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
UPDATE ON EDMONTON REGGAE FESTIVAL
By Maurice Tomlinson
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.
- Demand diversity training for anti-gay reggae singers (July 10, 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Anti-LGBTQ artists headline Edmonton Reggae Festival (July 7, 2015, The Gauntlet, student newspaper of the University of Calgary)
- Fans and sponsors abandon reggae festival over anti-gay song lyrics (July 9, 2015, CBC News)
- Edmonton Reggae Festival sponsors suspend support (July 9, 2015, Edmonton Journal)
- Jamaica: No tax money for reggae singers’ homophobia (August 2013, 76crimes.com)
- Canada was right to nix tax-funded Jamaican hate (August 2013, 76crimes.com)
- LGBT envoy heads to Jamaica amid plans for Pride (May 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Jamaica’s major newspaper backs LGBTI rights (June 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Progress in Jamaica toward ‘world as it should be’ (June 2015, 76crimes.com)