Caribbean nations are often viewed as socially unprogressive, due to the overwhelmingly conservative religious views held by the majority of the islands’ populations. British Prime Minister Theresa May recently expressed her regret for the UK’s role in the imposition of these laws in their former colonies. In many islands of the Eastern Caribbean, same-sex relations (oddly, some islands solely criminalized acts between males, but not females) are still a criminal offence on the books, a relic from the colonial era.
However, LGBTQ people have always found a way to resist their oppression, and thrive in their own ways. For Pride Month, a number of nations have either held or will hold pride parades. Guyana, held their first Pride Parade, even as protest from religious groups aimed to halt the project. Jamaica, well-known for its violent homophobia, has held pride events for the past four years under the auspices of J-FLAG. So-called “Little Britain” Barbados, holds events in June and November. Trinidad & Tobago recently decriminalized homosexuality in a monumental and historic ruling.
So, whilst religious groups shroud their bigotry in biblical rhetoric, activists in the Caribbean are slowly turning the tide against the antiquated, unconstitutional laws.
Some would call that Victory.
The Workshop @ The EFNIKS Daily is our writing program for young QTPoC writers. Each of the 5 writers identify as QTPoC, and are between the ages of 17 and 22. Program participants receive a $200 stipend for the 60-day program. You can help us build this and other EFNIKS programs by visiting our support page.