gspottt•t&t's triggersite for sogi passion & advocacy

24 September, 2009

Garth John murdered


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Another member of our community, a legal professional and resident of Curepe, has died violently, stabbed to death repeatedly in his home by three assailants who then stole his car Wednesday night. We have no confirmation, but his meeting with one or more of the assailants is being widely rumoured as having been initiated on A4A.

Our condolences go out to all of his loved ones. Those we spoke with this evening remembered his generosity, self-acceptance, involvement in his neighbourhood, and passion for interior design.

The murder comes on the heels of those of Nirel Parks and Oral Brathwaite, and in the middle of an ongoing spate of internet dating-initiated violence and blackmail of community members, perpetrated in part by a ring of gay and non-gay assailants who are out on bail for one of these offences.

It’s beyond time to take stronger community action to prevent and address such violence, many community members are saying. Calls are also being raised about how we partner more effectively with victims’ families to fight together for justice and strengthen community commitment to safety. And about the need for our communities to undertake stronger partnership and advocacy with law enforcement on violence against us.

Look out for some action steps and community activities from CAISO and others soon. And tell us what YOU think our community and organizers should be doing.

Tell us as well how we can make the safety tips we posted on here two months ago more meaningful for you and those you know. Those tips have been visited by our readers fewer than 20 just about 35 times, as compared to our entries on murders and violence, which you have read over 700 1,200 times. Dating-related violence, though not the only form of violence targeting our community, appears to be the most common. And it is also a form of violence where our own prevention efforts can achieve significant success.

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5 Comments »

  1. Hey, first I want to offer my condolences!

    I met Garth a couple times and spoke to him on the phone a few times more. As a fellow gay man, I was inspired by his passion for life, decorating (the both times, I visited his home he gave me the tour of the house with pride and relish)his affinity for traveling, his acceptance of his sexuality as one part of what he had to offer the world, his love of talking and his desire for true and humane intimacy.

    Did not know him well and even thought that he was not my type, but I respected him for claiming his space and living honestly in it. As for what our community should be doing or how we can increase gay internet dating safety. on the former lobby the police to ensure that a thorough investigation is done. This crime more than the others maybe ripe with clues!

    As for dating safety, as individuals we have to get past the shame/fear/embarassment/whatever discomfort and enter accountable relationships with a friend or two on our internet dating habits and generally we have to vet EVERYONE in public before we go off with them in private- 3 or more times- including getting ‘ bonafide bullar man references’ to ensure that 1) “they bulling” and 2)that they “safe”.

    Comment by David Mathers — 24 September, 2009 @ 22:03 | Reply

  2. Sad, very sad to hear of this type of crime, we used to have that problem here some years ago too thru A4A and BGC but it has since died down as the community has developed it’s own way of checks and balances by networking and information sharing, i.e. knowing friends whereabouts on a date or a home visitor’s times.

    Ascertaining if the would be date has been engaged by someone else in the community also acts as confirmation.

    It maybe also a case of “emergency homosexuality” (not saying it is here) where thugs engage in the act for whatever gifts they can aquire at the time but usually ends up in the “true homosexual” suffering from some violent reaction if said gifts or promises cannot be met. We have alot of that here in Jamaica.

    I strongly suspect the recent John Terry matter to be a similar typed crime.

    Maybe CAISO (if u don’t already do)could have on it’s platform a clinical psychologist or a sexologist to exmamine these other practices within the lgbtqi community.

    Stay safe and peace.

    H

    Comment by Howie — 25 September, 2009 @ 00:03 | Reply

  3. My mother called me from the US last night to warn me to be careful, they’re killing gays in Trinidad. Either advocates talking about this (even when it makes people uncomfortable) is having an impact. Or the politicians too are already hearing the same thing and still proceeding to refuse to “deal with sexual orientation”. Or, worse, the Government just won’t do squat meaningful to prevent crime, whether you’re gay or straight.

    Comment by Soucouyant — 26 September, 2009 @ 22:16 | Reply

  4. Garth was a dear friend…. he always had a sense of humor I would talk about for days on end after conversing with him.

    Rest in peace brother.

    Comment by Soriya — 30 September, 2009 @ 08:46 | Reply

    • Soriya, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend.

      I live in the US. As a child my two sisters and I lived for two years with a woman in Trinidad who had become legal guardian to her nephew Garth John. Garth also lived there at the time. I don’t know where his parents were. A few years later I heard that this aunt died and I’ve always wondered what became of Garth. I’ve only today googled his name to see if I could find him after all these years. If this is the same Garth John, he would be between 43 and 45 years old. From the photo above, I can see they are of the same complexion. The last time I saw him I was nine and he was about 5 or 6. I only remember Garth had huge round eyes. Can you please let me know if any of this sounds familiar.

      Comment by Nadine — 5 November, 2009 @ 18:36 | Reply


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