Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

The Safe House Homeless LGBTQ Project 2009 a detailed look & more


In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ youth in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Friday, April 28, 2017

Ruth & Naomi ........

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In the Sexual Awareness Month series this year you may have noticed I took a more biblical approach and the Ruth & Naomi story is the latest one I’ll try to tackle. Thanks to the bloggers who joined in the discussion which at times got rather vibrant. There had been some speculation about the closeness of the relationship between the two women suggestion there had some lesbian contact but the evidence of that is simply not there as some more persons where a more liberal reading still hold on to that thinking but it was more about women in their version of a support system given how women were treated. Chapter three of Ruth is where it is in this installment as two widows interact with each other in the patriarchal society in Jewish culture. Human relations and choices made either due to finding themselves in position of power and advantage or disadvantage who often end up in the line of abuse on many levels. Effectively Naomi an elderly widowed mother-in-law who encourages her widowed daughter-in-law to make herself available to a powerful rich man named Boaz to marry her. 

The book of Ruth is a short story recording an incident during the period of the Judges. An Israelite family moved from Judah to the land of Moab during a famine, the husband died, the two sons married foreign women but also die and she (Ruth) accompanied her mother-in-law and adopted Israelite faith as her own. Ruth eventually marry Boaz but not after a series of seductions as instructed or groomed by Naomi and she ended becoming the grandmother of David. The book of Ruth also shows the absorption of foreigners into Israelite culture thus pre-configuring the Christian gospel by which Gentiles are brought into God’s church. Ruth is a Gentile (Moabitess) in the ancestry of Jesus.

Ruth 3 King James Version (KJV)

3 Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?

2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.

3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.

4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.

5 And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.

6 And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.

7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.

8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.

9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.

10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.

11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.

12 And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.

13 Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the Lord liveth: lie down until the morning.

14 And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.

15 Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.

16 And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.

17 And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.

18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.

Naomi has been effective being seen as a ‘pimp’ by grooming and encouraging Ruth towards Boaz but bearing in mind that a kind of permitted incest was the order of the day despite the laws that protected strangers and widows but with all that her body was still the route to access. To again access to Boaz did not come as easy as today it came by women availing themselves sexually; sex used as transactionally some have said and although Boaz ended up marrying Ruth the assault in my eyes is an older woman pushing a younger woman on a rich man to secure. Naomi knew how to work the system even though laws then offered some protection to widows and strangers coming from the Sodom & Gomorrah days.

(Un)intended seduction may be the challenge here of the benefactor, the search specific nature of the grooming exercise by Naomi pushing on Ruth using femininity; unlike the Lot story of the ‘rape’ of him by his own daughters for purposes of continuing the bloodline here in this episode is about gaining wealth and security on the pretext of a seductress or in supplication, to bring it forward to today for a moment how many times have we seen mothers or guardians literally pimping out those in their charge to gain or take in income for the household. Ruth may have not even wanted to go to Boaz but in obedience to the older woman (Naomi) she obeyed the instructions, consent is another layer in this while she may have ‘offered’ herself to Boaz to eventually seduce him and the outcome showed no outright abuse.

The continuation of the bloodline so to speak and or to provide the kind of security similar to the Lot and his daughters case comes into play, the oldest male or closest male in the family has the responsibility even in a kind of permitted incest to interact with female, Naomi therefore understood the cultural nuances and encouraged Ruth albeit a foreigner into the culture. Naomi obviously was no fool in as far as the grooming of Ruth was concerned, she was looking out for what was supposedly best for her daughter in law; Ruth had done so much for Naomi prior that Naomi may have felt obligated in a sense and also knowing full well that she would get some spin-offs from the arrangement, Boaz was not the first choice so to speak but Naomi seemed sure that arrangement would have worked; I don’t think she was malicious but to instruct Ruth as to the very actions ought to do when she encouraged her to effectively seduce her; Boaz had already found some favour in Ruth as outlined in Chapter 2 of Ruth. How does someone who does not have access directly to their rights via a decision making process.

The business of survival comes into play and that women effectively had to do what they had to do; bearing in mind that the very translators of the bible wrote the thing from a patriarchal perspective.

The levirate marriage concept comes into play, a practice outlined in Deuteronomy 25 v 5 – 10 if a woman is childless after a previous marriage or with children and the husband dies the brothers of the dead husband is obligated to marry her and carry on the heritage and the children as products if that marriage legitimises the respect in the community.

Deuteronomy 25:5-10 New International Version (NIV)

5 If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. 

6 The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.

7 However, if a man does not want to marry his brother’s wife, she shall go to the elders at the town gate and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to carry on his brother’s name in Israel. He will not fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to me.” 

8 Then the elders of his town shall summon him and talk to him. If he persists in saying, “I do not want to marry her,” 

9 his brother’s widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face and say, “This is what is done to the man who will not build up his brother’s family line.” 

10 That man’s line shall be known in Israel as The Family of the Unsandaled.

Boaz in a sense realised he got caught or ‘ketch’ and he tried to worm his way out of it by differing Ruth to the other choice as he was closer in the lineage to the bloodline’ even after Ruth spends the night with Boaz he asks her not to let the other women in the circle know as if to suggest that at risk will be some compromised integrity or ethics, despite the cultural customs called for the powerful man to ensure his heritage. His strategy however was not an aggressive one and he seem to have tried to play it cool even though he knew that there was someone else with a superior claim. While Ruth did not end up in an abusive relationship how many times in contemporary reports we have heard of the pimping aspect of older women sending out their own daughters to bring in the bacon.

The rapid succession of disturbing reports of privileged pastors and church leaders who prey on vulnerable can easily be cited in this story hundreds of years old. The attachment to materialism is a major factor and some feel justified to lay themselves bare to ‘eat-a-food’ and easiest way to get to some wealth; this is not only limited to lower classes but professional persons as well for the most part to keep up appearances, the nice apartment must be maintained, the car must look a certain way or even the tertiary level fees have to be found somewhere, trouble is that sometimes the arrangement gets abusive and the privileged individual turns into a monster thinking he has a right so to do. In what are supposed to be legitimate marriages the power differentials play out, the wife may have married for some sort of security especially if she is expected to be a housewife or a stay at home mother and she must know her place; no talk of a job or continuing education under pain of losing certain benefits or gifts or how she in treated in the marriage, and sex by the way is a given whether or not she is in the mood.

More anon

Peace & tolerance

H

Saturday, April 15, 2017

PEPFAR may pull HIV funding from hard-hit Caribbean countries ..........

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The United States is terminating its funding to several of the Caribbean countries hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Directors of the US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), America’s global fund to fight AIDS around the world, said that they could no longer justify supporting the upper middle-income countries of the Caribbean, and have ordered fund terminations from as early as this year.


