The week that was, should have by all accounts have been a difficult week for JFLAG. It started with the certain knowledge that the charter of Rights would be passed by the Upper House of the Jamaican Parliament, and that difficult questions were being asked of its stewardship of the matter within the Rainbow community. However, by the end of the week it had earned:
- The moral backing of one of the leading private sector entities in Jamaica and a bastion of conservative opinion on the island at that, the Jamaica Gleaner.
- A guarded support from the President of the Senate, the Hon. Oswald Harding who insisted that the views of JFLAG must not be tossed aside and that the issue of social inclusion and rights protection for minorities is a matter that warrants further discussion
Indeed whilst, JFLAG has still yet to answer the questions regarding its stewardship of the Charter of Rights matter it has indicated, via discussions, that it fully intends
to do more than just answer these questions but begin a process of direct engagement with the community.
The Gleaner Editorial, although too late in the game to be of much value for the current Rights debate, should not be taken lightly! Astute Observers will note that at the foot of the editorial it was written that “the opinions on this page, except for the above, do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gleaner”. Thus when the Editor writes:
“We understand why the various commissions, committees and legislators who drafted the charter failed to expressly declare people’s rights to freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
It has do with the receding, but still-entrenched homophobia in Jamaica that caused Mr Golding to declare, more than three years ago, that gays would not be welcome in his Cabinet. Politicians fear that any perception that they embrace or are soft on homosexuality will cost them votes and open them to discrimination and stigma.
The attitude, we insist, is cowardly, retrogressive, socially dangerous and offensive to human rights.”
It represents the official and incontrovertible position of the Jamaica Gleaner.
Yet whilst, the backing of the powerful Gleaner and the statement of the President of the Senate are powerful moral uplifting boosts, it is JFLAG’s acknowledgement of its distance from the very community it serves which Pink applauds the most. We believe that the entity must begin to deepen its networks within the community beyond the faithful that attends its workshops. Indeed as an election draws close, the entity must begin to educate its constituents about using the power of their franchise to punish and reward candidates. However, those are high sounding tactics, at the core the institution must re-educate its support base about what it is and what it is attempting to do. In this regard we still call upon the institution to answer the questions posed and assess openly and honestly what has worked, what has not worked and why?
We here at Pink, hope that these developments will jolt JFLAG from its seeming pusillanimity and force it take up its mantle of leadership. Indeed Dane Lewis can no longer fear being OUTED as every single reader of the Friday Gleaner would have read and saw his name. Admittedly, Dane Lewis had long abandoned the moniker of Jason Macfarlane in preference to his real name. The issue that we must now confront as a community is now that we have our leader, our Prezzi of sorts, what is the next move and more importantly where are the followers?
2 Hot to be Stush
Yup that is the sentiment coming from a majority of persons interviewed after the We Welcome Fierceness Party (WWF) held over the last weekend. It would appear that after one year being off the party scene, they have lost none of their knack for interestingly themed events that miss the mark. For example, why were party lights placed inside a venue that is known to be the center of global warming is beyond us. Having said that, the precise reason that persons LOVE a WWF event is that, they simply LOVE TO HATE ON IT!
WE here at Pink love a WWF party for a completely different reason. Their events are by far the most democratic and open spaces where persons irrespective of class, colour, creed and SEXUAL ORIENTATION have a spot on the dance floor. Whilst events always seem to be dangerously close to getting out of control (there was no issue of this occurring this time), where else can you see transvestites, Drag Queens, Thugs, Thug wannabes, UPT and DTW personalities mixing. Other party promoters come close but never quite get there, and this is the enduring reason that a WWF event is the standard by which all other events are judged. Even if the bar isn’t set particularly high!
We are still disappointed that Novia (the lead personality) could not have been persuaded to have her New Year’s Eve party, and this event does not make up for that massive disappointment. However, the year is still relatively young and we already see advertisements for another so she may yet be forgiven for such travesty.