean also, but here in French Saint Martin there is not much violence against gays. We even have 1 bar named Eros.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Jamie – what do you suggest we do?

      I await your answer, but don’t take too long to come with suggestions, otherwise I will dismiss you as a homophobic troll !!

      Apr 14, 2009 at 5:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shivadog
      shivadog

      I’m for a boycott in general, but it seems counterproductive to boycott Red Stripe after they took measures to support us.The boycott needs to be more targeted, we should support companys that renounce homophobia and boycott those that don’t. Regardless, there is no way in hell I would travel to a place where I am so hated and would be killed just for being myself.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 6:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • stevenelliot
      stevenelliot

      You think Jamaica’s bad. Dont go to Dominica. One of the most beautiful islands but the people are very dangerous. We were run out of a bar by the owner because he said they were about to attack us for being “different”

      Dominica, NOT the Dominican Republic

      Apr 14, 2009 at 8:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jamie
      Jamie

      Perhaps we should boycott America, as well. After all, America also has state-sanctioned homophobia (yes, it does), gays discriminated against (and killed) for being gay in America, we have more than our share of homophobes, and gays in America are denied equality under the law. Boycott America!

      Using the same logic as the people behind the boycott, and apparently most of the commenters, gay people should not visit America and should boycott all American products, regardless of the political stances of the companies themselves. Furthermore, ALL Americans MUST be homophobes, since we have state-sanctioned homophobia and since many Americans are homophobic.

      If this sounds absurd, well, this is the exact logic at work in this Jamaica boycott nonsense. Obviously, we ought to think twice about visiting, but boycotting everyone and everything Jamaican just for being Jamaican is illogical and totally racist.

      But who cares about logic, reason, facts? It’s so much more cathartic to just get mindlessly mad. Boycott your little hearts out, guys.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 10:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sparkle obama
      sparkle obama

      @Jamie:

      cosign bitches!

      Apr 14, 2009 at 11:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Jamie:
      But who cares about logic, reason, facts? It’s so much more cathartic to just get mindlessly mad.

      Yes. Now how do you explain your post?

      Sodomy laws are unconstitutional in the states per Lawrence v. Hardwick. It is true that there is plenty of state homophobia (or heterosexism) in American society: DOMAs & state constitutional amendments, prohibitions on adoptions, lack of anti-discrimination laws, etc. Nevertheless, there are not frenzied anti-gay mobs, the government is not nearly as hostile (how many openly LGBT officials are there in Jamaica?) and our LGBT organizations do not hide away in secrecy. There are gay bars, LGBT community centers, etc. in all fifty states. To compare the two situations is absurd. Moreover, some of us noted that there were other appropriate targets of a boycott as well, including some identifiable communities within the U.S. (the LDS and the Southern Baptists, two of our whitest and most suburban religious communities, were what I named).

      Apr 14, 2009 at 11:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Alec: Lawrence v. Texas, even. Sheesh.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimmy
      jimmy

      Gareth Henry’s statement should not be overlooked, as he should know the situation on the ground. If J-FLAG openly supported the policy, more grief would be visited upon them, so he makes sense.

      Suggesting that support for the boycott smacks of racism is a cheap shot.

      Apr 15, 2009 at 12:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sal
      sal

      @Anderson Didier: jflag is all good but i cant help but wonder if i will LIVE to see the day REAL change happens here in the Caribbean…REAL change!…..here it’s not just a “generation”issue,the young people celebrate this hate ,meditate on this hate when they go to concerts,there is this “authentic” thing these artists wanna be ,you’re “authentic” if you preach hate if you change your tune(tolerant) you’re a fake……also it’s not like America where you have variety,down here it’s one culture that dominates……and you put that with how physically small we are and how isolated we are,you can jump to another state/experience, we cant…

      Apr 15, 2009 at 2:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gurlene
      gurlene [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Chitown Kev: I thought you might want to know this. All of 6 of “us” showed up to support the protest. The other twenty or so were, well you know the rest.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 8:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jamie
      Jamie

      @Alec: “To compare the two situations is absurd.”

      It would be absurd to suggest that the situations in Jamaica and America are equivalent in degree, which I did not. Jamaica is obviously quite a bit more homophobic than America, but it’s a matter of degree. That wasn’t my point.

      My point was to criticize the logic being used by the people supporting the boycott. That logic looks ridiculous when applied to America not because the comparison is ridiculous, but rather because the logic itself is ridiculous.

