JFLAG needs to wheel and come again

JFLAG needs to wheel and come again

Thursday, December 12, 2019

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Dear Editor,

Recently, LGBTQI rights organisation Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (JFLAG) celebrated their 21st anniversary under the theme '21 years of niceness'. I believe, over the last three years, as someone who is a part of the LGBTQI community, JFLAG fell 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 varied reasons, including how they monopolise LGBTQI advocacy and the displeasure with some of the staff and how the organisation is run, particularly in the fiscal arena.

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.

The community feels leaderless and is not sure the issues are 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 any time soon; nonetheless, I hope the work of JFLAG gets better and, by result, increase the chances of our government bodies creating an environment for LGBTQI people to live comfortably.

Concerned gay man

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