 President Reagan AIDSGATE years


I saw a series of reports out there recently on the decrease of PEPFAR to the Caribbean and it came to me that this is starting to feel like the US President Reagan years when the White House then simply ignored the calls for proper funding for research for a relatively new disease being HIV then known as SIDS and which was pegged as a gay disease or gay plague. 



Thanks to the Act UP campaign and vigorous advocacy in those days.

Upon the rumours and fears expressed by mostly American AIDS experts that funding for HIV prevention work and treatment and care it has come home to action by the Trump administration, obviously playing to his base as he is the most unpopular president in years.

The Bahamas — which has the highest population prevalence of HIV in the English-speaking Caribbean, at just over 3% — will have its funding cut entirely in September 2017, followed by Barbados in 2018. Meanwhile, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago will have their funding slashed to historic lows for two years, before their allocations end in 2019.

Of the middle-income Caribbean countries, only Jamaica will be spared from cuts, but under strict conditions. Far fewer people living with HIV in Jamaica receive treatment than in the other upper-middle income Caribbean countries, and estimates are that more than 3 in 10 Jamaican men who have sex with men are HIV positive. 


To address this, PEPFAR will move 67-75% of its Caribbean regional budget to the island between 2017 and 2019. In exchange, Jamaica will have to meet ambitious targets to curb its epidemic, or PEPFAR will leave the English-speaking Caribbean region entirely, including the member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.


In the Caribbean, PEPFAR contributes to the cost of HIV prevention programmes, drug procurement, and the treatment, care and psychosocial support of people living with HIV and AIDS. The Fund also works with community organisations to target HIV prevention and care to LGBT people and commercial sex workers who are on the periphery of direct government programmes. PEPFAR’s interventions are further supported by health experts at US diplomatic missions, where some vacant posts have already been frozen as a result of the clawback.

PEPFAR’s moves now increase the burden on regional governments to bring their HIV/AIDS epidemics under control, even as public finances in several of the affected countries are already stretched. With the exception of Haiti, which will retain its PEPFAR funding entirely, a complete regional pullout would leave a US$9m gap¹ in financing for the Caribbean’s response to HIV and AIDS, based on PEPFAR’s 2014/15 expenditure levels.

Despite some progress, the picture of the Caribbean’s HIV/AIDS response is mixed. Prevention messages that focus on abstinence and condom use are mainstays of national health campaigns, and costly interventions such as drug prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection are off the radar for most. Moralistic views and discrimination against the LGBT community are effective barriers to healthcare, and the prevalence of HIV among these marginalised groups can often run times higher than in the general population.

Strong progress and adoption of international best practices, such as Barbados’ decision to treat all people living with HIV, regardless of the stage of their disease, have been largely supported by PEPFAR funds. Central governments will now have limited time to ensure sustainability of these gains and to finance gaps after the departure of US aid.

While PEPFAR’s Directors made no explicit link between their decisions and President Trump’s dictates to cut America’s levels of foreign aid, the repeal of PEPFAR’s reach in the Caribbean follows the administration’s decisions to cut funding to the United Nations Food and Population Fund, as well as its removal of federal dollars from Planned Parenthood and other international development programmes.

The US Congress recently passed the US-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act, which an analysis featured in this publication deemed to be an important opportunity for advancing the Caribbean’s interests to the Trump administration. As at press time, sources tell Antillean that health and social development imperatives were not among the priorities advanced by CARICOM for the shaping of the future US engagement policy, despite CARICOM’s ambassadors in Washington and New York being briefed on PEPFAR’s decisions.


Thanks to the Antillean Media Outlet for this one (photos added for this post), in a another related story see: Trump administration cuts all future US funding to UNFPA

Friday, April 14, 2017

AirBnB accounts hacked..............

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As news spread internationally that AirBnB account holders in the North America and as far as Europe have had their profiles compromised by hackers there was no jitters at first. Since then it has been confirmed by email after I inquired, reports had surfaced that American customers have found their profiles compromised, they have also notified the codenamed ‘Pink Crab’ outfit for LGBT guests located in Portland in order to either delete the original one or simply set up new profiles and reengage, the verification process for current and newly approaching clients or inquiries is crucial so as not to have the ‘wrong crowd’.

Access to the verification badges of users is also troubling and why oh why was not a two or three step verification system in place. The ‘Pink Crab’ was originally a private outfit that relied on word of mouth between prior or repeat guests who spread the word even as they do cater to non LGBT clientele. The place hosted as well workshops often times with very higher than market prices; a criticism I have had of them after DJing there at a LGBTQ event almost fifteen years ago and two times since and hosting a book fair when I was more active in the book industry. I also have witnessed one re-commitment ceremony there when a lesbian couple who resided in New York wanted to do so back home very privately. The staff was a bit taken aback at the time as they never saw the sealing of vows by a same gender couple but have seen parties and so on.

Management says they want to keep the arrangement ultra private similarly to the Bubbles Bar even as stiff competition, slowly developing job markets in the US and fickle Canadian visitors’ numbers and refugee crisis intertwined with European economic challenges abound. Many ‘secret’ spaces have to be as in this case at the Crab literally and metaphorically crawl out of the sand hole more openly whilst engage disruptive technologies change traditions almost overnight. Other previously unknown guest houses have been getting bolder and clearly state via AirBnB that they accept LGBT guests and offer a secure environment by way of security companies for guests, much larger hotels are popping up all over the place which only adds more competition to smaller properties. A chaperone may be assigned (subject to the option if selected in booking) or armed guided tours are conducted as well. Some are concerned that if such hackings are not properly addressed by AirBnB soon trust might be lost, the entity seems to be moving slow on the hacking and based on their Facebook page the complaints were already coming in for some time now. 

Airbnb today announced a new set of mandatory security measures, including multi-factor authentication, it’s implementing to prevent account takeovers. Now, for the first time, Airbnb will require both hosts and guests logging in from new devices to verify their identity with a second account, either via SMS or email. A vast majority of other social and communication apps use multi-factor 
authentication, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter, making Airbnb a bit of an outlier to have gone so long before enabling it by default.

AIRBNB IS LATE TO THE MULTI-FACTOR PARTY say some lol

meanwhile:

Nate Blecharczyk
Chief Strategy Officer / co-founder 


said among other things that, Trust is the fundamental currency of the sharing economy — it’s at the very heart of our Airbnb community. As our global community continues to grow, we remain vigilant of the ways bad actors are looking to take advantage of this trust. Online scammers in particular are constantly adapting and refining their attacks.

One fraudulent tactic that is receiving increased attention is called an account takeover, or ATO for short. I want to take some time to explain to you how seriously we take this threat and to explain what we are doing here at Airbnb to confront it.

