Gay Jamaican swimmer says coming out has not affected career

By : Michael K. Lavers of the washington blade, courtesy of the national lgbt media association
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ABOVE: Michael Gunning came out on ‘The Bi Life,’ a British dating show. (Photo courtesy Gunning)

A gay swimmer of Jamaican descent says concerns that his decision to come out would adversely impact his career have not come to pass.

“Everyone has a different story, but for me personally I was worried that ‘coming out’ would take away from my sporting achievements/performances that I’ve worked and decided my whole life to,” Michael Gunning told the Washington Blade on Aug. 8 in an email.

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Lawsuits in four Caribbean countries challenge colonial-era sodomy laws

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Sean Macleish on July 29, 2019, filed a lawsuit against the colonial-era sodomy law in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (Photo courtesy of Sean Macleish)

LGBTI people in four Caribbean countries over the last year have filed lawsuits against their nations’ colonial-era sodomy laws.

Javin Johnson and Sean Macleish on July 26 filed a lawsuit against two laws in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations.

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Fire destroys Jamaica LGBTI group’s headquarters

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A fire destroyed the headquarters of a Jamaican LGBTI advocacy group on Dec. 30.

The Gleaner, a Jamaican newspaper, reported the fire destroyed the Kingston building in which J-FLAG’s offices were located. J-FLAG on its Facebook page said “our office was engulfed in the fire, which has caused severe damage and destruction to the building and contents in it, including computers and other equipment and filed.”



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Mercedes Successful is one of 19 reported transgender murders in the U.S. this year. When will it stop?

By : Jeremy Williams and Anna Johnson
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Mercedes Successful was found shot to death in the back parking lot of a Big Lots and Tractor Supply Co. in Haines City May 15. She was 32 years old. Successful identified as a transgender woman.

Successful was a performer and a native of Kingston, Jamaica. She moved to Haines City by way of New York. She represented Jamaica in the 2014 Gay Caribbean USA pageant, shown on the pageant’s Facebook page wearing a Jamaican flag dress and high-heeled black boots.

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Jamaican woman brings attention to rapes targeting lesbians

By : Wire Report
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KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) – When Angeline Jackson and a friend were ambushed at gunpoint and sexually assaulted on a wooded trail outside the Jamaican capital, police initially seemed less concerned about the attack than the fact she is a lesbian.

“The first policewoman I spoke to told me I should leave this lifestyle and go back to church,” Jackson recalled of the 2009 attack, shaking her head in frustration.

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Human Rights Watch report says LGBT Jamaicans victims of violence

By : Wire Report
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KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are the targets of unchecked violence and discrimination in Jamaica, frequently refused housing or employment in the Caribbean country typically described as the region’s most hostile to LGBT citizens, a leading human rights group says in a report released Oct. 21.

In its 86-page report titled “Not Safe at Home,” Human Rights Watch noted that LGBT citizens in Jamaica are often driven from their communities by neighbors and sometimes even family. Some health professionals stigmatize them by casting judgment on their sexuality when they seek care. Police protection against bias and physical attacks is generally poor.

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