Jamaican press ignores ground-breaking gay rights video campaign

Executive Director of J-FLAG Dane Lewis recently stepped forward for the FIRST TIME and appeared on video, along with straight allies and another member of Jamaica’s gay community. In the context of Jamaican society, this was a remarkably courageous move.
The Jamaican media has so far carefully ignored this ground-breaking release. I am not sure why.  However, Huffington Post and others HAVE carried the following press release and posted these honest, moving videos. All the YouTube links are below.
Please do read, watch, comment and share widely. And let us together build a more loving and compassionate society.
J-FLAG Boss Headlines New Human Rights Video Campaign
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Dane Lewis, the executive director of J-FLAG, Jamaica’s foremost gay rights advocacy organisation, is headlining a new a human rights video campaign featuring straight, gay and lesbian Jamaicans.  
The campaign, which is called We Are Jamaicans was launched today to raise awareness among Jamaicans about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) identity and community, human rights, stigma and discrimination. We Are Jamaicans is a participatory video campaign hosted on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/EqualityJA. It features prominent Jamaicans such as Susan and Alexis Goffe and Javed Jaghai.
According to Lewis, “the campaign was developed following recommendations from consultations with LGBT persons, activists and allies to show the experiences of Jamaica’s LGBT community in a more diverse way.”
There is an urgent need to interrupt prevailing discourse on LGBT realities in Jamaica. Opportunities must be created for Jamaicans to see and hear about the experiences of LGBT people so they can understand what it means to be LGBT.
“Regrettably, the diversity and the complexity of Jamaica’s LGBT community is masked by media and advocacy narratives that too often focus on sex, victimhood, crime and HIV. These themes are not identity-affirming and they sometimes further entrench the marginal position of LGBT people in the society,” Lewis said.
Javed Jaghai, an openly gay Jamaican, says that ignorance helps to fuel homophobia and the campaign will be critical for increasing understanding among the Jamaican public about gender and sexuality variance. “By diversifying the stories told about LGBT lives, the complexity of LGBT identities will be made apparent and it will be easier to evoke empathy and secure general support for tolerance,” he highlighted.
The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) through its Global Fund Vulnerablised Project funds the campaign. It is expected to lead to greater understanding and help change minds and hearts about Jamaica’s LGBT community. Gay, lesbian and straight Jamaicans are encouraged to use creative ways of sharing their experiences with LGBT issues and join the campaign whether they wish to show their face or not.
Alexis Goffe – http://youtu.be/DyUFC8P0GJI
Javed Jaghai – http://youtu.be/BS2P6TvzuFM
Let’s Build Our Country – http://youtu.be/ffys1xXGq3E
Dane Lewis | Executive Director
P.O. Box 1152, Kingston 8
T: 978-8988 | M: 875 2328 | F: 946-3244
W: www.jflag.org | E: admin@jflag.org | T: @equalityJA
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13 thoughts on “Jamaican press ignores ground-breaking gay rights video campaign

  1. Dear Emma,

    Interesting stuff this… ground breaking indeed.

    I would like to solicit your assistance with our 2013 Early Childhood Dance Theatre Festival… this year we are raising funds for Angels of Love – children suffering from terminal cancer…! 

    Please visit our blog here: http://airpaasa.blogspot.com/ 

    We hope to stage our 2nd annual Early Childhood Dance Theatre festival on May 26, 2013 at a venue yet to be confirmed. 

    Kindly let me know if you would be interested in this venture…! 

    Best regards 


      Kofi Walker Founder  / Artistic Director AIR & PA-ASA Foundation Limited Contact: 1876 405 2800 

    Even in today’s world, beauty and truth can still be found and the first place to start looking is within my own self.



    1. Hi Kofi: I am sorry to respond so late… Angels of Love is a very worthy cause I think. I would love to help, but you would have to tell me how. Problem also is that May could be a difficult month for me… But let’s discuss further. Cheers!


  2. Thank you, Emma, for adding your voice and “pen” behind this very important move towards a more respectful society where Justice and equality for ALL Jamaicans become more than a dream. Our (local) media have never been interested in gay narratives unless it involves re/presenting gays as caricatures, disease vectors and miscreants (their obsession with the effeminate, homeless & HIV positive gays remains relentless).


    1. Exactly. Anything that shows gays as actual, real people with feelings, families etc. is of no interest, it seems. There is only one type of gay and that is some kind of freakish, predatory creature that roams the streets…


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