An ATO occurs when a bad actor gets access to a user’s account by stealing their password, usually through one of the following methods:

Password dumps. You’ve probably heard about high-profile security breaches of personal information at a number of different companies over the last few years. When these breaches occur, bad actors often download massive lists of usernames and passwords that they sell on the black market. Scammers then use the usernames and passwords they’ve purchased to see if they are a match for any number of other accounts, as many people tend to use the same password across platforms. Thus, this could in turn put your Airbnb account information at risk, despite the fact that our platform was not compromised.

Phishing. Bad actors will email or SMS you a link that asks you to enter your account credentials into a website that looks like one you know and use — but is actually malicious. They then record the information you provide and can use it to access your account.

Malware. If your computer is compromised by malicious software, it can capture your keystrokes and record your usernames and passwords. Once a bad actor has collected your password this way, they can maliciously access your account.

Historically, we’ve defended against account takeovers by using a machine learning model that predicts the probability that each login or action on Airbnb is being performed by the true account owner. If the model predicts a high risk that the account has been taken over, we would require the user to provide an additional confirmation.

The model is trained by observing hundreds of millions of historical login events that have been labeled as “good” or “bad”. The model then evaluates hundreds of signals simultaneously to determine the risk level, looking for various patterns such as:
Login from an unexpected country
Login from an unexpected IP address, computer, or phone
An unexpectedly high number of logins from a particular IP address

Our model is effective at stopping most account takeovers, but unfortunately there have been some incidents where hosts and guests have suffered. This is not acceptable to us, therefore we’re working around the clock to do everything we can to improve our detection and prevention methods. While the machine learning approach is common for online platforms, the nature of Airbnb’s product and the critical importance of trust within and among our community requires an even higher bar for security.

Effective today, we have launched new defenses to further prevent bad actors from taking over an Airbnb account, including:

Multi-factor authentication. We’re requiring additional verification whenever a user logs in from a new device, such as a computer, phone, or tablet — as is often the case for other services such as online banking. When you sign up for Airbnb, we’ll remember the device you used and allow you to log in from that device, as long as you have the password. Any new device you use, however, will require an additional verification even if you have the password. This defense is typically referred to as multi-factor authentication. We’ll confirm that you are the true account owner by sending a one-time unique confirmation code to your account phone number or email. Once you’ve entered that code on our site through your new device, you won’t have to do it again on that machine.

Improving account alerts. We’ve added SMS in addition to email to the ways in which we alert you, as well as expanded the range of changes we’ll proactively notify you about. We do this in order to let you know these changes have taken place — and so that you can take action to recover your account in the event you were not the one who made those changes.

Fortunately, the vast majority of our hosts and guests never have to deal with account takeovers or any other scam. While the enhancements we’re announcing today will add yet another layer of security to our users’ accounts, we always want our community to continue to be vigilant and exercise good security practices. We outline some recommended practices around strong passwords, safe payments and other measures on our site here.

The company says that one of the most common security breaches suffers is when a scammer or other bad actor takes control of someone’s account by obtaining the password. Normally, this would mean access to someone’s email or the ability to purchase stuff on their behalf. But in the case of Airbnb, it could mean giving a stranger access to private details about your home and the ability to rent it out to others. That arguably raises the stakes when it comes to account security.

Airbnb says it already uses predictive models, trained using machine learning techniques, that look for uncharacteristic behavior to flag. For instance, if the account is seeing an abnormal number of login attempts or a login from a foreign country, Airbnb’s system might ask for an additional confirmation that the person logged in is truly the host. Unfortunately, the company says this isn’t enough and both guests and hosts have suffered lost funds and fraudulent bookings as a result.

It is becoming all too easy these days to hack unto sites or phones and with the AirBnB business model allowing profiles to be more open even as persons are using fake or unverified identity photos, one impacted individual an American said the hacker had a photo of Bruce Willis when it was abundantly clear is was not the celebrity. 
The ability to change one’s personal information on the platform has also come into question, when a user over twenty hours can switch names, upload photos and or location is still too close a period for someone who is supposed to be an honest client. With allegations of an active hacking community in Russia for example especially before and after the United States elections has only sought to raise speculations that the hack is Russian based.

Media reports carried the discovery of the hacking:

Airbnb is improving the security of its app and website after a BBC investigation found people’s homes had been burgled by scammers using stolen accounts.

The BBC spoke to three people who were targeted after they advertised their properties on the accommodation-booking service.

The scammers hijacked accounts with verified badges and changed some of personal details to pull off the thefts.
Airbnb said it had already been working on the changes – which include sending text warnings if profiles are altered – when the crimes were brought to its attention.

"Unfortunately there have been some incidents where hosts and guests have suffered," said Nate Blecharczyk, co-founder of Airbnb.

"This is not acceptable to us, therefore we’re working around the clock to do everything we can to improve our detection and prevention methods."

The Bubbles Bar outfit in south west Jamaica has not been impacted as the client is wide enough to carry word of mouth via social media platforms albeit in private groups but they still do engage via AirBnB. Many US interests are searching for smaller residencies as the newer millennials with disposable incomes while doing the five star properties also want a more earthy experience on the ground while having the basics such as internet access and other meeting or mini-conference space. Bubbles bar after some convincing hosted a webinar which went pretty well, the boss does not like working in the day for the most part. There is a rumour as well that an all female guest house as well in eastern Jamaica that occasionally host lymes and such with a tightly knit crew and they occasionally engage AirBnB as well while repeatedly using a new name at every cycle.

Keeping my fingers crossed I hope that AirBnB can strengthen their security since they are the trusted outfits; newer rivals are not there yet. Given the ease of hacking it is incumbent for the ABnB folks to be far more stronger on the security front.

Peace & tolerance

H

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Behaviour change interventions in HIV prevention: is there still a place for them?

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Face-to-face interventions work best says Gus Cairns

Jump to
Background to the analysis
Results
Devising a modern behavioural intervention
Reference


A meta-analysis of studies of brief interventions to reduce HIV risk behaviour in HIV-negative gay men has concluded that there is evidence that such techniques did have a significant impact on the behaviours they were designed to change.

It also found evidence that the best way to conduct such interventions was face-to-face, i.e. not via the internet, telephone or phone apps, and that immediately or shortly after HIV testing was an ideal “learning moment” to conduct them.

Interventions that helped participants set goals for themselves, and ones that helped them understand and restructure self-justifying or contradictory thinking, were the ones most likely to result in behaviour change. Programmes worked better if they involved participants feeling differently about themselves and their behavioural risk, rather than receiving new information. Interventions worked better if they were based explicitly on a theory of behaviour change.

