A message of tolerance is being spread from living room to living room in Jamaica, arguably one of the world's epicenters of virulent homophobia, as we speak, err, type.
Thanks to the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (JFLAG), via television and the Internet Jamaicans of all ages are hearing the message of "Unconditional Love." Follow the jump to check out the first ad from the vastly important campaign.
Unconditional Love tells a heart warming story of Christine Straw who declares her unending love for Matthew, her brother who is gay, while calling on Jamaicans to love their family members and friends who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). “As Jamaicans we have to stop this stupidity of alienating our [people] because of their homosexual orientation,” stated Straw. “They are our brothers and our sisters and we must love them, no matter what [..] because they need support and encouragement,” she said.
In detailing the impact of homophobia in Jamaica, Maurice Tomlinson, Legal Adviser at AIDS-Free World (AFW) said his organisation was proud to support this collaborative venture which calls on all Jamaicans to live up to their world renowned culture of One Love. He stressed that members of the LGBT community must also strive to understand the source of the lack of knowledge of persons who stigmatize and violate their rights and hurt them. “The empowerment of these individuals is crucial for the breaking down of walls which prevent persons from seeing the true value of the contribution LGBT Jamaicans make to the society” Tomlinson said.
According to Dane Lewis, Executive Director at Jamaica’s only gay rights lobby, Jamaica Forum of Lesbians All Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), “it is our hope that this inspiring public declaration of love will motivate other families and friends of LGBT to share their stories of acceptance and that those who are on a journey to acceptance will be moved to love LGBT persons in their lives unconditionally.”