January 1, 2014: Sting banned Sizzla
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Sizzla will no longer be able to perform at Sting, while D'Angel won't even be able to enter the venue during the event. "We had a meeting on Saturday and we, Heavy D and myself, came to the decision to ban Sizzla Kalonji and D'Angel from Sting. Sizzla was warned repeatedly before going onstage about not promoting hate music and he went up there and did it repeatedly. We are going international and we warned every artiste before they went on to the stage," said Laing. "We are banning D'Angel as a patron also. We don't want your money D'Angel. Stay home. Watch the event on pay-per-view," Laing told The Gleaner. "What kind of image is D'Angel portraying as a mother? She's saying she came to clash but that's not how the clash went. It was not about Ninja Man, she embarrassed herself. At least a five-year ban for D'Angel." At the time of the interview, the artistes had not yet learnt of the ban. D'Angel's phone went straight to voicemail, while efforts to contact Sizzla also proved futile. (more on the link below).
(Jamaica Gleaner No.1) (Jamaica Observer No.2)
January 7, 2014: Sizzla canceled in Amsterdam
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Jamaican dancehall artist Sizzla has been refused by Melkweg pop stage, a popular show podium in Amsterdam, over his anti-gay lyrics. Sizzla, born Miguel Orlando Collins, April 17 in 1976, was scheduled to perform on Sunday, March 16. People who already purchased tickets will be refunded, a Meldweg spokesperson announced on Monday. Melkweg staff on Sunday came across images of a festival in Jamaica where Sizzla performed. One of his songs was about how, in his opinion, men and women should not have sex with someone of the same sex. According to Sizzla his statement is based on the Bible. Sizzla thinks he should be able to make such a statement, in view of his right to freedom of speech. Apparently Melkweg does not share his opinion. (more on the link below)
I've been busy with University, I will try to bring an update soon.
April 3, 2014: Second Reggae album promoting tolerance towards LGBT
Jamaican artist Mista Majah P has more than ten albums under his belt and has been in the music business for more than twenty five years. In July 2011, he took us by surprise when he released 'Tolerance', the first pro-gay album made by a Jamaican artist, which is a milestone in itself, considering the level of homophobia in Jamaica. Despite the fact that he lost musicians partnership and received death threats after releasing 'Tolerance' in 2011, he is now coming in force with his new album 'The Closet Is Open', another album devoted on the topic. The album was launched on April 3rd and is now available for purchase on Amazon, CD Universe and CD Baby. Majah P (aka The Maverick) is proud to be Jamaican and to fight against homophobia, something we haven't witness much in Jamaican music over the years. Those shoes are very big fill, but The Maverick fit them very well. I've been studying this conflict for more than ten years and except from a few neutral comments given in interviews by some Jamaican artists and producers, very few had the guts to stand firm for tolerance, acceptance and criticizing the hate agenda of some of their peers. He is not shy on his journey to do things different than the mass. I had several interesting conversations with the artist over the years and Jamaica have many reasons to be proud of him riding the 'Tolerance Train'. His new album features the title track, issued in October 2013, with eight brand new songs, two club mixes and a refreshing remix of the 2012 single 'Karma'.
The album ventures different music style and the result works out very well. It features the single 'The Closet Is Open' and 'Don't Abandon Them Just Love Them'. Both include interviews segments with Jason Collins, the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport, where he talks about his coming out to his twin brother and the importance to be who you are. The songs 'Tolerance Train' and 'Murderer' will appeal to the reggae lovers. There's an anthem to British gay activist Peter Tatchell who founded OutRage! and was a key in addressing the growing level of homophobia in Jamaican music in 2003-2004 by starting the 'Stop Murder Campaign'. He was also part of the creating process for the 'Reggae Compassionate Act' in 2007. If homophobia in Jamaican dancehall has gone down over the years is mainly due to the huge LGBT movement that was done in Europe and America following the numerous actions stimulated by OutRage! There also the groovy track 'Tolerance', which is a different song than the one included on the previous album. One of my favourite is 'Stop With The Nonsense' which uses samples of Beenie Man's interview given in May 2012 to re-establish is credibility in order to be welcome at the Rototom SunSplash, one of the most important reggae festival in the world. The organizers gave Beenie Man a chance to be part of the festival by asking the artist to distance himself from his numerous homophobic songs. In conclusion, both albums ('Tolerance' and 'The Closet Is Open') proves that it's possible to explore sexual differences without being redundant. Really and trully, three thumbs up!
The Maverick is aiming for nothing less than a Grammy nomination in the reggae category. He needs support on his journey and he deserve it. The Gleaner, The Observer and The Jamaica Star should be ashamed of themselves for not talking about the album Tolerance in 2011, in a country where homophobia is such a problem, when an artist have the guts to do differently, he should be rewarded with a decent coverage. Let's hope that Jamaican newspaper will not ignore him this time. I rather see 'The Closet Is Open' to be nominated for 'Best Reggae Album' than to see 'Radical' by Sizzla in this category. What did Sizzla had in mind when he named his latest album 'Radical', probably a few things, but surly his hate agenda towards the LGBT was on the top of his list. If the grammy committee would do their job properly, we wouldn't see any of the artists that promote hatred and violence getting a nomination. And it would make space for people who are contributing for a better world. Make way for the 'Tolerance Train'.
(The Closet Is Open) (Press Release no.1) (Press Release No.2) (Mista Majah P website)
NOTE: I have recieved Pre-release information by Five Star Management group, the management team in charge of promoting the artist. Which indicates March 31, but it seems the official date was April 3rd.
May 23, 2014: Queen Ifrica concert cancelled in New York
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: On May 23, Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand (JAHS) and City Councilman Daniel Dromm, an out gay Jackson Heights Democrat, picketed the Amazura Concert Hall in Jamaica, Queens demanding the cancellation of an appearance by Queen Ifrica, who in a 2010 performance told the crowd, “We are not going to legalize any faggotism in Jamaica.” Dwayne Brown, founder of JAHS, said in a release, “Queen Ifrica’s words help create a climate where human rights violations against LGBT Jamaicans are rampant.” In a written release, Dromm said, “Queens has historically been a haven for marginalized people around the world, including LGBT Jamaicans who have had to flee their country. I am proud to join with these brave activists who are using the freedom they have in this country to continue to fight for the embattled LGBT community in Jamaica.” The May 23 performance was canceled by club manager John Rios, who told the Jamaica Observer, “We’re not prejudiced against anyone. I welcome the gay community and we get along with everybody. Queen Ifrica lost her status as a UNICEF ambassador due to her 2010 anti-gay outburst but “has continued to use her performances to advocate for the criminalization and persecution of LGBT Jamaicans,” a JAHS release said. Brown told Gay City News, “She went to Canada and activists got her concert canceled and her work permit was pulled. So she has been trying to get work here in America.”
(Gay City News)
May 24, 2014: Jamaica gay activist murdered
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Popular Montego Bay-based gay political activist Kenrick “Bebe” Stephenson was murdered outside his home earlier this week. According to reports, Stephenson was shot several times by armed thugs at the entrance to his home in Coral Gardens on Sunday night. Kenrick Stephenson, popularly known as Bebe, was a openly gay activist for the ruling Peoples National Party, PNP. “People might say a lot of things about him, but he was a loyal and dependable person,” saidMichael Troupe, who is Montego Bay Deputy Mayor. “He will be sadly missed.”Police officers told Urban Islandz that a motive for his murder is not yet known. But rumors are circulating claiming that Stephenson is a key player in the lottery scam epidemic in Montego Bay. (More on the link below)
(Urban Islanz) (Pink News)
June 7, 2014: Queen Ifrica: "Jamaicans are homosensitive"
TV Interview with Queen Ifrica for On Stage. She talks about her new album coming but specially about the tolerance (?!) of Jamaicans about homosexuality. EXCERP FROM GAY CITY NEWS: "In a YouTube video posted June 7, Queen Ifrica called her gay opponents “bullies” and said she wished “black people got the same tolerance as gay people.” She then challenged the gay community to “bring out the pedophiles among them.”"
NOTE: Interesting interview, although she completely going out of her mind when she's assume tha it should be the gay community to go an look for pedofiles and bring them to the authorities.
(On Stage Interview) (Gay City News)
June 8, 2014: JAHS and CAFE fights for recognition of LGBT rights in New York & Pensylvania
Two groups have joined forces to fight for the recognition of Caribbean LGBT rights. Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stands (JAHS) and Caribbean Alliance For Equality (CAFE). JAHS was able to get Queen Ifrica's May concert to be cancelled but the two groups were unable to get Capleton's concert to be shut down the following week. TEXT FROM ARTICLE: The LGBT groups intend to keep the pressure up on venues that book Capleton, whose “murder lyrics… have been used to torture and murder innocent LGBTQ persons in Jamaica,” said Jason Latty, founder of CAFE. The group has also protested several US appearances by Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who has reneged on bringing up a bill to repeal anti-sodomy laws there. CAFE picketed the graduation ceremony at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania on May 24, where Miller was awarded an honorary degree for having “championed the rights of women, minorities, and impoverished people,” according to a college release. (More on the link below)
(Gay City News)
2011 • 2012 • 2013
UPDATES FOR 2011-2012-2013 (newer news are at the bottom of the page)
Due to my work on other projects, I am now spending less time updating this website. The NEWS & HISTORY section is the part of the website I have invested the most time in order to provide the most accurate news and development on the subject. If you see an important news that is missing, you can e-mail me a link of an article and I will gladly update it in this section.
e-mail: irieites72 (at) yahoo (dot) ca
January 1, 2011: J-FLAG New Year's message
PRESS RELEASE: Fellow Jamaicans, respect and tolerance is fundamental to enabling individuals, regardless of religion, gender, socio-economic status or sexual orientation, to claim and enjoy their human rights. J-FLAG continues to observe and articulate the implications of the absence of a specific legal instrument to protect and promote the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans. While the enactment of laws alone will not change the engrained discrimination within our society, the presence of discriminatory laws coupled with the lack of specific protections continue to contribute to the high incidences of stigma, discrimination, harassment and other forms of abuse as well as death of Jamaicans who are, and in some cases perceived to be gay or lesbian. This year, we have received and documented over forty incidences of human rights abuses meted out to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Jamaica... However, despite these unfortunate occurrences, we have seen some encouraging demonstrations that there are possibilities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans to be accorded their human rights and dignity. This has been demonstrated by the numerous
public activities that have been held without incident since April to raise the awareness of the issues being faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and our allies. In addition, police men and women have been more professional in their attempts to serve and protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans. The media has begun to feature more constructive conversations... (more on the links below)
(J-FLAG Press Release)
January 3, 2011: My Princess Boy: Is it OK for boys to dress like girls?
NOT RELATED TO DANCEHALL ISSUE...
BY WHY NOT START THE YEAR WITH A WONDERFUL STORY OF ACCEPTANCE?
Is it okay for boys to dress like girls? The topic is addressed in the book “My Princes Boy” – watch the author and her son, who inspired “My Princess Boy,” in this Today show video clip. Meredith Vieira talks with the mom and her 5-year old who likes to dress in girl clothes – Why? Dyson says “because it makes me feel happy!” “My Princess Boy” explores this societal taboo of boys dressing like girls in the hopes of spreading acceptance. What’s your stand on kids dressing as the opposite gender? Broadcated on NBC Today Show, on January 3rd 2011.
(My Princess Boy)
January 12, 2011: Amnesty International denounce homophobic comments by African reggae singer
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Responding to Blakk Rasta's homophobic comments on GhanaMusic.com, Clare Bracey, Amnesty International UK's LGBT campaign manager, said: 'To describe homosexuality as a 'disorder' is simply abhorrent ' and Blakk Rasta's comments should be condemned vigorously from all quarters. 'Amnesty has documented many cases where people across the world have faced violence, discrimination, torture, imprisonment and even execution because of their sexual orientation. And whilst Blakk Rasta states that he does not 'incite violence against gays and lesbians', public statements like this perpetuate a climate of discrimination and intimidation against LGBT people, and in many instances, are the cause of abuses. 'The perception of homosexuality as a disorder that needs to be 'put right' serves to legitimise such violence. 'Sadly his comments reflect a growing rise of homophobia across Africa and those prevailing attitudes need to be challenged. 'Amnesty International firmly believes that everyone has a right to express their sexual orientation without discrimination or fear of prosecution.'
From the GhanaWeb article, there would be a song on his latest album dealing with homosexuality. From GayGhana.org website, homophobic comment were made onstage since October 2009.
(Amnesty International UK) (GhanaWeb) (GayGhana.org OPEN LETTER) (Ghana Music) (Blakk Rasta website)
January 18, 2011: The two faces of Jamaican gay life
TEXT FROM BLOG: Paul Canning from LGBT Asylum News take a dive in Jamaican culture with recent articles, events, musicians, comedians and bloggers and discover a growing acceptance towards LGBT community. Interesting collage.
(LGBT Asylum News) (Gay Jamaica Watch: The Year that was... Entertainment Perspective)
January 25, 2011: Growing monopoly: VP Records launches VPAL
This topic is not related to homophobia in dancehall or reggae music. I simply included it on this page to show how the monopoly of VP Records is growing bigger inside the reggae industry every year. Now it's the turn to Third World and Midnite to sign a distribution deal with VP Records... Besides that, their 17 North Parade label just issued classic albums from Dennis Brown (January 2011) and Culture (February 2011).
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: On April 5, Third World’s 23rd album “Patriots” was released on the band’s newly formed label Third World Music Group, in association with VP Associated Label Group (VPAL), the recently launched subsidiary of the Queens, NY based reggae independent VP Records. Donovan Williams, Director of VPAL, says the industry downturn presented an opportunity for VP Records to create an imprint that allows artists not signed to the label the option to negotiate usage of the company’s physical and digital distribution services, marketing and publicity departments as well as touring and booking divisions....VP Records offiicially launched VPAL on January 25, 2011 with the release of “Treasure” from St. Croix, Virgin Islands based reggae outfit Midnite who signed on for a distribution and marketing deal.... “We are pleased to be working with VP/VPAL after so many years in the business”, says Third World guitarist/musical director Stephen “Cat” Coore, “VP Records are very much in control of Jamaican music worldwide, they’ve become the Motown of reggae.”
PERSONNAL COMMENT: I have several better comparison for companies that could be dubbed the 'Motown' of reggae: what about Studio One label, Island Records, Trojan Rocords, Virgin/Frontline, Channel One, Joe Gibbs. According to Wikipedia, the VP Records label itself was founded in 1993, just 25 years after the birth of reggae. No, they don't deserve that title. And you can always count on this label to 'immortalise' songs that promote discrimination and violence towards gays on most of their Strictly The Best or Reggae Gold collections, even in recent volumes. Let's be honnest, this company doesn't have the spirit of reggae, you just have to look at the images they use to promote these compilations. They are in it for the money and they are succeeding. They are using marketing tools to appeal to the mass, including violence and sex. Is this really what we want for the future of reggae? Listen to a Reggae Gold compilation and tell me how many songs would you classifeied as 'reggae'? Last year, they even cancelled the compilation Biggest One-Drop Reggae Anthems, the only interesting contemporary reggae compilation. But they are brininging it back in July 2011.
January 26, 2011: Trinidad & Tobago lifts ban on Mavado
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Jamaican reggae superstar Mavado (David Constantine Brooks), who had been banned from performing in this country since 2006, is scheduled for a full concert on Trinidad and Tobago soil next week. This was revealed to the T&T Guardian exclusively by Lenard Smith, public relations manager for RF Promotions, who said: “Mavado has been banned since 2006...We tried to bring him and he was turned back by immigration. “Since then, we have done some work with Mavado and he is now the kind of person citizens will appreciate coming to Trinidad and Tobago,” Smith added. In an effort to assure the public that the artiste will not be turned back by immigration personnel when he arrives at Piarco International Airport next week, the T&T Guardian was shown an official document which states that the artiste will be allowed to perform here on February 5 with his full band. Mavado will headline the concert A Better Tomorrow.
(more on the link below).
(The Trinidad Guardian)
January 26, 2011: Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato found murdered
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: One of Uganda's most prominent gay rights activists has been murdered in his home weeks after winning a court victory over a tabloid that called for homosexuals to be killed. David Kato, the advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda, was bludgeoned to death in Mukono, Kampala, yesterday afternoon. Witnesses saw a man fleeing the scene in a car, and police are investigating. Along with other Ugandan gay activists, Kato had reported increased harassment since 3 January, when a high court judge granted a permanent injunction against the Rolling Stone tabloid newspaper, preventing it from identifying homosexuals in its pages. Late last year, Kato had been pictured on the front page of an issue carrying the headline "Hang Them". He was one of the three complainants in the court case. "Since the ruling, David said people had been harassing him, and warning they would 'deal with him,'" Julian Pepe Onziema, a close friend and fellow gay rights activist, said. "We were due to meet yesterday [Wednesday] to discuss security arrangements, but he said he did not have money to get to town. A few hours after we spoke, his phone was off."Human Rights Watch said it was too early to speculate why Kato had been killed, but added that there were serious concerns about the level of protection of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Kampala. Maria Burnett, the Uganda researcher for Human Rights Watch, urged a "real and substantive investigation" into the murder. (more on the link below).
