Changing Nature of the Loft


The eeriness of a Crow Funeral captured

Approximately one month ago, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation had a feature on Crow intelligence. Now for those like myself, who have never spent much time on the Eastern Seaboard of Canada, the Canadian crow is a smaller version of our much beloved JOHNCROW and seemingly belong to the same family.  A snippet from that Feature was the spectacle of a Crow funeral that is when a crow dies, whether from natural causes or otherwise, the family and friends of that dead crow would gather on a tree close by to mourn the passage of same. Indeed many of us who watch scary movies would have seen such a scene that usually accompanies great danger for the movies’ lead.

Juxtapose the freedom and openness within which a Johncrow gets to mourn the passing of its friends and family members with the situation of lower to middle-middle income Jamaican gay men. For the latter group, especially in the case of the Street Boys, there is an absence of a space to mourn the passing of their comrades. Yet so as to not make it seem as if the situation only affects the Street Boys, the analysis is much the same for the middle income Jamaican gay man living in his rented Kingston 6 and Kingston 8 apartment or with his family. Indeed, even in the case of Robert Carr who had a remembrance ceremony on every inhabitable continent, it would appear, if he wasn’t affiliated to institutions such as the Jamaica Aids Support for Life, Caribbean Vulnerable Communities and the University of the West Indies, where would his local remembrance have been held?

In this void steps the Loft and it is in this respect that, that club has transitioned into being a social institution that is

The Loft provides good old Jamaican DEAD YARD Services to an under-served and often hidden population

completely interwoven into the very existence of Rainbow Jamaica. We will recall that Biggy’s 9 Night was held at the Loft and it is possibly the biggest remembrance held at that location, to date. However, it is far from the only one and more important than all the internationally flown in Drag Queens that money can buy, provides a practical mechanism for the delivery of care and support services to the community. In fact, what the Management and Staff of that noble enterprise have done is particularly revolutionary because whereas every other institution fights for the Rights of Community Members when they are alive or deals with the very important realities of managing a local HIV/AIDS epidemic, who else deals with the dignity of the Human Being when they pass on?



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