Caribbean Republics and homophobic laws : Caribbean IRN Update October, November, December 2021


Brandy Rodriguez President of the Trinidad and Tobago Transgender Coalition died and activist groups remembered her work on HIV/AIDS and on dealing with other forms of discrimination.


Republics and homophobic laws

Barbados became a Republic on 30 November2021 and activists expect that the colonial laws could be removed. Article 1 of the The Charter of Barbados which was debated in Parliament stated that "All Barbadians are born free and are equal in human dignity and rights regardless of age, race, ethnicity, faith, class, cultural and educational background, ability, sex, gender or sexual orientation."

Barbados joins Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago as Caribbean Republics evolving from the British Empire. Guyana proudly maintained its anti-sodomy laws as part of its Republican status, Jason Jones was successful in his challenge to the Trinidad & Tobago Republican anti-sodomy laws.

The Jamaican Minister of Health and Wellness called for an end to anti-LGBT discrimination in the health sector. Transwave Jamaica reports on the experience of discrimination faced by trans-Jamaicans. Elton McDuffus tells his story in the Jamaica Gleaner "It was hell growing up"

Carey and Craig Smith also tell their story in the Jamaica Gleaner about having to leave Jamaica.

Meanwhile, the gal-dem blog discusses why an Oxford University President is helping the Caribbean to preserve its homophobia, even as the British High Commissioner in Guyana  calls for work to be done against the laws.

Family and Community

Our Circle in Belize launches a video campaign to protect the Right to a Family for children with LGBTIQ+ parents.

In Martinque, organiser of Gay Pride, Guy Ferdinand promises to rebuild his restaurants better than before after arson destroys his businesses. Aruba, Bonaire, Bermuda, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico are listed as destinations for Gay Travel Awards 2021. 

Cuba opens its "first LGBTQ+ " hotel "El Gran Muthu Rainbow Hotel" - it has opened in 2019 and then closed due to the pandemic. The new draft family code has been approved and might pave the way for legalisation of same sex marriages.

In Trinidad & Tobago, Jaqueline Burgess wins the 2021 Colin Robinson Hard Head Award.


SX Salon 37 "The Queer Caribbean" is dedicated to Colin Robinson and is a special issue on queer Caribbean writing.

Jamaican Marlon James gets a TV contract for Get Millie Black.

Don't forget to check our collection at Caribbean Sexualities – Love | Hope | Community – Sexualities & Social Justice in the Caribbean and share it with others.

The collection includes selected pieces from the Sargasso Print Edition, as well as special online features, including "Write It In Fire - Tributes to Michelle Cliff" (prose, poetry, visual and performance art)


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