However, while the analysis did find positive evidence for such interventions producing behaviour change, the writers also conclude that the HIV prevention “landscape” has changed radically in the last few years. The studies were published between 2002 and 2014 and probably gathered their data at least two years before their publication date. None included as measurable outcomes serosorting or seropositioning (i.e. basing condom use or sex role on a partner’s perceived status), pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use, decisions based on partners’ viral load, or the use of negotiated safety arrangements, even though the authors tried to find studies that measured these.

There was just one outcome measure that was sufficiently universal across the studies for the authors to make a statistical generalisation about study effectiveness: whether the interventions reduced condomless anal sex. Even though this was measured in various ways (number of condomless acts, number of condomless sex partners, whether they occurred with primary or casual partners, the HIV status or assumed status of the partner, and so on) and was measured over different time periods, the general reduction in condomless sex acts after the eleven interventions was 25%.

Background to the analysis

Compared with the comprehensive effectiveness of both PrEP and immediate HIV treatment as prevention, this may sound like a small reduction in HIV risk. But, as lead author Paul Flowers of Glasgow Caledonian University told aidsmap.com: “Behaviour change interventions boost and complement biomedical technologies rather than competing with them. Getting people on to PrEP and getting people to test regularly is what behaviour change interventions can and should be doing.”

He explained that the impetus behind this meta-analysis of behaviour-change interventions was that he and other academics were involved in writing two sets of new prevention guidelines, for the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and for Health Protection Scotland.

They were confronted with the lack of an up-to-date evidence base that would indicate how and when to use such interventions to help people at risk of HIV reduce their risk. As well as much of the research being out of date, the field suffers from the fact that most of the research has been done in the US, where effective behavioural interventions are collated at a site run by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Because of this, they were commissioned by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to investigate the evidence for what worked and then devise an intervention based on that evidence, which could be 'transferable' enough to produce positive effects on other behaviours such as PrEP use or testing.

There have been a fair number of meta-analyses of behaviour change interventions published. Flowers and colleagues counted 19 published since 2000. These vary by the publication date of the studies they included, by whether they only included specific populations, and by whether they only used certain methods. Because of this, they vary enormously in size, from a systematic review of three studies using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in US gay men who inject drugs, to a huge 2005 synthesis of 354 studies that were published between 1988 and 2003.

Results

Flowers and colleagues drew tight criteria for inclusion in their meta-analysis. They only included studies in which at least 60% of participants were HIV-negative men who have sex with men; they only included studies published since 2000, as they wanted to exclude studies conducted in the days before effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) became available; and they only included studies of brief interventions, which meant five sessions or fewer. The latter was because the commissioning call from NIHR required the evidence for brief interventions.

They found eleven studies in all, which varied greatly in their methodology. Some were online and/or used novel intervention strategies: a graphic novel, a telephone intervention, or an informational video added to counselling sessions. Others were face-to-face. Six out of the eleven studies used a version of Personalised Cognitive Counselling (PCC), an adaptation of CBT for single or brief interventions, designed to be used at the time of or close to HIV testing. In addition to the six PCC-based interventions, there were two peer-delivered interventions where the basis of the intervention is not stated. Four were delivered at an HIV testing appointment (three after the negative result was given, one while waiting for the result); two were given during or after testing to both HIV-positive and negative test recipients; and four, primarily the online interventions, were given to people who recorded themselves as being HIV-negative and not at a testing appointment. The follow-up period over which the effect of the intervention was measured varied from two to ten months, with six studies using six months.

As we said above, the eleven studies produced an overall reduction in condomless sex (measured in various ways) of 25% (95% confidence interval, 9% to 38%). Six out of the eleven produced statistically significant reductions.

This agrees well with the second-largest meta-analysis of behavioural interventions, which included 102 studies and was published in 2013: this found a 27-30% reduction in condomless sex among its study recipients, which included HIV-positive and HIV-negative gay and heterosexual men. The largest meta-analysis, the 354-study one mentioned above, found a 38% reduction in condomless sex among recipients of ‘active’ prevention methods, i.e. ones with a counselling component, and 19% in ones without a counselling component such as videos and information sessions.

Flowers’ findings were therefore broadly in line with these. The problem is, however, that the behaviours that interventions may wish to change are now different. The crucial question then, is whether the skills and rethinks taught by the studies involve the kind of learning that might also encourage people to seek and adhere to PrEP, test for HIV regularly, and so on.

As clues to devising an intervention that could reinforce these behaviours as well as condom use, Flowers’ team did some sub-analyses of factors associated with significant reductions in condomless sex.

They found that two methods were associated with significant reductions. The first was using goal-setting and action-planning as part of the method, to get recipients to set behavioural targets. The second was using methods that drew attention to contradictions and justifications in participants’ thinking and thus helped them to feel more understanding, positive and capable about their ability to change. Taken together, these methods were 34% effective. Other methods such as information-giving, social support and an emphasis on threat or danger were not associated with effectiveness.

Interventions delivered via telephone or online were not effective. In contrast interventions delivered face-to-face were 34% effective. If the intervention was delivered immediately after receiving a test result, the average effectiveness was 36%; delivered longer after the result, interventions were not effective.

Although these factors were not quantified, the study found also that interventions were effective if they were delivered by professionals, but ones with clear and contemporary knowledge of the gay scene and MSM sex.

Devising a modern behavioural intervention

As a result, Flowers and colleagues drew up a specification for a suggested modern behavioural intervention for gay men.

It would include:
An initial ‘peer-oriented visual aid’ which would not just talk about health risk but also address the complexity of modern HIV risk and talk about emotions and feelings, serosorting, condomless sex, PrEP, treatment as prevention and drug and alcohol use.

This would segue into a one-to-one counselling session that would:
Focus initially on a single event seen by the client as risky or unhelpful (not using a condom, missing a PrEP dose, etc)
Refer back to the visual aid to put the client’s actual risk and the processes that led to taking a risk (emotional need, intoxication, being too busy, etc) in perspective
Invite the client to think about weighing up the pros and cons of different behaviours/strategies and how they might do things differently
Help the client draw up an action plan to help reduce risk or encourage health-seeking behaviours for the future.

Paul Flowers and colleagues are hopeful that this intervention could be the subject of a study of a behavioural intervention truly adapted to the new world of HIV prevention.

“We definitely think it is time for studies to embrace diverse outcome measures – it’s long overdue. We can’t speak for NIHR but we think it’s worth considering post-test interventions to increase frequent testing among those who need it and to encourage the consideration of PrEP. There will be challenges as HIV testing diversifies into self-testing and so on and we’ve written another paper on that.

But an HIV test represents a ‘teachable moment’ for some people and we want to help them sustain positive changes they might be motivated to make at that moment.”

