Out now: Gays belong in heaven too
9 June 2016
Jamaica’s first pro-LGBTQ Rastafarian reggae artist, Mista Majah P, this week releases his third LGBTQ-themed album entitled: Gays belong in heaven too – a reggae broadside against religious homophobia.
You can listen to the album and purchase it here:
“I wanted to do this third pro-gay reggae album to challenge the homophobia of the churches, especially in Jamaica. They preach ignorance, bigotry and hate against the LGBTQ community, which is anti-Christian and anti-human rights. I support the fight of LGBTQ people against religious intolerance and my music is one way to do this,” said Mista Majah P.
Explaining what he is seeking to achieve with this album, he added:
“What I hope to achieve with this album is to put homophobic churches on the spot and get some of them to rethink the hateful, damaging nature of their teachings – perhaps leading one day to them having a dialogue with the LGBTQ community. Jamaicans and many black communities worldwide are deeply religious and often anti-gay. I would like to think that this album can bring a message of hope to black LGBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere. My message in this album is simple: that gays belong in society and gays belong in heaven too.
“This album consists of 17 tracks with power lyrics, including songs about LGBTQ rights in Uganda, Russia, England and Jamaica, as well as a track that blasts anti-gay reggae artists, Rasta man leave gays alone. But the most important, heart rending song on the album is, for me, the title track, Gays belong in heaven too, where I challenge the prejudice and discrimination of Christian churches, especially in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
“Since releasing my first pro-gay album, I have received a continuous barrage of death threats to myself and my family. But I am undeterred, and will continue to work to change the negative, homophobic and murderous image that many artists give to reggae music, which is bad for the music, the industry and the country (Jamaica) that gave reggae music to the world,” said Mista Majah P.
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell added:
“Given that some leading Jamaican reggae singers have put out songs inciting the murder of LGBTQ people, this album makes a refreshing change. It reclaims the love and peace ethos of the early reggae pioneers and challenges the homophobic intolerance of fundamentalist Christian churches. Hopefully, it will give a morale boost to LGBTQ Jamaicans and encourage reggae artists to ditch their prejudice. I commend Mista Majah P for embracing the LGBTQ community and for standing firm in favour of equality, despite the huge barrage of homophobic hate and threats that he’s suffered.”
Mista Majah P concluded:
“As an artist, I realise that I must use my gift of music to speak in defence of those who have repeatedly suffered at the hands of homophobes, governments and churches. After working with many individuals and groups within the LGBTQ community, I made a commitment to create this new album. I know that it will cause an uproar in the Christian community and among Religious Right groups, but I firmly believe that LGBTQ people are God’s children and belong in heaven too.
“The songs on this album are a compilation of two years of writing and studio work. I travelled and interviewed LGBTQ folks from around the world, and stood in the gully and storm drains in Jamaica where homeless gay people are forced to seek refuge after been driven from their families and homes. These issues weigh heavy on my heart.
“My hope with this album is to recast reggae music as a genre of ‘one love’ tolerance for all peoples, regardless of their heterosexual or LGBTQ orientation – to reverse the history of reggae artists promoting ‘Murder Music’ against the LGBTQ community. I believe that all human beings are equal and have a right to live without fear of violence and death, no matter who they are or where they live.”