(The Guardian) (BBC News) (Human Right Watch) (PRESS RELEASE signed by 28 Caribbean associations)
(Reuters Africa: Scuffles at funeral)
February 22, 2011: Buju Banton Found Guilty of Cocaine Charge
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: A Florida jury has found Grammy-winning reggae singer Buju Banton guilty on cocaine conspiracy charges. Jurors returned their verdict on Tuesday after deliberating for 11 hours over two days. The 37-year-old Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie, was on trial on accusations that he conspired with two other men in setting up a drug deal in December of 2009. His album "Before the Dawn" won a Grammy last week for best reggae album. This is Banton's second trial. A jury deadlocked in his first trial last year.
March 15, 2011: Reggae Star Blasts GLAAD, OutRage and other Homosexual Organizations
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Reggae superstar Boom Viniyard is posing some poignant questions to the gay community and he may be the first to ask such questions. On his new mixtape “The world is ours”, Boom Viniyard questions why isn’t the gay community rallying and protesting for the banning of the bible, since the bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin. The artist suggests that if homosexuals rally against and support the banning of anti-gay reggae songs then it makes sense that they should do the same against the church and all conservative political parties. (more on the link below).
PERSONNAL COMMENT: This 'article' was written by TCOOO, the same team that brought the 'Straight Parade' in New York (see July 2008). Thee issue here is the promion of violence through music. This guy still don't get the issue of the conflic. To Boom Viniyard: The wolrd is not 'yours', it belongs to everyone, and everyone has the SAME rights to walk free of verbal or physical assault. People who promote hate speech must be challenged. As long as you are giving 'maximum respect' to musicians that advocate violence and killing, well you and I are are definitively not feeding on the same vibe of music. Bring back the roots.
March 26, 2011: Shots fired at Ocho Rios concert
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: The March of Three Kings concert headlined by Mavado, Elephant Man and Wayne Marshall was marred by gunfire which caused a stampede from Margaritaville in Ocho Rios on Saturday night . "A music and love wi seh," shouted Mavado in the parking lot at around 4.35 am to the shaken departing crowd. Three minutes earlier three gunshots rang from just outside the venue. It resulted in scores of patrons taking cover behind trees, cars and bodies. This was preceded by shouts of "fight, fight, gun!". In total the crowd sought cover three times in an attempt to exit the parking lot. It wasn't immediately clear who fired the shots. Prior to the stampede, the crowd's initial focus was on a bleeding man, possibly intoxicated, of unsound mind, or both, lying in the parking lot. "Him get hit by a car," stated one patron. Unresponsive calls to him resulted in the thickening of the crowd and honking horns. Then came the shots. During the concert, the sound selectors, Elephant Man and Mavado all voiced expressions of violence as a means to rev-up the thick crowd. The favourite target of the selectors and Elephant Man were gays whilst Mavado lyrically attacked his nameless enemies. Wayne Marshall kept his set clean. "We nah kill no fish. We just saying we nah switch non at all," he stated in reference to gays. (more on the link below).
April 24, 2011: Sizzla performs 'Boom Bye Bye' in Montego Bay
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: At the Coke Zero Live event, Sizzla performed the notorious hate anthem 'Boom Bye Bye' which literally calls for the murder of homosexuals (lower you can find a clip of Sizzla performance begins at 13.55). Sizzla is unable to find performance venues in either the UK or USA because of his reputation. In 2004, he was among a group of artists who were being investigated by Scotland Yard for allegedly inciting murder of homosexuals through their lyrics. Tomlinson says that there is at least one documented instance in Jamaica where 'Boom Bye Bye' was directly linked to the murder of a gay man. (see October 13 and November 25 for more details about this news)
(AIDSFreeWorld.org) (Jamaica Gleaner) (Care2) (Clip of the performance)
PERSONNAL COMMENT: I was speecless when I learned about this. This is probably the worst career move he made in numerous years. Unfortunately, this is something that's gonna stick with him for quite a long time. Why do people feed from conflictual situations?... I just don't overstand the human race. LGBT groups have partly succeed, the reggae industry was partly able to move this conflict. Now it's time for the fans to act: Take 30 minutes of your time and write a letter to Sizzla to let him know how much you are disapointed in his behaviour. Tell him that because of his deisre to express hate speech in many circumstances, there is a lot of chances you won't be able to see him perform in America or Europe in upcoming years. Ask him to go public and to denounce any kind of violence, including violence made to gays. Enough of these games. Let's put the fake apologies behind us, let's show some humanity. I was trying to find an official address so you can reach Sizzla... There is a website JudgemenyYard (judgementyard.org), that seems ton be the official website, but it hasn't been updated since 2008 and the email is no longer working. BUT the album Welcome To The Good Life ( released in June 2011) was issued on KalonjiRecords.com which is link to JudgementYard.org. So the address seems good: Judgement Yard, 40 August Town Road, Kingston Jamaica, W.I. Mona PO. Probably not all the mail is read, so write in plane latters on the envelopp: PLEASE STOP PROMOTING DISCRIMINATION – WE WANT TO SEE YOU PERFORM IN OUR COUNTRIES. Never underestimate the power that you have to make a contribution to live in a better world. And just to make things clear: I'm not a fan. I do not listen to Sizzla's music, but like many, I am tired of this conflict. Whether you agree or not with the oppinions written on this website: let's unite and let our voices be heard. I'm positive that there are several thousands people that love reggae that are fed up with this situation. Let's express it clearly. Let's move on as a collectivity.
May 9, 2011: Jamaica Tourist Board promoting Jamaica in NY
TEXT FROM YOU TUBE: The Jamaica Tourist Board and Flash Mob America teamed up to give New Yorkers a taste of sun, sand and sea at the Jamaica Reggae Flash Mob in Union Square, NYC on May 9. Featuring an exclusive dance remix of Ziggy Marley's "Jamaica In My Head" the flash mob commemorated Marley Week and the 30th Anniversary of the passing of Jamaica's music legend Bob Marley.
PERSONNAL COMMENT: Was the pink T-shirt used deliberately... I believe so. Probably Jamaica Tourist Board is trying to send a message that Jamaica is not has homophobe as some articles portrayed it in recent years. Nice performance.
(You Tube CLIP)
May 15, 2011: African American CNN anchor Don Lemon comes out publicly
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Mr. Lemon understands the television news business from long experience, gathered through jobs at such local stations as WCAU in Philadelphia, WMAQ in Chicago and WNYW in New York. So he has no illusions about what he is getting himself into with the book he has written about his career — and life. In"Transparent," Mr. Lemon has a lot to say about reporting for television and about journalism in general. But he knows enough about news to recognize what will get this book noticed. "People are going to say: 'Oh, he was molested as a kid and now he is coming out.' I get it," he said. Few national television news anchors or hosts have publicly acknowledged being gay. Rachel Maddow is perhaps the best known. Her MSNBC colleague, Thomas Roberts, has also come out as gay. Mr. Lemon has not made a secret of his sexual orientation in his work life; many of his CNN co-workers and managers have long been aware that he is gay. But he still acknowledged that going public in his book carries certain risks. "I'm scared," he said in a telephone interview. "I'm talking about something that people might shun me for, ostracize me for." Even beyond whatever effect his revelation might have on his television career, Mr. Lemon said he recognized this step carried special risk for him as a black man. "It's quite different for an African-American male," he said. "It's about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You're taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away." He said he believed the negative reaction to male homosexuality had to do with the history of discrimination that still affects many black Americans, as well as the attitudes of some black women. (more on the link below).
(New York Time)
June 23, 2011: Buju Banton sentence: 10 years
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: It could have been far worse for Jamaican reggae superstar Buju Banton than the 10-year sentence he received yesterday in the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court in Tampa, Florida. Hours after the Grammy-winning artiste was ordered imprisoned for a decade, US-based Jamaican attorney Oliver Smith said the 37-year-old singer got the best sentence possible, given the crime for which he was convicted....When Banton appeared in court yesterday he faced a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in a federal prison which would calculate to 10 years for his convictions on a charge of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and five years for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence. But US Judge James Moody threw out the gun conviction, reducing the artiste's sentence to 10 years.
(more on the link below).
(Jamaica Observer 1) (Jamaica Observer 2)
June 26, 2011: Study shows Jamaican street youths more accepting of gays
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Homeless youth are more tolerant of homosexuality than their counterparts who live with their families at home, according to the 2010 Jamaica National Youth Survey (JNYS) released earlier this month by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN)."Street youths proved more tolerant of homosexuals. A quarter (25 per cent) of the street youths interviewed indicated that they had friends who were homosexuals, compared to 11 per cent of youths in households," said senior statistician in the STATIN's surveys division Leesha Delatie-Budair. (more on the link below).
July 4, 2011: Mavado's US visa returned
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: In April of last year Mavado, whose correct name is David Brooks, was among four artistes who's US visas were cancelled. According to a previous report in The STAR, the visas of deejays Bounty Killer, Mavado, Beenie Man, Aidonia and selector Ricky Trooper were cancelled by the Fraud Prevention Arm of the United States Embassy in Kingston. Mavado is the first artiste since the cancellation to have his US visa reinstated. Julian Jones-Griffith, Mavado's manager: "Since losing his visa in April 2010, Mavado hasn't commented on the situation, in media or on record. Now that the situation has been resolved we will retain that dignity and not comment on the issue, suffice to say, Mavado is looking forward to getting back to work in the United States where his army of fans will get to see him perform after a prolonged absence." (more on the link below)
July 7, 2011: Mista Majah P radio interview on 'Justice or Just Us'
Mista Majah P, the Jamaican dancehall artist who made the song 'Rights', which denounce homophobia in dancehall music, is being interviewed by Jarret Lovell on California KUCI show: 'Justice Or Just Us'. He talks about the song, the situation in Jamaica, 'Freedom Of Speech' vs 'Murder Music' and his upcoming album.
July 29, 2011: Making history – First reggae album to promote gay rights
Mista Majah P deserve respect for taking the stand that many contemporary reggae artists didn't have the guts to do. In October 2010, he releasaed the song 'Rights' on YouTube. The song is now available for purchase on his new CD Tolerance (launched on July 7, 2011). In fact, the whole CD is dedicated to the gay issue. Mis musical style and lyrics has a similar feel of jamaican british singer Macka B. He takes stands againts the things that are wrong in society. The album has an international approach to gay rights, and includes refrences to caribbean situation like 'Letter To Bruce Golding' and 'Dedophile/Predator'. With the first song,he address a direct letter to Jamaican prime minister regarding the (sad but) famous BBC interview made in May 2008, where he declares that there was 'no homosexuals in my cabinet'. The second song opens up with a manipulating statement made by Beenie Man, explaining what a 'chi chi man' was, when he was in hot water at the peak of the Stop Murder Muisc campaign. Mista Majah P recall that there is a clear distinction between homosexuals and pedophiles, too often mixup by the some people. Strong messages are delivered throughout the album, including a history lesson in the song 'DADT' (Don't Ask Don't Tell). Highlights of the album are the upbeat 'Love and Tolerance', 'Letter To Bruce Golding', 'I Am Who I Am' and the first single and videoclip 'Gay Bulling'. The album is available to purchase on cdbaby.com and cduniverse.com. (more on the links below)
(Press Release) (The Voice) (Gay Jamaica Watch) (UrbanIslandz) (VIDEOCLIP: Gay Bulling) (VIDEOCLIP: Love And Tolerance)
(www.MistaMajahP.com) (STORE: CDBaby) (STORE: CD Universe)
July 30, 2011: Beenie Man retrieves US visa
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Internationally renowned Dancehall artiste, Moses "Beenie Man" Davis has gotten back his United States visa after being unable to travel to the country for the last 15 months. The "Go Go Club" deejay was one of four prominent Dancehall artistes who had their visas cancelled by the United States Embassy in Kingston back in April 2010; including artistes such Mavado, Bounty Killer & Aidonia. The move, made for reasons unknown, severely damaged both earning potential and marketability of Dancehall artistes on an international scale given they could not travel to the States to build their brands. However, Beenie Man was issued & collected a ten year visa to the United States this morning. In a statement released on Friday evening, Beenie Man expressed gratitude to the United States government & the U.S embassy in Jamaica for what he claimed was their renewed faith in him by allowing him the ability to once again travel to the United States. Beenie also expressed his commitment decency and family values as core factors of Jamaican Dancehall/Reggae music. Beenie Man's retrieval of a U.S visa comes just over three weeks after the aforementioned Mavado had been issued his United States visa. (more on the link below)
August 5, 2011: Boom Bye Bye riddim played at Capleton's festival 'A St Mary Mi Come From'
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Gray's Inn Sport Complex in Annotto Bay was transformed into a fiery furnace as the Prophet Capleton and his friends demonstrated two things at the stageshow, A St Mary Mi Come From – how to really bun bad mind and how to truly celebrate unity. Without a doubt, the tenth anniversary of this festival of fire, staged on Friday night will long be remembered... But, as night turned to day, it became clear that that performance was just a lighter flame compared to the raging fire that billowed soon after... Then, the human cannonball erupted on stage in the form of King Shango himself (aka Capleton), who just had to turn the fire up even more as he cried "Slew dem!" King Shango's energy is limitless and the combination of Sizzla, Bounty and Capleton on stage was electrifying. An awesome celebration of unity in the music... I nto this mix strolled on stage the Gangsta Ras, Munga Honourable and again things continued to get real hot round here. And when the fire really and truly could not get any hotter, there was only one thing left to do. Round up all battyman and 'fling dem' into the fiery furnace … to be eternally cleansed. Of course, only one song could be used to celebrate this momentous occasion. The anti-battyman anthem was rolled out and polished to perfection as Ruff Kut Band played the riddim almost with reverence: Boom bye bye inna batty bwoy head, Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man, Dem haffi dead." Gray's Inn had no choice but to "tun right ova". Hands in the air as gun fingers shot up and gun salutes rang out; flags waved with gusto and patrons were stirred into a frenzy as they fully appreciated significance of it all. (more on the link below)
PERSONNAL COMMENT: Appartently Capleton has tone done his anti-gay message with his new album 'I-Ternal Fire' (July 2010, VP Records). Some may wonder how much he decided to move on with his career and stop promoting discrimination and violence. For instance, the song 'Slew Dem' performed during this concert is an anti-gay song. To which extend he has a word to say to what the Ruff Kut Band played at his festival is unknown (refering to Boom Bye Bye). There is an interview with Mutabaruka posted on August 4, 2012 that confirms that he hasn't changed much is views in recent years. Probably only chosing his song more carefuly when performing overseas, but still this would need to be double checked.
August 10, 2011: Bounty Killer European Tour cancelled
According to the link below, there was a European Tour scheduled for Bounty Killer. The venues were schedules in Italy, Germany, Switzerlandand and Sweeden and maybe more European countries. According to an intervention by Zurich county MP Roland Munz of Stop Murder Music Zurich, Bounty Killer refusal to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act (and respect it), pressure was put in place so the artist wound't be allowed to perform in Zurich. Similar actions were taken by LGBT groups in Italy, Germany and Switzerland.
NOTE: To my knowledge, this European Tour only featured four dates: August 14, 2011: Termoli, Italy (Villa Paraiso), August 19, 2011: Berlin, Germany (Calabash Club), August 20, 2011: Zurich, Switzerland (Club Zurich) and August 25, 2011: Stockholm, Sweeden (Club Kolingsborg). The letter published in Changes.org also mentionned the Chiemsee Reggae Summer 2011 (August 26-28), but this concert doesn't have Bounty Killer listed (only Capleton in term of artists related to the RCA). Capleton performed on August 26, 2011 without cancellation. If know more tour dates, please contact me and I will ad them. (more on the link below)
August 16, 2011: VP Records producer's Joel Chin murdered in Jamaica
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: The 35-year-old producer, who also headed up VP's Artiste and Repertoire department, was reportedly shot and killed as he drove into the driveway of his Stony Hill apartment in St Andrew on Tuesday night. According to reports, Chin died instantly. VP Records, whose roster boasts artistes, including Beres Hammond, Tarrus Riley and Etana, released a statement saying: "It is with great sadness that VP Records must announce the passing of Joel Chin at the age of 35. Joel was shot last night (Tuesday, August 16) outside his home in Stony Hill, St Andrew, in Jamaica. The cause was not immediately known."The grandson of VP Records founder Vincent Chin, son of famed reggae producer Clive Chin and nephew of the owners of VP Records, Chris and Randy Chin, Joel literally grew up in the reggae business and put his vast knowledge and connections at the service of the music he loved passionately."The statement continued: "An accomplished producer, Joel had moved from New York to Jamaica two years ago to spend more time on music production, songwriting and developing rising talent. Joel wrote hit songs for many artistes, such as Elephant Man and Etana, among many others. Chin was also responsible for The Reggae Gold and Strictly The Best series from VP. (more on the link below)
PERSONNAL COMMENT: I think this news belong on the website. Although I'm greatly disapointed with VP Record's attitude in this conflict, It is important for me to mention that I do not rejoice when I learn about Joel Chin's death. I sincerely whish that he was able to realised some of the mistakes he have done before he passed away. To the same extend, I don't rejoice when I see Buju Banton going to Jail. I never whish the worst for the people I disagree with. What I whish, from the bottom of my heart, is that, as a collectivity, we can mature and focus in making this conflict something of the past.
