Magazine article New Internationalist

LGBT Activists Boldly Go

Magazine article New Internationalist

LGBT Activists Boldly Go

Article excerpt

JAMAICA

The Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) has 'gone public' with a new push for LGBT human rights, in a country where homophobia runs deep.

LGBT Jamaicans rarely venture into the public eye because of the threat to their safety. Even J-FLAG's executive director Dane Lewis used a fake name for his first three years in the job. He chose to make his first very public and enduring appearance in the 'We Are Jamaicans' anti-bigotry video campaign, which began in January 2013.

'We Are Jamaicans demonstrates very boldly that LGBT Jamaicans have been claiming their place in their homes and communities - something that has been missing from advocacy and media narratives,' explains Jaevion Nelson from J-FLAG.

The video features lesbian, gay and transgender Jamaicans, and allies, as they talk about their experiences, feelings and dreams.

They still face violence, discrimination and murder, with many forced to leave the country. But J-FLAG is keen to build on signs that things could be heading in a more positive direction. …

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