J-FLAG is a human rights and social justice organisation which advocates for the rights, livelihood and well- being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Jamaica.
Our work seeks to build a Jamaican society that respects and protects the rights of everyone. Our board and staff are committed to promoting social change, empowering the LGBT community, and building tolerance for and acceptance of LGBT people.
Since 2012, the organisation has been operating
under five broad objectives:
In pursuit of these objectives,
the following strategic approaches are being used:
To promote social change by empowering the Jamaican LGBT community and build tolerance for and acceptance of the LGBT community by the wider Jamaican society.
The creation of a Jamaican society that respects and protects the human rights and inherent dignity of all individuals irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity: A Jamaica where there is the freedom to be, for all people.
J-FLAG promotes the values of all-inclusivity, diversity, equality, fairness, and love. These values are at the heart of all we do, as we seek to become effective agents of social change.
J-FLAG was launched on Thursday, December 10, 1998 to serve the needs of lesbians, gays and bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) peoples.
J-FLAG was started by a group of 12 men and women: educators, lawyers, public relations practitioners, advertisers and human rights activists who saw the need to advocate for the protection of LGBT people from state-sanctioned and community violence. In this regard, J-FLAG’s call was for the fair and equal treatment of gays and lesbians under the law and by the ordinary citizen. Among the individuals who helped to found the organisation and were part of its Steering Committee are:
Thomas Glave • Philip Dayle • Julia Lowe • Larry Chang • Ian McKnight
Edward Akintola Hubbard • Julius Powell • Donna Smith
Robert Cork (deceased) • Brian Williamson (deceased)
One of J-FLAG’s first major undertakings was a submission to the Joint Select Committee on the Charter of Rights Bill seeking to amend the non-discrimination clause to include ‘Sexual Orientation’. J-FLAG has expanded its Legal Reform and Advocacy efforts, and expanded its activities to include Public Education and Crisis Intervention and Support Programmes. J-FLAG continues to encourage Jamaicans to have a deeper understanding of their plurality and their democracy; it will continue seeking to raise the level of debate in the society about the meaning of tolerance and the acceptance of difference. Accordingly, J-FLAG will attempt to forge new relationships with a wider cross-section of organisations committed to strengthening democracy and the promotion of respect for all Jamaicans, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, creed, religion or social status. Over the twenty years of our existence, J-FLAG has stood as the foremost voice in Jamaica and English speaking Caribbean calling for the respect of LGBT peoples as citizens with the same rights and value as heterosexual Jamaicans.