Sunday 20 October, 2019

T&T to celebrate Pride Month with T&T Pride Arts Festival

In this April 12, 2018 photo, LGBT+ supporters and members stand outside the Hall of Justice after the High Court decision which ruled in favour of human rights activist Jason Jones, declaring Trinidad and Tobago's sodomy laws as unconstitutional.

In this April 12, 2018 photo, LGBT+ supporters and members stand outside the Hall of Justice after the High Court decision which ruled in favour of human rights activist Jason Jones, declaring Trinidad and Tobago's sodomy laws as unconstitutional.

Trinidad and Tobago will celebrate Pride Month with a full range of events and activities under the Trinidad and Tobago Pride Arts Festival, which will be held for the first time this year. 

Festival coordinator Rudy Hanamji said the festival is aimed at supporting members of the LGBT+ community as well as sensitising others about the LGBT+ community. 

“While members of the LGBT+ community still face discrimination, lack of access to fundamental rights and hate, there is still much for them to be proud of."

"They continue to contribute to national development of our ‘rainbow nation’, as they have always done, not only in stereotypical roles as stylists, artisans, decorators and performers but indeed in all areas of society. Many have been awarded and recognized for their efforts at national and international levels," he said. 

This year, Trinidad and Tobago's LGBT+ pride celebrations will be held under the banner of the Trinidad and Tobago Pride Arts Festival and, for the first time in its history, encompass all the major celebrations of Pride Month in Trinidad and Tobago.

The T&T Pride Arts Festival will run from June 22 to July 29, 2018.

The Calendar of Events includes workshops, movie nights, talent shows, an open mic, hike, parties and a highly anticipated Pride Parade.

The five-week-long celebration is being hailed by the LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex) community as a triumph of collaboration between the major entities which host Pride events each year and non-LGBT+ allies alike.

The events were designed to appeal to members of the LGBTQI community and their allies who are interested in coming together for a sense of community and for learning.

The Pride Arts Festival Committee said it realises that different people are at different stages of life, including age, gender and socioeconomic background, so they have attempted to cater for as many people as possible in planning the events.

The group said the collaboration was inspired following the recent coming together of the LGBTQI community and their allies in the wake of the High Court ‘Jones judgement’ (which ruled the country's sodomy laws as unconstitutional) and the surrounding furor by those who believe that the community does not deserve to access to universal fundamental rights and protections under the law.

Hanamji said: “TT Pride 2018 is an opportunity for the LGBT+ community and all our allies to ‘unite for love’ - which is needed ever more in our nation today - to celebrate the successes and recommit for the struggle that lies ahead."

"The Festival Committee and the wider LGBT+ community must be commended for demonstrating the benefits that can redound from working together for positive change! We call upon all of T&T to ‘stand with us’ side by side as we move Iere (land of the hummingbird) forward," Hanamji said. 

For more information on the Pride Calendar of Events, visit www.queertt.com or visit the TT Pride Arts Festival on Facebook www.facebook.com/TTPrideArtsFestival

 

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