The Trinidad & Tobago Humanist Association weighs in on the current move to have equal rights for LGBT people in the T&T Equal Opportunity Act ( for protection from various forms of discrimination).
I really wouldn’t recommend watching the entire two dreary hours of this rubbish but it shows the level of close-minded imbecility that exists. That some of the panelists hold positions at universities etc is more disturbing than I wish to discuss. The first speaker from Barbados speaks of the unbelievable chutzpah of LGBT people to now demand the same civil rights as everyone else. “Wikipedia is not on our side anyhow” – as he reads from the entry.
As a rule, once you see ‘gay agenda’ you can safely assume you are dealing with misguided religious zealots.
A significant figure in the US civil rights movement makes a lot of sense. May 2012 at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
Excellent video via @kariwrites on Twitter.
Contribution made by Senator Corinne Baptiste-McKnight in Senate in response to a Clause in the Children Bill that criminalized same sex intimacy among youth. Give that woman an award! ( Via Nadine Agard)
I want to come immediately to what I know is going to be very controversial, but as I stand here, I feel I have a duty to everyone here, and to everyone outside there, to do it. We are living through an age where bullying is rampant in our school system. A lot of the bullying takes place, boy upon boy, a lot of it is taking place because one of them is thought or suspected of being gay. Now we cannot as adults come here, under the guise of representing a country, and behave as if we live in the only country in the world where there are no homosexuals, no gays, no lesbians, and no transvestites. My God, you only have to be in Curepe at too late an hour, and you do not know which is female from which is male because all of them are dressed in high heels, lipstick, and have a lot hair. What happen, are we not making laws for them too?I want us to think because a lot of you have children, and your children arrive on earth and they are called male or female, what if one of your children is unhappy in his or her skin, uncomfortable in their given sexuality, and that child is not able to come to either parent, and unburden? What if that child has no adult in its life to whom the child can turn for comfort, even when the child is being persecuted at school for this? I would hate to think that the 31 of us in here are so homophobic, that we would shut our eyes to seeing an infant, a child, suffer through no fault of his or her own.We have got to open our eyes and face the facts. [Crosstalk] What is that? Excuse me? No, we have to talk in public about this because there are people out there who are hurting. There are children, there are parents who are waiting for approval to deal with their gay children, and we have to send them the message that it is all right to deal with their gay children, not have them closeting the children because they would be persecuted, and prosecuted. I really want to propose that this “(c)” be removed from every subclause in 20.
ieTV’s coverage of a bold and historic protest in Port of Spain, Trinidad calling for the Equal Opportunity Act to include age, sexual orientation and HIV status to its anti-discrimination protections. The reporter, like most of those who covered the event, included same sex marriage though that was not one of the calls that CAISO was making at this time.
A few weeks ago I was privileged to be a consultant to a group started by Jeremy Steffan Edwards and comprised of young people who, spurred by yet another teen suicide in Trinidad and countless others around the world, decided that enough was enough and that they would make a difference. Sitting in that first meeting held at a conference table at the University of the West Indies I looked at the young faces and listened to them emphatically stating that young people being driven to despair because they were lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or questioning was not acceptable and I can’t really describe how proud I felt and how full of hope for the future.
Out of a series of meetings the George Kasanjian Foundation which later became The Silver Lining Foundation was born. Driven by some of the most passionate young people I have met in recent years the group has finally crafted its mission statement and vision statement.
The Silver Lining Foundation is committed to facilitating safe access to the relevant psychological, sexual, medical, recreational and media resources necessary to educate, equip and empower youth to deal with difficulties regarding sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
To create an environment conducive to respect and self acceptance, and to provide a support system for marginalized youth regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, leading to a sustainable and functional Life.
It has also embarked on a project that will be a first for T&T – a Day of Silence which will be observed on Friday. Those participating will tape their mouths and hand out cards to others on campus explaining the purpose of the group. The Trinidad Guardian published an excellent article on the day here.
This might seem like a small act to achieve a very big change – and it is – but it is a start and it will mark a major turning point in the fight for LGBTQ kids to be given the dignity and respect that they deserve as equal human beings. This is also being done in a country in the English speaking Caribbean – not normally viewed as an especially tolerant environment for such vulnerable kids. In practice T&T is nowhere as unwelcoming as say Jamaica but there are still discriminatory ( though rarely enforced) rules on the books and LGBT people face discrimination on a daily basis simply because of who they are.
2012 will go down as an interesting year for us with this inspiring project by The Silver Lining Foundation and by CAISO which has embarked on a series of weekly meetings to push equality onto the national agenda ( I am on the – wait for it – Media Committee). This could be the start of something really good.