In The Face Of Violent Homophobia, Jamaica Hosts Its First Pride

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Jamaica is frequently cited as one of the worst places in the world to be gay: sex between men is a jailable offense, the country’s leading gay activist was murdered, and LGBT youth are forced to live in the sewers.

Just this March, a gay man was stoned to death by a mob,

But some brave activist are standing up to the hate and have scheduled Jamaica’s first Pride event next week.

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Running at the same time as the country’s Independence Day, Pride Jamaica is being produced by the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) and will include a flash mob, dance party, an art exhibit and a symposium on coming out.

Related: Young Gay Man Stoned To Death In Jamaica

“The symposium will also feature allies, who will share their experiences of what it is like to publicly support the LGBT community in Jamaica, as well as an acoustic concert for women and a pride party,” said Nugent.

But there won’t be a Pride parade.

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“This is partly because of security concerns and our belief that a parade is not the only way we can celebrate our pride and freedom as LGBT Jamaicans,” J-FLAG associate director Latoya Nugent told the Gleaner.

Nugent added that the event was inspired by the Supreme Court decision bringing marriage equality to the U.S.

“I believe together we can and we will demonstrate to all of Jamaica and the world, in the spirit of this year’s Independence theme, that we are proud and free Jamaicans breaking the rules of oppression.”

h/t: Pink News

 

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery