In support of Javed Jaghai and Maurice Tomlinson

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Maurice Tomlinson at recent Human Rights Stand at Emancipation Park

There exists two schools of thought as to how the Human Rights movement should proceed with its activism around LGBTI issues in Jamaica. One school argues for a slow moving ground campaign built on public education and the promotion of tolerance and acceptance. The other seeks to define LGBTI rights within the framework of constitutionality and the development of jurisprudence. The real distinction between the two is that the former sees Parliament and the Parliamentary process as the route for establishing change whilst the latter advocates the use of the Court as the agent of same.

Followers of the Constitutionality framework essentially argue that LGBTI Rights do not exist as a separate or distinct subject from the rights and freedoms enjoyed by all Jamaicans. Consequently the struggle for LGBTI Rights is merely an extension of the historical struggle for equal rights and protection under the Constitution. Not surprisingly, many in the wider society see this position as being unnecessarily adversarial and confrontational.

We here at Pink do not believe that the arguments are mutually exclusive and indeed they seem somewhat complementary. In fact from the point of view of strategy, there is seemingly merit in approaching the issues from the two avenues. However, there is certain sexiness in being forthright and upright. Moreover, there is a distinct charm in publicly advocating a line, which simply states I am human and I want to be treated no less and no more than my fellow human beings. This is the reason we have taken this step to come out of the closet, in full support of the work of Maurice Tomlinson and Javed Jaghai in seeking a constitutional review of the island’s Buggery Laws.

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I stand with you!!!!! I support you!!!! Not only because i’m your sister but because you and every other gay/bi-sexual/lesbian/transgender person deserves to live and live freely! Free from hate. Free from the harsh criticism of others and free to love who u choose!! Jodian Jaghai

For too long, we as a community have been too silent in supporting and investing in the work of the Human Rights community. For those who define themselves as being middle class, we have simply preferred to prostrate ourselves before the general society, like well behaved house slaves thanking our masters that we are not field slaves. It will suit us well to remember that House Slaves are still slaves and those dirty, unkempt and forlorn Millsborough Boys are us, and more importantly, how society sees all of us. Let us not forget that when Clovis and the Jamaica Observer caricatures gays they make none of the distinctions that we invariably try to make. Ultimately we must recognize that it is no accident that Javed’s claim before the Constitutional Court is about housing and JFLAG itself is homeless.

As Javed and Maurice prepare to do battle on our behalves, ranged against them are the formidable armies of the Church and public opinion seekers. Rallies have been organized and the public has been fed a toxic cocktail of doomsday and hellish scenarios. To their credit, both gentlemen have responded with calm, grace but unflinching resolve. Yet it must be incredibly lonely and despairing to turn around and see your comrades fleeing like cockroaches when the light has been turned on.

Let us start today the necessary conversation and develop an action plan surrounding how we can tangibly support the work of Javed Jaghai and Maurice Tomlinson. Indeed, let us start the conversation today about how it is that we can take ownership of our own future and destiny. We like Javed ask the question if not now then when? We at Pink like his answer that: “We can sit patiently while our humanity is denied and wait for the paradigm to shift in a generation or two, or we can aggressively agitate for change now. I choose to do the latter.”

Nothing to be Cocky About- Cockiness 2K13 The Review

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If one was at Cockiness and stayed until the end, then it is quite possible that you actually ended up enjoying yourself. This schizophrenic enjoyment, we suppose, can only be compared to the type of happiness felt by victims of robberies when they realize that they are still alive. Notwithstanding, it must be admitted up front that this review is written from the perspective of one silly enough to pay for VIP after the disaster of Miami Vice. After all if you were smart enough to pay only the regular admissions price, you would have been the beneficiary of Digicel like give aways such as access to even VIP!!

For most patrons, the common complaint was that the venue was too small to accommodate the crowd that was in attendance. We at Pink, take a different view and would like to congratulate the host on an excellent venue selection. Simply put excitement is an infectious disease and small, tightly spaced venues are an efficient means of transmission. Moreover, it wasnt that the venue was small but that the crowd was large and if a cross dresser could find space to split and twirl without hospitalizing anyone there is enough room!!

VIP versus Drinks Inclusive

The VIP concept has quickly become the newest addition to the LGBT party scene. Economically, it’s a brilliant idea and if done properly is one of those rare occasions, which can be classified as a win-win situation for both the promoter and the patron. At its core, VIP allows patrons an all access pass to the entire venue and a continuous flow of liquor. For the promoter, there is a guarantee of pre-paid liquor sales.  Theoretically, however, VIP should be an other-worldly experience replete with Top-shelf drinks, high end décor and sexy servers. Yet we recognize this is Jamaica and not even well funded major parties can provide this sort of fare.

Yet, whilst we at Pink can accept that as a community we simply are not at the stage of development to provide the high-end experience worthy of the label VIP, we cannot accept what occurred Saturday Night. It was a larceny of patrons human and economic dignity that not even an apology and a refund can compensate for. To begin with the drinks variety was so limited that the area could have been branded Somalia. Worse when there was liquor there was no ice, when there was ice no liquor and interestingly water was not included in the all inclusive concept! To top it off, the host without even so much as a discussion opened the area to all and sundry. For all those persons out there with rape fantasies, this experience shows that the actual thing cannot be pleasant.

The Dee-Jay

Without a doubt Dee-Jay David is beginning to rediscover his form as his musical selections and timing were for the most part on point. However, for the next party we are begging the promoter to limit the microphone time to three announcements and none of these should include the arrivals of any particular person!!

In conclusion

Developmentally, the VIP challenges first experienced at Miami Vice and repeated at Cockiness raises the question of whether party promoters wouldn’t be doing themselves and the community a favour by providing Drinks Inclusive as opposed to a VIP category. Such a category/rate would eliminate the need to channel limited resources into separate bar areas. Furthermore, it is simply a more honest way of doing business. Overall Cockiness was a good enough party, sadly the experience was too highly dependent on the price point one entered the venue at.

Pinkometer Rating

7/10