IDAHOT 2015 Events: Jamaica

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Jamaica is a nation that has seen much persecution of its LGBT community. This year rising levels of hatred have created a distressing situation for many within the country.

[box type=”note” ]We are still busy collecting information on this year’s IDAHOT activities and are waiting to hear back from activists and event organisers. If you have information to share with us, please write us at[/box]
Despite the troubling situation national LGBT group J-FLAG hosted their 3rd annual Larry Chang Symposium on May 17th. The year the event had the theme “The Jamaican LGBT Community, A Resilient People” and aimed to bring together LGBT and ally Jamaicans in order to raise awareness of the horrific effects that intolerance has had on much of the Jamaican LGBT community.
Additionally, they hosted a cultural soirée – PRISM – for the LGBT and ally community to showcase their talents. The event featured performances by the LGBT and ally community in music, dance and spoken word.
The event, as well as a time for somber reflection, was also intended to be a happy celebration of the resilience and progress made in the LGBT community and featured the presence of many of Jamaica’s leading civil and human rights activists.
J-Flag IDAHOT 2015
JFLAG issued a series of videos, hyperlinked below, taken at the symposium, which provide an excellent insight into the realities and the activism of LGBT people on the island.  A must watch for all who want to understand the realities of Jamaica.
3rd Annual Larry Chang Human Rights Symposium (Recap) 
3rd Annual Larry Chang Human Rights Symposium Highlights 
I Stand in Defence of Your Dignity – Dr Michael Abrahams (Keynote Address) 
Break the Rules: Protest through Excellence – Jomain McKenzie 
Integrity as a Part of Resilience – Rochelle McFee
If Mi Neva Taak Mi Wudda Dumb – Jermaine Burton 
My Friend Bob – Krystal Tomlinson 

Two prominent gay U.S. officials traveled to Jamaica last week where they met with several LGBT rights advocates. Randy Berry, the special U.S. envoy to promote global LGBT rights, arrived on the Caribbean island on May 21. Todd Larson, senior LGBT coordinator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, traveled to Jamaica the day before. Berry and Larson on May 21 attended a reception at the home of U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica Luis Moreno in Kingston, the Jamaican capital, that commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The men during their brief trip to Jamaica met with J-FLAG members and staff along with Jalna Broderick, co-founder of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, and Yvonne McCalla Sobers of Dwayne’s House, which provides support to homeless LGBT Jamaicans. Larson told the Washington Blade on Thursday that he and Berry also met government officials, educators and business and religious leaders. – See more at:

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