April 11, 2015 – Reported by the Advocate.com – Against a backdrop of LGBT youth literally living in storm drains and a gay man stoned to death in the street, President Obama used his trip to Jamaica this week to hail the example of a young lesbian activist.
While in Kingston at the University of the West Indies for a town hall with young people, Obama used his opening remarks to praise two people who he said are “an example of what is possible, even in the most difficult of circumstances.” One of those people is Angeline Jackson, executive director for Quality of Citizenship Jamaica.
Obama found Jackson in the audience, then shared her story this way:
“Several years ago, when Angeline was 19, she and a friend were kidnapped, held at gunpoint and sexually assaulted. And as a woman, and as a lesbian, justice and society were not always on her side. But instead of remaining silent, she chose to speak out and started her own organization to advocate for women like her, and get them treatment and get them justice, and push back against stereotypes, and give them some sense of their own power. And she became a global activist. But more than anything, she cares about her Jamaica, and making it a place where everybody, no matter their color, or their class, or their sexual orientation, can live in equality and opportunity. That’s the power of one person, what they can do.”
Activists has hoped Obama would not ignore rampant abuse of LGBT people while visiting Jamaica, saying “Every mickle mek a mockle” — a Jamaican proverb that translates approximately to “every little bit counts.”…story continues below…