Monday, December 14, 2009
New York, NY, December 14, 2009 - The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today welcomed the decision by Jamaican performance artist Staceyann Chin to speak out about Buju Banton’s Grammy nomination.
Banton has a long history of advocating the killing of gay people. In a popular song released in 1988 entitled “Boom Boom Bye,” Banton repeats the anti-gay 'f-word' and says that "f-----s have to die" and he will "shoot them in the head" or "burn them." He continues to sing this song at his concerts today and has repeatedly failed to acknowledge his prior commitments to denounce violent anti-gay lyrics. In October 2009 Banton was quoted in news reports as saying "This is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs 'there is no end to the war between me and f----t' and it's clear."
“I know firsthand about the struggles that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people encounter not only in Jamaica, but around the world,” said Staceyann Chin. “Buju Banton’s Grammy nomination provides an important opportunity for growth and transformation. We must, as a society, move beyond our differences. I challenge Banton to live up to his past assertions that he has changed and call for greater education and understanding about the harms of promoting brutal anti-gay lyrics.”
GLAAD applauds Staceyann Chin for speaking out about this vital topic and using her voice to open hearts around the world.
About Staceyann Chin
A resident of New York City and a Jamaican National, Staceyann Chin has mesmerized audiences as “out poet and political activist” since 1998. From the rousing cheers of the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe to one-woman shows Off- Broadway to co-writer and performer in the Tony nominated, Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Chin has made an impact in raising awareness around gender, sexuality, race and being Jamaican and how those aspects of her identity intersect. In addition to giving dozens of lectures and performances around the country, her work and image have graced the pages of numerous publications such as A, Curve, The Village Voice, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Essence to name a few. She has also been featured on NBC, BET, Tony Award show, The Oprah Winfrey Show and 60 Minutes. In 2009, she published her memoir, The Other side of Paradise (Scribner), which recalls her childhood growing up in Jamaica. For more information, please visit www.staceyannchin.com or www.facebook.com/staceyannchin.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org.
Posted by De Sube at 12/14/2009 02:12:00 PM