LGBT youth leaders from across the Caribbean have united to push for lingering anti-gay laws to be repealed.
At a ‘Generation Change’ event in Trinidad yesterday, youth leaders representing Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago came together to discuss the problems they face on a day-to-day basis as a result of homophobic laws, which are often colonial-era remnants.
The event was attended by Lance Price, the founder of Kaleidoscope Trust, and British High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago Arthur Snell.
Price said: “I shouldn’t even be here at all because one of the laws in TT says it is illegal for a homosexual person to enter the country and that’s the immigration law that’s still on the statute book.
“Somehow I managed to sneak my way in so I’m very pleased to be here.
Recalling a meeting with Trinidad an Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, he said: “I said it was lovely to meet you.
“I love the country and I love the people but what about those laws you’ve got and she kindly wrote back and said yes she agreed with me and said she wanted to see the new gender policy in Trinidad and Tobago as a vehicle for getting rid of the laws that discriminate against LGBT people.
“That was in 2011, now it’s 2014, we’re still waiting, you’re still waiting, we look forward to progress in the years ahead.”
Snell added: “It is a very unfortunate fact that the Commonwealth, an organisation that is sort of Britain’s extended family overseas, is also an organisation that has among it a number of countries that lead the world in homophobia which is nothing to be proud of.
“In some respect that it is a negative [consequence of] colonial era, laws that have never been repealed or updated.
“I think [Britain is] a pretty easy place these days to be LGBT but of course this wasn’t always the case. Change can come.”