Council Member Dromm and Jamaican LGBT activists call for cancellation of Queen Ifrica concert in Queens and Amazura Concert Hall complies
Posted by Melanie Ntahan, May 24, 2014.
On May 23rd New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm and Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand (JAHS) protested in front of Amazura Concert Hall in Jamaica, Queens, calling for the cancellation of a performance by publicly homophobic reggae artist Queen Ifrica. Today, Jamaican newspaper the Jamaica Observer reported that Ifrica was dropped from tonight’s lineup of six other female artists.
John Rios, Amazura manager, told the Observer, “We’re not prejudiced against anyone. I welcome the gay community and we get along with everybody,” he said.
Queen Ifrica is known in her home country of Jamaica and throughout the world for her homophobic lyrics, which contribute to the violently anti-LGBT and anti-gay 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. Although she denies support of anti-LGBT violence, 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.”
JAHS – Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand is a direct-action group dedicated to ending discrimination, violence, and repression against the LGBT community.
Twitter @JamaicaAHS & facebook.com/Jamaica.AHS