Reference

Flowers P et al. The clinical effectiveness of individual behaviour change interventions to reduce risky sexual behaviour after a negative human immunodeficiency virus test in men who have sex with men: systematic and realist reviews and intervention development. Health Technology Assessment 21(5): DOI 10.3310/hta21050. See full report here.

Consent! Because you’re mine ........

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There is a school of thought especially in Christian relationship circles or some cultures that wives ought to consent in the home overall and especially when sex is demanded without any rebuff or resistance. The act of marriage supposedly allows the husband to control his wife on many fronts and she is nothing more than a subservient being or an incubator for sperm as all of nascent life, a carryover from African and Hebrew cultures arguably; a wife must not question the authority of her husband in certain respects especially the bedroom as the procreation imperative must be the marker of the marriage to impress or prove that the marriage is consummated. 


It gets worse if the wife is not gainfully employed, totally dependent on her husband for support, told not to work but remain as a housewife and rear children or can earn her own keep and attempts to live the women’s lib philosophies in the marriage, she may be told to cool it at least or physically and sexually abused at best while she is forced to cover the wounds in time for Saturday or Sunday morning service as the public must not see signs of trouble in the union. Then there is the cheating element as the husband is free to flirt or have a mistress on the side even as a Christian male but the wife dares not protest and must ‘give it up’ when needed.

The marriage liturgy for example for centuries is designed to make the one with the lesser power basically victimized and sets up some of the present skewed power differentials. Who ‘gives’ the wife away as if she is some piece or property? or we talk about pregnant teenage mothers but what if the name for the men who got them pregnant? I guess ‘normal’; we talk about nymphomaniacs but what about the men who can’t get enough? They are praised as bed killers or strong; the problematic business of tops and bottoms in terms of questions of control and how we buy into it to legitimize hetero-normative confirmation to feel accepted. Unlearning some of that role play reliance is so critical in solving some of the intimate partner issues.

The impacted person may not be even aroused, interested or seeing certain body functions at work yet she is forced to lay there as a log and put up with the torture with all kinds of thoughts in her head, including whether or not to report the matter to the police or tell other family members and in-laws; she might just be re-victimised all over again or called a liar in order to make her way out of the union or for money in a victimhood shakedown. The reliance on biblical texts such of those of apostle Paul where on one hand he equate men and women as equal where he encourages marriages seeing that he thought the second coming of Christ was near but by the time he gets to other letters to the saints he elevates the role of men and effectively makes women in relationships second fiddle whilst also suggesting women also have no role in the church leadership. Male privilege I suppose.

Secular heterosexual relationships are the same thing as recent news stories and public awareness programs suggest, some of that is influenced by dancehall in large part as in a kind of art imitating life women are just sex objects that when seen women in bag-a-woman thinking and ‘produce a yute’ as a marker of virility, single men or men without children to a certain extent as still suspected to be gay or a ‘fish’. Similarly the woman or common law wife has to ‘give it up’ when the man needs it and it gets worse when there is alcoholism involved. If ever a condom is discovered by the man in possession of the woman things can turn for the worst as she will be accused of cheating on the man and he launches the ‘consent! Because you’re mine’ and trying to escape can be problematic as a recent case showed and the woman was killed by the man who then in turn tried to commit suicide. Obviously there are other psychologies at work which the experts have been trying to simply for the public’ awareness but the rapid succession of cases suggests that there is a lot of work that is to be done. The family unit is the main corner that religious minded and conservatives tend to focus on but often nicely overlook abuse in the church as recent rapid succession of court cases shows.

Same gender component 


Substitute the above to make it a gay or lesbian union and the similarities are clear outside of having no gay marriage rights and benefits as yet. It gets more complicated when hetero-normative role play worms its way into the union; butch versus stud or so called thuggy types/heaviots versus a bottom or queen. The lesser powered individual in the union of liaison is expected to perform the assigned role or expected activity similar to a heterosexual arrangement. Disobedience of any sorts sometimes are not tolerated especially with lesbians, the butch identified women in some unions tend to mimic the role of a gangster or a man so much so that the abuse can get really physically damaging through beating or over use of sex toys to show dominance. 

Homeless component

While in this part of the equation long term relationships might not be the norm power differentials play out for purposes of control more so than sex but the lesser powered person is expected to consent or raped if they resist often done bareback which raises the STI and HIV transmission problems, the intended target is usually the physically weaker individual as part of the group dynamics overall. A similar challenge occurs in the prison systems, and other types of correctional residences the prison wife phenomenon or downlow activity can spill over into all out abuse in a single sexed febrile environments. A hierarchy of sorts already in existence in the homeless group only plays over in the point of least resistance on the part of the perpetrator and adolescent victim in particular are impacted by aggressive older men, the abuse may include forcing persons to go out and earn usually via commercial sex or robbery as well (the unusually high phone robberies in recent times) and can also have a promotional benefit in terms of the hierarchy or pecking order of the unofficial leadership of the group.

With power differentials in many of these unions there is often time no option to say; violence often associated with sex in music for example seems to be a driver of this, so the ‘wuk’ is not done until there cries of pain as evidence of good sex is complete. Sadly femme types in some unions are either forced into submission, or subscribe to the she beats me because she loves me thinking which is given credence by popular singers or ruff sex makes me legitimate in my partner’s eyes. Rihanna’s “Love on The Brain” & the ‘He beats me ‘cause he loves me’ issue was dealt with in a previous post on Gay Jamaica Watch, I looked at the lyrical content especially the refrain which said in part:

Baby, you got me like ah, woo, ah
Don't you stop loving me, loving me
Don't quit loving me, loving me
Just start loving me, loving me, babe

Oh, and, babe, I'm fist fighting with fire
Just to get close to you
Can we burn something, babe?
And I run for miles just to get a taste
Must be love on the brain
That's got me feeling this way
It beats me black and blue but it fucks me so good
And I can't get enough
Must be love on the brain, yeah
And it keeps cursing my name, cursing my name
No matter what I do
I'm no good without you
And I can't get enough
Must be love on the brain

Then you keep loving me
Just love me, yeah
Just love me
All you need to do is love me yeah
Got me like ah-ah-ah-ow
I'm tired of being played like a violin
What do I gotta do to get in your motherfuckin' heart?


