I live and love openly in England. It
I am an ally
Jamaica is one of the 76 countries where same-sex acts are illegal and homophobic and transphobic attitudes are largely entrenched. That’s why Where Love Is Illegal, with the support of Global Ally, traveled to Jamaica to record the personal testimonies of discrimination and survival from LGBTQI+ individuals. Where Love Is Illegal's mission is to combat intolerance internationally and locally through dedicated campaigns like this one, where local NGOs and activists identified where change is needed and how storytelling can contribute to that change.
And so #IAmAnAlly was born.
LGBTQI+ in Jamaicans must take great caution when navigating public spaces. Those who do not present themselves along the traditional binary lines, such as transgender men or women, are at greatest risk being the target of harassment or deadly mob violence. As such, carefully navigating neighborhoods and relationships are an essential part of safely proceeding with daily life. ‘Safe spaces’ are vital havens to the community, where people can feel free to express their gender identity and sexuality without fear of persecution or judgment.
For some in the LGBTQI+ community, it can feel as though no allies exist, particularly when friends or family members turn their backs. But allies do exist, but often they too feel alone in supporting the LGBTQI+ community. Many fear that doing so will be met with disapproval. To contribute to an end to discrimination against LGBTQI+ in Jamaica, the community and allies must unite.
We are calling on you to become an ally and show your support with the LGBTQI+ community in Jamaica. Every time an ally joins this campaign, the number and size of safe spaces grow. Bigotry thrives when the voices of those discriminated against and their allies are silent.
You can also show your support by buying an #IAmAnAlly t-shirt and increase the visibility of allies both in your community and in Jamaica. For every T-shirt purchased, one will be given to a Jamaican ally to proudly wear support for their LGBTQI+ family, friends and neighbors.
Personal storytelling holds the power to connect people to issues outside of their own experience. By sharing the stories and experiences of Jamaica’s LGBTQI+ community and the homophobia and transphobia they face, this campaign connects and enrols allies in a joint effort toward tolerance and acceptance
Community members have expressed themselves through personal letters on this website, so allies will be able to openly show their support. And this open display of support will encourage others to speak out and stand up for a more tolerant society.
This campaign has been led by the community members who know Jamaica’s LGBTQI+ climate most intimately. Through their already established relationships with local NGOs, the local activists connect with community leaders (both within the LGBTQI+ community and outside it) across the country to unify those allies who currently feel alone, and establish personal, meaningful connections with those who may not understand the current effects of their intolerance and misunderstanding.