Carolyn Bick Launches Kickstarter Project to Help the LGBTQ Community in Jamaica Get Urgent Health Care

Crowdfunding is sought to produce a multimedia piece that will shed light on the struggle of LGBTQ Jamaicans face every day in seeking HIV/AIDS care.


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/23/2014 -- Hardly anyone can imagine being afraid of seeking urgently-needed healthcare for fear of being attacked or even killed. But that’s exactly what some people in Jamaica face every day.

Jermaine Burton, founder of the homeless, gay help and advocacy group The Colour Pink, remembers the day at Comprehensive Health Centre when she learned she was HIV-positive. Despite the grave news, her nurse warned her not to look upset when she left.

“I was crying,” said Burton, who identifies as a woman, and used to be homeless on the streets of Kingston. “[The nurse] said, ‘Don’t go out and cry, because, if you go out and cry, people are going to know you are HIV-positive’." Her life was at risk because she could be the next target target of Jamaica’s violent, deep-seated cultural prejudice against homosexuality. Since HIV/AIDS is associated with homosexuals in Jamaica those seeking treatment for HIV/AIDS aren’t safe. That’s because they risk assault and even death every time they leave a medical clinic.

While Jamaica's government offers treatment programs for citizens suffering from HIV/AIDS, many people in the LGBTQ community who are HIV-positive, or may be at risk, refuse to seek testing or treatment out of fear they will be killed over their sexual orientation.

This Kickstarter project is aptly named “Not a Fish” in defiance of this egregious and ongoing violation of basic human rights. The term 'fish' is a derogatory term for homosexual men in Jamaica among other insensitive labels these victims of society are slapped with every day. Carolyn Bick is seeking crowdfunding to complete a documentary about the struggles Jamaican MSMs (Men who have Sex with Men) and other Jamaicans along the LGBTQ spectrum face in obtaining proper health care safely and without retribution driven by primitive homophobia. She wants to document exactly what they go through when they try to get testing and treatment -- services available to everyone in the United States without a second thought for our personal safety.

This crowdfunding campaign ends on October 3, 2014.

The I am not a fish Kickstarter Page -

About Carolyn Bick
Carolyn Bick is an award-winning multimedia journalist. She first discovered photojournalism in the spring of 2013, while working in Cuba on a story about Cuban gay life for GlobalPost. Her work has been published on, The Worcester Telegram and Gazette, NPR, WTOP, WCAI, GlobalPost, and more. She also regularly contributed to the Boston University News Service photo section during her time at Boston University.

She currently works as a photo archivist for The Boston Globe, and was the photo editor for Boston University College of Communication's graduate magazine, The Comment.