Today in New York, the campaign continued against LIFEbeat, the music industry’s AIDS organization. New York Black same-gender loving and transgender activists held a press conference in front of the LIFEbeat headquarters demanding that LIFEbeat go ahead with a gay friendly reggae concert donating the proceeds to J-FLAG, the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays. Among the participants were Colin Robinson (pictured), Kenyon Farrow, Stacey Ann Chin (pictured), and Keith Boykin (pictured).
"This would be the first time a protest of these artists raised money for us,” said Karlene, co-chair of J-FLAG. “The international protests have helped build awareness and accountability back here. Artists who perform homophobic or hate songs must be sent a strong message that their acts are inhumane and will not be tolerated. But it’s even better when this can result in support for our difficult and under-financed work to counter this hatred where these musicians live.”
Yesterday, LIFEbeat called off its reggae concert in light of building pressure from Black gay activists regarding a scheduled performance by two homophobic entertainers, Beenie Man and TOK.
“LIFEbeat has basically chosen to cop-out and blame us for their ill-considered decision to use these artists in the first place,” commented D.C. blogger Terrence Heath.
The concert was scheduled to take place at New York’s Webster Hall on July 18.
Continue reading to see more photos.
Photo credit: Andres Duque