NYC Councilman Daniel Dromm and Jamaican LGBT activists call onQueen Ifrica and Amazura Concert Hall to stop the hate
On May 23, 2014 New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm and Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand (JAHS) joined together to condemn anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) music. The protest called for the cancellation of Queen Ifrica’s performance immediately, as well as condemning the promotion of and profiting from hateful music here in NYC, where LGBT lives and rights are valued.
Queen Ifrica, a reggae musician from the country of Jamaica, was scheduled to perform at Amazura Concert Hall. Fortunately, “She has been pulled as headliner at Amazura Concert Hall, Queens, New York, due to mounting pressure from the gay community.”
She is known in her home country as well as throughout the world for her homophobic lyrics, which contribute to the violently anti-LGBT climate in Jamaica. In a 2010 performance, the singer clearly expressed her discriminatory views on LGBT people and their rights: “We not going to legalize any faggotism in Jamaica.” She was even denied status as a UNICEF ambassador because of her homophobia. Despite the outcry, she has continued to use her performances to advocate for the criminalization and persecution of LGBT Jamaicans.
At a time when the reggae/dancehall music industry is becoming more aware of these issues, Queen Ifrica insists on condemning LGBT people in her music. Jamaican LGBT leaders are fighting for the most basic human rights; Queen Ifrica’s anti-LGBT propaganda makes it even more difficult for this particularly vulnerable population. LGBT leaders, who have had to flee for their lives, have had to lead the campaign against murder music from their adopted countries.
Dwayne Brown, founder of JAHS, said, “Queen Ifrica’s words help create a climate where human rights violations against LGBT Jamaicans are rampant. Such promotion of hate music and its creator Queen Ifrica is unacceptable and not welcome in New York.”
Council Member Daniel Dromm added, “Queen Ifrica’s anti-LGBT outbursts are not acceptable anywhere. Queens has historically been a haven for marginalized people around the world, including LGBT Jamaicans who have had to flee their country. I am proud to join with these brave activists who are using the freedom they have in this country to continue to fight for the embattled LGBT community in Jamaica.” He further added, “We don't want homophobic people like her coming to Queens to spread their message of hate.”
Last November, several members of the New York City Council including the current Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, sent a letter to Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller expressing their concern about the rampant human rights violations against LGBT individuals in Jamaica.