All male weddings, promises, Pride - Caribbean IRN Update April, May, June 2021

L - From Sunday Graphic 12 July, 1959; R - Demerara Daily Chronicle 28 September , 1884

 All male weddings

The Demerara Daily Chronicle (Guyana) of 28 September, 1884 had a story "An Extraordinary Story : Alleged Marriage of two men in Camp Street" which started "It having been reported to us that a scandalous occurrence had taken place in Camp Street on Friday, we yesterday instituted close and searching inquiries into the truth of the extraordinary story which had been brought to our notice.

This was, in short that two persons of the same sex had been parties to a so-called marriage ceremony...." 

The rest of the story gives a glimpse into the lives of 'Aunty Men' at 19th century Guyana (British Guiana). A Letter to the Editor in September 1893 refers to 'outcasts in female attire' while the Police News in December 1894 report on men being charged for dressing in female attire for improper purpose. 

These items were donated by Dr Jeremy Peretz. His Ph.D dissertation  "Komfa Work: Ritualizing Racecraft and Nation in Guyana’s Spiritualist Faiths" includes a chapter which explores queerness in Komfa practice.

 Dr Nastassia Rambarran found the images from the article about another "all male wedding" in Guyana in July 1959 which were published in the Sunday Graphic newspaper.

 In 2004 there was another 'gay' wedding reported in the Guyana Chronicle.

SASOD re-affirmed that gay marriage is not on its advocacy agenda.. but it seems that weddings without marriage are part of the LGBTQ+ Guyana history!

Promises

In Cuba, President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez tweets greetings for IDAHOBIT - a first for the Caribbean region.

LGBTQ+ activists in Cuba are calling for marriage equality in the Family Code.

 

Guyana's President Irfaan Ali commits to "Reaching vulnerable groups such as LGBTI, sex workers and immigrants" at the 2021 UN High Level meeting on HIV. The Government tables a bill to remove the cross-dressing law in Parliament. In a fascinating statement, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Hon. Gail Teixeira commended the work of LGBTQ+ organisation EQUAL Guyana. This is probably first for the Caribbean where the Minister is praising an organisation whose work is to ensure the Minister does the work which is not being done.. !

Despite all these interventions,  there are no rainbow lights at State House or rainbow flags flying on the Ministries in Guyana

Pride

The US Embassies in several Caribbean countries had Pride flags or lights. The missions of other countries also had Pride symbols.  Pride celebrations and IDAHOBIT commemorations were held in several Caribbean territories.

Scotiabank in Trinidad & Tobago said that medical benefits could be extended to same-sex partners of employees. 

The UN Resident Co-ordinator in Guyana issues an Op-Ed "Advocating for the rights and protection of the LGBTIQ+ community"  

For IDAHOBIT in Cuba, the Health Ministry put up a giant rainbow flags 

In Trinidad & Tobago, CAISO  calls on the Government to meets its human rights obligations rights   

 

LGBTQ+ Caribbean lives

The Jamaica Observer celebrates the achievements of gay ex-police Deniel Christian. Trinidadian Brandy Rodriguez is recognised by Queen Elizabeth II.  ECADE and other organisations mobilised to support LGBTQ+ citizens after the eruption of La Soufrière in St Vincent and the Grenadines

 Maurice Tomlinson writes about his late mother's love and support .

In Guyana, Marcus King who identifies as a transman, K Jasmin Rattan who identifies as a transwoman, and Savannah Williams who identifies as a pansexual share their stories
 

 

 

In Martinique, the court has granted 23 year old Flo the right to have a valid change of gender identity from male to female. In Cayman Islands, Governor Martyn Roper reassures LGBTQ community over civil partnership rights

Barbados born Patrick Ettenes who has early onset dementia is one of the persons honoured at the UK Attitude Pride Awards.

In Haiti, the Organisation Trans D'Haiti plans to make Haiti an inclusive country by 2030

Yahoo Sports! as part of Pride and Caribbean American Heritage Month identifies Caribbean Equality Project, JFLAG/Equality Jamaica, Pride Trinidad and Tobago, Pride Barbados, SASOD Guyana and 758Pride St Lucia as "6 Caribbean founded LGBTQIA organisations to follow"

In memory..

Colin Robinson is remembered in The Body, as a A Father of Black Queer Liberation. A TTT News special pays tribute to his work. 

The life of Latchman "Anthony" Singh also known as Maria Venus Raj is celebrated by family, friends and colleagues.  

In Jamaica,  two men are sentenced to death for killing Father Larius Lewis after connecting with him on the Internet.  His father remembers him as a  good leader, while the Anglican rector  of his district talks about the 'stain on the church' since the church does not " approve of homosexuality."

Books, etc

Krystal Nandini Ghisyawan, PhD announces Erotic Cartographies Decolonization and the Queer Caribbean Imagination

 BBC Radio 4 airs Ingrid Persaud's "The Chronicles of Burke Street" One of the stories is Tara's Story about a young woman" looking for Miss Right"

Rajiv Mohabir's hybrid memoir 'Antiman' is available and celebrated.

Suriname born Jeangu Macrooy is one of the LGBTQ+ artistes at Eurovision 2021. 

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