The Guyana LGBT coalition is all set to host a Gay Pride Parade on Saturday as it concludes its week of activities for pride festival 2018.
With over 100 persons expected to participate, the parade will move off from Parade Ground at Carmichael and Middle Streets at 15:30hrs and will end at the Square of the Revolution.
The coalition is made up of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), the Guyana Rainbow Foundation (GuyBo) and Trans United.
According to Anil Persaud, who is the Homophobia(s) Education Coordinator at the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), the objective of the parade is to promote awareness.
This will be the first Gay Pride Parade to be held in Guyana but it is being condemned by members of the religious community, however, Persaud said some of the criticisms are misguided.
“Some persons … are assuming it is a march to legalise gay marriage or something like that, that is not the case,” he said.
Some of the criticisms published in the newspapers include the fact that the law criminalises buggery and that is against the religious beliefs of many.
But according to Persaud, the intent is to give Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender persons the space to express themselves positively.
Given the barrage of criticisms, SASOD plans to implement stringent security measures at the parade.
Persaud told News Room that there will be police presence along the route while a private security firm will also provide security.
Persaud said that the LGBT coalition joined in the Guyana Pride Festival 2018 fully aware of the consequences.
“We’ve prepared ourselves for that and we’ve been handling it quite well,” he said adding that “there is no use arguing with brick walls.:
Despite the negative feedbacks, Persaud said there has been a reduction in discrimination against the LGBT community compared to previous years.