Gays in Jamaica

The Gay Freedom Movement in Jamaica (GFM) was formed in 1974 as the first movement in the English Speaking Caribbean to seek rights for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered) people

 

It focused on consciousness-raising within the LGBT community and professional organizations; issued a newsletter - the Jamaica Gaily News (JGN); and ran a Gay Youth Program, Prison Outreach Program and a free STD clinic.General Secretary, Larry Chang, who was also publisher and editor of JGN, was the first Jamaican to come out publicly, being interviewed on radio and the then JBC-TV and through his letters to the press.

These archives consist of the papers which relate to the work of the GFM which Mr Chang kept in his possession until he left Jamaica in 2000. The documents were kept by the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (JFLAG).

The digitization of this archive was made possible through a City University of New York Diversity Grant. Special thanks to Stephanie Harvey, who organized and digitized the archive, and to Marianne LaBatto and the entire Brooklyn College Division of Archives & Special Collections, which facilitated that process.

This material is contributed to the Digital Library of the Caribbean by the Caribbean IRN, a network that connects activists, scholars, artists and other individuals and organizations who do research and work on issues related to diverse genders and sexualities in the Caribbean.  .

In 2020, Matthew Chin donated his scanned images of Jamaica Gaily News and some other items. His articles about the Gay Freedom Movement of Jamacia are :-

  1. Tracing “gay liberation” through post-independence Jamaica. Public Culture, 31 (2): 323-342.
  2. Constructing “Gaydren”: The Transnational Politics of Same-Sex Desire in 1970s and 1980s Jamaica. Small Axe 1 July 2019; 23 (2 (2)): 17–33. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-7703253

 

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