(Jamaica Gleaner 1) (Jamaica Gleaner 2)
August 26, 2011: Jamaica Observer finally talks about Mista Majah P
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: British-based gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, has come out in support of Jamaican Reggae artiste Mista Majah P, who has released what is reportedly the first pro-gay Reggae album, entitled 'Tolerance'."Jamaican reggae singer Mista Majah P has released the world's first pro-gay reggae album. Called Tolerance and featuring rainbow stripes on the cover, the album includes 11 songs, variously in support of same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples, as well as attacks on homophobic bullying and the US military policy, Don't Ask Don't Tell. The tracks also feature swipes at the anti-gay prejudices of 'murder music' reggae singer Beenie Man and of the Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding," said Tatchell. Mista Majah P: "My hope is that this CD, 'Tolerance', will break down the homophobic stance that certain reggae artists and heads of government have taken towards the LGBTQ community. Because of the hateful songs that some performers have been singing, gay people have been threatened and harmed. Some foolish people act upon what these artists are preaching because they worship these artists like gods. My music is about tolerance. It shows that reggae music can respect gay and lesbian people. Reggae music used to be about love, peace and unity. Now it is too often about bigotry and violence. I want to bring the music back to its progressive roots," he added. (more on the link below)
(Jamaica Observer) (RJR94FM) (ReggaeTelevision.com)
August 27, 2011: Sizzla Tour cancelled in Europe?
YardFlex wrote that a Europeen Tour for Sizzla would have been cancelled. But they only mantion one Festival in Germany: The Chiemsee Reggae Summer Festival. (more research should be done about this news...)
September 3, 2011: Australian reggae artist King B-Fine talks about controversial song
At the end of the song Jah No Dead, the Australian reggae artist King B-Fine sang the line"bun chi chi man", which seems to have caused some controversy. He later explained that he wasn't attacking the gay community. The video Jah No Dead was posted on YouTube on November 25, 2010. The the line "bun chi chi man" is censored in that specific version of the clip. Not long after the clip was released, he posted the following written apology on YouTube: "Greetings in the name of Jah Rastafari, I would like to make myself clear; in this new video clip, at the end of the video I sing burn down (Chi Chi Man) and what I mean is to burn down all the bad people (child molesters, gangsters, rapist, people who destroy the life of another), please everyone am sorry if what you understand was wrong, but I have nothing against same sex, please don't get me wrong. I believe that everyone is equal. One love". On September 2nd, King B-Fine has declined to sing the song in Sydney, instead recording a YouTube video in which he says he has nothing against gay people. ....[Worth watching]
NOTE: For once, we witness a real apology. Nothing like the fake PR statements made in the past by targeted artists that cound't performed overseas. Big up to you King B-Fine, I love sincerity and can see it in your eyes.
(King B-Fine message on YouTube) (VIDEO: Jah No Dead) (King B-Fine webpage)
September 8, 2011: Tony Matterhorn's Dancehall Duppy trilogy song
I was searching the web trying to figure out if Tony Matterhorn's song Dancehall Dyppy was refering to the gay community. It seems more to be a song that attack some of his fellow jamaican artists that he thinks are gay. TEXT FROM BLOG: Tony Matterhorn who recently completed a stint in the United Kingdom has released a new single dissing fellow entertainers Beenie Man, Khago and Twin of Twins. The insult laced song titled 'Dancehall Duppy Pt.3 (Porky's Revenge)' sees the man from mars taking some serious lyrical shots at the three reffering to Beenie Man as the 'Queen of The Dancehall', Khago as a 'Hairdresser caught in a compromising position' and Twins of Twins as homosexuals with the line 'Google it Gay inna dem last name.' (more on the link below)
(PrismMarketingBlog) (OutARoad) (SoundVillage)
September 20, 2011: Third official video for Mista Majah P album Tolerance
First there was the video for the song 'Rights' that came out in October 2010. Then the album Tolerance featuring 'Rights' along with ten other pro-gay songs. When the album was issued in late July, not long after, Mista Majah P released his second video for the catchy song 'Gay Bulling' (released August 19, 2011). Now he offers a third video: this time it's about the removal of Bill Clinton's law Don't Ask Don't Tell, related to gays serving in the US Army. The release date of the video (September 20th) coincide with the official removal of DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell). TEXT FROM WIKIPEDIA: In his 2008 election campaign, President Barack Obama advocated a full repeal of the laws barring homosexuals from serving in the military. On October 10, 2009, Obama stated in a speech before the Human Rights Campaign that he will end the ban, but offered no timetable. As president, Obama said in his first State of the Union Address in 2010, "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are." On May 27, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Murphy amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act... President Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sent the certification required by the Repeal Act to Congress on July 22, 2011, setting the end of DADT for September 20, 2011. NOTE: There is also a non-official videoclip for the song 'Love And Tolerance'.
(VIDEO: Don't Ask Don't Tell) (Wikipedia: Don't Ask Don't Tell)
(VIDEO: Gay Bullying) (VIDEO: Rights) (VIDEO: Love And Tolerance)
(RADIO INTERVIEW (October 2nd): Caribbean Radio Show)
October 11, 2011: One Blood: Youth Linked In Action– documentary on HIV and AIDS
TEXT FROM PRESS RELEASE: Capturing the voices of youth in Jamaica and the Caribbean Diaspora in Canada, the 'One Blood: Youth Linked in Action' documentary will take you into the hearts, experiences and struggles of those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. Recognizing the synergy of youth from diverse backgrounds, this 20-minute documentary explores the links between the two countries, acknowledging the bond that ties everyone together. What are youth misconceptions, perceptions and responses to HIV and AIDS? How do music and gender roles contribute to its spread? Prepare for an emotional journey as these and other questions are answered, showcasing the sights and sounds of different young people and the work of a variety of organizations who are active in the response against HIV and AIDS.
October 13, 2011: Coca-Cola's Inadequate Response to its Sponsorship of Murder Music
Following Sizzla's homophobic performance in Montego Bay on April24, 2011.OPEN LETTER FROM ACTIVISTS: In late April, Coke sponsored a concert in Jamaica that headlined notoriously homophobic artists. Since then, AIDS-FREE WORLD has attempted to engage the conscience and attention of Coke on this matter. Coca-Cola is in a position to take a leading corporate role and make a significant difference in fighting the homophobia that fuels the AIDS pandemic—if they choose to do so. Coca-Cola needs to act NOW in unmistakable and unfaltering ways to repair the harm wrought by its material support for murder musicians. Coca-Cola's response must be stronger, louder, more effective, more meaningful and more lasting than the homophobic mayhem produced by the murder music industry. The Coca-Cola Company's sponsorship of any murder music is inexplicable and their inaction in remedy is inexcusable.'
(AIDSFreeWorld.org) (Jamaica Gleaner)
October 18, 2011: Two violent deaths based on sexual orientation within three months
TEXT FROM OPEN LETTER: (Jamaica) During its evening newscast on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, CVM TV reported on the gruesome early morning home invasion and murder of 16-year old Oshane Gordon in the district of New England in Lilliput, St. Elizabeth. According to the news report, the youngster, who had previously been threatened, was killed because of questionable relations with another man. As he tried to escape through a window, Oshane was first chopped on his foot to prevent him from going far. When Oshane's attackers caught up with their prey, they finished him off with several more chops. His mother who was at home with him also received several chops and is now nursing serious injuries. This is the second homophobic murder that CVM has reported in three months. The other occurred in Torrington Park, Kingston on August 2, 2011... (more on the link below)
(Jamaica Western Mirror)
NOTE: Jamaica is regarded as one of the most homophobic countries in the world, where at least 35 people have been murdered because of their sexuality since 1997. This letter was penned by Maurice Tomlinson, who won the firs David Kato Vision and Voice Award on December 15, 2011. (Care2)
October 29, 2011: Mista Majah P new videoclip: Letter To Bruce Golding
Mista Majah P strikes again. His new videoclip for the song 'Letter To Bruce Golding' is now on rotation on YouTube. It addresses several issues that Jamaican governement cannot even address: gay bashing, violence, suicide, crossdressing, religious zeal and the counter parts: reaching out, love and tolerance. Gurantee to make people reflect about the situation. Fictive cabinet of Intolerance: Bruce Golding: Mister of Homophobia, Beenie Man: Minister of Bigotry, Buju Banton: Minister of Death, Bounty Killer: Minister of Hate, Capleton: Minister of Discrimination, Sizzla: Minister of Intolerance, Elephant Man: Minister of Fear, Vybz Kartel: Minister of Deception. The video closes with a question to the new Prime Minister Andrew Holness. See May 20, 2008 in this section for more details of Bruce Golding speech 'No homosexuals in my cabinet'.
(VIDEO: Letter To Bruce Golding) (ORIGINAL INTERVIEW: BBC News – Hard Talk)
November 11, 2011: Mavado joins Stop The Bleeding campaign
This is not related to the Stop Murder Music Campaign. This new campaign in St. Croix, Virgin Island doesn't seems to inlcude LGBT. See article below.
November 25, 2011: Coca-Cola letter of 'excuses' for promoting Sizzla's concert in Montego Bay
On April 24, while performing in Montego Bay, Sizzla performed the controversial song Boom Bye Bye, previously written and recorded by Buju Banton in 1992. The song advertised murder of gay men. Coca-Cola was the sponsor of the festival. LGBT have engagend with a long exchange of letter with the soft drink company. On November 25, Coca-Cola printed an apology letter in the three main Jamaican newspapers. See April 24 for more information on that performance.
(Jamaica Gleaner) (Jamaica Observer) (Jamaica Star)
December 01, 2011: Isreal Vibration nominated for a Grammy
The list of the five nominees for the Best Reggae album of the year are: Harlem-Kingston Express Live! (by Mounty Alexander), Reggae Knights (by Israel Vibration), Revelation Pt. 1 – The Root Of Life (by Stephen Marley), Wild And Free (by Ziggy Marley) and Summer In Kingston (by Shaggy). Nomination process: Record companies and individuals may submit recordings to be nominated. Nominations are made online and a physical copy of the work is sent to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Once a work is entered, reviewing sessions are held, by more than 150 experts from the recording industry, to determine whether the work is eligible and entered in the correct category for official nomination... After nominees have been determined, final voting ballots are sent to Recording Academy members, who may then vote in the general fields and in no more than eight of the 30 fields. NARAS members are encouraged, but not required, to vote only in their fields of expertise. (more from Wikipedia).The winner for Best New Reggae Album will be announced in at the Pre-Telecast Ceremony on Feb, 12, 2012. The 54th Grammys air on CBS.
PERSONNAL COMMENT: I'm a fan of Israel Vibration music... I have most of their albums and must say that they are among the best reggae bands from the 70's. Unfortunately, their latest album Reggae Knights includes the homophobic song
'If You Do Bad' (lyrics: Do You remember the downfal of Sodom And Gomorrah, do you remember the things they used to do, if you do bad it's gonna follow you, if you do good, it gonna take you through, man a sleep with man, woman a sleep with woman, bad situation they bring to the land). As far as I know, this is the only homophobic song that they wrote in their 34-year career. It's important to mention that we are far from the violent lyrics sang by some dancehall artists, but that song does reinforce discrimination. Israel Vibration is entitled to their own interpretation of the Bible. Some people who have studied these religious texts, reply that nowhere in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah it's written that men were sleeping with men and women were sleeping with women, this was left to preachers interpretation. I'm not a religious person, and that is a very good example of why I stay away from religion... Let me ask this question, wasn't it this book written to unite people? If same sex couple were as bad as some people like to think, shouldn't it mentioned among the ten commendments given to Moses? Look at the situation: here we have Wiss and Skelly, what seems to be two of the most down to earth and nices guys in the reggae business. But thier interpretation of religion, indirectly, bring them to promote discrimination and hatered. Everyone, would benefit from having a gay friend, really and truly, to break down these false perceptions. I was very disapointed when I first learned about the existance of that song. Sadly, after learning about it's existance, I've lost some of my interest for their music. To the question, do they deserve a Grammy? My answer would be the following: they deserve a Life Achievement Award for their career or another album they did, but not for this one. As a society, why should we reward artists that promote discrimination? The people who works at the Grammy and similar award shows should review the criterias and listen to lyrics content before they include an album in a cathegory.
(VP Records News) (Grammy)
December 6, 2011: US to use foreign aid to promote gay rights
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience of diplomats in Geneva: "Gay rights are human rights". A memo from the Obama administration directs US government agencies to consider gay rights when making aid and asylum decisions.Similar policies already exist for gender equality and ethnic violence."It should never be a crime to be gay," Mrs Clinton said at the United Nations in Geneva, adding that a country's cultural or religious traditions was no excuse for discrimination. (more on the link below + video of Hillary Clinton's speech)
(BBC News) (The Guardiuan) (BBC News: Gay Rights: Africa the new frontiere) (BBC News: Nigerian leaders unite against same-sex marriages)(BBC News: Ghana gays 'will never be legal') (BBC News: Uganda fury at UK gay aid threat )
December 8, 2011: United Nation conference: Ending violence based on sexual orientation
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. Homophobic bullying of young people constitutes a "grave violation of human rights," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, urging States to take the necessary measures to protect their citizens from violence and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. "Bullying of this kind is not restricted to a few countries but goes on in schools and local communities in all parts of the world," Mr. Ban said in a message delivered by Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonovic to a panel discussion on ending violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation at UN Headquarters in New York.'(more on the link below)
(United Nation conference) (United Nation article)
December 9, 2011: J-FLAG Celebrates 13 Years of Promoting Tolerance for Gays
TEXT FROM PRESS RELEASE. Jamaica has come a long way in promoting respect and tolerance for the human rights of Jamaicans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) but much more needs to be done to make Jamaica a cohesive and just society where everyone can live, work and raise their family. J-FLAG was launched on December 10, 1998 as Jamaica's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocacy group by twelve business people, educators, lawyers, public relations practitioners and human rights activists to advocate for protection from statesanctioned and community violence. In this regard, J-FLAG's call was for the fair and equal treatment of gays and lesbians under the law and by the ordinary citizen. Thirteen years ago there were more dancehall and reggae artistes singing homophobic songs, more persons right to life was being violated because of their sexual orientation, the Commissioner of Police would never instruct police officers to respect the rights of all civilians, regardless of their sexual preference, political representatives would never meet with us and publicly support LGBT rights, the media would never openly advocate the repeal of the buggery law, and HIV programmes were not catering to the needs of gay, bisexual and other men who
have sex with men (MSM)... (more on the link below)
(J-FLAG Press Release)
(OCTOBER 26: Jamaica Sodomy Law gets first legal challenge)
(DECEMBER 15: Jamaican wins 'Visionary' LGBT activist award)
(JANUARY 13: Dealing with the gay rights issue)
(JANUARY 31: PM should decry homophobic bigotry)
(FEBRUARY 1: Elephant Man charged with rape)
January 14, 2012: Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel call out Jamaican government on buggery law
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Internationally acclaimed Reggae superstar, Queen Ifrica and Tony Rebelare 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 byTony Rebel, took place on the Reggae artiste's 50th birthday; producing a strong lineup card that included Romain Virgo, Capleton and several others. However, she got the loudest applause from fans when she called out Jamaica's Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller regarding 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. (more on the links below)
(Examiner) (Gay Jamaica Watch)
February 1, 2012: I-Wayne homophobic stage comments in California
It was reported that Jamaican artist I-Wayne made an homophobic speech durning his concerts in USA. He is about to start a European tour for the promotion of his latest album 'Life Teaching', issued this past October. Onstage in Berkeley, California (February 1), he said that he did not care if they took his visa away from him, but he wont stop talking about gays, refering to what happen to the visa of some reggae performers such as Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Mavado and Ricky Trooper (March 2010). I haven't found an article that printed his comments, but that was probably made during the song 'Burn Down Sodom'. The song features explicit lyrics that people may interprete as a call for violence. Lyrics are listed below. One of his concert is available online: Sandiego, California (January 26), you can find the link below and listen to track ten and make your own opinion. In this concert, he is not daring the removal of his visa, but he is clearly promoting intolerance. Amplifying the myth that Buju Banton's incarceration is related to a gay conspiracy. That type of speech is just filling animosity towards a minority that is already targeted by verbal and physical violence, specially in the Caribbean. By making a quick search on the Internet, I found two articles promoting his new album that have similar titles, the first one is 'Too much negative music', I-Wayne says 'Positive songs not being promoted' (?!?). And the second one: 'I-Wayne's 'Life Teachings' infuses Positive Messages'. Promoting hatered towards gays and lesbians in music and onstage is not very positive, at least not from my perspective. I-Wayne jump on the same bandwagon as predecesors and doesen't seems to care how much this can hurt a music industry that is already having trouble to survive because of the bad reputation aquire over the past decade related to the action of a few singers combined with the lost of revenues due to illegal download.
(LYRICS – Burn Down Sodom) (San Diego concert) (Tour Dates) (Jamaica Star) (Static Multimedia)
PERSONNAL COMMENT: I do not know much about I-Wayne's past homophobic performances, but it seems it's not the first time he uses his stage performance to promote hatered agains gays & lesbians. This is a comment found on a UnitedReggae forum made by ReggaeLover in October 2011: 'Unfortunately, last time I saw I Wayne perform he managed to turn his anthem Living in Love into an anti-gay hate tune, yelling "bun faggot" over and over and "bun dutty lessians"- he apparently does not even know how to say lesbian but does want them all to burn for their horrible sex crimes against his spiritual beliefs. He also decided a mellow lovers-type tune was appropriate time for a lecture on anal sex, creating very awkward vibes in the crowd. I used to dig I Wayne and his voice but his misplaced hate hung over his whole performance and I can't support this artist any more, at all. Just wanted to mention that he was not focused on "the acts themselves and not singling out any group" at the stage show we saw.
