This Is Why the GLCC Matters to Pittsburgh

A terrible story from Jamaica via the AP in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica — Dwayne Jones was relentlessly teased in high school for being effeminate until he dropped out. His father not only kicked him out of the house at the age of 14 but also helped jeering neighbors push the youngster from the rough Jamaican slum where he grew up.

By age 16, the teenager was dead — beaten, stabbed, shot and run over by a car when he showed up at a street party dressed as a woman. His mistake: confiding to a friend that he was attending a “straight” party as a girl for the first time in his life.

“When I saw Dwayne’s body, I started shaking and crying,” said Khloe, one of three transgender friends who shared a derelict house with the teenager in the hills above the north coast city of Montego Bay. Like many transgender and gay people in Jamaica, Khloe wouldn’t give a full name out of fear.

Dwayne

 

I can’t imagine how this poor child felt while being tortured and killed. Then I thought of the friends – my God, how must they feel as they mourn and fear for their own lives?

Blogger Monica Roberts has this to say

Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) said they have documented nine cases of TBLG people killed in Jamaica this year and have reported a 400% rise in homophobic attacks since 2009.

Jamaican churches have also gleefully increased their anti-gay rhetoric and fiercely lobbied against an effort by Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller last year to repeal the odious British colonial era buggery law fueling much of the anti-LGBT animus in the island nation.

A looming conscience vote in the wake of a review of the buggery law is also drawing the ire of fundies. 

We can’t overlook the role of American based fundie conservative Christian groups injecting their vile poisonous doctrine into this volatile mix of injustice.  In the Montego Bay area, an anti-gay rally was held in St. James on June 23 by Montego Bay Pastor Glendon Powell, who shills for a US based fundie conservafool church in Des Moines, IA

The Gay and Lesbian Community Center is not just for LGBTQ youth – over half of their clients/contacts are with adults. But for the youth ages 13-25, it means everything that they are there.  The organization has 18 organized events a month that provide a safe space and access to resources, delivered with dignity and hope. Just this past weekend, they partnered with Pittsburgh Transgender for a community picnic in North Park. (Click the link for photos.)

The atrocity Dwayne experienced is not isolated to Jamaica. In the recent months, a Philadelphia trans woman, Diamond Williams, was brutally murdered. In April, Cemia Acoff was also brutally murdered in Cleveland. It should be a source of pride to our community that between Cleveland and Philadelphia lies a community center that welcomes and comforts and supports trans youth, men and women.

Find out how you can get involved to support your community center.

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