ENDS

On the gay or bisexual side the same relationship abuse also occurred, by observation over the years it gets pretty peculiar when there is a bisexual man involved who is paranoid downlow and who may be married struggling with his sexual orientation, the partner is expected to keep the secret in order to keep up appearances elsewhere but when he needs some ass the consent! Because you’re mine slips in. Such men tend to take on less physically powered men that can be controlled and the point of least resistance is advantageous. In a previous post I looked at the legal implications in terms of reports to the police when it’s male lovers in an abusive setting; lesbians might have a better customer service experience literally in the precinct as opposed to one male accusing another; then there is the buggery law issue, the report non-consent involving anal penetration technically can land the accused or even the receptive partner depending on the details with a buggery charge or grievous sexual assault. Referrals to the requisite expert is one thing but what about the perpetrator; not many victims are willing to go all the way to a court case given the fear or exposure, retaliation and a sentencing that effectively re-victimized them all over again. The police engagement by way of reporting may only be limited to physical abuse or intimate partner violence without the sexual component which may be hard to do. The best solution is to try and leave the environment but barring any specific legislation for same gender couples especially men that may make the victim immune to a charge of buggery while going after the assault options are limited.

Peace & tolerance

H

also see:



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bermuda Supreme Court expected to rule on SAME SEX MARRIAGE in April ............

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The latest update has come via the petition site supporting this thrust. We understand that Supreme Court Justice Charles Etta-Simmons will rule on the recent court case where a Bermudian male is seeking to marry a Canadian male in Bermuda. The decision is scheduled on or before April 14th we understand.

We are hopeful for a positive outcome and that equality will be the winner.


You may recall in previous posts how the case came to be in 2016. 

The challenge read in part:
Same-sex couples want to marry for all the same reasons as their opposite-sex counterparts.

These reasons include: for legal security, to publicly celebrate their commitment, to provide greater legal protection for their children, or simply because they are in love.



FIRST, we will look at the benefits that flow to same-sex couples who marry. This is followed by the wider social benefits that come from removing discrimination from the Marriage Act and ensuring equality for same-sex couples.
******************************************************************************************
SECOND, married partners have immediate access to all relationship entitlements, protections and responsibilities.
This contrasts to de facto couples who must live together for a certain period before they are deemed to have legal rights.

A marriage certificate also allows married partners to easily prove their legal rights if challenged, for example in emergency situations. The capacity to quickly and easily prove one’s relationship status is particularly important for same-sex partners because prejudice against same-sex relationships can mean legal rights are denied.
******************************************************************************************
THIRD, allowing same-sex couples to be included in such a universal and valued institution as marriage will provide them and their families with real social and cultural benefits.


Landmark research led by Lee Badgett, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, describes and quantifies some of these benefits in two different places that have allowed same-sex marriages for several years, the Netherlands and Massachusetts.

[ii] Badgett found that same-sex partners overwhelmingly,
• felt marriage had increased their commitment and their sense of responsibility, and had generally strengthened their relationships
• believed their children were better off after their marriage, chiefly through legal protection for those children and enhanced feelings of security, stability and acceptance in the children, and
• felt participation and acceptance in their extended families and communities had increased because of their marriage

Her conclusion was that,

“Overall, the experiences of same-sex couples in two countries, the United States and the Netherlands, suggests that same-sex couples and their families are strengthened by a policy of marriage equality for same-sex couples.”
There is also a growing body of research showing that married partners, including same-sex married partners, are, on average, healthier, happier and longer lived, than their cohabiting peers, or singles. According to the US Centre for Disease Control, even rates of heart disease, drug use and stress are lower among married partners.

References:
[ii] Badgett, M.V., N. Goldberg and C. Ramos, The Effects of Marriage Equality in Massachusetts: A survey of the experiences and impact of marriage on same-sex couples. UCLA School of Law, 2009. Also, When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage. New York University Press, 2009.
*******************************************************************************************
FOUR, Bermuda's ban on same-sex marriage doesn’t only disadvantage those same-sex partners who seek to marry.
It disadvantages all same-sex attracted Bermudians, including those who are not in a relationship, or who would not marry, even if they could.
It does this by treating them as legally unequal to their heterosexual counterparts, and by not allowing them the same life choices.

Governments restrictions on who gay and lesbian Bermudians can marry violates their fundamental human rights in the same way the rights of Aboriginal Australians of African Americans were once violated by laws which prevented from marrying who they wished.
The association between the equality in marriage and freedom from second-class status is well understood in the context of the struggle for the civil rights of people of color.

In 1958, in the midst of the struggle for black civil rights in America, Martin Luther King Jr declared,
“When any society says that I cannot marry a certain person, that society has cut off a segment of my freedom.” 

[iii] Consider all the other groups in society, along with people of color and same-sex attracted people, who at one time or another have been denied the right to marry the partner of their choice: women, people from differing faiths, people with disabilities.

What they all have in common is that they have been regarded as too immature or irresponsible to make what is arguably the most important decision any individual can ever make, the choice of a life-long partner.
In the same vein, the gradual acceptance that members of these groups are fully adult, fully citizens and fully human, has been accompanied by an acceptance of their right to marry whomever they wished.

References:
[iii] King (Jr), M. L., Carson, C., Luker, R., and Russell, P. A., (2000) The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr: Symbol of the movement, January 1957, University of California Press, Berkeley. Page 436.

Keeping our fingers crossed

Peace & tolerance

H

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Amnon rapes Tamar ....

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In this year’s series of Sexual Assault Awareness Month let us continue to look at the matter of abuse of women mostly as shown in the bible. There are some texts known as ‘texts of terror’ that are sometimes rarely used in the liturgy as they are too controversial save and except Genesis 19 and the Sodom Story or Apostle Paul’s condemnation of male and female homosexuality. Given recent events of pastors accused and found guilty of sexual assault and internationally the whole ugly mess of clerical abuse the timing of this could not have been more opportune. First let us take a look at excerpts of the text in question from 2 Samuel 13 into 14:


And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.2 And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her.3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.4 And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king’s son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.5 And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.

6 So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon’s house, and dress him meat.8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.9 And she took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Have out all men from me. And they went out every man from him.10 And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.11 And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.12 And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.13 And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.

15 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.16 And she said unto him, There is no cause: this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that thou didst unto me. But he would not hearken unto her.17 Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.18 And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king’s daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.

19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying.20 And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.

21 But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth.22 And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.

23 And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal- hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king’s sons.24 And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers; let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants go with thy servant.25 And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him.26 Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee?27 But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous and be valiant.29 And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.

30 And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left.31 Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent.32 And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king’s sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.33 Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead.34 But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill side behind him.35 And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king’s sons come: as thy servant said, so it is.36 And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king’s sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore.

37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.38 So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.39 And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.

The scheming issue is the main theme let alone incest and when compared to present day gang rape phenomenon but to think Amnon plotted to rape his own sister and the entitlement phenomenon in Hebrew culture and is very much alive today. Tamar is lured into a well crafted plot when Amnon portrays himself to be sick and it is in Tamar’s visit the abuse is exacted in cahoots with Jonadab his cousin. Interestingly Amnon sent out the servants deliberately so he could be alone with the victim. Then the business of victim blaming, ostracism and Amnon refers to her after the fact as ‘the woman’ even as she wore the traditional ashes on her face as is customary for women who lost their virginity whilst ditching the virginal veil.

