The month of June has been designated International Gay Pride Month, but Guyana’s Gay Pride Parade took place today, Saturday, 16th of July, 2022, as a crowd of LGBTQ+ persons took to the streets of Georgetown to form the first Gay Pride Parade in Guyana since 2019.
Dressed up in colorful clothes and costumes, and carrying floats, the members paraded about the streets of Georgetown. They spoke to the media of some of the issues affecting the LGBTQ+ Community in Guyana.
LGBTQ+ people face a lot of stigma, discrimination…. That oftentimes becomes internalized. So there are a lot of people who are not even comfortable with their own identities. So it’s important to show them that you can celebrate who you are. You can love who you are, and be a whole person. We think this parade is happening at a milestone moment, coming on the heels of the decision on Antigua and Barbuda by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court striking down the laws criminalizing same sex intimacy. This is the third Caribbean Court that has struck down laws criminalizing intimacy between adults in private. And we think now that the matter is academic, countries like Guyana need to just table legislation to decriminalize same sex intimacy. So we are on the road today to send a very very visible and strong message about that – claiming our sexual rights as a people.LGBTQ+ member.
We still have a lot of discrimination. We still have a lot of persons who would target LGBTQ+ persons, especially transgender persons, on the streets with violence, even with taunts and so on. Even when persons go to like parties and events and so on…they still don’t feel safe, they still don’t feel comfortable. And I believe that it is very important for us as a community to have those places where we can feel safe. I think this parade is really a statement in the country to say that we are here, and we are not going to be oppressed.LGBTQ+ member.
We’re able to…you know…let people know that…this is us, this is who we are and this who we want to be whether you like it or not. We love ourselves and we love the people that love themselves too.LGBTQ+ member.