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Showing posts from 2018

Judging Difference - Caribbean IRN Update - September, October, November, December 2018

Second Photo (Guyana Trans United) - Protest in 2016 against the actions of Magistrate Dylon Bess Difference  In November, 2018 the Caribbean Court of Justice ruled that the cross-dressing laws in Guyana were unconstitutiona l. After the appeal filed by Gulliver (Quincy) McEwan, Isabella (Seyon) Persaud, Angel (Seon) Clarke and Pheches (Joseph) Fraser and SASOD, Quincy McEwan explained the ruling in a TV interview Tracy Robinson and Arif Bulkan from the University of the West Indies reflected on the case during the seminar Modern Vagrancies, LGBTQI lives, Discrimination and Strategic Litigation in the Caribbean  . Caribbean Solidarity Network shared the video. Prime Minister Nagamootoo said that Guyana 'respects the ruling'. The ruling generated some regional responses. The Jamaica Gleaner  editorialised "Judicial Courage and the Buggery Law"  . In Trinidad & Tobago, Colin Robinson wrote about the CCJ being a 'small man court" , and Ga

Pride, Prayers and Law - Caribbean IRN Update July, August 2018

Left (Snap shot from Guybow/Sherlina Nageer; Right - George Alleyne via CaribbeanLifeNews Pride  Pride celebrations continued in the Caribbean in Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados and Belize. The celebrations in Trinidad & Tobago  started with a flag raising. "amid resistance".  The six weeks of events ended with a parade , and in memory of Sasha Fierce , There was rich reporting and commentary in the Trinidadian media including a reflection by   on the Pride  and the anniversary of the coup; that tolerance is good for the economy , Angelique V Nixon , Caribbean IRN member , read a piece The story of resistance at the parade. (video from Silver Lining facebook page) B-GLAD in Barbados also had a month of activities   ending with the first pride parade on 22 July, 2018 Donya Piggot explained in  Barbados Today news clip. J-FLAG in Jamaica also had Pride celebrations The second Pride Week was celebrated in Belize from 4 to 12 August. News c

Angel Clarke: “Transgender persons must be independent”

by Rae Wiltshire  Angel Clarke is an independent woman. She has her own home, has her own transportation, and runs a successful catering business – despite the discrimination and challenges that she faces as a transgender person in Guyana. “Homophobia did not hold me back one bit. I don’t care what society has to say, I live my life to please me,” she said. “I have learned to love myself unconditionally. I have to feel comfortable in my own skin, in my own space. When I see the things that gay people go through, you have to love yourself first.” Angel has been working in catering for 20 years. It’s a skill she learnt by observing her mother in the kitchen. She nurtured it, turned her talent into a business and now dreams of owning a five-star restaurant. She believes that all trans persons should strive to attain economic independence and not depend on someone: “As my father always say, ‘It is better to teach a man to fish, than to give him a fish’. Trans persons s

‘As a transgender person in Guyana, you feel you’re in a jail yard’

Photographer : Orpheao Griffith by Rae Wiltshire (Pheches (Joseph) Fraser is a litigant in the challenge to the cross-dressing law of Guyana. Rae Wiltshire is an award-winning playwright, theatre director and short story writer. His play “Creative Burial Ground” and short story, “Me Fuss Fineral”  placed first and second respectively  at the Guyana Annual Competition 2018 . He is currently in his final year at the University of Guyana, studying Literature and Linguistics.) For Pheches Carlina, depression is being in Guyana: “Guyana is a very depressing country. It’s a nice and beautiful place but the thinking of the people is bad. Everything is a threat to them. If you’re black, you’re a threat to Indian. If you’re Indian, you’re a threat to black. To make it worse, if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, it is seen as out of the norm.” Pheches describes herself as a dominant person. This dominance has ensured her survival as a transgender woman living

I am Isabella - Profile of Isabella (Seyon) Persaud

Isabella (Seyon) Persaud is one of the litigants who brought the constitutional challenge to Guyana's Cross Dressing laws.

`Tolerance is for starters, but I prefer acceptance’ - Alessandra Hereman

Photographer : Oprheao Griffith By Alessandra Hereman Alessandra Hereman is a young transgender woman who is studying at the University of Guyana “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” Audre Lorde When my mother gave birth to me the doctor and nurses said I was ‘male’. However, as I grew up, I did not identify with or adopt anything masculine. As early as age four I knew I was different. My name is Alessandra Hereman and I am a trans woman. This means I was assigned male at birth but identify and live as a woman of trans experience. While still in nursery school I played with dolls and cross-dressed. As I transitioned into primary school I avoided rough outdoor games. I still have memories of my male cousins and other family members making fun of my feminine behaviour. There was no psychologist, child psychiatrist or gender specialist. It was just me and my thoughts: I am a girl… but I

