Sunday, April 12, 2009

Boycott Jamaica

Since lately I have gotten a bit of free time so I have been trying to catch up on all the posts on other blogs I have missed recently. While reading one of my regular blogs, Towleroad, I came across a website called and I thought that it was necessary to promote this website.

This could potentially devastate my country during this global recession but this is basically the only thing I can do to improve my living conditions without putting myself in physical danger. Jamaica sucks when it comes to addressing LGBT issues and I am tired of living under these stupid conditions. Obviously, LGBT issues require much more attention Worldwide, even in the US, but Jamaica just refuses to even give us any basic rights. And they NEVER speak out against violence against gays. I don’t F-ing care how long it takes, just Boycott our asses and pass the word along.

Recently, our Prime Minister, Bruce Golding reiterated that the Government will not be pressured to repeal any laws relating to Buggery. These people make me sick. They want to live happy lives while we are forced to conform to what they think is “Normal”. I am going to stop writing because I feel myself getting angry.
I don’t know how helpful this will be in improving the lives of LGBT persons here because others have attempted this before without much success but you have to still try right?


  1. Even Queerty have put it up today!

    PS Dave have u ever watched queer as folk?

  2. Reading that article reminded me of how much risk I take even doing this blog. But I am tired of the shit.

  3. Oh....and No. I have never seen it. Never seemed all that interesting to me. Then again who am I to say that. I have never seen it. :)

  4. One day jamaica will also hopefully see the light!
    I'm addicted to it! Trying to study n I keep watching that! It's like Sex n the City but for gays :)

  5. First of all, Myers Rum isn't owned by Jamaicans. It's a British-owned company that has "Jamaican" on the label. Protesting that doesn't do any damage to any local business owners.

    Second of all, the government is not where the attitudes need to change... the change needs to happen on the ground, with real, regular people on the island learning to accept their LGBT brothers and sisters, instead of treating them like garbage or forcing them to live refugee lives in the diaspora. To propose otherwise is preposterous. Gay marriage laws passing throughout the world didn't happen with the initial change in the government. They happened because the societies were made progressive enough for the citizens to put in leaders that change the law. All civil rights legislation happens this way, in every nation you can name.

    I don't pretend to have all the answers. And this is an issue that concerns me, as a queer person and a Jamaican. But I think there are more constructive things to be done than dumping Red Stripe (already purchased, by the way, which means that D&G already got the proceeds). Like supporting JFLAG, and individual Jamaicans who want to do activist work back a yaad. Like bringing together all members of the Jamaican LGBT diaspora (not just gay men, not just lesbians) to work wherever they are so that they don't feel like refugees anymore... and that includes calling out homophobic/biphobic/transphobic friends and family, as well as building ally support. LGBT rights were not earned anyplace overnight, and there's a lot to do. But I refuse to give up on my country.

  6. Julia while I think you mention some valid points I don't believe that Jamaicans will change all on their own. Jamaicans are stubborn and need to be pushed. And I think a good way to get them moving is by starting with the government. Crack the government and the people will crack along with it.

    Additionally, Boycott Jamaica goes beyond just the products. It aims to influence our way of living by influencing how other countries interact with us. So Red Stripe and Myers Rum are basically just small fries in the bigger picture. Most people just choose to focus on that aspect.

    In the end I know we all want the same thing but for now we're just disagreeing with the method of accomplishing it.

  7. As long as new generations are being born in Jamaica and throughout the Jamaican diaspora, change is indeed possible. I'm in my mid twenties, and I know that my parents' generation is incredibly homophobic. I also know that there are those in our generation (since you are also in your twenties) who share their opinions. But I definitely also know a good amount of people who, if not jumping up and announcing their feelings, have absolutely no problem with gay, lesbian or trans people living their lives in peace alongside everyone else.

    There are stubborn people everywhere, just like there are ignorant people everywhere. I am not willing to paint all of my country's people with the same brush, because that is what homophobes in JA have done to us as LGBTQ people for far too long.

    We need to take action, yes*, but we also need to have faith in people's ability to see the light. Rome wasn't built in a day. Apartheid wasn't ended in a week. Prejudices are not instantly erased - they take time, and we come from a relatively young nation with a lot of other obstacles facing it. Give people a chance to not be bigots. Some will stay ignorant. But some isn't all.

    *And I emphasize "we"! Who are these Boycott Jamaica people? I am immediately distrustful of outsiders who assume they are acting for the good of Jamaicans. After colonialism's legacy, are we so willing to take up a cause that we allow activism to be outsourced to foreigners? If they were from elsewhere in the Caribbean, or from the Caribbean diaspora, I'd feel differently. But from what I've read and seen, I see a bunch of white American gay men and tokenized queer Jamaican voices, and this makes me question the group's motivation.

  8. This has been a very interesting 5am_Saturday_ morning_after_a_long_week_of_school read.

    Julia I disagree with your decision to be distrustful of "outsiders". Notions of fairness and discrimination transcend national boundaries, and I see nothing wrong with our brothers and sisters in America making a stance against the bigotry and virulent homophobia boasted by many Jamaicans. Surely, they don't have all the facts, and I am sure there are some giddy headed activists who believe they can change the world in one fell swoop, but, that shouldn't detract from the nobility of their efforts. I am heartened to know that we are not in this alone.

    It is true that Jamaica will only become a tolerant nation when individual people recognize the natural variance in human sexualities and gender identities. That I must regrettably say is not going to be any time soon. So, I believe there is something to be said for twisting the governments arm (or at least attempting to do so), for the illegality of buggery, for example, should never be used as justification for homophobic violence- as it is now sometimes used.

    The government must uphold the right of a minority group of individuals to live without fear in the country of their birth, for they do not have the same access to the political process as they puritanical majority, and will forever be slighted by them. Perhaps, through acknowledging the value inherent in every individual, regardless of sexual orientation/ gender, as mandated by the government, people will learn that it is okay to disagree with someone's lifestyle choices, without forcing them to change. It is so easy to be blind to the needs of the minority when you are a part of a privileged majority--- the government, being the leaders of a cultural melting pot- as they love to boast- must reinforce the value of diversity, and pluralism.

    Basically, what I am trying to say is, tolerance cannot be mandated, it must be learnt and valued by individuals. But the government, as manipulators of our outdated constitution, and the educators of our children, can play a big role in creating a new generation of Jamaicans.

    We need more activism on all fronts. We need those working with the people, and we need those lobbying for change in the government. Despite what I perceive to be Jamaica's sizable queer population, we are still largely silent- for safety consideration, of course.

    But I think we can be louder, and perhaps this boycott is some of what we need- bold, orchestrated efforts to get our message out there. This isn't about the bible and immorality; it is about conferring fundamental rights onto a group of individuals who are otherwise marginalized, and actively discriminated against by a majority.

  9. Sometimes the law has to move ahead of the people to set a standard and this is perhaps the only way JA will see the light. But who will push the Jamaican parliament except perhaps JA business community because the churches sure as hell will not!

  10. Your efforts will merely result in failure. Indeed, it may be true that Jamaicans are stubborn,hence that should gives you all the more reason for the boycott not to work.(since its only a pathetic attempt anyway).The majority of tourist arrivals are heterosexual, and a small minority abnormal group like you guys wont make a mark on my country now or ever. The deejays may withhold bashing of gays due to travel reasons, however the mass population will never repeal their stance on homosexuallity, bisexuality etc. That i can assure you of!!! Live your life and control the events that occur in America, but dont ever think you can coerce Jamaicans into doing anything that they displease of!!!!