Friday, October 30, 2009

Savage Slog Notices 2-Year-Old
Jamaican 'Gay Eradication Day'

Up at the Seattle Stranger's Slog blog, activist and writer Dan Savage is calling attention to an April 26, 2007, story in the Jamaican Star about "Gay Eradication Day" in a part of Kingston.

From Dan's post today:
No quotes from the authorities about protecting the gay men and lesbians in town where the "eradication" is under way. Because, of course, the authorities in Jamaica don't protect gays and lesbians from mob violence. Background on boycotting Jamaica is here. And if Barack Obama is going to send an openly gay ambassador anywhere, he should send one to Jamaica.
I'm not clear as to why Dan is calling attention to the old story.

Readers will recall that in March of this year, I wrote about the 2007 Gay Eradication Day and the Star piece. Back in the spring, I was involved with the Boycott Jamaica project, and in doing research, I found a post on the Star article on Cheril N. Clarke's web site. Cheril blogged in May 2007 about the notorious day, and I don't think I would know about it if she hadn't blogged on it.

Here's the opening from the old Star article:
Today has been proclaimed 'Gay Eradication Day' by residents of the McGregor Gully community in East Kingston. Residents say that they will be taking action as a two-week notice given to all gays and lesbians to flee the community has now expired.

THE STAR learnt that about two weeks ago angry residents who declared that they were fed up with seeing the activities of several gay persons in their community, ordered that they leave by today or suffer the consequences. [...]
So Dan, like myself and other gays, only learned about Gay Eradication Day this year, and we have Cheril to thank for first getting the word out among USA gays about it, and there is every reason to keep reminding ourselves that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans face outrageous hostility and threats on a daily basis.

Regarding Dan's excellent idea of Obama appointing an openly gay man as our ambassador to Kingston, it's something I wish our professional advocacy groups in DC would push. And, let's stop at the top. Let's also advocate for openly gay Americans to serve in other capacities at our embassy in Jamaica.

No comments: