Gay Jamaicans go on video to show the world who they are

Gay rights organisation J-FLAG launches We Are Jamaicans campaign to show diversity in LGBT community

Gay Jamaicans go on video to show the world who they are
18 January 2013

Gay Jamaicans have taken to the internet to show the world who they are in a hope to raise awareness of their situation.

J-FLAG, the LGBT rights advocacy organization, have launched a campaign featuring prominent Jamaicans speaking about gay issues on camera.

The campaign, titled We Are Jamaicans, hopes to raise awareness about the diversity among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans.

Dane Lewis, the gay executive director of J-FLAG, human rights champion Susan Goffe, LGBT ally Alexis Goffe and openly gay Javed Jaghai are the first participants to upload videos. 

Lewis said: ‘Regrettably, the diversity and complexity of Jamaica’s LGBT community is masked by media and advocacy narratives that too often focus on sex, victimhood, crime and HIV.

‘These themes are not identity-affirming and they sometimes further entrench the marginal position of LGBT people in the society.’

The We Are Jamaicans campaign echoes the It Gets Better Project, launched in America in 2010.

Let’s Build Our Country introduces the campaign with a story told on placards.

The full text of the launch video reads:

‘Hi, my job involves finding and telling the stories of others who have struggled, suffered, and those who need hope.

‘I tell their stories to give others strength, hope and a fighting chance for another day.

‘Understand that sexuality is as wide as the sea. Understand that your morality is not the law.

‘Understand that we are You. Understand that if we decide to love another male or female of our own sex it is our decision.

‘Let us focus on building our country and not define each other by who we love.

‘We are who we are, we are Jamaicans.’

In Jamaica, anal sex between men is illegal and punishable with hard labor for up to ten years.

Though sex between women is legal, Jamaica has been described as ‘the most homophobic place on earth’.

Check out the video here:

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