February 3, 2012: Man A Gallis documentary
'Man A Gallis: Risk Factors For HIV/AIDS in the Dancehall'. Interesting I don't know when it was first released, but it was posted on YouTube on February 3, 2012. Featuring Vybz Kartel, Beenie Man, Mr. Vegas, and Dancehall Queen Carlene. Produced and narrated by journalist Kalilah Enriquez. On Wikipedia, the following text can be read: In February 2012, CVM TV aired a documentary produced by Enriquez, entitled "Man a Gallis: Jamaican Dancehall and HIV/AIDS", which received critical acclaim. The documentary was also aired on Channel 7 in Belize. It was funded with a grant from Caribbean Broadcast Media Partners (CBMP) and is distributed by them.
(Man A Gallis documentary)
February 14, 2012: Google's St.Valentine's Day logo: Universal love
If you noticed, totay's Google logo is different for St.Valentine's Day. When you click on the logo, there will be a 1-minute animation. At the very end, you can see examples of universal love, including interracial men couple. Guarantee to engage conversations worldwide. On top of this message, there is also the very interesting concept that fight against the comercialisation of this holiday when you see that flowers and chocolate are not what it takes to win someone's love.
(LA Times) (Washington Post) (Some comments on Newsbusters)
March 18, 2012: Sizzla still performs 'Boom Bye Bye'
Sizzla made an acoustic performance at Club Privilege, New Kingston, on Sunday March 18. During this set he performed the homophobic tracks that preaches violence such as 'Karate' and 'Boom Bye Bye'. "Bun mi a bun fire now," he said, before doing a mix of Free Me and Buju Banton's Boom Bye Bye. Sizzla performed that controversial song at least twice in the past year. Previously was 11 months ago, at Coke-Cola Zero Live On The Waterfront, in Montego Bay. The Coca-Cola company released a statement this past November, excusing themsleves for sponsoring an event where violence was targeted towards sexual minorities. "One artist unfortunately and unexpectedly performed an unacceptable and offensive song caling for violence against people based on sexual orientation... we do not want music events we sponsor to be used as platforms for espousing hatered and promoting disctimination or violence". Now it's turn to club owners in Jamaica to act towards a similar strategy.
ACTION: contact Club Privilege and let them know how you feel. Sizzla dosen't deserve a plaform for promoting violence. The main email doesn't seems to work, but Kurt Reid and Natesha Smith emails seems to work.
See also the charity event 'A St Mary Mi Come From' in August for more anti-gay songs performed by Sizzla.
March 19, 2012: Sizzla cancelled in Sweden and in Spain
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. Reggae musician Sizzla has had the Swedish leg of his European tour cancelled on account of the anti-gay lyrics which feature in his music.Sizzla Kalonji was scheduled to perform later this month in Stockholm but public condemnation of the artist, whose lyrics have incited violence against gay people, led organisers to call off the date, The Local reports.Other concerts in the tour are still planned for Italy, France, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands and Spain. A second concert was cancelled, the one scheduled in Malaga, Spain on April 14, 2012 Durning his first European concert in Milan (March 23), he performed the homophobic son TO THE POINT (see link lower) The songs starts at 1m39.
(Pink News) (Dancehall World) (Jamaica Observer 1) (Jamaica Observer 2) (Sizzla European Tour Dates)
(MILAN CONCERT: To The Point) (Lyrics to GET TO THE POINT) (Jamaica Observer Cartoon)
PERSONNAL COMMENT: On March 23, the promotional team behind Sizzla's European Tour forseen that the performance of 'Boom Bye Bye' on March 18 (see upper) could drastically affect their tour and decided to make a press release dubbed "Sizzla Official Satement". Be careful, this is just another fake statement trying to disuade club owners when LGBT groups will duely request that Sizzla's concerts be cancelled. Sizzla's knows exactly what he is doing when he perform the song 'Boom Bye Bye', it has nothing to do with pedophily. The song itself refers to gay men and have a 20-year history of violence behind it. If you are unsure, consult the section 'APOLOGY' of this website, where you will find over 20 fake PR statements like this one that were published by promoters/record labels over the years. In most of the case, not long after releasing such statements, the artsits were still performing music advcating violence to gay men. In solidarity with the difficult situation that gays and lesbians have to face daily in the Caribbean, club owners should responsibilize themselves by not providing a platform to a singer that promote violence. It is not OK to allow singers to perform 'Murder Music' in the Caribbean and to welcome them in Europe/America with special clause in their contract requesting those songs to be omited.
I posted a comment on the website that promote 'Sizzla Official Statement' but it was removed. Talk about censorship. They are claming that LGBT organisation that request concerts of singers that promote violence to be cancelled to be censorship but they can't even let people express themselves on their forum. It really shows that the website that hold that 'official' statement is not a serious website. (my comment removed from UrbanBossWordpress)
March 21, 2012: Petition: 'Say No to Hate Music'
Petition lauched by a gay activist from New York requesting that Sizzla's european tour to be cancelled.
(Petition on Change.org)
March 28, 2012: Chantelle Ernandez and the project 'Reggae Against Intolerance'
Jamaican female singer Chantelle Ernandez colaborated for the video 'Reggae Against Intolerance', a project made by the organizers of the Italian reggae festival Rototom SunSplash (now host in Spain for a second consecutive year). The clip seems to have been filmed in August 2011, at the 18th Edition of the festival. and was use as a tool to promote tolerance towards racism, homophobia and marginalized groups. TEXT FROM ROTOTOM PRESS RELEASE: Tthe festival will produce a video clip, called "Reggae Against Intolerance", which will be presented and distributed in schools all over Spain, in cooperation with 'Movimiento contra la intolerancia' (Movement Against Intolerance). Chantelle: "While I was at Rototom I was approached to do a video-message against intolerance, but at the time it seemed to be more of a message against homosexual intolerance. I didn't have a problem becoming a part of it because I don't believe in discrimination on any level, even though I felt it could get me some heat from my fellow musicians and fellow Jamaicans. I believe in One Love, which is something people use loosely but I believe when Bob said it he meant love and accept people regardless of race, religion, belief, of whatever you might deem to be different. You don't have to be a part of their lifestyle but you don't have to hate them, disrespect them, disregard their feelings. In being a strong believer of the One Love philosophy I felt like it was the right thing to do." (more on the United Reggae interview)
Unfortunately, not much information seems to be available on the Internet on this video message, but I will make a deeper research soon.
(United Reggae) (Rototom 2011 PRESS RELEASE) (United Against Intolerance)
March 28, 2012: Sizzla won't perform in Spain and Sweden: Four more cancelled
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Sizzla was scheduled to play in Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona in April in a tour that also included stops in at least seven other European countries, but online petitions and an email campaign led by the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transexuals, and Bisexuals forced their cancellation. In fact, the Barcelona concert hall Apolo last week said it had sent officials a copy of the contract, "signed by the artist and the promoter," with a list of the songs. Lyrics with homophobic content or inciting hatred were "expressly excluded."But on Wednesday, Apolo too cancelled the concert. Gay rights advocates in Spain claimed victory, saying their petitions were signed by almost 40,000 people. Of 18 clubs that booked Sizzla, at least one more in Sweden has canceled Sizzla's show, according to local press reports. Alleged homophobic lyrics from Sizzla's song "Pump Up," were posted with a petition on Change.org. It's not the first time Sizzla, whose birth name is Miguel Collins has faced cancellations. Concerts in Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom have been canceled in the past and some of his albums are banned in some countries, although he has performed in Spain in the past. After being cancelled once in Stockholm, Sweden, the organizers of european tour rescheduled the concert at a different club, but it was cancelled for a second time: "We are cancelling Sizzla's concert tonight, March 28, at Slakthuset (The Slaughterhouse) despite the fact that this will entail a financial loss for us," Slakthuset said in a statement, insisting "we are against racism, we are against sexism and we are against homophobia". It was printed in some medias that the concert in Lisbon, Portugal was cancelled, but the concert did happend. (see March 19 for mor details)
(Billboard) (Expresso 1) (Expresso 2) (Channel Africa) (Jamaica Observer) (Sizzla European Tour Dates)
VIDEO OF THE PROTEST: (Lisbon 1) (Lisbon 2) (Netherland)
And a press release with false information from the promoter JahLive that states that Sizzla is no longer singing homophobic lyrics. Just as stated on March 18 (with link that proves it), Sizzla performed the hyper-violent song 'Boom Bye Bye', penned by Buju Banton in 1992 and that has a 20-year history of controversy. Here is the statement: Promoter Statement
March 30, 2012: Reggae Road Block: Censorship on reggae forums
PERSONNAL EXPERIENCES: Following Sizzla's European tour, I've posted several comments on european reggae websites criticizing the fake 'Sizzla Official Statement'. Within four websites, two of them have removed my comments. The first one being UrbanBossWorldpress (see upper). I reposted it a second time, insisting on the term CENSORSHIP and they finally didn't removed it. Now it's turn to Reggaeville.com to removed two of my statements. Their excuse: there was one message containing hatered (placed between the two that I wrote) and by misguard, while removing the unapropriate comment (probably the one by RastafariSoulJah), they've erased my two comments. By chance, I do keep a copy of the messages that I sent, as I know the patern. I tryed to repost them, but the site woudn't let me do it. Contacted the staff and they replied that the forum will no longer exist and that eventually only people who subscribe to Facebook can leave feedback. I'm stronlgy against subscribing to Facebook. I hope this is not where this world is heading... To them I say, if you are blocking me to express myself (even temporarily!?) while Sizzla is currently on tour in Europe: why don't you remove that fake Sizzla's Official Statement where nobody can comment it? Everyday, reggae fans are probably purchasing several hundred tickets from Sizzla's tour, so event temporary is unacceptable. After several mails of complain, the staff finally aggred to post back the comments. I even came across a similar situation while commenting I-Wayne's homophobic tour on the website UnitedReggae in February. My message was deleted one month after posting. I was explained that the writer of the concert review (one of their staff) didn't want to be involve with anti-gay battle and asked his review to be removed. By doing so, my comment and the one from ReggaeLover were lost. I complained and was able to repost my comment on another I-Wayne page of their website. Even if we reached an agreement and the person that I exchanged emails with was nice, it's time consuming to engage in such a debate, keep copy of comments and to repost them.
In September 2006, ReggaeFrance.com asked me to collaborate on their website by writing a dossier on Homophobia in Dancehall music, a task that I took very seriously and worked on for over 40 hours. After many revisions (requested by them), they always found excuses to postpone the inclusion of the dossier on their website, which was never included. When it comes to censorship, YardFlex is doing a very great job. In 2006, when I first started to write comments on their site, their staff would immediately remove them. In years that followed, the situation got better, but lately I had a similar experience when I challenged them about why they were not covering the album Tolerance by Mista Majah P. The Gleaner, The Observer and The Stars (three Jamaican newspapers), on frequent basis, have not let me comment their articles and none of them ever published the link for my website and believe me, I've been posting that link many times on their forums. Just recently, it's YouTube that removed the videoclip that I've done to promote this website. That clip wason YouTube since October 2007 and without being given a reason, the clip was removed! Jamaican artist Mista Majah P also faced censorship by the reggae industry when he promoted his album Tolerance in August/September 2011: no reggae website even dare to mention his work!!! He sent Press Release to all of them and the album was ignored. That is not a small subject: violence promoted towards LGBT has been happening for over 20 years in Dancehall music. How can you ignore a musician that have the guts to speak against it and devote a whole album and make four videoclips? Why? Simply because reggae websites don't want to 'offend' their listeners by showing they support artist who speaks about gay rights.The following websites all ignored the released of his album, some of them were even contacted more than once: Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica Star, YardFlex, UnitedReggae, ReggaeFrance, Reggae.fr, Reggaeville, The Uprising (a radio show from California). I'm puzzled that the The Uprising ignored the press release and the invitation to have Mista Majah P on the show or even play his music, has the show ran an important interview with J-FLAG on homophobia in reggae music in February 2002. Only non-reggae vebsites accepted to promoted him, like The Voice, Urban Islandz and Justice And Just Us (KUCI). It's pathetic that the majority of reggae/dancehall websites are promoting artists that call for violence, and sometimes with major promotion. You just need to visit ReggaeFrance and Reggaeville to see the exposure that they are giving to Sizzla during his tour. Four years ago, Elephant Man and Demarco released the video 'Our World'. I never tought that I would witness violence towards LGBT to such a degree. All those websites are still promoting Elephant Man. To them, I ask the question: What are your really doing to improve the situation? It's about time that this industry responsibilze itself. If you are part of the staff of these websites and would like to express yourself about this issue, write me and I will include it in this specific section.
March 30, 2012: Mista Majah P release new single Karma
What goes around, comes around: Karma. Jamaican singler Misata Majah P strikes again with a new single that denounce violence against gay people by Jamaican artists. The song is brand bew and not featured on the album Tolerance released in August 2011 Mista Majah P points out troubles that dancehall artists faced after promoting violence towards the gay community. Buju Banton sentenced to ten years in prison, Fiscality problems for Bounty Killer, Elephant Man (dubbed 'The Energy God' (!!)) accused of electricity theft, Shabba Rank international career mashed up, Sizzla in hospital after bike crash, Vybz Kartel charged with murder.
(Videoclip KARMA) (Front CD sleeve) (complete sleeve with lyrics)
PERSONNAL COMMENT: This song is among my favorite song penned by the artist. Love the change of outfits to fit the artists he is mimicking. Although it's kind of funny to see Elephant Man, aka 'Energy God' being accused of steeling electricity, I would have used a different headline: he was charged with rape in February 2012.
May 2, 2012: The documentrary 'Taboo Yardies' is presented at Miami LGBT Film Festival
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: It took four years, cost her friends and family and almost the roof over her head, but Queens based documentary filmmaker Selena Blake got her latest project done. The film, "Taboo Yardies," about homophobia in Jamaica, West Indies, and its costs to the island nation, is well worth the wait. It's a powerful collection of haunting images, each more powerful, and memorable, than the last: the anger in the voices of two pre-teen boys lounging on the steps of a darkened house as they disdainfully assert that gay men should be stoned; the middle-aged man who describes how he, newly arrived in New York, saw two men kissing near Penn Station and his amazement when his brother stopped him from looking for a brick to throw at them, saying "they don't do that here." She announced plans for "Taboo Yardies" in 2008, expecting to complete the project in a year. But the project, which involved several trips to the island and others to California and Massachusetts to interview Jamaicans who had left the country, proved more daunting than anticipated. "This is an important work," said R. O'Gilvie Brammer, who hopes to screen the film at the Jamaica Diaspora US North East Region — a group of more than 500 Jamaicans who live outside the island — June 16 meeting in Boston. Blake found most of the homosexual and transgender people who appear in the film and still live in Jamaica through word of mouth, and spent hours convincing many of them to appear in the movie. Blake said even though their faces and voices were digitally altered in the film, several people have asked to be taken out of the finished product for fear of reprisals. (more on the link below)
(New York Daily News) (official website) (TRAILER)
It seems the official first screening of the final documentary was at Anna Maria College in Massachusett, on February 15, 2012. The first screening at a festival would be Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival on May 2nd, 2012. By looking at the website, a lot more festivals are coming: Framline Film Festival (San Francisco), Outfest Film Festival (Los Angeles), Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival, Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (South Africa).... On numerous occasions I've posted information about this documentary in HISTORY & NEWS section (June 2008, April 2009 and June 2009)
May 8, 2012: Two concerts cancelled for Bounty Killer in Europe
Jamaican dancehall singler Bounty Killer has been away from toruing America and Europe for a while now. Last year, according to my research, all of his European dates were cancelled. He is starting a ten-date European tour on May 9. The first concert in Switzerland was cancelled due to LGBT pressure. Bounty Killer never signed the Reggae Compassionate Act and is still promoting violence towards gays and lesbians, therefore LGBT demand that European authorities should not allow him a visa for touring until he make public appearance denouncing violence. A second concert was cancelled in Austria, scheduled for May 21st. In Paris, he will share the satge with Anthony B and Admiral T, two artists that promoted homophobia in past songs Admiral T made clear statement that he moved on from these texts. Anthony B also seems to have stopped promoting intolerance.
PERSONNAL COMMENT: Think twice before you invest money in artists that promote violence. We need promoters with human values and don't contract these artitsts (refering to Bounty Killer in this case). It's not good enough to put in a contract that you aren't allowed to perform a certain type of song. Those artists performed these deadly homophobic songs in the Caribbean. It's time for promoters to RESPONSIBILIZE themselves, by not inviting these artists. Let 'One Love' be more than a motto to cash in money during a summer festival.
