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MANY LOVES, ONE HEART

LGBTQ activism in Jamaica and the struggle for human rights
LGBTQ Studies • Anthropology • Human Rights • Caribbean Studies • African Diaspora
2017. Director Sarah Feinbloom. Producer Diana Fox.
18 Minutes. In English.

MANY LOVES, ONE HEART tells the story of the nascent LGBTQ movement in Jamaica by highlighting courageous members of the community and their allies, who have committed their lives to the Jamaican struggle for LGBTQ rights. Jamaica has frequently been cited for egregious homophobic violence by international press and human rights organizations. Challenging this often one-sided depiction, MANY LOVES, ONE HEART presents brave Jamaicans who are seeking to transform their island into a space of inclusivity where they can love freely. The documentary includes Spice, a gay, homeless youth with dreams; Mo, one of the first openly trans individuals in the Jamaica police force, who hopes one day to marry his partner; Dane, the Executive Director of J-FLAG, the leading LGBTQ human rights organization in Jamaica; and Father Sean Major-Campbell, who broke with much of the religious establishment to preach love, inclusion and allyship with conviction and courage. Scenes of Jamaica’s second ever PRIDE week depict the safe spaces carved out by the movement’s proponents, interspersed with provocative commentary by scholars and activists linking the movement for LGBTQ rights to the fight for emancipation from slavery. MANY LOVES, ONE HEART shares this homegrown Jamaican movement, celebrates their emerging victories and is an important resource for building global awareness of transnational human rights.  

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Reviews & Quotes
★★★ Recommended (Video Librarian)

"A solid tool for building global awareness; recommended for social and LGBTQ studies curricula."

Keith E. McNeal

Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Houston

"Many Loves, One Heart is the perfect title for this compelling little gem of a documentary. It tackles the stark realities of being gay or transgender in Jamaica – a Caribbean country infamous for its homophobia – not by dramatizing that caricature of this complex island nation, but through the loving documentation of four astonishing Jamaicans daring to love and live and conjure a better future. Spice is a feminine gay youth living his truth in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Mo, a transman, joined the national police force and is challenging the system from within while living in a committed love relationship with his sexy girlfriend. Dane helped found J-FLAG (Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays) and has led this pioneering queer advocacy organization for two decades, fighting not only for LGBT equality, but also the very concept of freedom itself. Finally, there is Father Sean, an Anglican priest who has become a passionate and committed LGBT rights ally from within the folds of the Christian church, seen by many as the bastion of conservative heterosexist values in Jamaican culture. The nuanced dramaturgy of these lives is interwoven with illuminating commentary from local academics and non-profit organizational leaders into an unassumingly fierce portrait of the complexities of social change and lived contradictions of sexuality, gender and the politics of citizenship in a contemporary postcolonial society.” 

Dr. Gabrielle Jamela Hosein

Lecturer and Head Associate Editor – The Caribbean Review of Gender Studies (CRGS) Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS), St. Augustine Unit The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus Trinidad and Tobago, WI.

"Bringing together fear and risk with courage and hope, this film tells the story of Jamaica’s LBGTI community members and activists, their resilience, and their struggles to thrive, to establish their rights, to be at home in their bodies, families and country, and to love and be loved."

 

Patricia Mohammed

Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of the West Indies, St Augustine

"This is a very tastefully presented, well paced and beautifully shot documentary about a subject that needs to be confronted in Jamaica and in the wider Caribbean. The film documents many sides of the struggle to achieve further gains in personal and societal freedoms that are becoming normative in other parts of the world. The heartrending ordeals of individuals to live out the sexual script that they have inherited with their bodies are compelling narratives of how each person matters and why the concept of human rights must continue to exist as a binding moral contract within civilized society. These are matched by the courageous acts of champions within Jamaica, like J Flag, Father Sean Major- Campbell and the father who defends the right of his son to be gay, like the academics and activists who put forward rational and studied arguments against the rhetoric and antiquated laws that need to be reformed. I loved the unselfconsciousness of the young boy turning cartwheels with joyous abandon against the backdrop of murals and the message of hope that this moving documentary ends with."

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