JFLAG has work to do
THE EDITOR, Madam:
Recently, LGBTQI human rights organisation JFLAG celebrated its 21st anniversary under the theme ‘21 Years of Niceness’. In the last three years, as someone who is part of the LGBTQI community, JFLAG has fallen flat. JFLAG must be honest with itself and the community that it has isolated. A couple years back, at a prominent hotel in New Kingston, they celebrated themselves. However, the ‘Gully queens’ came out in full swing, stating that the organisation uses their situation for funding but refuses to help them. Another section of the LGBTQI community doesn’t want to be associated with the organisation for varying reasons, including how they monopolise LGBTQI advocacy and the displeasure with some of the staff and how the organisation is run.
There, I said it. JFLAG needs to wheel and come again. The LGBTQI community locally is benefiting from globalisation and more Jamaicans becoming aware of human rights and educating themselves on gender and sexuality. Certainly, not the work of the organisation that the community doesn’t even support anymore.
On behalf of the community who feels leaderless and that their issues aren’t being fought for hard enough: look at yourself JFLAG, be honest, change your approach, and help those in need. It has been 21 years of homophobia, HIV, and sadness. This doesn’t define our story, however, you have failed to bring the community along in your journey. As a gay man, I know that I can’t live out loud in Jamaica anytime soon. Nonetheless, I hope your work gets better and, as a result, increases the chances of our government bodies creating an environment for LGBTQI people to live comfortably.