By Robyn Ochs
At the Creating Change Conference in January 2017, I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Clifford and Chris Leslie from PRIDE
in Action, a Jamaican queer-focused non-governmental organization that serves students and other youth through SPECTRUM,
the LGBTQIA+ resource center on the Mona campus of The University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. I expressed
interest in featuring someone from Jamaica in a future issue of BWQ. Mark promised to recommend someone to me.
More than two years later, the following poems and essays appeared in BWQ’s inbox, along with a lovely message from Mark.
He wrote: “We enjoy the publication when it comes out and we’ve printed and made the last couple years’ editions available in
our library. For the last edition, Chris and I (both cis gay men) selected our favorite entries and posted copies on the wall of the
lounge room as our selected picks. We’ll probably do the same again for the new issue, as it gets folks reading! Thanks again for
sharing it with us!”
I am delighted to feature, as part of our Around the World series, writing from members of SPECTRUM. For safety issues, we are
sharing photos from the Center rather than photos of the authors.