      The logic, of course, being that an entire nation and all of its people and products should be boycotted, regardless of specifics. We would not apply that logic to our own country, because we know the truth is more complicated. Well, the truth is more complicated everywhere. Oversimplifying and generalizing will not accomplish anything productive.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 11:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark
      mark

      Gay Jamaicans are asking us NOT to protest. No one consulted or cared about what the queer people in Jamaica thought about this.
      Stupid white gay activists.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 2:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PatrickD
      PatrickD

      If you don’t have a problem supporting Homophobic Businesses or Countries, spend away.It’s your money. You worked for it and have the Right to spend it as you wish.
      Me, I’d rather reward those that aren’t…

      Apr 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HM
      HM

      @Chitown Kev:

      No offense Kev but you do mirror Larry Elders and Thomas Sowell. Sometimes it seems like you’re on the internet only to bitch about black people.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @HM: That’s nonsense. Chitown Kev calls out the irrational racists and the politically correct squad with equal vigor. He doesn’t remind me of Elders or Sowell at all.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 8:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • getreal
      getreal

      @mark: That is really a racist post Mark i think you should rethink it. I am a black gay rights activist and I fully support a ban on jamaica and all of it’s products. It is disappointing you are using racism against anyone let alone people on the same side as you.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 8:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Alec:

      Oh, Alec, I was in the mood to drop a bomb on HM or something until I read your post. Thanks

      I HATE it when other black people want to tell me the “black way” to think and/or what is the correct opinion to have or not have. I am an individual and a human being with a conscience, I think with my brain, not with the color of my skin. Sometimes I’m right, many times I am wrong.

      In fact, I have backed up a little bit on this not because I don’t support this boycott but because I want to know what extra do the boycotters plan on doing. Are they working with internatinal groups, esp. the Jamaican and British groups that have worked with J-FLAg. Have they talked with Jared Polis (who is working with the situation in Iraq too) or someone at the State Department. Have they talked with the Congressional Black Caucus (most of whom are stron supporters of gay issues)?

      Otherwise, this seems to be a poorly planned, poorly executed venture, though well meaning.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 12:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Chitown Kev:

      that’s “Canadian and British groups that already worked with J-FLAG?”

      Apr 17, 2009 at 12:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sceth
      Sceth

      I just saw Obama address the 5th Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. He talked for a good while about Justice. On and on he went without specifics. Gradually I came to think about the gay situation he seemed to be describing so perfectly. Then, without a conclusion or a specific issue, he closed and changed the topic to Cuba.

      :(

      Apr 17, 2009 at 8:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MadProfessah
      MadProfessah

      @Chitown Kev: I would be more inclined to support the boycott if NBJC or a Caribbean LGBT group in the USA supported the boycott….

      Not supporting the official “boycott jamaica” website doesn’t mean I am going out and buying Red Stripe beer. I try not to use any of my money to support homophobia.

      Apr 18, 2009 at 2:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Court
      Court

      I would not in anyway condone the killing of anyone (innocent or guilty, gay or straight). However I do condone the laws Jamaica has against gays. I think it is unfair, first of all, to point out isolated incidence of violence against gays in Jamaica (and use it to define the country)…that would be like calling all Muslims terrorist, because of several isolated incidents.

      I condone Jamaican laws against homosexuality because they have taken a stance against something that is wrong. Look at it this way, it is legal for a grown man to get married to a child (8 years old for example-check the news), but it is illegal in America (which people in this country actually go around and kill people that do those things). Now if the country that allows these grown men to marry kids were to boycott America and stop them from getting oil and other products, b/c of the stance America takes against their lifestyle, there would be a big outcry (by no means do i condone a child being with a grown man–this is just an example)…It is the same for Jamaica. They (and also I) believe homosexuality is wrong. the problem with the world today is that we all accept everyone’s shortcomings (there is just somethings that should not be acceptable). I accept the laws of a country, especially when there is a democracy in place. There are many homophobic countries that are stronger than Jamaica, and many people would not boycott those countries. I would love to see the LGBT community boycott oil that come from the middle east (which doesn’t even recognize that gays exist–and most of the countries are homophobic)…that wouldn’t happen though, b/c the LGBT community would rather pick on a small country than go after countries or groups that are more powerful.

