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“Homeless at Home” Symposium : Forced migration of the Jamaican LGBT Community, May 17th, 2013, Kingston, Jamaica

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Homeless at Home: Displaced and in Search of A Safer Life -  A Symposium on Homelessness, Forced Migration and the Need for a Jamaica that is Inclusive of LGBT People

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) identity in Jamaica is shaped and coloured by displacement. Whether physically or mentally, displacement from family, community and sometimes country is a defining marker of the lived experiences of LGBT people.
Over the years, landlords, family, neighbour and/or other community members have forced many LGBT Jamaicans to leave their homes and communities. Between 2009 and 2012, LGBT persons made 53 reports of displacement to J-FLAG. In 2012, there were 12 reports all involving males under 18 years.

The majority of people evicted from their homes eventually find safe accommodation elsewhere. With the support of NGO’s, relatives and friends, some even return to their homes and live on tenterhooks. However, fearing continued harassment and violence, others leave Jamaica to seek asylum in countries such as Canada, England, the Netherlands and the USA. Furthermore, a significant number of displaced persons, particularly those from the lowest socio-economic stratum, are forced to live and work on the street.

As Jamaicans, we are socialized to believe that gender and sexual minorities do not belong in our communities. LGBT people also understand that they can be evicted from their communities without notice and might be forced to flee the island. This situation begs for analysis and we hope you will join us to have this important conversation.

Friday, May 17, 2013 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM (PDT)
Knutsford Court Hotel, 85 Chelsea Avenue Kingston 5,   Kingston, Jamaica
Confirmed Speakers

  • Larry Chang, Conscious Being
  • Tanya Stephens, Reggae Artiste
  • Chiara Liguori, Amnesty International
  • Javed Jaghai, Public Education and Outreach Officer, J-FLAG
  • Aaron Morris, Senior Staff Attorney, Immigration Equality
  • Kate Chappell, Communications Specialist and Journalist
  • Vivienne Williams Thompson, Youth Development Consultant
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Written by Staff Writer