There are diverging views this Thursday morning from the gay community about the attempt to deny a permit for Queen Ifrica to work in Canada, because of her comments at the recent Independence Day grand gala. The attempt is being made by the Canadian-based Jamaica Association of Gays and Lesbians Abroad (JAGLA). The group feels her comments were anti-gay and she should not be allowed to perform in Canada.
However, doctoral candidate in Sociology at Yale University, Javed Jaghai, who is also a claimant in the case challenging Jamaica's buggery laws, does not believe that differing views should prevent artistes from travelling.
“I don’t think anyone has a right to violate someone’s right to travel and share their art just because they share different world views. But at the end of the day, this is a very complex issue, and it really irks me every time we reduce it to the gays trying to force their lifestyle on us, because that is what it really turns into,” said Mr. Jaghai.
He said as a nation we often communicate by inflicting pain on each other and said it is time we start acting like the adults we are.
However, member of JAGLA, Ralston Chamberlain, insisted that the group should at least get an apology.
“Let me declare; our aim and our mission is not to have Queen Ifrica’s travel documents revoked. Our aim is for her to either apologise to the gay community about the anti-gay remarks, or not be allowed to perform at the event,” said Mr. Chamberlain. He was speaking on Wednesday on RJR’s Beyond the Headlines.
And, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender supporters, along with Amnesty International and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, on Wednesday demonstrated in front of the Jamaican High Commissioner's office in Ontario. The demonstration was aimed at bringing attention to the July 22 murder of 16-year-old cross-dresser Dwayne Jones in Montego Bay. The teenager was beaten, shot, stabbed, run over and thrown into bushes after appearing at a party dressed as a woman. A peaceful protest will also take place in London on August 28 to demand justice for the death of the teenager.
Organized by African Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans-genders Out and Proud Diamond Group, the protest is to be held outside the Jamaican High Commission.
UPDATE: August 23 Queen Ifrica's work permit was cancelled so she could not perform.
also see: Shirley Richards breaks silence on the Queen Ifrica fiasco
There is some talk now of launching a boycott from Canada of all places lest we forget or learn for the uniformed we have gone down that road before, we had a near diplomatic nightmare and a major spike in homo-negative incidents at the time between 2008-9 then I was full time at JFLAG doing ADMIN/FINANCE/Crisis intervention:
1) JFLAG did not support a tourism boycott as suggested by EGALE formerly Equality for Gays And Lesbians Everywhere Canada in 2008: CLICK HERE
3) Canadian Boycott called off: CLICK HERE
5) Gay rights activists clash over tackling Jamaican homophobia
6) Gays won't boycott Jamaica ..... EGALE cancels push
7) Gay rights activists clash over tackling Jamaican homophobia
also see: Gov’t Hush Hush On Gay Pressure …As Promoters Forced To Pull Queen Ifrica From Canada Show
The Jamaica's Observer cartoonist Clovis penned this cartoon, a balance must be struck I say with second tiered homo-negative artists versus more really vitriolic ones such as Buju Banton, all artists who express anti gay sentiments cannot be treated the same in terms of boycotts or cancellations of work permits, each infraction MUST be carefully examined and the appropriate response given. Overseas folks need to take their cue from locals on the ground as there are consequences for agitations as serious as previous cases have shown.
UPDATE - August 26, 2013
Nationwide radio's Emily Crooks during her What's On My Mind segment of her show gave her two cents alongside Naomi Francis co-host, I am total agreement with her, JAGLA over reached in this case:
Update August 24, 2013