For the first time ever, the gay community here will observe Pride month, a period during which members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves.
The Pride Barbados 2018 celebrations kicked off yesterday at the United Nations (UN) House in Marine Gardens, Christ Church, with founding member of the Barbados Gays and Lesbians Against Discrimination (B-GLAD) Ro-Ann Mohammed stating it was all about inclusivity.
“It is really about a celebration of diversity and to celebrate inclusivity . . . It is about a celebration of diversity of who we are as people and Caribbean people and Barbadian people,” Mohammed said.
Pride month has its origin in the Stonewall uprising in June 1969 in New York City, where, in the early hours of June 28, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, and began hauling customers outside. The ensuring tension led to three days of rioting, which became a catalyst for the gay rights movement.
Mohammed charged that discrimination and intolerance remained a prominent feature in Barbadian society, with homophobic legislation and cases of discrimination in the workplace because of their sexual orientation.
However, she contended that the LGBT community has managed to flourish and members of the community live fulfilling lives.
“There is still a lot of discrimination but at the same time the community still manages to flourish, still manages to contribute to a general society like Barbados in positive ways,” she said.
Pride month ends on July 15 with a Pride march, which will start at Spring Garden and end at Bay Street, St Michael.
Mohammed indicated that the march was open to members of the gay community, non-governmental organizations and allies of the community.
“Pride is really to celebrate our diversity as queer people and say that being LGBT is not something to be ashamed of, or embarrassed of, and not something that needs to be hidden. It is something that should be celebrated just as people with all sorts of different abilities and different talents,” she stressed.