Transgender is not my only identity - Gulliver (Quincy) McEwan

Photographer : Orpheao Griffith By Rae Wiltshire Rae Wiltshire is an award-winning playwright, theatre director and short story writer. His play “Creative Burial Ground” and short story, “Me Fuss Fineral” placed first and second respectively at the Guyana Annual Competition 2018. He is currently in his final year at the University of Guyana, studying Literature and Linguistics “Everybody came to see this trans person, and when they realised it was just a normal human being, everybody left; because they felt it was this big show, this big performance to be a transgender.” Gulliver (Quincy) McEwan laughed as she remembered the response of an audience. In Guyana, LGBT persons are often perceived as outcasts who exist for public amusement – a narrative that sections of the local media and theatre continue to push. There’s nothing amusing about Gulliver, she is not larger than life. She simply wants to educate Guyanese on transgender issues. Prior to 2009, Gulliver hi

LGBTIQ Guyanese talk about families

The Guyana Rainbow Foundation (GuyBow) held a symposium ‘LGBTIQ Family Life Matters’ on 30 May, 2018 at the Herdmanston Lodge. The symposium was held as part of the Guyana Pride Festival 2018 celebrations, primarily funded by C.o.C Netherlands. Colleen M c Ewan, chair of GuyBow, explained that GuyBow held a pre-Mother’s Day event in the National Park for LBQ women and their families. The event was successful but at the same time GuyBow recognized that many families discriminate against family members because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Colleen spoke about the love and support that has received over the years from the majority of her relatives and extend gratitude to them for treating her and the family she created with humanity. She said that those who are still challenged by her sexuality are in the minority but have mostly respectful. The gathering included LGBTIQ families, and relatives of LGBTIQ people. “ My family is a work

Judgement and Pride - Caribbean IRN Update April, May, June 2018

L: Cartoon Kaieteur News, 3 June, 2018; R Extract from Judgement in Jason Jones vs AG of Trinidad and Tobago and others Judgement On 12 April, 2018 Trinidad & Tobago, Justice Devindra Rampersad  ruled in favour of Jason Jones in declaring that the country's sodomy laws are unconstitutional. . The case and the judgement saw protests and counter-protests.  Writer Monique Roffey reflects on the circumstances of case, and describes the win in Trinidad and Tobago as  "A Win against Homophobia in the Caribbean" . There has been backlash as some persons have been fired from their jobs or evicted from their homes. Three Barbadians petition the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights against the 'buggery laws ' in Barbados. The Democratic Labour Party had protested gay marriage  as part of their campaign, but it seems the Barbados electorate rejected them entirely, and Barbados got its first woman Prime Minister who didn't really say much about LGB

No to same-sex marriage, yes to same-sex loving tourists; the gay Agenda - Caribbean IRN Update February , March 2018

Image from J-FLAG Gay Agenda J-Flag  publishes the Gay Agenda .  which does not mention anything about marriage or about turning every body gay. Bermuda becomes  "the first jurisdiction in the world to repeal same-sex marriage"   even as the Government seeks to attract LGBTQ tourists to the island  saying that they are ahead of the rest of the Caribbean in at least allowing domestic partnerships. However, ECADE says that gay marriage is not a focus for LGBT activists  in response to a Human Rights Watch report  "“I Have to Leave to Be Me” Discriminatory Laws against LGBT People in the Eastern Caribbean"  Barbados Minister Blackett also says No to gay marriage   in response to the report as he tries to show love and understanding while talking about being harassed as a straight person. In the Cayman Islands , the Deputy Governor warns Caymanians  that they will have to deal with same-sex civil unions. Dr Dhanayshar Mohabir, an Independent Senator of Tr

Male, Female, Other .. Caribbean IRN Update January 2018

Extract from the NPTA Guyana Supplier Registration Form   Almost one year after the day when 289 Caribbean Christians wrote to President Donald Trump to appeal to him to restore morality , Jamaica refuses entry to an American moral crusader who has wanted to kill gays. In Guyana, bureaucracy at the Ministry of Finance is a symbol of progress as the National Procurement and Tender Administration Supplier Registration Form  acknowledges that applicants might want to be of one of  Male, Female, Other gender. Barbados Today said that the UN gave Barbados a ' Gay Push' at the January 2018 Universal Periodic Review. The lawyers for Jason Jones have presented their argument s in Jones vs AG of TT and the decision is scheduled for April 12. Will Trinidad & Tobago's jurisprudence follow Belize's? Friends for Life in Trinidad & Tobago publishes a summary of their findings from the participatory research "Understanding the Experiences of LGBTQI in Trini