The matter was reported to David Tamar’s father although getting angry but he did nothing but then again he too had his own case to contend with Bathsheeba where he David had her and then arranged to have her husband killed. Bring it to present reality death threats are a tool to control abused persons or even exacted; a certain sexual slavery case here in Jamaica comes to mind where a teen was living in a house under duress. Then there is the business of the cover up or victim blaming comes into play similarly to present day challenges, women or abused persons are forced into silence or psychologically intimidated at the behest of the abuser, they are told to keep it quiet as in this case Tamar’s own brother Absalom when he learnt of the matter told her not to say a thing; he did eventually had Amnon murdered but what a gruesome way to end it. The recently concluded matter of the Pentecostal pastor who was taken to court after he was accused of raping a young girl with the girl’s brother as the eyewitness, the brother reported the abuse to the mother and she in turn did the right thing and had the man arrested, he got twenty years for the crime yet the mother of the children who was a member of the church has been blasted by other congregants that she is wicked and should have left it alone. The silence in the church is telling and the selectivity on issues is clear, since the recent back to back abuse matters involving pastors is glossed over or placed in a generalised context. Marches and public protests on gender based violence are admirable yet hypocritical, hardly any discourse at least publicly comes forth on a call to seek, find (not to abuse but public shame) and move towards some healing; there seems to be hardly any genuine and truthful introspection as it is just to embarrassing and the fear is the church will lose face when they already have by their self inflicted wounds hence control of people’s lives as the sex police, yet at this time when such policing is needed they dance around same.

The mother has since had to relocate and find another church community just to get some peace. She was reported to have said that she was actually threatened by persons who were supposed to be Christians yet when pastors are found wanting they defend their privilege. The justification of the attack on the mother is that she has brought disgrace to the church and that the pastor is ‘lean’ no matter as if he is sinless. It is as if we are seeing a continuation of the aforementioned issues in present realities in gender based violence, incest, misuse power and many pastors do not touch such biblical texts as it diminishes the ‘fire’ element of the liturgy, similarly to the Lot & Sodom and Gomorrah story where the frame of reference ends with the destruction of the city supposedly for homosexuality yet the preachers hardly ever seem to go further about the incest allegedly blamed on his two daughters who took turns in ‘raping’ him and both got pregnant even as he was said to be drunk when it happened; evidently he was not too drunk to have an erection though only to be taken advantage by two young women being his own daughters.

The usefulness of this and other such ‘texts of terror’ is that the business of abuse is as old as time itself and that male privilege is often wrapped up cultural practices but if it is healing that is the main thrust then truth will have to prevail. Theological avoidance is simply clear deception and such texts must be brought to the open much more that simply antigay condemnation given rise to power by often times misguided fanatical church folks and leaders, other more sensible folks need to also speak up and point out and report said abuses. Too many board members of churches know what is happening yet sweep them under the carpet so as to not upset the applecart or lose face.

Peace & tolerance

H

also see:
Justified underage sexual abuse in lieu of homosexual sex!

On pastoral abuse, celibacy, cover-ups & passing the buck
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Nationwide New Network, NNN devoted some forty five minutes of prime time yesterday evening to discuss the issue and help listeners to at least begin to process some of the information coming from the most public declaration exercise as done by Jenner. Guests on the show were Dr Karen Carpenter Board Certified Clinical Sexologist and Psychologist, ‘Satiba’ from Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica of which I am affiliated and Lecturer (Sociologist) and host of Every Woman on the station Georgette Crawford Williams (sister of PNP member of parliament Damian Crawford); one of the first questions thrown at Satiba by host Cliff Hughes was why has Jenna waited so long at 65 years old to make such a life changing decision?

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Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website


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It seems like homosexuality is on everyone's tongue. From articles in the newspapers to countless news stories and commentaries, it seems like everyone is talking about the gays. Since Jamaica identifies as a Christian nation, the obvious thought about homosexuality is that it is wrong but only male homosexuality seems to influence the more passionate responses. It seems we are more open to accepting lesbianism but gay men are greeted with much disapproval.

Dancehall has certainly been very clear where it stands when it comes to this issue with various songs voicing clear condemnation of this lifestyle. Currently, quite a few artistes are facing continuous protests because of their anti-gay lyrics. Even the law makers are involved in the gayness as there have been several calls for the repeal of the buggery law. Recently Parliament announced plans to review the Sexual Offences Act which, I am sure, will no doubt address homosexuality.

Jamaica has been described as a homophobic nation. The question I want to ask is: What are we afraid of? There are usually many reasons why homosexuality is such a pain in the a@. Here are some of the more popular arguments MORE HERE

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Promised conscience vote was a fluke from the PNP ........



SO WE WERE DUPED EH? - the suggestion of a conscience vote on the buggery law as espoused by Prime Minister (then opposition leader) in the 2011 leadership debate preceding the last national elections was a dangling carrot for a dumb donkey to follow.

Many advocates and individuals interpreted Mrs Simpson Miller's pronouncements as a promise or a commitment to repeal or at least look at the archaic buggery law but I and a few others who spoke openly dismissed it all from day one as nothing more than hot air especially soon after in February member of parliament Damian Crawford poured cold water on the suggestion/promise and said it was not a priority as that time. and who seems to always open his mouth these days and revealing his thoughts that sometimes go against the administration's path.

I knew from then that as existed before even under the previous PM P. J. Patterson (often thought to be gay by the public) also danced around the issue as this could mean votes and loss of political power. Mrs Simpson Miller in the meantime was awarded a political consultants' democracy medal as their conference concludes in Antigua.


War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?



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This is laughable to me in a sense as both gentleman have broken the ethical lines of advocacy respectively repeatedly especially on HIV/AIDS and on legal matters concerning LGBTQ issues

The evidence is overwhelming readers/listeners, you decide.


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Tomlinson's post originally was:






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also see:

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What do you think is the most important area of HIV treatment research today?

Do you think Lesbians could use their tolerance advantage to help push for gay rights in Jamaica??

Violence & venom force gay Jamaicans to hide



a 2009 Word focus report where the history of the major explosion of homeless MSM occurred and references to the party DVD that was leaked to the bootleg market which exposed many unsuspecting patrons to the public (3:59), also the caustic remarks made by former member of Parliament in the then JLP administration.

The agencies at the time were also highlighted and the homo negative and homophobic violence met by ordinary Jamaican same gender loving men.

The late founder of the CVC, former ED of JASL and JFLAG Dr. Robert Carr was also interviewed.

At 4:42 that MSM was still homeless to 2012 but has managed to eek out a living but being ever so cautious as his face is recognizable from the exposed party DVD, he has been slowly making his way to recovery despite the very slow pace.

Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

Thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact: glbtqjamaica@live.com or lgbtevent@gmail.com



Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
  • Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives

  • To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony

  • Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions

  • Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere

  • Welcoming, examining and implementing suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public

  • Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner

  • Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise

  • Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL
Thanks again for your support.

Tel: 1-876-841-2923




Peace

Information & Disclaimer


Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.

This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alleged gays in Jamaica.

Faces and names withheld for the victims' protection.

This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.

This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.

Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.

This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practitioner

Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.

As for some posts, they contain enclosure links to articles, blogs and or sites for your perusal, use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.

Recent Homophobic Cases

CLICK HERE for related posts/labels and HERE from the gayjamaicawatch's BLOG containing information I am aware of. If you know of any such reports or incidents please contact lgbtevent@gmail.com or call 1-876-841-2923

Peace to you and be safe out there.

Love.


What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)


First, be calm: Do not panic; it may be very difficult to maintain composure if attacked but this is important.

Try to reason with the attacker: Establish communication with the person. This takes a lot of courage. However, a conversation may change the intention of an attacker.

Do not try anything foolish: If you know outmaneuvering the attacker is impossible, do not try it.

Do not appear to be afraid: Look the attacker in the eye and demonstrate that you are not fearful.

This may have a psychological effect on the individual.

Emergency numbers

The police 119

Kingfish 811

Crime Stop 311

Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police


a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violated. When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions

j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it

What to do


a. Make a phone call: to a lawyer or relative or anyone

b. Ask to see a lawyer immediately: if you don’t have the money ask for a Duty Council

c. A Duty Council is a lawyer provided by the state

d. Talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police

e. Tell your lawyer if anyone hits you and identify who did so by name and number

f. Give no explanations excuses or stories: you can make your defense later in court based on what you and your lawyer decided

g. Ask the sub officer in charge of the station to grant bail once you are charged with an offence

h. Ask to be taken before a justice of The Peace immediately if the sub officer refuses you bail

i. Demand to be brought before a Resident Magistrate and have your lawyer ask the judge for bail

j. Ask that any property taken from you be listed and sealed in your presence

Cases of Assault:An assault is an apprehension that someone is about to hit you

The following may apply:

1) Call 119 or go to the station or the police arrives depending on the severity of the injuries

2) The report must be about the incident as it happened, once the report is admitted as evidence it becomes the basis for the trial

3) Critical evidence must be gathered as to the injuries received which may include a Doctor’s report of the injuries.

4) The description must be clearly stated; describing injuries directly and identifying them clearly, show the doctor the injuries clearly upon the visit it must be able to stand up under cross examination in court.

5) Misguided evidence threatens the credibility of the witness during a trial; avoid the questioning of the witnesses credibility, the tribunal of fact must be able to rely on the witness’s word in presenting evidence

6) The court is guided by credible evidence on which it will make it’s finding of facts

7) Bolster the credibility of a case by a report from an independent disinterested party.

Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today

VACANT AT LAST! SHOEMAKERGULLY: DISPLACED MSM/TRANS PERSONS WERE IS CLEARED DECEMBER 2014





CVM TV carried a raid and subsequent temporary blockade exercise of the Shoemaker Gully in the New Kingston district as the authorities respond to the bad eggs in the group of homeless/displaced or idling MSM/Trans persons who loiter there for years.

Question is what will happen to the population now as they struggle for a roof over their heads and food etc. The Superintendent who proposed a shelter idea (that seemingly has been ignored by JFLAG et al) was the one who led the raid/eviction.

Also see:
the CVM NEWS Story HERE on the eviction/raid taken by the police

also see a flashback to some of the troubling issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless GBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

May 22, 2015 update, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston



THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts


THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts 




The Prime Minister (Golding) on Same Sex Marriages and the Charter of Rights Debate (2009)


Other sides to the msm homeless saga (2012)


Rowdy Gays Matter 21.08.11 more HERE



Ethical Professionlism & LGBT Advocates 01.02.12 more HERE


Portia Simpson Miller - SIMPSON MILLER DEFENDS GAY COMMENT 23.12.11


2 SGL Women lost, corrective rape and virtual silence from the male dominated advocacy structure


Al Miller on UK Aid & The Abnormality of Homosexuality 19.11.11


Homosexuality is Not Illegal in Jamaica .... Buggery is despite the persons gender 12.11.11 MORE HERE 


MSM Homelessness 2011 ...my two cents


Black Friday for Gays in Jamaica More HERE


Bi-phobia by default from supposed LGBT advocate structures?


Homeless MSMs Saga Timeline 28.08.11 (HOT!!!) see more HERE


A Response to Al Miller's Abnormality of Homosexuality statement 19.11.11


UK/commonwealth Aid Matter & The New Developments, no aid cuts but redirecting, ethical problems on our part - 22.11.11


Homophobic Killings versus Non Homophobic Killings 12.07.12


Big Lies, Crisis Archiving & More MSM Homlessness Issues 12.07.12


More MSM Challenges July 2012 more sounds HERE


GLBTQ Jamaica 2011 Summary 02.01.12 more HERE


Homosexuality Destroying the Family? .............. I Think Not!


Lesbian issues left out of the Jamaican advocacy thrust until now?


Club Heavens The Rebirth 12.02.12 and more HERE


Should gov't provide shelter for homeless msm?


National attitudes to gays survey shows 78% of J'cans say NO to buggery repeal


1st Anniversary of Homeless MSM civil disobedience (Aug 23/4) 2012 more HERE


JFLAG's rejection of rowdy homeless msms & the Sept 21st standoff .........


Atheism & Secularism may cloud the struggle for lgbt rights in Jamaica more HERE


Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II and more HERE


MSM Community Displacement Concerns October 2012


The UTECH abuse & related issues


Beenieman's hypocrisy & his fake apology in his own words and more HERE


Guarded about JFLAG's Homeless shelter


Homophobia & homelessness matters for November 2012 ................


Cabinet delays buggery review, says it's not a priority & more ...........................(November 2012) prior to the announcement of the review in parliament in June 2013 More sounds HERE


"Dutty Mind" used in Patois Bible to describe homosexuals


Homeless impatient with agencies over slow progress for promised shelter 2012 More HERE


George Davis Live - Dr Wayne West & Carole Narcisse on JCHS' illogical fear


Homeless MSM Issues in New Kgn Jan 2013 .......


Homeless MSM challenges in Jamaica February 2013 more HERE


JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness 2013


Poor leadership & dithering are reasons for JFLAG & Jamaica AIDS Support’s temporary homelessness May 2013 more HERE


Response To Flagging a Dead Horse Free Speech & Gay Rights 10.06.13




This Day in History