Last Fall the Gay Liberation Network (then called CABN) took up an international call issued by Jamaican gays, and promoted by Britain's Outrage organization, to protest tours by reggae performers who explicitly call for murdering Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans people.
When the House of Blues booked notorious "Kill Gays" performers Beanie Man and Capleton in Chicago and other cities, we launched a protest and threatened a boycott of the club chain. We got mountains of straight press coverage locally, and the gay press spread the word to other cities, prompting organizations on the West Coast to also take up the call. The result was that both tours were promptly terminated and a victory was won for Jamaican gay people, who had lost their foremost leader to murder just a few months earlier.
Now, thanks to Amnesty International's OUTfront Program, Jamaican LGBT people are touring the U.S. to tell their story. OUTfront is bringing representatives of the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays to Chicago on February 11th. Please join the Gay Liberation Network and other co-sponsoring organizations at this program:
For thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans, home is no paradise.
Homophobic violence perpetrated against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Jamaica is running rampant. Reports range from vigilante action by members of the community to ill-treatment and torture by the police. Lesbians and gay men have been beaten, cut, burned, raped and shot on account of their sexuality. The police don't prioritize these crimes and in some cases actually are the perpetrators of them. Prominent recording artists incorporate graphic references to homophobic violence in their music and yet government leaders refuse to address this issue.
The Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays (J-FLAG) will be appearing here in Chicago to discuss how homophobic violence affects their community. These tireless activists are being honored by: the Chicago Commission on Human Relations' Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues (ACLGBTI), Chicago Commission on Human Relations' Advisory Council on Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, Adodi Chicago, Affinity, Amnesty International USA, the Center on Halsted, Chicago Black Lesbians and Gays, the Gay Liberation Network, Human Rights Watch, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women, Queer to the Left, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, SANGAT, and the Windy City Media Group.
Come learn what's happening in Jamaica, and find out what you can do to put a stop to homophobic violence everywhere. After the presentation a reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public but donations will be accepted to advance the work of JFLAG.
When: Friday, February 11 at 7 pm
Where: The Charles Hayes Family Investment Center
4859 S. Wabash - Chicago
easily accessible by the both the Red and Green lines
*Please do not bring cameras or camera phones. Due to the potential backlash levied at JFLAG activists no photographs or photographic equipment is allowed.