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Thomas Glave, a co-founder of J-FLAG, tells what it is like to be LGBT in Jamaica


In a hard-hitting talk at the May 2011 Oslo Freedom Forum, Thomas Glave talks about the continuing persecution that LGBT people face in Jamaica.

Thomas Glave is a Jamaican-American writer and one of the founders of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG). Glave is a Fulbright scholar and recipient of the O. Henry Prize for fiction. He has been Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor at MIT, and is presently professor of English at the State University of New York, Binghamton. He will be a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge University, in 2012.

Thomas Glave is the author of Whose Song? and Other Stories, nominated by the American Library Association for “Best Gay/Lesbian Book of the Year” and by the Quality Paperback Book Club for the Violet Quill/Best New Gay/Lesbian Fiction Award. In his most recent book, The Torturer’s Wife (2008), he examines dictatorships, war, anti-gay violence, psychological trauma, and desire. Glave also edited the anthology Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles, in 2008. This collection contains memoirs, poems, and short stories on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experiences throughout the Caribbean.

What will the force of this virulent hatred mean for our futures, and who will decide once again which of us is disposable?


Here is a close transcript of Thomas Glave’s powerful presentation at the Oslo Freedom Forum 2011: Jamaica: Toward A Queer Prayer


For more information about Jamaica and LGBT people:

Guernica Magazine “Murder Music”

Time Magazine “The Most Homophobic Place on Earth?”

“Homophobia in Jamaica and ‘Murder Music'” (“Gays are Killed in Jamaica”)

“28 LGBT Jamaicans granted asylum in U.S. in 2010”

The Atlantic “How AIDS Became a Caribbean Crisis”

UK Independent “Jamaica: A grim place to be gay”

For more links about Jamaica and LGBT people see 21 Years of Musical Mayhem – “Boom Bye Bye” – 1992 to 2012

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