(Bounty Killer European Tour)
May 14, 2012: Important statement from Beenie Man
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: A spokesperson for the Rototom Sunsplash festival says Beenie Man's olive branch to gays last week took "incredible courage" and is calling on Jamaican artistes to follow the deejay's lead by mending fences with the homosexual community. Filippo Giunta is CEO of the show which has its 19th renewal August 16-22 in Benicassim, Spain. Beenie Man, one of the headline acts, reached out to gays in a video message posted on the festival's website. In it, he expressed remorse for hostile comments made about homosexuals in some of his songs. He said the songs were done over 20 years ago when he was a misguided youth. "The artiste surpassed himself. Not everybody is capable of exposing hemselves personally to try to eradicate a cultural taboo, especially in a country where being gay is not only condemned by religion, but is also a criminal offence," Giunta told Splash. Giunta says his team recently contacted Beenie Man's European agent for their client to record a "clear and definitive" video message that "could not lead to any misrepresentation." He said Beenie Man responded instantly and agreed to record the four minute-long message three months before the week-long festival. It is the clearest move by a dancehall artiste at some form of compromise with gays. (more on the link below)
PERSONNAL COMMENT: It's an important move... And I applaud his courage for doing this. But let's put everything into perspective, those songs were not done 20 years ago: majority of them were done between 1998 and 2006. According to my research, the last time that Beenie Man promoted violence is during a concert in Uganda in December 2009. From my perspectiuve, LGBT organisations should welcome this statement as a concrete proof of someone who wants to change his ways and leave the past behind. That's probably the best compromise we can reach between dancehall artists and gays & lesbians organisations. Let's hope that more dancehall singers will have the enlightment of walking into that direction. Let's also hope that LGBT groups around the globe can also give him credit and stop targetting his concerts. My only suggestion is that J-FLAG should be contacted before doing any move towards his career at his point to validate if the he still respect his words. Beenie Man should be allowed to performed without any protest as a symbol to welcome s solution. Nobody benefit from an eternal conflict. Sadly, the singer gave an interview in Jamaica a few days later (RJR News, May 21st) mentionning that he never apologize. Moses, you just lost half of the credit for saying that.
(STATEMENT FROM BEENIE MAN) (Jamaica Observer) (RJR News) (Jamaica Star) (Dancehall Artists Reaction)
May 21, 2012: Elephant Man in court for Rape Charge
Elephant Man is to return to court on June 28 where the deejay is expected to answer to charges of grievous sexual assault and rape. The case was put off this morning. The charges stem from an alleged incident at his St. Andrew home this year. Investigators said a woman filed a police report claiming that the "Energy God" sexually assaulted her. The police said detectives assigned to the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse conducted investigations, which led to Elephant Man being arrested earlier this year (January 30). Following a question-and-answer session in the presence of his attorney, Ele was charged with grievous sexual assault and rape.
(IrieFM) (FEBRUARY 1: Elephant Man charged with rape)
May 22, 2012: Busy Signal facing Jamaica's extradition
Although Busy Signal did record a few homophobic songs in the past, but the reason is not connected to this issue.
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: US Covernment have accused Glendale Goshia Gordon (aka Busy Signal), who was a resident alien, of fleeing that country in 2002 before he could be sentenced on a cocaine charge in October that year. (more on the link below). An October article published in the same newspaper was already meantioning that a 'veteran entertainer' was among the targeted people.
(Jamaica Observer 1) (Jamaica Observer 2) (BillBoard) (OCTOBER 2011: Jamaica Observer)
May 22, 2012: Bounty Killer's 'unofficial' message towards his homophobic past
Bounty Killer is the only Jamaican artist that was targeted by OutRaged! Stop Murder Music 2004 campaign that haven't sigfned the Reggae Compassionate Act. Other artists have signed the act but have not respected it, except for Vybz Kartel (T.O.K. and Beenie Man are probably in a grey zone... J-FLAG must be contacted to get the official status). Over the years, the situation have simmer down, but some artists are reluctant, such as Sizzla who is still inciting violence (March 2012). After touring Europe and getting concerts cancelled this past month in Switzerland and Austria, Bounty Killer decided to expressed himself through an Internet blog/forum, writing with the pen name 'Grunggadzilla'. The message, written in broken English, mentions that he has no intention to issue an apology but that he felt sorry if he offended anyone (!!). He's asking LGBT groups to leave dancehall alone saying that they are affecting the music industry through their boycott. That he haven't promote violence towards gays in the past six or seven years* and in: "Dem get what dem want dancehall not putting out no music about killing gays no more niether none of us going on stage and say such things any more we may shun dem but diplomatically but no Inciting of Violence 4 the last 6-7yrs." Apparently the original source for this message is website named 'Media Box'. Bounty Killer message is also a responce to Beenie Man public statement made available on May 14 2012 (see upper).
*Just for the record: the last Bounty Killer song included on this website that deals with violence is 'Bullet Proof Skin' (2006) or 'Batty Bwoy Termination' (2007) which may be a remix of older songs. In April 2008, he incite violence onstage in Guyana. It's unsure if there was other violent message in songs or concerts after that.
PERSONNAL COMMENT: It's true that the violence directed at homosexuals through dancehall music was reduced over the years, but the fact remain: extreme violence is still happening towards the gay community in the Caribbean and elsewhere. Dancehall artists cannot act like they have nothing to do regarding this. This unofficial message posted on a forum will probably not be accepted by LGBT groups. If Bounty Killer really wants to make peace with the situation, his manager should contact J-FLAG to see what would be accepted as an official statement. From a personal point of view, I think the artist is walking in the right direction.
(Jamaican Dancehall Music) (SAME MESSAGE WITH TWEET: The Grestest News)
May 22, 2012: Gay wedding and black comic book characters
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Back in 1992, Marvel Comics made headlines by revealing that Northstar, a Canadian superhero associated with Alpha Flight and the X-Men, was gay. Twenty years later, the character is back in the news as he is set to wed his longtime partner Kyle in Astonishing X-Men #51, in stores on June 20th... SECOND ARTICLE: Archie Comics, the comic industry's embodiment of wholesome Americana, crossed an important bridge when it introduced its first gay character (September 2010), Kevin Keller. In Life With Archie no. 16, available for purchase today (January 5th, 2012), it takes an even bigger leap by featuring Keller's same-sex marriage. And to boot: Keller is a soldier injured in Iraq who meets his partner, an African-American doctor, while recuperating in the hospital. (more on the links below)
X-MEN: Alpha Flight wed Kyle Jinadu. ARCHIE: Kevin Keller wed Dr. Clay Walker
PERSONNAL COMMENT: Not related to dancehall but though it's quite interesting to see Marvel Comics and Archie Comics using African Descent gay characters and making stories that discuss comtemporary subjects like gay weddings. Why using black characters for homosexuals? Is this simply to promote two marginal things, meaning interracial couples and homosexual wedding, not that interracial couples are really marginal these days, but that's a way of promothing that love is universal. It would be interesting to read a study about this topic.
(Rolling Stones) (Hollywood Reporter) (The Guardian)
Blog studying African Descent comic book characters (CavemenGo Blogspot)
May 27, 2012: Legendary reggae singer from Israel Vibration promotes tolerance
I recenlty learned that Apple Gabriel from legendary group Israel Vibration made a neutral song promoting tolernce of gays and lesbians on his solo album 'Teach Them Right'. That is quite a statement in reggae standard. The album came out on November 15, 2010 and the song title is 'Give Them Love'. Apple Gabriel is now separated from the band Israel Vibration since 1997. That song goes into the opposite direction than the one made by Israel Vibration on their latest album named 'If You Do Bad', available on the 'Reggae Knights" album, which was strangely released also in November 2010.
PERSONNAL COMMENT: The only disapointment comes from the corrus 'Teach them right, Love will conquer hate, They will see the light'. That's assuming that gays and lesbians are doing something wrong. Apart from that, considering the context: a song penned by a reggae singer who embraces rastafarian faith and preaches a form of 'neutrality' towards homosexuality is an important move for reggae music. You can read more about Israel Vibration 'Reggae Nights', by visiting this same section, in the news written December 1, 2011.
(GIVE THE LOVE lyrics) (Press Release) (MySpace Apple Gabriel) (Album Review)
June 1, 2012: When pop music promotes gay tolerance
Not related to dancehall music, but tought of sharing this videoclip: 'Et Alors!' by French artist SHY'M.
June 5, 2012: Beenie Man's USA Work Permit Reinstated
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Two years after his USA work permit was initially cancelled, controversial DJ Beenie Man, aka Moses Davis will return to the USA for a performance at the inaugural 'Groovin In The Park' concert on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at Roy Wilkins Park, Queens, NY. Beenie Man was one of five top Jamaican entertainers whose visas and work permits were revoked by the Embassy of the United States in Kingston, Jamaica in April 2010. "I am extremely excited to announce that our booking agent here in New York was able to secure a work permit for the dancehall king Beenie Man to be a headline performer at this year's 'Groovin In the Park' concert on July 1," and elated Christopher Roberts, CEO of Groovin Inc., parent company of Groovin In The Park said. (more on the link below)
(PRESS RELEASE on PRWeb) (SUMMER SCHEDULE: Jamaica Star)
June 21, 2012: Buju Vows To Continue Legal Fight
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Lawyers representing dancehall superstar Buju Banton have vowed to continue fighting despite a United States Appeal Court ruling yesterday confirming his lengthy prison sentence.The appeal court left open the possibility that Buju, Mark Myrie, could be granted a new trial but it also raised the prospect of his prison sentence being extended by a further five years. (more on the link below)
June 28, 2012: Jamaican reggae fusion singer Diana King makes her coming out
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: 'Yes, I,m a lesbian', said Diana King. The 'Shy Guy'singer made the announcement on her Facebook profile today. In the post King wrote "I am … woman … mother ... aunt … Jamaican … American ... international artiste ... singer ... songwriter ... band leader … friend ... lover ... entrepreneur ... goddess! among other things and yes!!!…I am a lesbian." The post has received over 100 comments and has been liked by over 121 individuals. King, 41, is the first Jamaican artiste to publicly declare a same sex preference. The singer came to prominence in the 1990s with her hit single 'Shy Guy' which peaked at 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold five million singles worldwide. In the Facebook post King explained the reasoning for her decision to publicly declare her sexuality. "Honestly speaking, I have always been afraid to admit it openly, because of the unknown, of what it may cause negatively, to me, my career, my family and loved ones. But I realized that it is not my job to make others comfortable, I am only responsible for my life, the stuff U think about on your deathbed and at this point in my life I do not care about the things that frighten me anymore," she wrote.Responses to King's post on her page was overwhelmingly positive. Fellow artiste Tanya Stephens said "I want to speak but I cant stop crying." (more on the link below)
PERSONNAL COMMENT: Both links are worth taking the time to read in their entirety. Diana, thank you for walking this rough road. May this leeds to more pride, more love and more tolerance for actuals generations and the ones to come. It's true that a sexual preference is nobody's busniess, but at the same time artists have to power to become role models and LGBT of African descent definitively needs more references. I don't know if you will lose some fans for taking such a stance, but you gain some: I just purchase some of your music in solidarity to your career move.
(Jamaica Gleaner) (LETTER FROM DIANA KING UrbanIslandz)
July 4, 2012: Bennie Man says apology to gay community had no influence in his return to US scene
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Mere weeks after doing a controversial video in which he was said to have apologised to gays and lesbians, Beenie Man's United States work permit was reinstated, but he says the video played no part in the development. In May, the artiste made a video that was more than a minute long, which addressed a few issues. In the address, Beenie Man pointed out that he respects everyone regardless of their sexual orientation. Although many interpreted the video as an apology to gays and lesbians, Beenie Man says the video had no bearing on when and why he was given the work permit. "A lot of us is intelligent but a lot of us small-minded. You see the people dem weh have brain know dis, mi pay mi lawyer over US$10,000 (J$890,000) and him work wid di embassy and the embassy work wid him. Dem give me mi visa without any prejudice nor no argument," he said. (more on the links below + video interview on Gay Jamaica Watch)
(Jamaica Star) (Gay Jamaica Watch)
July 4, 2012: African American R&B singer Frank Ocean makes his coming out
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Odd Future member and rising R&B star Frank Ocean announced tonight via his tumblr that he's bisexual or gay. The post, which was originally supposed to be in the liner notes for 'Channel Orange', his upcoming album, describes the first time he fell in love with a man, and how he's dealt with it in the years since. It's worth reading in full - it's linked below - but here are some highlights: four summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost... (more on the link below)
(Gawker) (Hip Hop DX)
July 12, 2012: Presumed homosexuals death: questionning the IACHR statement
TEXT FROM BLOG: The lateness of the IACHR is amazing to me when this took place on June 13th almost a full month now and two other murders since of popular socialite members as carried on this blog with gay cruising and downlow issues seemingly clashing as the motives for them and to think a suspect is already in custody for the awful June 13th double killing of the homeless brethren and awaiting preliminary hearing proceedings while the IACHR press release paints a picture that it is a homophobic killing when it is NOT. (more on the link below)
(Gay Jamaica Watch 1) (Gay Jamaica Watch 2)
July 25, 2012: Human Rights Watch urges Jamaica to scrap anti-buggery law
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: United States-based Human Rights Watch has urged the Jamaica government to repeal its anti-buggery law and protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.The human rights group claimed that homophobia is "so bad that human rights defenders advocating the rights of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) people are not safe in Jamaica".The assertion was made in a letter to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in which the group noted that Simpson Miller made a "courageous stand" before she took office in January, speaking out against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. (more on the link below)
August 1, 2012: Beenie Man interview by The Advocate magazine
Interesting interview made by US gay magazine The Advocate. Intro to the article: "Back in May 2012, Beenie Man took to YouTube posting the first ever apology video by any dancehall artist to date, in which he said, "Let me make this clear…I have nothing against no one. I respect each and every human being regardless of which race or creed, regardless of which religious belief…regardless of which sexual preference you have including gay and lesbian people."In an exclusive interview with The Advocate, Beenie Man explains how he arrived at his current view on gay rights, whether he believes Jamaica will ever be accepting of the LGBT community and how he would respond if his son grew up to be gay'. (more on the link below)
PERSONNAL COMMENT: Although it's interesting to see that Beenie Man is now able to sit down and have a decent conversation about such topics, it's rather sad that he is still mixing homosexuality and pedophilia. Abnother thing that iritates me is that he still talks like being gay is a personnal choice. Don't know how people can still believe this, specially in a Caribbean context. If there is one choice gays/lesbians/bisexuals can do, is to accept their physical attraction being different than the mass, it's to be out or to live in the closet. And that choice is often guided by fear of rejection / repression.
August 4, 2012: Mutabruka warn Capleton about Beenie Man fist fight
This is the small description that can be read on YouTube: "Capelton was getting a good telling off for a fist fight with Beenie Man, Mutabaruka dont stand for this behaviour and lays into Capelton like a ton of bricks". Mutabaruka is a rastafarian Jamaican singer and poet and host a radio show in Jamaica. I don't know waht is the exact date for this radio show was broadcast, but it's probably because Beenie Man made the excuses in May. But I'm not totally sure. The show last 75 minutes an I only listened to the first 10 minutes. Capleton will be touring in United States in October/November 2012. Gay activsts are trying to make the venues owners aware of Capleton's violent homophobic songs on a forum. Capleton singed the Reggae Compassionate Act in 2007 but never respected it. Over a year or so he seems to have tone down is homophobic message on CD/vinyl, but by reading the review of the 2011 concert below and with the listrening of this Mutabaruka interview will tell you were he stands in this conflict. From the first ten minutes I've listened, he seems convinced that he is promoting a positive message by 'burning' down sodom & gommorah (read gays and lesbians). The fire he is refering to is, according to his perception' a metaphorical fire, except that several of Capleton's songs are preaching violence against gay men.
PERSONNAL COMMENT: If you know the correct date of this interview or if the context stated above is not regarding the Beenie Man excuses in May 2012, please let me know and I will correct it. Also posted below is a review of Capleton's (aka King Shango) performance at his festival 'A St Mary Mi Come From' where he performed at least one homophobic song (Slew Dem) and the band hired to performed that evening (Capleton's band?) performed the 'Boom Bye Bye' riddim while other artists were performing.
(YouTube) (Activist Group Blog) (Review of Capleton's 2011 'A St Mary Mi Come From' Festival)
August 6, 2012: Rebel with a questionable cause
Tony Rebel was among the guests invited to performed at the Grand Gala concert, for Jamaica's 50th anniversary of independence. During his performance, he launched his new song name 'The Next 50' (other websites name the song 'Jamaica Pass 50') in which he makes remarks about gay wedding, requesting his government to not allow same sex union in his country. Many jamaicans tought the event wasn't the right place to make social comments like that. TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Rebel's song was met with mixed reactions not just because of the lyrics of the song, but there were questions about whether or not it was appropriate for the Grand Gala where it was premiered. In the song, Rebel deejays: Eternal Father please bless we land/ Help us to keep our old traditions/ When me go a wedding, a cake me go if nyam / Marriage must be between man and woman/ Please Jamaica don't change that one/Miss Lou would turn in her grave right side a Mass Ron. Earlier this year, he and Queen Ifrica made a similar speech requesting Prime Minister not to repeal Bugaery Law. (more on the link below)
(Jamaica Gleaner) (Jamaica Gleaner LETTER) (Jamaican Liberal Whistle LETTER) (J-FLAG 2013 Press Release) (Audio performance of the song)
August 8, 2012: Mista Majah P launch his 'No Holds Barred' serie: clips that promote tolerance
On August 8, Mista Majah P (aka The Maverick) posted a 11-minute message destined to Jamaicans and dancehall artsists about the tolerance of gays and lesbians. The clip is entitled 'No Holds Barred' and is the first of several messages which he entend to post on YouTube making his contribution by challenging people to open up their horizons to diversity. The second message was posted on August 15 and talks about gay marriage. Third one was posted on August 31 and is an interview with Avi and Clarence, a same-sex couple that have been living together for 18 years. The fourth episode visit Oakland gay pride and was posted on September 13. Fifth episode focus on president Obama's campaign was posted on September 23.
