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

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Where do we go from here?

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Before we launch into the community’s response to the recent happenings at UTECH, praise must be heaped on the divisional command of the Jamaica Constabulary Force in charge of Papine. Listening to the Senior Superintendent speak on Nationwide News Live at 5 Programme on Friday afternoon (November 2, 2012), it became clear the police force was willing to use all necessary force and tactics available to ensure the protection of the life of the young man at the epicentre of the mob gatherings at UTECH on the 1st November. This stands in stark contrast to the action of the security guards in beating and assaulting the young man who in an ironic twist of fate had actually only ran to the security guard station seeking their protection.

Yet this posting is not about that incident, as we suspect that the details will become the subject of a court case and ultimately a decision will be rendered regarding its particulars. What we are more concerned about is the wider societal impact. Indeed it must be noted that restitution in this case does not by any stretch of the imagination begin to address the larger issue of homophobia and intolerance.

We should recall that the genesis of the November 1st events at UTECH was that two men were accused of engaging in acts contrary to Sections 76, 77 and 79 of the Offences Against the Person Act. Readers should be aware that even if it is deemed that the bathroom facilities at UTECH constitute “Privacy” the Act makes no distinction between public and private spaces for the purposes of permissibility. In fact note the language of Section 79, it reads that Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.

The impact of the above is that, those within the gay community who are desperately trying to make a distinction between themselves and the fellows involved, need to realise they are actually in the same boat. The law makes no distinction between gay sex undertaken in a four poster King sized bed in upper St. Andrew and that done in a bathroom stall and neither does the general society (as the UTECH action when compared to the earlier evictions in Jones Town illustrates).

Thus given the foregoing the question arises where do we go from here, as the society cannot maintain the offending laws whilst now admitting that its male homophobia is wrong. Legislation such as those contained in Sections 76,77 and 79 of the Offences Against the Person Act simply have no place in tolerant,  civilized societies. Indeed, noting that all of the official responses have steered clear of this point, including sadly that of JFLAG, means that all that really has occurred is a condemnation of VIGILANTISM and not necessarily homophobia. Sadly, what this means is that even if just restitution is made in the UTECH case the ingredients are there for this action to occur again.

One wonders when gay Jamaica will learn that what happens to one happens to all!

A Question of Development

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Since our last post on August 11th, some chatter has occurred in the various discussion forums regarding the contents of that post. Whilst it is impossible to address all the issues raised, we here at Pink feel it necessary to address two, namely the perceived slight to Mr. Kirby and an expansion of our advocacy for greater South-South cooperation and indeed the promotion of a Global South lead strategy to tackle development challenges around LGBTI rights in their respective countries.

 Malice towards None!!

We here at the Pink Report would like to make it abundantly and categorically clear that no malice or ill-will was meant towards Mr. Kirby. Indeed our concerns are far more developmental than personal. Moreover the questions that occupy our minds are purely focused on identifying a sustainable path for the promotion of social inclusion of LGBTI persons living in the Global South. In this connection, our worry is that a failure to ensure fulsome consultation and dialogue may lead to unfortunate unintended consequences for the local communities that are supposed to be the ultimate beneficiaries of the intervention.

It should be recalled, that the article of August 11th made no call for Mr. Kirby to be censured. Indeed, it is our position that he is a friend, ally, asset and stakeholder in the cause and not a foe. However, there is no denying the fact that the speech in question was overly sexed and bordered on pornographic. Thus our intervention is in recognition of the fact that friendship is a relationship and like every other type of such it must be managed and framed properly. Consequently, our note should be read as a cautionary tale and a call to action to frame that relationship such that it stands on firmer footing.

Towards a South Lead Development Agenda

Yet whilst we recognize Mr. Kirby and others as stakeholders, the reality is that persons in the South are the owners of their national programmes and must ultimately be masters of their own development solutions. In this regard, the North should view itself as facilitators! Further within the global discourse on the trajectory of LGBTI Rights recognition there has to be greater understanding and appreciation of the linkage between the former and the strengthening of democratic and judicial institutions in the South.

It is often noted that the distinction between functional democracies and majoritarian tyrannies is the ability of the democracy to listen to all its people in the first instance, as well as protect and promote the rights of the most vulnerable in the second. The issue of “listening to its peoples” is the argument of social inclusion whereby persons are moved from being members of marginalized population groups to being full citizens with all the  rights and responsibilities that are associated with that and are therefore ultimately incorporated into the larger body politic of the state. From our vista this must be the ultimate goal of LGBTI advocacy and general development strategy.

The challenge then is how to accomplish the taking up of the full mantle of citizenship by the LGBTI person in repressive countries. The Pink Report’s view is that a strategy dictated by the North, though noble in nature unwittingly finances the silencing of the voices of the peoples in their own struggles. Southern voices and Southern actors, ably supported by partners in the North, must be engaged with their own governments and institutions to force the necessary reforms and actions. Indeed the lessons from inter alia the Arab Spring of 2010/2011, the ending of Apartheid in South Africa, the fall of the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe, the fight for Indian Self Rule under the Mahatma and indeed Gay Rights struggles in Britain and the United States are of community ownership. We are advocating for nothing less than that which has been done before!

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Rights Map

KIRB Him !

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(born 18 March 1939) is an Australian retired judge, jurist, and academic who is a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, serving from 1996 to 2009.

