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Friday 7 August, 2020

'Dancing Diva' Sohan Badall reflects on importance of Pride Month

Photo courtesy Sohan Badall.

Photo courtesy Sohan Badall.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has lead to limited group activities, Pride Month, celebrated in July each year, is still a topic of importance.

Makeup artist and entertainer Sohan Badall, also known by the stage name, 'The Dancing Diva', told Loop News that the commemoration of Pride Month is important not only to celebrate inclusivity but to support those who have overcome hateful comments, actions and treatment because of their sexual orientation. 

'Pride is a time where you are truly able to celebrate yourself as a whole person. It is the promotion of self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of LGBT+ people.'

'Pride provides a moment to reflect on what has changed for all of us as LGBT+ people, and what still needs to be addressed.'

Badall said he was often ridiculed for his career but he defied these attacks.

'Being popularly known for my career as a makeup artist and DRAG QUEEN in entertainment, like everyone else I have had my challenges in society and the community, from off-handed remarks to downright rudeness and harassment, it happens to all of us, more than most heterosexual people know.

'The biggest challenge is the way most people treat you because of your sexuality. My early childhood years were not easy at all. I was young and 20 years ago being gay was way more difficult than now.'

He said he has faced social media slander and public ridicule. 

'Religion is always thrown at us. I have had tons of social media slander over the years. Whenever I walked the streets and malls etc. I had to be prepared mentally for all the ridicules and stares, I often easily became targeted and a public ridicule.'

'But here I am, still breathing and standing stronger than ever & endlessly comfortable in my skin. I have the strongest mind set. Everyone is created beyond our sexuality and we all have a purpose.'

He said it is hoped that the world can treasure diversity instead of shunning it.

'I would love to live in a world where diversity is a virtue, and where everyone can live and love next to each other without hate. Pride is always important to me also because it reminds me how far I’ve come in tackling my own internalized homophobia about being gay.'

'It also reminds me that I have a community to support me. For me, Pride is refusing to be ashamed of who I am. For me, Pride is celebrating my authethic self and being proud of who I am and confident in the person I am blessed to be.'

'We are all humans regardless of our skin colour, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientations we are all humans, we all belong to one race and that is the HUMAN RACE. Our Skin Colour, Our Sexual Orientations or Gender Identity isn't who we are. It is our morals, our values and the positive inpact we make in the lives of others and the world that really matters.'

'Live, love and embrace it.'

In April 2018, Trinidad and Tobago made history after sections of the Summary Offences Act which dealt with same-sex acts were ruled as unconstitutional.

Government has indicated they will appeal the ruling.

Another historic first took place with the country's first Pride Parade, which took place in July 2018 in Port of Spain. Another Pride Parade was also held in July 2019.

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