      Apr 18, 2009 at 10:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sal
      sal

      @Sceth: weirdly i understood him,he was “alone” there,as in just look at the situation with all the countries that were together on the cuba issue while he was kinda on a diff page(wanting democracy there first)

      Apr 20, 2009 at 9:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CoMmOn SeNsE
      CoMmOn SeNsE

      Does this really make sense to anyone?: Jamaica is a homophobic country, so instead of spreading the word outside the LGBT community to help, i’m gonna go to the Liquor Store to BUY RUM, and RED STRIPE BEER, Which is actually helping the cause of JA Lgbt rights, and DUMP It in the sewers to screw one of the poorest nations in North America because SOME Jamaicans are homophobes!
      Why not boycott weed?

      Nov 2, 2009 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Abdullah Aziz
      Abdullah Aziz

      I say Boycott away. I am from Iraq and it is so the same over there. Boycott them so bad that they will go to Gaza for their holidays

      Nov 22, 2009 at 10:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anti-gay
      Anti-gay

      am American & if i could i kill all faggot/ maggot. i wish i can pull off ah Hitler on u faggots. snipe all u shit pit gay bastard. the time will come dont worry. anticipate ah surprise @ ur shit fest gayrade. u on a suicide mission.

      Dec 16, 2009 at 3:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jackie
      Jackie

      TANK YAHWEH FOR ALL THE GAY BEATINGS IN JAMAICA. SO DYAM WHAT IF YOU STOP BUYING OUR PRODUCTS. MY BIBLE SAYS,” YAHWEH THE ALMIGHTY SHALL SUPPLY ALL OUR NEEDS ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WHO DO NOT SELL OUT.
      TO ALL JAMAICAN BRETHEN, STAND STRONG AGAINST THESE SODOMITES YOU HEAR ME. IF WE DON’T STAND FOR SOMETHING WE WILL FALL FOR ANYTHING. STAND STRONG JAMAICA. MEK DEM PULL OUT. WE JAMAICANS NAH SELL WE SELVES TO NO BATTYMAN. OONOO GOO WAY. YAHWEH WILL PROVIDE FOR US AND WE GET TO KEEP OUR CULTURE AT THE SAME TIME. VAMOOSE OONOO SODOMITES OONOO. WE DON’T WANT YOUR BRIBE MONEY. LEAVE

      Dec 28, 2009 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NO BATTYMAN
      NO BATTYMAN

      WE JAMAICANS NOT SELLING OUT WE SELVES TO NO BATTYMAN. WE DON’T WANT YOUR ASS DROPPINGS ON OUR RED BULL. WE DON’T WANT YOUR ASS DRIPPINGS ON OUR RED STRIPE. WE DON’T WANT YOUR ASS DROPPINGS ON OUR BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFEE. WE DON’T WANT YOUR CORRUPTED MONEY ON ANY OF OUR PRODUCTS. ALL WE WANT IS FI YOU SODOMITES TO LEAVE OUR COUNTRY. ATTENTION TO ALL ANTI-GAY PEOPLE HERE. BIG NOTICE I HAVE TO TELL YOU. THE SODOMITES THEM HAVE THEIR GAY RIGHTS PARADE. DO YOU KNOW THAT THEIR IS NOW A STRAIGHT PRIDE PARADE? YES INDEED. GOOGLE SEARCH IT AND EVEN YOUTUBE SEARCH IT AND JOIN THE STRAIGHT PRIDE PARADE TO ALL ANTI-GAY, BIBLE FEARING PEOPLE. BIG UP. BATTYMAN PLEASE LEAVE OUR NICE COUNTRY JAMAICA. WE ARE NOT FOR SALE. IF YOU DON’T LEAVE, MORE BLOODSHED WILL HAPPEN. YOU BETTER LOOK UP THE HISTORY OF JAMAICANS. WE DON’T BUDGE. TO ALL MY JAMAICAN PEOPLE CONTINUE TO DO AS BOB MARLEY SEH,” GET UP STANDUP, STANDUP FOR YOUR RIGHTS. OUR RIGHTS IS NO BATTYMAN ROUN HERE. WE WILL FIGHT TO THE DEATH FI WI CULTURE. LEAVE BATTYMAN LEAVE JAMAICA OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES AND PLEASE DO NOT BUY OUR PRODUCTS WE DO NOT WANT YOUR MONEY. OUR FATHER WILL PROVIDE. GOO WAY

      Dec 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blinkingblythe
      blinkingblythe

      I’m not buying any Jamaican products, period. They have a giant culture of hate, plus the fascist churches there love to use the Bible as a pick n choose buffet (wearing clothes with mixed fibers or eating shrimp is not allowed but how many Jamaicans even know bout this?)

      Sep 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • POPULAR ON QUEERTY

    FOLLOW US
     



    GET QUEERTY'S DAILY NEWSLETTER


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.