Michael Kirby is clearly a good if not great speaker! Anyone who has had the benefit of hearing him speak will readily testify that his knowledge and manipulation of the English language is nothing short of artistic. However, his speech at the opening session of the MSM Global Forum’s pre-conference at the recently concluded International AIDS Conference is a lesson that good or great speakers have off days and that bad speeches frequently occur because of poor information referencing and not necessarily poor diction or inarticulateness. In particular Mr. Kirby and others of his ilk should be careful that when they make public pronouncements on matters, that they do not offend the sensibilities of the very persons whose rights they seek to protect and promote. Indeed not observing this simple protocol is very dangerous in the global advocacy profession, as no one wants to be represented by the chauvinistic and il-informed advocate!

The specific issues of concern revolve around his commentary on the state of, or rather absence of, condom distribution in Jamaican prisons and the homophobia that surrounds the very topic. That Jamaica is a MSM-intolerant society is without question, we need only review the despicable display by Tony Rebel at our Grand Gala and the reception he received by the appreciative audience. However, for Mr. Kirby to go on an international platform and insinuate that condom distribution does not occur in local prisons and that when there was an attempt by a “forward looking Commissioner” there were riots and since then prisoners have sex using plastic bags (Scandal bags in Jamaica) is nothing short of SCANDALOUS!

To be fair to Mr. Kirby a prison riot did occur after a Commissioner of Corrections announced a policy to distribute condoms in prisons. However, those riots did not occur this decade or even this century but rather in the year 2000. Further, prior to and since the former Commissioner announced the policy, condoms were distributed in the prisons and were/are a necessary part of the national HIV/STI response mechanism. The real reason for the riots was the announcement itself and not the policy! Simply the announcement laid bare the realities that many men re-entering inner city communities had engaged in homosexual activities in the prisons. This policy announcement opened the newly released inmates, to being stigmatized and discriminated against by the communities, community members and associates that they were returning to. Consequently Mr. Kirby’s patting of the former Commissioner on the back for his “Forward thinking” is ignorant in the extreme.

The real challenge with speeches like the one done by Mr. Kirby is that it risks “poo-pooing” on the work of local NGO actors in the localities being discussed. Specifically, by its very nature, questions must be raised by the listeners such as: who speaks on behalf of MSMs in Jamaica? If there is such an organization why have they not spoken out on this issue before? In short Mr.Kirby has unwittingly engaged not in an attack on the Jamaican government but a vandalism of the reputation of J-FLAG and similar organizations. Let us be clear, J-FLAG in spite of its severe resource constraints has been a fearless and excellent advocate for the lot of MSMs and sexual minorities in Jamaica, it is through their work programme that several advances have been made particularly in the field of police-community relations and HIV/AIDS response programming.

We at Pink do not call for Mr. Kirby to be censured but demand a higher standard of honesty, consultation and responsibility from him. Indeed, the Global Forum should consider giving the stage to local advocates working on the ground in the hostile environments, to speak on their realities! Further had Mr. Kirby bothered to investigate the work programme of JFLAG and other actors in Jamaica he would have seen gems that could be promoted as strategies to tackling institutional biases against MSMs and other sexual minorities in similar environments. In fact the Global Forum desperately needs to move away from the traditional North to South framework of skills transfer to providing an enabling architecture for genuine South-South cooperation on tackling extreme intolerance and homophobia. Put another way the age of paternalism must end!

 

And the Nominees Are: The 2012 Caribbean Vanity Affair Grammy Awards

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With Just over 24 hours to go before the launch of this year’s Grammy Awards, the Local Organizing Committee has released the names of the nominees in twenty-four categories. In addition to those, categories five (5) new special segments have been added to recognize members of the community who are engaged in the fight for national and global recognition of LGBT Rights as Human Rights.

This year’s Grammys represent the 12th such staging of the event and is the longest currently running LGBT event and the only one of its kind on the island.  Event organizer Spencer of Just Fine Promotions, has promised us that this year’s event will bring Hollywood to Jamaica and send it back with Swag.

In the upcoming weeks, Pink will be counting down to the Grammy’s brining you interviews with some of the nominees, a history of the Awards show itself and of course open voting on some of the Award Categories. Persons interested in attending the Awards show should note that it is A FORMAL EVENT. This means no jeans and no cut off foot pants. However, it does mean three piece suit with tie or bow tie, hair properly well groomed for the gentlemen and gowns and heels for the ladies.

For a list of the nominees in the various categories please click link: vanity fair (1) nomination list 2012.

The LA Complex

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The LA Complex, is about a group of youngsters who live in LA and dreams to make it in show biz. The videos posted below is about Tariq story line, a young aspiring music producer who happens to be gay and Kaldrick; a down low rap artist who falls in love with Tariq.

If you want to watch the full series the download links are below the videos…Did i neglect  to mention that Tariq (Benjamin Charles Watson) is a Jamaican living in Toronto.

 

Download Links:

http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/6948250/The_LA_Complex_S01E01_HDTV_XviD-2HD_%5Beztv%5D

http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/6964238/The_LA_Complex_S01E02_HDTV_XviD-2HD_%5Beztv%5D

http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/6984191/The_LA_Complex_S01E03_HDTV_XviD-2HD_%5Beztv%5D

http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/7001412/The_LA_Complex_S01E04_HDTV_XviD-2HD_%5Beztv%5D

http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/7016524/The_LA_Complex_S01E05_HDTV_XviD-2HD_%5Beztv%5D