JFLAG on IDAHO – Time to Break the Silence on rights for GLBT Jamaicans

Published: May 17, 2010

JFLAG on IDAHO – Time to Break the Silence on rights for GLBT Jamaicans

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is observed annually on May 17th and celebrates the removal of homosexuality by the World Health Organisation (WHO) from its list of mental illnesses in 2006 which put an end to over a century of homophobia in the medical field. It also marked a major milestone in the recognition of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals. In Jamaica, the day was observed with a half an hour ‘Stand Against Silence’ outside the Emancipation Park. Approximately 30 persons converged on the location, some with their mouths covered, depicting the theme ‘Break the Silence! End the Fear.’

According to Jason MacFarlane Programme Manager of Jamaica Forum of Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), ‘As Jamaicans we remain un-emancipated as long as there are laws which criminalize the private intimate acts of consenting adults. J-FLAG organized today’s event to increase awareness about the reality of homophobia that is faced by members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in Jamaica as a result of these laws. It is time for the silence to be broken and for the change makers to have some frank conversations. The simple and clear message that we are sending is that homophobia is damaging the lives of many of us Jamaican citizens and there is no rational basis for this homophobia.’

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