AUG 08 (No Holds Barred EPISODE 1: Dancehall and Jamaica)
AUG 15 (No Holds Barred EPISODE 2: Gay Marriage)
AUG 31 (No Holds Barred EPISODE 3: Interview with a same-sex couple)
SEPT 13 (No Holds Barred EPISODE 4: Oakland Pride – PART 1) (PART 2)
SEPT 23 (No Holds Barred EPISODE 5: Interview with Republican Mitt Romney) (includes videoclip 'Four More Years')
OCT 05 (No Holds Barred EPISODE 6: International headlines related to homophobia)
OCT 25 (No Holds Barred EPISODE 7: Daring dancehall artists to come on the show)
NOV 08 (No Holds Barred EPISODE 8: Condemning the violence at UTech)
August 18, 2012: A St Mary Mi Come From Festival – Ode to homophobia
The 'A St Mary Mi Come' is a yearly charity concert organised by Capleton. TEXT FROM ARTICLE: It was supposed to be a charity concert and an appeal for equal rights and justice. Unceasing pull-ups and homophobic declarations made the 11th A St Mary Mi Come From mediocre. Capleton's charity event, which took place saturday at the Grays Inn Sports Complex in Annotto Bay, turned out to be this year a sad ode to homophobia. Starting at 9 pm, the show only took an interesting turn around 2 am when Major Mackerel opened the ball and thrilled the auditorium with his hit songs Pretty Looks Done and Prettiest Gal Dem. With his set, Major Mackerel was the first to earn the audience attention. Later, Sizzla and his army arrived on stage. The singer delivered his international hits Be Strong, Simplicity, Words of Divine. Once his flag bearers reached the stage, Sizzla loosened up with his anti-gay titles Murder Dem and Nah Apologize. At daybreak, Capleton took the centrestage. Surrounded by "his family", the Fireman chanted his famous Jah Jah City, That Day Will Come, Slew Dem. (more on the link below)
(United Reggae) (Jamaica Observer) OTHER ARTICLES (Jamaica Star)
August 30, 2012: Buju Banton's new lawyer
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Choke Lumumba, the African-American lawyer assigned to help Buju Banton appeal his drug-trafficking sentence, is best known for representing superstar rapper Tupac Shakur and members of the Black Panther Party. On Tuesday after it was announced he would replace David Oscar Markus as the singjay's attorney, Lumumba told the Jamaica Observer that he finds himself in a "unique situation. This is the first time I'm representing someone from the Caribbean, but I'm also aware of the pressure authorities place on high-profile persons," he said from his Jackson, Mississippi office. He added: "I'm not going to be making any pronouncements until I read the transcripts and talk to the brother in person." Lumumba says he was contacted three months ago by persons close to Banton, with a possibility of taking up his case. He has spoken to him at least three times by phone from Florida where the Grammy winner is serving a 10-year sentence on drug-related charges. (more on the link below)
I do not cover much this story anymore. Someone have sent these links and I'm sharing them. Haven't read them and I don't know about the credibility of these newspapers... OCTOBER NEWS: (The Final Call) (Examiner) (Palm Beach New Times 1) (Palm Beach New Times 2) FEBRUARY NEWS: (Miami New Times) (Palm Beach New Times 3)
September 15, 2012: Jamaica's "Love March" is in fact a walk agains homosexuality
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Anti-Gay Fact Check attended the "Love March" for "sexual purity" which took place in Kingston starting at Hope Gardens and ending at Half-Way Tree Mandela Park. For those who don't know, the "Love March" is a march organised by a couple of anti-gay Christian groups who claim they are fed up with "sexual immorality" in Jamaican society and want to speak out against it. The march was designed for homosexuality, pornography and fornication, what they call "sexual sins" that are taking over Jamaica. Of course, AGFC has been in the business of anti-gay research for quite some time now so we aren't that stupid as they think we are. We know the march was really a march against homosexuality and opposition to pornography and fornication, two things they have minority support on, were just thrown in to make the march seem balanced. Below is a poster designed by the march organisers to tell everyone what they were marching for (notice all the reasons include homosexuality). (more on the link below)
(Anti-GayFactCheck.org) (Jamaica Obsever) (MambaOnline)
September 16, 2012: Feud between Bounty Killer and Tommy Lee Sparta
On September 16, Bounty Killer released the song 'No Long Talking' which was directed towards dancehall artist Tommy Lee Sparta. The song features homophobic comments, similar to what happened between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer several years ago. Earlier that month, Tommy Lee change his stage name to Tommy Lee Sparta, to avoid confusion with Motley Crue's drummer. A dancehall fan eventually posted on the website 'Constructed Thoughts Worldpress' that 'Sparta' was refering to Greek warriors, the Spartans, that were practicing homosexuality on a wide scale. Cound Bounty Killer's song be fulled with that story? TEXT FROM WIKIPEDIA: "...a series of Twitter posts that were perceived as an insult to Tommy Lee Sparta. One such message from Bounty Killer on 8 September said, "Christmas is 4 christ so nuh demon or devil cyaah win we a bloodclaath all a dem a dead a sting!!!" This was widely believed to be a reference to Tommy Lee Sparta's "Uncle Demon" persona and a threat against the artist regarding the upcoming Sting music festival on Boxing Day. Bounty Killer, however, denied that the tweet was directed towards Tommy Lee Sparta". In respond to 'No Long Talking', Sparta released 'Goat Head', then Bounty Killer replied with two more songs.
(more info can be found on Tommy Lee Sparta Wikipedia page)
(Bounty Killer: NO LONG TALKING)
(WIKIPEDIA: Tommy Lee Sparta) (History of the Greek Spartan warriors)
September 18, 2012: Urgent need for sex & sexuality to be discussed nationally
TEXT FROM BLOG: (the author of the blog) decided to watch this one most carefully and listen to the contending views on this since the story first broke on Beyond The Headlines hosted by Dionne Jackson Miller on radio Jamaica, RJR on September 13 on the controversial Home Family Life Education Curriculum HFLE before I made a post on it, the curriculum that was first put together from as early as 2006 under the previous administration with training for teachers as late as this July of this year and is funded by overseas funders, Miss Jackson had two guidance counselors as guests who gave their opinions on the controversy which surrounded the questions on HIV status, anal sex and other issues supposedly targeted for seventh graders or 13 and 14 year olds. Only a small section of the over 350 page voluminous document (not online at this time) dealt with the subject matter that was deemed offensive however how the discourse has progressed over the passed days it would look like its the entire document that is problematic, the document also propose to have dealt with Sexual orientation, respect for persons regarding sexual orientation, self awareness, HIV and safer sex introduction, self efficacious planning, risk assessment etc some other pointers were that there maybe gay participants so teachers were reminded to choose their language carefully, one scenario supposedly was to ask students to imagine a world where it is normal to be gay and to be straight would be the other orientation and what would the world be in eyes of the students. Students would be asked to also research homosexuality, bisexuality and womanizing in Jamaica. There was some cloudiness as to how the guidelines should be disseminated in the classroom if via oral presentation or by written format. (more on the link below)
(Gay Jamaica Watch) (Jamaica Gleaner 1) (Jamaica Gleaner 2) (GoJamaica)
September 26, 2012: Capleton cancelled in California
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: The Jamaican-born reggae singer had successfully performed without incident at the Red Fox in November of 2010 after another previous show had been canceled in 2004. In recent weeks, a local Facebook group protesting the show gained a considerable following due to Capleton's history of anti-gay lyrics. The Journal spoke with Red Fox Tavern co-owner Brian Swislow this afternoon. He confirmed that the decision to scratch the Capleton show was made due to pressure from the gay community and other artists that perform regularly at the venue. "I have high respect for the gay community at large. This was never out of disrespect," Swislow said. While he was sure he'd lose significant cash due over the canceled gig, the business he stood to lose if he went on with the show would have been a greater blow. "I can't lose 80% of the people that frequent my club over one show," he said. "All I can hope is that the gay community steps up and supports our club. The show was scheduled for October 11.
(see August 4, 2012 for recent news on Capleton)
(The Journal) (Capleton US Tour) (United Reggae)
September 30, 2012: Today's Bible lesson: Reflexion on Leviticus with humor
TEXT RECEIVED BY MAIL: In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative. (click on the link below to read the letter)
(Today's Bible lesson)
October 2, 2012: Hip-hop song that promotes same-sex union reach top of the charts
TEXT FROM WIKIPEDIA: "Same Love" is the fourth single released by Seattle-based rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis off their 2012 debut studio album, The Heist. The track, featuring vocals by Mary Lambert, talks about legalizing gay marriage and was recorded during the campaign of Washington Referendum 74, which allows same-sex marriages in Washingtonstate. The song reached number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and reached number 1 on top 40 charts in both New Zealand and Australia. Macklemore explained that the song also came out of his own frustration with hip hop's positions on homosexuality. "Misogyny and homophobia are the two acceptable means of oppression in hip hop culture. It's 2012. There needs to be some accountability. I think that as a society we're evolving and I think that hip hop has always been a representation of what's going on in the world right now."(more on the link below)
(videoclip for SAME LOVE) (Wikipedia) (focus on some of the lyrics) (short documentary NO HOMO)
October 11, 2012: 'Free Buju' T-shirt on sale on Bob Marley's official shop
After giving licence for cellphones, baby clothes, headphones, 'relaxation drink', rolling papers, school bags and whatever item you can imagine with Bob Marley's effigy, The Marley Estate seems to have aprove Buju Banton merchandising to be sold on their official website. Banton T-shirts have been available at least since October 11 (news read on LargeUp.com website).
(BobMarleyShop) (Press Release) (LargeUp) (Forbes)
PERSONNAL COMMENT: Am I the only one being pissed to see Buju Banton merchandising being sold through Bob Marley's official website? The Marley Estate just earned 17 million dollar over the past 12 months (Forbes, October 29)... Isn't it enough? When music becomes an accessories to sell material things. Just to see the way Marley's image is being used can really make someone grinding his teeth. It would be interesting to see what Bob would think of this. As a reminder Stephen Marley is friend with Buju Banton and he is working to get him out of jail (see press conference below).
October 24, 2012: Mista Majah P and Barack Obama endorse tolerance and equality for LGBT
PRESS RELEASE: President Obama, our first African American President endorses tolerance and marriage equality in our society for gays and the (LGBT) Community. By doing that his has also endorses the first Jamaican reggae artist Mista Majah P that has taken a stand on the issues of gay rights, and has endorsed tolerance and equality in the (LGBT) community, and for all the people in the world today. Mista Majah P has started to put together the plans for a major North American and European Tour dates for 2013. As his Canadian Management group plan this tour throughout North America and Europe we urge promoters and corporate companies to get on Board and become a sponsor for the tour. Help the artist Mista Majah-P bring tolerance to the people, by the people and for the people. Through the Majah's, messages, lyrics, songs, and Videos representations, Majah P has been said to be the new Bob Marley for standing up for social issues, and has been dubbed The Maverick of reggae music. We see this in so many ways from this artist, in his 100 percent support for President Obama as the President's support for gay rights came in line with the artist message. (more on the link below)
(Mista Majah P – PRESS RELEASE) (2011 Obama message at LGBT Pride Month)
NOTE: Since the album Tolerance, the artist released the sing 'Four More Years', promoting the re-election of president Obama and he is just about to release a new concious song entitled 'Don't Drink & Drive'.
November 1, 2012: Another example of gay violence in Jamaica
There has been several cases of violence and murder of gays in Jamaica in recent months. More cases can be found on the CONSEQUENCES section of this website. TEXT FROM ARTICLE: The University of Technology (UTech) and Marksman Limited have issued a joint statement condemning the beating of an alleged gay student by security Marksman Limited has indicated that two security guards who were involved in the assault have since been fired. The student ended up in the guard room after fleeing an angry mob. "This student was physically assaulted by on duty security guards employed by the contracted security company, Marksman Limited while several other students encircled the Guard Room attempting to get hold of the student," read a portion of the statement. The statement says the student was "protected" from the mob by security officers and removed from the campus with support from the police.(more on the link below)
(Jamaica Gleaner) (Jamaica Star) (Gay Jamaica Watch) (TVJ News) (VIDEO)
(JUNE 2012 – National Survey of Attitudes and Perceptions of Jamaicans Towards Same-Sex Relationships)
PERSONNAL COMMENT: Violence shouldn't be tolerated anywhere, but this is even a greater shame that it's happening at a university level. That clearly shows how deep the roots of homophobia are located. In such a crisis time, what is the Jamaican government waiting to educate people properly about sexuality? It's evident that the religious right is too powerful and controling these aspect. A change must come. Artists must challenge homophobia while government is not doing much. Hope several talkshows nationwide will take the UTech story and try to raise consciousnes about this topic. And remember to think twice before you purchase music of people who promote hatered and violence, because they are contributing to what we are seeing in this video. Just to name a few, Sizzla and Capleton are still doing this. On an international level, can we stop giving visas and promoting for these artists? All reggae websites are unrolling the red carpet when these artists are visisting their countries. A change must come. And remember you are part of the solution.
November 3, 2012: Just humans: The everyday Jamaican heroes
NOT RELATED TO HOMOPHOBIA. I recently found four clips that higlights the everyday heroes of Jamaica. After seeing the UTech video, I tought it would be appropriate to simmer down the vibe by showing a positive side of the island.
(Episode 1: Bulding a skite) (Episode 2: Dominoes) (Episode 3: Ackee & Saltfish) (Episode 4: Ganja)
November 4, 2012: Gay community looks to protest Beenie Man concert
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Protests and public outrage over a Capleton concert at Ocean Grove Lodge earlier this month have not deterred the venue from hosting controversial dancehall performer Beenie Man this Tuesday. According to Queer Humboldt co-founder Todd Larsen, the Jamaican dancehall icon's upcoming show in Trinidad (in California, scheduled November 6th) may have just as many protesters as attendees. Larsen said Queer Humboldt members and others plan to hold a peaceful protest outside the Beenie Man concert at Ocean Grove in Trinidad on Tuesday. "We are not trying to stop or block the concert," he said. "We are just trying to share love and to share education." A group of gay right activists in Humboldt County have been working since 2008 to educate the community on what Larsen refers to as "murder music." Larsen said that the lyrics used by artists like Beenie Man and Capleton call explicitly for the murder and brutilization of gays. In 2009, Larsen said the group was successful in keeping a number of murder music performers out of Humboldt County. For the most part, Larsen said, local community members, venues and promoters have been respectful of the gay community over the years. He said there are a few individuals and businesses who continue to book the controversial artists." (more on the link below)
(Time Standard) (NOV 5: Jamaica Observer) (NOV 16: Jamaica Observer)
PERSONNAL COMMENT: I whish that gay organisations would leave Beenie Man alone and concentrate on singers that keeps pushing violence towards LGBT. I guess Beenie Man has to be patient, if he is sincere in moving on. But I really don't agree with the comments of promoter Beau DeVito. Plain ignorance or just trying to convince the public to make a buck?
November 5, 2012: Free Buju Press Conference in Washington, DC
On Monday, November 5th, activists, educators, friends and supporters of GRAMMY Award-winning Reggae star Buju Banton (née Mark Anthony Myrie), will gather for a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. to officially announce the filing of a petition for a Writ of Certiorari. "Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people are convinced that Mark Anthony Myrie was unjustly targeted and convicted in the United States court in Florida," explains Banton's new attorney, Chokwe Lumumba. "We request that the highest court of the land review this injustice and overturn it." He adds, "We are determined to fight for Myrie's freedom until he is vindicated." (more on the link below)
(Red Carpet Shelley) (Boom Shots) (EnpowerYouth) (Tumblr)
November 8, 2012: No Holds Barred – Newer episodes
Every two weeks, Mista Majah P (aka The Maverick) is posting a new episode of his show 'No Holds Barred'. You can find the links to all episodes by looking upper on this list, on August 8, 2012.
(No Holds Barred EPISODE 8: Condemning the violence at UTech)
December 4, 2012: VP Records: Strictly not evolving
Every year I make a duty of following the current Jamaican music sceen. I aways get a few compilations that are supposed to represent the current hits. I'm sort of currius to see if, how and when things can slightly change. Year after year, I realise that VP Records makes a conscious effort in pushing homophobia. Their new 'Strictly The Best 47' compilation is not an exception. Two tracks that are back to back on the compilation are doing just that: 'Pyscho' (by Tommy Lee Spara) and 'No Long Talking' (by Bounty Killer). The other volume release on the same date 'Strictly The Best 46' also features two songs: 'The Return' (by Morgan Heritage) wich has a few lines pushing towards discrimination, plus the 2008 track from Mr. Vegas 'Mus Come A Road' on the bonus CD. Those two compilations are among the best selling CDs of the year in the reggae/dancehall business. For those who aren't familiar, VP has a long history of promoting homophobia and still sells hundread of songs that advocate violence on their website. Bounty Killer's song 'No Long Talking' is supposed to be address towards Tommy Lee Sparta (see September 16, 2012 for more details).
(PYCHO lyrics) (NO LONG TALKING lyrics) (my comments on THE RETURN)
December 15, 2012: Mista Majah P release fourth single from album Tolerance: Gay Marriage
Who would have tought that 16 months after album release, we could have expected another single from Mister Majah P. Socially implicated, the artist shows his diversity with the song 'Four More Years' in support to Obama in May and recently released the song 'Don't Drink And Drive'. The Maverick launched his 'No Holds Barred' show on YouTube in August, pursuing his misson of promoting tolerance for same sex love. He now release a fourth official video for the album Tolerance wich deals with the wedding of gay couples. The actors that appears in the video were the guests that were interviewed in the third episode of 'No Holds Barred'.
