Divergence and Confluence - Caribbean IRN Update November, December 2016

On Left - image from thepolitic.org, Right - image from San Pedro Sun

Recent votes at the United Nations on the role and function of the SOGI expert show the tendency of the Caribbean to keep voting against gay rights at the UN.

Global politics might be the reason as countries like Suriname which does not criminalise homosexuality and Guyana where the political parties committed to equality for all in the last elections seemed to succumb to things other than family values and colonial culture.

Trinidadian Colin Robinson writes about being  thrown out of a meeting he was invited to by the Office of the Prime Minister. He and others protested the lack of representation of communities affected by HIV/AIDS on the National AIDS Co-ordinating Committee.

Jamaica continued to provide nuances to the story of the homophobic Caribbean. JFLAG celebrated its 18th Anniversary at the US Embassy in Jamaica, while Jamaican refugee Gareth Henry tells his story of helping those who want to flee persecution and threats of death.

The story of St Kitts and Nevis born Rolston Ryan is told as an example of the problems faced by refugees from supposedly 'safe' countries.

Vice news' "Gaycation" examined lives of queer Jamaicans.  The EU assures Jamaica that it is not linking aid to Gay Rights or the abolition of the death penalty.  Jamaican  Usain Bolt also says that he has no problem with gays but he is not getting into politics about gay rights.

The death of Fidel Castro stimulates discussions on LGBT lives in Cuba. Reinaldo Arenas is remembered.  A gay communist American remembers his visit to Cuba.
Others note the evolution from Fidel to Mariela. 

Photographer Alva Fuerte provides some images of Cubans.

One Island, different rights is how this article compares LGBTQ rights in Haiti and Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic has recently include laws against discrimination against a person based on their sexual orientation /preference.

Belizean citizen Caleb Orozco wins a David Kato Vision and Voice Award .

The New York Times carries an opinion on being queer in the Caribbean which does not include stories like the one from the  San Pedro Sun which says  that the third annual Nuestra Belleza Gay Pageant helped to unite Belize's LGBT community.

The St Lucia Times reports on the formation of the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) .


Bollywood lovers would be appalled/fascinated at Rajiv Mohabir's evolution of the 1964 hit Sangam (Confluence) into a narrative  of Guyanese/Indian/Pakistani diasporas and confluences ., published on Drunken Boat !

Andil Gosine's diaspora story is reported in the Newsday in Trinidad.

A review of Colin Robinsons' You have your Father's Hard Head says that the collection of poems "does what art and poetry on rare occasions sometimes can: confers upon the invisible a dignity of careful and loving perception that simply did not exist before."

Rock|Salt|Stone is the title of a book of poetry from Rosamond King which is coming in March 2017.

All the best for 2017 from the Caribbean IRN team.


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