Americas / Commentary

Comment: Reggae festival does little for LGBTI Jamaicans

This is the second of three articles:

  • The first article presents the Edmonton Reggae Festival’s response to protests against anti-LGBTQ singers that it has invited to perform.
  • This is a commentary by Jamaican/Canadian activist Maurice Tomlinson on the festival’s response.
  • The third of the three articles, “Empower the Black Queer Community of Edmonton!” is from the FundRazr crowd-funding site, seeking support for organizations that empower Caribbean and black LGBTQ people


By Maurice Tomlinson

Maurice Tomlinson addresses Quorum meeting. (Click image for video.)

Maurice Tomlinson addresses 2014 meeting about international LGBTI rights.

It is certainly good that the organizers have decided to allow for visible LGBTI presence at the festival. However, this arrangement still does not address the fact that these artistes are using foreign funds to support homophobia in Jamaica.

So, I am disappointed that nothing has been mentioned of a possible meeting with these artistes to sensitize them about LGBTI issues, and to get them to publicly denounce their homophobic songs.

This press release and arrangement is a win for Canadian LGBTI people of colour (POC), but holds little for Jamaican LGBTI, who are mostly POC.

I wish the organizers and the LGBTI POC who signed on to this arrangement would think globally, and act locally to ensure that these performers are not spreading hate when they return home.

One thought on “Comment: Reggae festival does little for LGBTI Jamaicans

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