(Videoclip GAY MARRIAGE)
December 31, 2012: Jamaican lawyer accuses paper of promoting homophobia
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Jamaican gay rights advocate Maurice Tomlinson is calling on the Jamaica Observer newspaper to desist from printing "further homophobic imagery." Tomlinson, an attorney-at-law and homosexual, is also currently challenging the immigration laws of both T&T and Belize in the Caribbean Court of Justice. The immigration acts in both countries ban homosexuals from entry. On Christmas day last week, the Observer published a cartoon that activists say was "designed to inflame hate" and is "anti-gay." In the cartoon, which can be found on the paper's Web site Jamaicaobserver.com, a young boy is shown running away from a man wearing women's clothes, lipstick and carrying a purse. In the cartoon the boy tells his mother, "Is dat mi fraid of." (more on the link below)
January 11, 2013: Sizzla Rejects Jamaican Gays Olive Branch "Fire Bun"
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Sizzla Kalonji wants nothing to do with gays and he is making it clear. The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), recently extended an olive branch to the reggae veteran in an effort to ease tension between them. But Sizzla Kalonji rejected their offer. The J-Flag group is showing their support to select dancehall artists who they believe has toned down their anti-gay lyrics over the years. One such artist is Beenie Man, who made a controversial apology to the gay community in a video on YouTube last year. Sizzla, however, is holding firm on his stance on gays. This is what Kalonji said "I, personally, as Sizzla and president of the Nyabinghi theocracy, I don't want no sponsor from no homosexual," he declared. "We are a people of the Almighty God. We are a biblical people. Jamaica is a Bible island. We live by the principle of the Almighty and in our Bible that we read, in the Hebrew Bible, we totally abandon homosexuals. We are against it. So we don't need no support from them. Fire bun!" Reggae/dancehall artists and gays across the world have been bitter enemies for several years. However, tension has simmered a bit after several artists signed the Reggae Compassionate Act. Sizzla is one of many artists who signed the document." (more on the link below)
(Urban Islandz) (Jamaica Gleaner)
SIZZLA HOMOPHOBIC SPEECH AT STING 2012 (One876Entertainment)
SIZZLA IS NOT THE PRESIDENT OF THE RASTAFARI MOVEMENT (RastaItes.com)
SIZZLA PERMORM 'TO THE POINT' (Susumba)
••• I was away for four months, but now I'm back. I will include some of the missing news in early June •••
January 19, 2013: Was there ever a Rebel Salute without homophobic comments?
I've been covering the Rebel Salute 'excess' for many years on this site. Rebel Salute is an annual Jamaican concert that features a mainly artists that were popular in the past decade combined with a few roots artists from the seventies. This year it's I-Wayne and Queen Ifrica (and probably other artists) that use their mics to put down gays. Excerpt from the Jamaica Observer "I Wayne announced himself with his trademark phrase "Lavaground". In addition to performing his hit of the same name, Book of Life and Living in Love, I Wayne lashed out at homosexuals, politicians, paedophiles and 'Babylon system', much to the delight of the audience who lit their lighters and waved their flags in approval". Queen Ifrica also performed her anti-gay anthem "Keep It To Yourself".
February 15, 2013: Screening of the LGBT documentary 'Taboo Yardies' in Jamaica
The documentary took four years to complete due to financial problems but Jamaican born model and filmaker Selena Blakee was able to complete her film and present it last year at Miami LGBT Film Festival (see May 2, 2012 for more details). Nine months later, she brings her documentary in Jamaica. There was two official screenings on Febryuary 15, the first one being at University of the West Indies (UWI) and the second one at the University of Technology (UTECH). The film was also presented at J-FLAG and Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL). At time of writing these lines, the documentary can be purchase for download (10$) for a one day viewing. Many short interviews were done with Jamaicans that assist the documentary and can be found in the link below. Definitively worth taking the time to watch the documentary and those interviews. (more on the link below)
(Taboo Yardies) (Gay Jamaica Watch) (Twelve Short Interviews)
April 25, 2013: Elephant Man plans to sue local radio station over gay article
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Following an article posted on the website of a popular local radio station, dancehall artiste Elephant Man says he intends to take legal action. The article, headlined 'Elephant Man caught with gay men in his pool', alleges that Elephant Man's gardener walked in on the artiste who was at the time sharing the company of men dressed in female clothing. News of the controversial post quickly began to spread to several websites, the post itself receiving over 2,000 hits in less than an hour on the local radio station's website. (more on the link below)
(Jamaica Star) (Soul Central TV) (Gay Jamaica Watch)
April 29, 2013: Jason Collins is the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay. I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand. My journey of self-discovery and self-acknowledgement began in my hometown of Los Angeles and has taken me through two state high school championships, the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight, and nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons. (more on the link below)
(Sports Illustrated) (MTV News)
May 17, 2013: International Day Against Homophobia – Africans Arise!
Today is International Day Against Homophobia. I was making a search on YouTube and came across this very interesting video. I'm sharing it with you. The video was recorded by someone who has a YouTube channel named 'Africans Arise'. Still browsing, I found out about the coming out of an African American R&B singer in July 2012 (see upper on this page) and more recenly, the coming out of Jason Collins, the basketball player. Things are indeed evolving, thanks to charismatic leaders that are paving the way.
(Africans Arise: Homophobic Hypocrisy) (Short documentary (in French)) (Kenya gay activists walk)
(FRENCH DOCUMENTARY: Pas gaie d'être homo PART 1) (PART 2) In the second part of this french documentary, you can see extracts from 'The Draker Side Of Black' a British documentary partly filmed in Jamaica in 1994. There is also an interview with the french producer of 'Dakan' (aka: Destiny), the first African movie on homosexuality, filmed in Guinea in 1997. The next link is a work in progress, something I'm doing in my spare times: Guide to LGBT documentaries and films with African descents
One more for the road! Filmed in Bahamas, this Caribbean movie will be the cornerstone of a generation that is lacking movie references about their everyday struggle: Children Of God . Schools should be presenting this one in order to open a dialogue and challenge discrimination, and welcome overstanding. Guidance.
May 30, 2013: Voice from the street: Beenie Man apology [older news]
FROM MAY 2012: OK this is not new, but I just found it on YouTube. It worth watching it. What surprises me and to notice that YouTube is not allowing people to comment on this video. This is the first time I'm seeing that on that channel. Are we starting to see censorship appearing on YouTube? Anyway, with my webpage, I'm able to put my 2-cent: Am I surprise to ear those comments?Not really. Disapointed? Yes, as it's sad to see how people are behaving in general. Out of the 11 people interviewed on that clip, only one person talk about inclusion. Majority of other people (if not all) think that after performing at least three dozens of songs that propmote hatered and violence towards people that are marginalised in a society, the guy hows no appology. They all seems to think it's purely a international move for commercial achievement. No one seems to come across the line that maybe, just a maybe the artist was able to mature, reflect upon his past and decide to move on from it. It's true that he is a business man and that's at leats one of his concern. But I think he is bright enough to get tired at one point of being labeled as someone who promote discrimination. Anybody with an once of dignity would like to walk away from this. I hope that Selena Blake documentary Taboo Yardies will be broadcast on national TV in Jamaica.
(Jamaica Observer: Voice From The Street)
June 8, 2012: Don't belive the hype: The guy that pushed Capleton is NOT a gay activist
It's been reported on several websites that Capleton got pushed by a white man on drugs that was aparently a gay activist. The last part of the information is false. I selected four different comments, it seems like the story that the he was a gay activist may come from the guy that pushed him offstage name King Schascha, which is the following: "Honestly I felt bad for dumping kid off stage. He was high on acid and he is also Gay. That was the reason he attacked Capleton he had a group of friends egging him on also. And they didn't like the fact that previously Capleton has bun out the Gay community. At this show Capleton never said anything damaging to the Gay society. I could have handled the situation better but at the moment I just went with the flow. If you look at the video there was some concern for the Guy when he hit the floor by Capleton and myself, but he then flipped us the bird and yelled fuck you, that's when you saw Capleton say come on” Comment by a friend of the guy: "He dislocated his elbow and fractured his wrist. He went to the hospital and came back that same night. He is a friend of mine, and feels bad about the whole situation. What happened is not in his nature.”
Comment by a gay activist that made researches on the Internet by comparing comments posted on several forums: "I do think that the guy who assaulted Capleton should have been arrested. He evidently was back the next day at the festival. There don't seem to be any "Reggae in the Hills" festival security people near the stage in the videos. It shouldn't have been possible for this guy to get on stage in the first place. And he certainly should not have been able to get on stage a second time and to assault Capleton for a second time. The man who threw him off the stage, "King Schascha," isn't even a security guard. He is a performer from Trinidad who was waiting to perform. He did not perform.” Comment coming from a friend of the guy who went onstage: "To clear up the story. The man who got thrown off stage is my friend. He acted alone. He isn't a gay rights activist seeking revenge on a reggae star. He was under some substances that were sold to him in the middle of the food court. He is really sorry about the whole thing. I was told by the man himself that he believed Capleton to be his best friend and wanted to get onstage and give him a hug. He is a big fan of Capleton actually. He did dislocate his elbow, and fracture his wrist. He is not seeking any legal action in the matter. Many lies going round, but this is the truth.”(more on the link below)
(YouTube clip) (Forum No.1) (Forum No.2) (Reggae On The Hill) (WRONG INFO: Urban Islandz)
NOTE: The following link brings a very sad incident which happen in a concert in Richmond Virginia (May 18, 2013), where Toots Hibbert (Toots & The Maytals) was badly injured by someone throwing a vodka bottle on his head (TimesDispatch)
June 15, 2013: First gay wedding in the Caribbean?
This wedding in Martinique has been promoted in the news as being the first Caribbean wedding between same sex parteners. But on December 4 2012, two men married on the small Dutch island of Saba. During my extensive research for this website, I came accross some weddings being performed (if my memory is good) in St.Lucia and Jamaica. Those were being performed in hidden places, were not publicized and therefor not recognized by the government. TEXT FROM ARTICLE. Myriam Jourdan, 49, and Rosamond Zebo, 52 years old, living in the town of Carbet had their marriage celebrated by the local mayor Jean-Claude Ecanvil. Mayor Ecanvil, whose son died from a heart attack earlier that morning, wanted to perform the ceremony personally despite his personal tragedy. Same sex marriage has been legal in France since May 18, 2013. France is the thirteenth country worldwide to allow same-sex couples to marry. The legislation applies to the French Overseas Departments and territories, including Martinique in the French West Indies. It is expected that this first will be followed by several other marriages between persons of the same sex. (more on the link below)
(MARTINIQUE WEDDING: GBM News) (SABA WEDDING: Queerty)
June 25, 2013: New documentary on homophobia in Jamaica: The Abominable Crime
TEXT FROM PRESS RELEASE: The Abominable Crime, at heart, is a story about a mother's love for her child and an activist's troubled love for his country. It also gives voice to gay Jamaicans who, in the face of endemic anti-gay violence, are forced to flee their homeland. Simone, a young lesbian single mother, survives a brutal anti-gay shooting. Now she must choose between hiding with her daughter in Jamaica in constant fear for their lives or escaping alone to seek safety and asylum abroad. Maurice, Jamaica's leading human-rights activist, is outed shortly after filing a lawsuit challenging his country's anti-sodomy law. After receiving a flood of death threats, he escapes to Canada, and then risks everything to return to continue his activism. Told first hand as they unfold, these personal accounts take the audience on an emotionally gripping journey traversing four years and five countries. Their stories expose the roots of homophobia in Jamaican society, reveal the deep psychological and social impacts of discrimination on the lives of gays and lesbians, and offer an intimate first-person perspective on the risks and challenges of seeking asylum abroad. (More on the links below).
(The Abominable Crime) (Jamaica Gleaner)
June 27, 2013: Christian and LGBT groups have brought their battle for Gay Rights to the Caribbean
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. The West is known for exporting its culture, but also its culture wars. The fight for gay rights abroad is the latest example. Powerful, U.S.-based Christian-conservative groups and a network of pro-LGBT transnational actors have each become deeply involved in debates about homosexuality in many countries of the Global South. These gay "proxy wars" are especially intense in former English colonies. These territories are inheritors of an acute obsession with sexual puritanism, which is evident in how their laws treat homosexuality. Convinced that native societies were morally corrupt and licentious, colonial governments and pastors prescribed harsh laws against same-sex relations in British territories. These "buggery" statues became a colonial mainstay in the 19th century. Originally, these laws banned any form of "unnatural connection," including bestiality, but their lasting impact has been the criminalization of male homosexuality. Today, criminal bans on sodomy still exist in a whopping 78 countries, many holdovers from British colonialism. But 200 years later, change is starting to take root. Even in the most intolerant places, local actors have emerged to revoke these laws. Needless to say, they face formidable opponents. (more on the link below)
June 27, 2013: Obama addressing LGBT rights during speech in Senegal
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. President Barack Obama yesterday praised the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage as a "victory for American democracy" but clashed with his African host over gay rights in a sign of how far the movement has to go internationally. Obama said recognition of gay unions in the United States should cross state lines and that equal rights should be recognised universally. It was his first chance to expand on his thoughts about the ruling, which was issued Wednesday as he flew to Senegal, one of many African countries that outlaw homosexuality. Senegalese President Macky Sall rebuffed Obama's call for Africans to give gays equal rights under the law. "We are still not ready to decriminalise homosexuality," Sall said, while insisting that the country is "very tolerant" and needs more time to digest the issue without pressure. "This does not mean we are homophobic." Obama said gay rights didn't come up in their private meeting at the presidential palace, a mansion that looks somewhat similar to the White House. But Obama said he wants to send a message to Africans that while he respects differing personal and religious views on the matter, it's important to have non-discrimination under the law. (more on the link below)
NOTE: During the speech, gay rights are adressed at:15m39s. Obama answer question about recent news of US Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional the Defence Of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed by Bill Clinton in 1996 allowing states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage. At 20m50s, he addresses the question of gay rights in Africa. The president of Senegal Mackey Sall answer is at 28m36s.
(Jamaica Gleaner) (YouTube: Complete Speech) (YouTube: Senegal president answer in French)
June 28, 2013: Africa's Last Taboo: Documentary on the situation of homosexuals in Africa
I just found the existance of that important documentary, that's the reason why I'm placing it in the NEWS section. This documentary was directed by Robin Barnwell for the British TV serie 'Dispatches', broadcasted on Channel 4 on July 12, 2010. The filmmaker travels to three different countries to make the interviews: Kenya, Uganda and Malawi. The length is 49 minutes. TEXT FROM DISPATCHES: "Gay people in Africa are facing increased persecution in a continent where two thirds of countries retain laws against homosexuals. Award-winning filmmaker Sorious Samura investigates for Dispatches what it is like to be a gay person in Africa, discovering shocking levels of prejudice and hate, driven by governments, religious organisations and communities. Samura looks at the impact extreme homophobia is having on gay people's lives, tracking down the victims of a recent mob attack in Kenya, speaking to gay men who have spent time in prison for their sexuality and meeting African homosexuals who are often forced into secret lives. He discovers that AIDS is spreading at an alarming rate among gay men in Africa who are not being given vital sex education and health care by governments that are opposed to homosexuality. As a result, many gay men are dying needlessly. Samura goes in search of what is driving homophobia in Africa, finding Muslims and Christians working closely together to target homosexuals and visiting American pastors helping to spread anti-gay sentiment. Dispatches shows that homosexuality is not an African freedom, revealing a major, but little reported, human rights issue, in a continent where millions of gay people live in constant fear of rejection by their communities, of physical and verbal abuse, and even imprisonment". (more on the links below)
(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) (part 5) (Dispatches) (Interviewer biography) (Interviewer: Making the film)
July 22, 2013: Transgender beaten to death
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Dwayne Jones was relentlessly teased in high school for being effeminate until he dropped out. His father not only kicked him out of the house at the age of 14 but also helped jeering neighbors push the youngster from the rough Jamaican slum where he grew up. By age 16, the teenager was dead - beaten, stabbed, shot and run over by a car when he showed up at a street party dressed as a woman. His mistake: confiding to a friend that he was attending a 'straight' party as a girl for the first time in his life. 'When I saw Dwayne's body, I started shaking and crying,' said Khloe, one of three transgendered friends who shared a derelict house with the teenager in the hills above the north coast city of Montego Bay.
(more on the links below)
(UK Daily Mail) (Gay Jamaica Watch No.1) (Gay Jamaica Watch No.2) (Erasing 76 Crimes)
August 2, 2013: Jamaican politicians' role in 2 more homophobic mob attacks
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: During the day on Aug. 1, 2013, Jamaican news reported that onlookers found two men in an intimate position inside a police car in Kingston. This sparked protests by residents and the police had to fire shots in the air and use pepper spray to disperse the angry mob. In addition, last night, the Primetime news station CVM TV reported thata crowd gathered at the house of two alleged homosexuals in Spanish Town, St. Catherine. One member of the angry mob that had gone there to attack the two men said, "Not in my cabinet." Those were words used by former Jamaican PM Bruce Golding in a BBC interview when he was asked if he would allow gays to serve in his government. It is clear that Jamaican politicians play a part in sustaining the country's notorious homophobia. And they also have a role in stopping it. It's time for political leadership on tolerance for gays!
