Watching this I remember someone I don’t get to remember. When I was a kid, my dad had a best friend who lived in London. I’m told I met him when I was very young. I always heard about him, though.
He was one of the people who had to leave. Ireland didn’t just export its unemployed back then, you know. The undesirables had to go. Remember reading this week about the Magdalene escapees who fled to England?
I don’t remember him because you couldn’t be a gay man dying of AIDS and stay in your home back then. Not where he was from. Not here.
It’s not very long ago, and it sure as hell wasn’t very far away. We don’t get to look at the situation for LGBT people and those who love them in Jamaica and think that it’s somehow far from our own experiences. The changes in Irish society came about so quickly, and they did so because first some, then many of us found the courage to live our lives openly, but there are still thousands of people in this country scared of who they are and of what their communities will think of them. We’re not so different, even now.
So let’s not look at videos like this and pat ourselves on the back. Let’s look at these and remember that we’ve a lot of work to do, in every part of the world, before we’ve seen the last person growing up and being rejected for who they are and who they love.
- Jamaica is my HOME: Javed Jaghai and the We are Jamaicans campaign (anniepaul.net)
- I admire this young man (petchary.wordpress.com)
- Video campaign pushes respect for LGBTs in Jamaica (76crimes.com)
- Jamaican press ignores ground-breaking gay rights video campaign (petchary.wordpress.com)
- J-FLAG, Jamaica’s gay rights group, launches YouTube video campaign, ‘We Are Jamaicans’ (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- Prominent Jamaicans Speak Out Against Homophobia in Powerful New Video Campaign: WATCH (towleroad.com)