ellen page joins jamaican pride flashmob
The openly gay actress attended the event in Kingston this weekend.
Ellen Page has continued her commitment to raising LGBT awareness by attending a Pride event in Jamaica, where homosexual acts between men are illegal and punishable with up to 10 years imprisonment. The Juno actress, who came out as gay last February with a stirring speech at the Human Rights Campaign's Time to Thrive conference, watched a flashmob event that took place in Jamaica's capital city, Kingston, and shared a picture on Instagram afterwards.
The Pride event was organization by J-FLAG, which bills itself as "the foremost organization in Jamaica advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people." Jamaica's government has been criticized by human rights groups in the past for failing to combat high levels of violent crime perpetrated against LGBT people on the island, but ahead of J-FLAG's week of activities attempting to improve awareness, the country's Justice Minister, Mark Golding, released a statement urging "all Jamaicans to respect their right to do so in peace, and hope that the week's activities will further the goal of making Jamaica a place where 'Out of Many, One People' is a fundamental guiding principle by which we all abide."
Page's high-profile appearance in Jamaica highlights the vital importance of Pride events in countries where widespread LGBT acceptance has yet to be achieved. Last Thursday, six people were attacked by a homophobic extremist brandishing a knife at a Gay Pride march in Israel, and one of the victims, 16-year-old Shira Banki, has since lost her life. Her family said in a statement that their daughter had been "murdered because she was a happy 16-year-old - full of life and love - who came to express her support for her friends' right to live as they choose."
Text Nick Levine