(more on the link below)
(Erasing 76 Crimes)
August 6, 2013: Queen Ifrica homophobic speech at Independence Day
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), notes with profound disappointment the anti-gay animus expressed by Queen Ifrica at the (Independence Day) Grand Gala on August 6, 2013. Her sentiment is an example of the unabated divisiveness we continue to allow to take prominence on the national stage. Queen Ifrica's remarks are similar to the vitriolic sentiments which came from Tony Rebel at the celebrations last year, and should have never been allowed again. We are surprised this happened on the day that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller urged us in her Independence Day Message, to accord respect to people so every Jamaican can feel a sense of belonging in our society. It is regrettable, that the government has not been able to guarantee non-discriminatory performances from artistes for such a high-profile function as the Grand Gala. . (more on the links below)
(Jamaica Western Mirror) (Erasing 76 Crimes) (J-FLAG Statement) (Jamaica Star) (Jamaica Gleaner LETTER)
August 14, 2013: Revisiting Banton's song
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: With Rastafari heavily involved in Jamaican popular music, naturally, music will be part of the discussion at the 2013 Rastafari Studies Conference and General Assembly. The conference is under way at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, with the presentations centred around the Neville Hall Lecture Theatre in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The academic presentations started on Tuesday (August 13) and will end on Thursday, before the conference moves to Montego Bay, St James, for its closing day on Friday. Today (August 14), Dr Sonjah Stanley Niaah will present a paper, 'Buju's Alpha and Omega: Revisiting 'Boom Bye Bye' and Reggae's Human Rights Agenda'.(more on the links below)
(2013 Rastafari Studies Conference) (Jamaica Gleaner)
NOTE: At time of writing, there wasn't any more info on that essay.
August 19, 2013: Hip Hop artist from California's inspired by Boom Bye Bye
The following text is coming from a website where artists can promote themselves by publishing a review of their work. Daddy T jumps on Buju Banton's 'Boom Bye Bye' to boost up his career. (more on the link below)
August 21, 2013: Is Queen Ifrica still welcome at Toronto's Rastafiesta? Freedom of Speech?
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Following Queen Ifrica's recent controversial Grand Gala performance at the National Stadium, the Jamaica Association of Gays and Lesbians Abroad has launched a Facebook campaign to prevent the entertainer from performing at a stageshow in Canada. The group is calling on the minister of Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC) to withdraw the work permit issued to Queen Ifrica to perform at Rastafesta International Reggae Concert at Downsview Park on August 24, 2013. According to the group, this comes as a result of her recent 'homophobic' outburst at the Grand Gala, days after a cross-dresser, Dwayne Jones, was murdered."Her remark is not the first of its kind and reflects the mood of Jamaica, where gays and lesbians are exposed to hatred and intolerance resulting in attacks and even murder. By allowing Queen Ifrica to perform in Toronto, the government is sending a message that murder music from anti-gay profilers is welcomed in Canada," said the group in a release to The Gleaner.
(more on the link below)
(Jamaica Gleaner) (Jamaica Observer) (RJR News)
NOTE: On August 21, she released the new song FREEDOM OF SPEECH regarding the bad press she got after using her stage performace on Jamaica's Indepence Day.
(Gay Jamaica Watch) (Jamaica Star) (Irie FM) (SONG: Freedom Of Speech)
August 23, 2013: Queen Ifrica removed from Toronto's RastaFiesta
As far as I know, this is the first time a Queen Ifrica concert get cancelled due to pressure by LGBT groups. It's true that her lyrics are not promoting violence towards gay men, like many of the dancehall singers enumerated on this website, but she does contribute to the stigmatisation of gays and lesbians by performing songs that push discrimination towards a minority in a country where homosexuals face persecution on a daily basis. Her homophobic speech given two weeks after the murder of Dwane Jones was found offencive and innapropriate by many Jamaicans. Some sponsors/organisers(?) from the RastaFiesta have spoken, she is no longer welcome for the concert. (more on the link below)
August 24, 2013: Jamaican documentary on LGBT 'Taboo Yardies' can now be purchase online
People who read this section frequently knows that I have been covering the release of that documentary for five years. The first official screening occured in Miami in May 2012 and the documentary was shown in Jamaica last February. By randomly visiting the official website, this morning I learned that the documentary can now be purchase for 10$, for a 24h viewing on a PC. The website mention that this option is available only for a limited time. More information on the documentary can be found by visiting May 2, 2012 and February 15, 2013 of this website.
Here is the review made by reggae historian David Katz (for Riddim magazine). "A groundbreaking work as the first film about homophobia in Jamaica directed by a Jamaican, Taboo Yardies is an unflinching portrayal of the realities facing lesbians and gays on the island today. Shot in Jamaica and amongst the expatriate community in New York, Taboo Yardies reveals some of the drastic misconceptions about homosexuality that are prevalent in Jamaica, with much antipathy voiced at both official governmental levels (during Bruce Golding's reign) and on the streets of various communities. More measured testimony is provided by a range of noteworthy individuals, such as broadcaster Beverley Manley, psychologist Dr Aggrey Irons, and author Shirley Fletcher, as well as prominent folk based in the US, such as former mayor of Cambridge, Mass, Kenneth Reeves. One of the best things about the film is that the viewer is left to make up their own mind about this contentious subject, and although the harrowing testimony provided by Stacey-Ann Chin and others who have been physically attacked in Jamaica for being gay, the film contains an undercurrent of optimism, since policy changes that may soon be brought in elsewhere in the region may ultimately force future policy changes in Jamaica". (more on the link below)
(Taboo Yardies) (Jamaica Observer)
August 28, 2013: Stop targetting reggae: Sizzla to the rescue!
PERSONNAL ANALYSIS: Funny enough, one of the headline in Jamaica Gleaner is 'Stop Targetting Reggae'. I just think it should be read the other way around: 'Stop targetting gays' don't you think? Anyway, Sizzla that has an heavy homophobic past which includes the preaching of violence decided to jump in the Queen Ifrica story when Toronto's decided she wasn't welcome anymore to perform. See upper for more info on that story. Sizzla, you were just waiting around the corner to jump on another occasion to preach intolerence. And the newspaper really knows how to throw oil in the fire... Leave gays alone and you will see, you won't get bothered. (more on the link below)
August 28, 2013: New documentary in the making 'Pier Kids: The Life'
TEXT FROM WEBSITE: This documentary follows the lives of three LGBTQ homeless youth of color that congregate on Christopher Street and the surrounding piers in New York City every night, showing what it means to still be, even in light of the recent progress of gay rights, treated unjustly and unequally…. It's been three years, and we have over two hundred hours of footage. To make this film as powerful and as moving as it can be so that it makes a difference in the lives of current homeless LGTBQ youth and the future ones, we now need to hire a professional documentary editor to do what they do and shape the footage into something great. You can donate to help finance the documentary by visiting the link below.
(Pier Kids: The Life) (Huffington Post)
September 2, 2013: New documentary on Jamaican homophobia
I just found out about its existance. See June 25 2013 (upper on this page) for information.
September 3, 2013: NYC mayoral candidate, filmed dancing to Capleton's anti-gay song
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Video footage of New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner unknowingly dancing along to a song with apparent anti-gay lyrics is making the blogosphere rounds. The clip, which was reportedly filmed at Brooklyn's West Indian American Day Parade, shows Weiner dancing to Capleton's "Bumbo Red," which is about murdering gays and lesbians, according to Complex's Foster Kamer. In addition to the video footage, Kamer provides some of the song's lyrics. One verse apparently reads as follows: "Lick a shot inna a battyman head/Lick a shot inna a lesbian head! All sodomite dem fi dead/All lesbian dem fi dead."Meanwhile, Weiner has been a vocal supporter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. "Homophobia is vile and destructive and something I have fought against for the entirety of my career, including being a vocal supporter of gay marriage since 1998 and standing up on the floor of Congress for transgender Americans," he proclaimed in a statement after a voter referred to opponent Christine Quinn, who is openly gay, as "a dyke".
October 4, 2013: The Closet Is Open: The new single and video from Mista Majah P
Mista Majah P is still fighting against prejudices in the gay community. His new video features video comments from the coming out of African-american basketball players Jason Collins and Brittney Griner, plus a few excerpt from Jamaican LGBT activist Maurice Tomlinson.
NOTE: Although I think it's a very good song, Im a bit puzzled by the videoclip as it may sent the wrong impression to people who are not that familiar with gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trangenders about dressing in drag: the reality about gays is that a very small percentage do cross dressing. I don't know the percentage, wasn't able to locate a proper study on the Internet, but while doing that research, found a study that shows the majority of people who crosscress are straight people. Mista Maja P wrote me back and said I interpreted the song wrongly "If you look at this video more objective you will see that it not portraying gay men as men who wear women clothing because actually straight men wear more drag than gay if you listen the lyric of the song it saying do you want to be one or two".
(VIDEOCLIP: The Closet Is Open)
October 22, 2013: Gay rights activists protest against Bruce Golding in NY
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. GAY rights activists from the Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand group on Tuesday night staged a protest in New York City against a speech given by Jamaica's former Prime Minister Bruce Golding at the Schomburg Center. Golding's talk was part of the Caribbean International Network (CIN) Lecture Series. The vociferous protesters lined the sidewalk outside the Harlem institution for over an hour as they received comments from supportive and non-supportive bystanders. Golding was dubbed 'anti-gay' after he publicly announced his opposition to homosexuals serving in his Cabinet on BBC's Hard Talk in 2008. Dwayne Brown, organiser of the demonstration and a gay Jamaican who said he fled to the United States after allegedly receiving death threats because of his sexuality, said he would not go inside the venue for Golding's speech because he feared a violent response from the audience. (More on the links below).
(Jamaica Observer 1) (Jamaica Observer 2)
October 24, 2013: My interview for No Holds Barred
I accepted the invitation for introducing my work for this website on Mista Majah P's Internet show No Holds Barred. In November, it will mark 10 years since I've started working on this project. Although I don't have the same amount of time handy that I used to have in the begininng, I still try to update some pages, like this HISTORY & NEWS section.
(NO HOLDS BARRED: Murder Inna Dancehall website)
October 27, 2013: Another new song from Mista Majah P
Just three weeks after releasing his new single and videoclip for 'The Closet Is Open', Mista Majah P is releasing another song about the subject this time, the single is name 'Tolerance'. This song is brand new and wasn't featured on the album 'Tolerance' issued in August 2011.
(VIDEOCLIP: Tolerance) (Mista Majah P website)
November 6, 2013: Capleton's concert cancelled in Boston
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Dudley Square's Hibernian Hall has canceled a concert slated for Friday night by a reggae star with a past history of virulently anti-gay lyrics. Capleton, one of the most popular "conscious" dancehall stars of the past two decades, was slated to play at the venue as part of a rental event being staged by an outside promoter. No stranger to controversy, Capleton has had past concerts cancelled following protests over his recordings, which appear to condone the murder of gays and lesbians."Capelton has authored and performed songs that are certainly not in keeping with the mission and/or values of Hibernian Hall and Madison Park Development Corporation," said Ayanna Hines, Venue Services and Operations Manager for the hall. "We do not condone speech, music or behavior of any kind that would suggest hatred or violence – physical or psychological – against anyone. Moreover, it is important to us that all people feel welcomed to attend any event open to the public that is held in our venue. After taking into consideration a number of variables relative to this event, the event scheduled for Friday, November 8, 2013 featuring Capelton has been cancelled," said Hines in a statement.
(The Arts Fuse)
November 17, 2013: US Tour Cancelled! No visa for Sizzla
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: After much anticipation for Sizzla's return to performing in the United States, his tour of that country has hit a roadblock. The Rastafarian artiste has been denied a visa to that country, according to Stephen Brush of International Artists Agency, who spearheaded bookings for the tour. He said, based on the outcome of the meetings, he has no choice but to reschedule the tour for early next year. "I am deeply saddened by the news, and I can say this is one of the worst weeks in my career... It is not a dead issue, but I am no longer comfortable waiting and seeing. What I would like to do is postpone the tour and look at re-booking it for February and March," he said. The seven-date gig was scheduled from November 21 to December 22. Sizzla would have performed at venues in Washington, DC; Virginia; Colorado; and New York. Sizzla, whose real name is Miguel Collins, has not held a US visa or work permit since 2008 when it was revoked. Several of Sizzla's songs such as Bad Man Don't Apologise and Murder Dem have portrayed violence towards members of the homosexual community, who have protested his presence in Europe and North America. In 2007, his concerts in Toronto and Montreal were cancelled after protests by members of the Canadian Stop Murder Music coalition. One year later, he was sent back to the US after arriving in Madrid, Spain, for a concert. Spanish human rights organisations objected against his "hatred against homosexuals". (more on the link below)
(Jamaica Observer) (Reggaeville) (Examiner) (Statement from International Artists Agency)
December 9, 2013: US-based anti-gay group spread homophobia at Jamaican conference
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: This past weekend, Peter LaBarbera, founder of the Naperville, Ill.-based anti-gay hate group Americans for the Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), was in Jamaica pushing his extremist views. "Do not be like us, do not be like Britain, do not sit idly by as so-called 'LGBT activists' manipulate words and laws to achieve dominance in your country," LaBarbera told a conference of Christian conservatives in the Caribbean country this weekend according to BuzzFeed. LaBarbera spoke on Dec. 7 at a conference organized by the Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society and the Christian Lawyers' Association in Kingston. These groups have lobbied against a possible repeal of a colonial-era law that bans same-sex intercourse, commonly referred to as the "buggery law.". (more on the link below)
(Southern Poverty Law Center)
December 17, 2013: Obama names openly gay athlete to Sochi Olympic delegation
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: U.S. President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is -- and isn't -- sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics. Billie Jean King will be one of two openly gay athletes in the U.S. delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies, Obama announced Tuesday. For the first time since 2000, however, the U.S. will not send a president, former president, first lady or vice-president to the Games. Russia has come under fierce criticism for passing national laws banning "gay propaganda." Though the White House did not specifically address the Russian laws in making its announcement, spokesman Shin Inouye said the delegation "represents the diversity that is the United States" and that Obama "knows they will showcase to the world the best of America -- diversity, determination and teamwork." The White House said Obama's schedule will not permit him to attend the Games. "It's a positive sign to see openly gay representatives in the delegation," said Michael Cole-Schwartz, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, which recently sent a letter urging Obama to include gays and lesbians in the delegation. "Hopefully it sends a message to the Russian people and the rest of the world that the United States values the civil and human rights of LGBT people." (more on the link below)
(CTV News) (YouTube: Obama speech)
December 30, 2013: Another American speaker invited in Jamaica to promote anti-gay angenda
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: An anti-gay activist from Massachusetts has warned Jamaicans that repealing the country's sodomy provision would end freedom of speech and lead to a surge of sexually transmitted diseases during a rally in Kingston. Brian Camenker, founder of MassResistance, was the keynote speaker at an eventorganized by the Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society in the Jamaican capital's Emancipation Park on Dec. 10. The organization has led a campaign to preserve the sodomy provision — known locally as the "buggery law" — following Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller's suggestion just before her 2011 election that she might allow a vote on its repeal. "I am here to warn you that [repeal of the buggery law] will have terrible consequences," Camenker said, according to a video of the event uploaded by MassResistance on Saturday. "A law that contradicts God's law is the beginning of a slippery slope that you cannot imagine." (more on the link below)
ALSO: two recent cases of violence were added in the section CONSEQUENCES
NOTE: Due to my studies, the amount of time dedicated to update the websites are now limited. You can visit the following website, which provide a wide varity of Jamaican news related to LGBT issued. This is the best website that I found in recent years: Gay Jamaica Watch
If you visit this page often, I just added the following information: Analysis of the differences between original RCA and TOK Compassionate Act and the song Couple Up (August 13, 2009), Busy Signal song 'I Love Girls Who Love Girls' (October 1, 2010), Bounty Killer European Tour cancelled (August 10, 2011). Sizzla performing Boom Bye Bye in Jamaica (April 24, 2011), Sizzla concert cancelled in Germany (August 27, 2011), Mavado joined the Stop The Bleeding Campaign (November 11, 2011), Coca-Cola 'escuses' on Sizzla homophobic performance (November 25, 2011), King B-Fine fraternity statement (September 3, 2011). African reggae singer Blakk Rasta homophobic statement (January 12, 2011). Boom Bye Bye riddim played at Capleton's festival (August 5, 2011). Jamaica Tourist Board promotion in NY (May 9, 2011). A St Mary Mi Come From – Ode to homophobia (August 18, 2012), Gay wedding and black comic book characters (May 22, 2012), update on Mista Majah P single Karma (March 30, 2012). Free Buju T-Shirts being sold on official Marley shop (October 11, 2012), Man A Gallis documentary (February 3, 2012), VP Records Stricly not evolving (December 4, 2012), R&B singer Frank Ocean makes his coming out (July 4, 2012), Feud between Bounty Killer and Tommy Lee Sparta (September 16, 2012), Human Rights Watch urge Jamaica to scrap anti-buggery law (July 25, 2012), Hip-hop song that promotes same sex union reach top of the charts (October 2, 2012), Was there ever a Rebel Salute without homophobic comments? (January 19, 2013), Tony Matterhorn's Dancehall Duppy song trilogy (September 8, 2011),Tony Rebel & Queen Ifrica on repealing The Bugerry Law (January 14, 2012), Tony Rebel statement at Jamaica's 50th Anniversary (August 6, 2012)
••• Note that I also created the CONCERTS CANCELLED button in the main menu •••
••• Note that I also created the YOUTUBE VIDEO SCRAPBOOK page, available in the GET INFORMED section •••