Jamaican LGBTQ human rights activist Angeline Jackson has written a book about her sexual and spiritual awakenings. “Funny Gyal: My Fight Against Homophobia in Jamaica,” slated for release in June, is available to order now.
Jackson founded the organization Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, which advocates for the interests of lesbian and bisexual women.
She is currently working on a master’s degree in theology with the intention of seeking ordination as a Unitarian Universalist minister. As part of this program, she is a trainee minister at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, California. She also serves as an expert witness in LGBTQ+ asylum cases for queer Jamaicans, especially lesbians, seeking asylum in various countries.
While writing the book, she recalls:
“I noticed there were a lot of challenges throughout my life that I swept away to keep moving forward. Some of that wasn’t healthy, but I think it laid the foundation for the resilience and perseverance that I needed later.
“After spending years in LGBTQ+ activism and actively trying to avoid faith-based work, I have returned to faith-based work and much of my energy and enthusiasm is tied to the role my faith has played in my childhood and late adolescence. development.”
In the words of the publisher, the book is:
“The inspiring story of Angeline Jackson, who stood up against Jamaica’s oppression of young gay men to demand recognition and justice.
“When Angeline Jackson was a child, she wondered if there was something wrong with her wanting to kiss other girls. “wouldn’t make it” and that her attraction to girls was not against God. In fact, she discovered that same-sex relationships were described in the Bible, which she read with devotion, even though the evangelical Christian community close-knit community she grew up in believed that any sexual relationship outside of marriage between a man and a woman was sinful, and her society, Jamaica, criminalized same-sex sex.
“Angeline’s story begins with her traumatic experience of ‘corrective rape’ when lured by an online predator, then traces her childhood through her sexual and spiritual awakening as a teenager – falling in love, breaking up, dating , then being forced into conversion therapy.
“Sometimes dark, always worn and honest, funny girl recounts how Angeline’s faith deepened as a teenager, despite her parents’ conservative values and the strict Jamaican Christian society in which she lives, giving her the courage to challenge gender-based violence, rape culture and the oppression.
Advance orders for the book can be placed here:
About Angeline Jackson
Jackson is an LGBTQ human rights activist, HIV/AIDS educator and former executive director of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica. In 2015, President Barack Obama recognized Angeline as one of Jamaica’s Outstanding Young Leaders at City Hall for Youth in Kingston, Jamaica. She also participated in a US Senate briefing panel and attended the first White House Forum on LGBT Human Rights Worldwide. Angeline lives in Jamaica.
For years, she actively supported the St. Paul Foundation for International Reconciliation, the financial sponsor of the news site Erasing 76 Crimes. In his words:
“The Foundation was one of the first actors and trainers of my activism. Thanks to the Foundation, we were able to register Quality of Citizenship Jamaica. Thanks to the Foundation and the Spirit of 76 conference in 2012, I began my international activism, speaking on stages and on panels. The Saint-Paul Foundation has helped me in the relationships and friendships I have made. The Spirit of 76 conference is a memory that sticks with me. The knowledge I gained during this time, of the formal structure of the conference as well as other participants, was beneficial in the activism I engaged in in Jamaica.
Previous articles about him include: