We received sad news on Sunday, December 30, 2018 that our office — affectionately monikered ‘Rainbow House’ — was engulfed in fire late in the evening. The fire which caused severe damage and destruction to the building and its contents.
Though the property did not belong to us, it became our home where we worked and made history having staged most of our first pride events there. As staff and community members stood there that night while the fire blazed our spirits fell. It’s even more a damper on our spirits and significant impediment on our work given Rainbow House was a safe space for the community. It was there we held many activities to build community, educational sessions around laws and policies and human rights, document human rights violations, convene support groups for transgender and non-gender conforming persons and discuss issues such as self stigma and internalized homophobia and transphobia and violence perpetrated against LGBT people. Already, this is hampering our ability to undertake these and related activities at low cost.
While investigations are still ongoing, there is evidence that the severity of the fire means we have lost most of our files, equipment, furniture and other supplies (cumulatively 90% damage). From our calculations of the contents in the building that were destroyed, we estimate we will need about US $50,000 – US $60,000 to recover them and achieve some level of normalcy in our operations.
*The cost of the damage to the building is not known.
We are very grateful to the support that we have received thus far from everyone. We are slowly resuming operations on will continue to fundraise to restore all we lost to effectively operate and under the critical work we must do for the local LGBT community.
Please make a donation to help us restore and continue our operations to ensure protection of the rights of LGBT people in Jamaica.
We are also open to other forms of support. Interested persons and organisations can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Funds are being raised by Rustin Fund for J-FLAG. All donations received will go directly to J-FLAG in Jamaica to recover what was lost and does not, in anyway, include costs for damage to the building.