Pride Parade, Inter-Faith forum among activities for 2019 Pride Festival

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The Guyana LGBT Coalition has released its schedule of events for the third annual Guyana Pride Festival 2019.

Included in the festival will be the country’s second Pride Parade slated for June 1.

Pride Parades have different purposes globally; for Guyana, it is meant to be a platform for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and queer individuals to express themselves.

On June 2, 2018, Guyana held its first Pride Parade organised by the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), the Guyana Rainbow Foundation (GuyBo) and Guyana Trans United.

This year the festival will showcase how far the LGBT movement in Guyana has come in building consensus and finding common ground with faith communities and getting faith allies to stand in solidarity with the LGBT community on human rights and social justice in the country.

Managing Director of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), Joel Simpson, said this year’s festival builds on last year’s festival and incorporates one new event.

“The special events this year includes the Inter-Faith Forum at which we are hoping to have broader participation from more religious groups, not just Christian and Hindu groups,” Simpson said.

Simpson said one of the reasons for releasing the schedule of events early is because of the feedback received from the last year and persons in the diaspora showing their interest in coming to Guyana for the Festival.

Joel Simpson, Managing Director of SASOD

He added that he also sees the Pride festival as an event that can contribute to Guyana’s tourism and income generation.

“We have Mashramani, Guyana Carnival and the LGBT Movement is adding the Pride Festival to the staple of the calendar of events that persons can look forward to.”

Simpson said more information about events will be published in the near future and invited the general public to these events since it is open to everyone.

Information of the events will be published on SASOD’s social media pages.

The festival will run from May 28 to June 3, 2019, and will see eight events being held starting with an Inter-Faith Forum followed by a Pride Symposium, Pride Parade, Creek Cooler Lyme, Open Mic Queer Café, the Diamond Infinity Pageant and Pride party and close with the Queer Film Night. (Colwyn Abrams)

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