Pride Parade promotes equal rights for LGBT persons

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The second Pride Parade was held on Saturday with a number of LGBT (Lesbian, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender) persons marching down the streets of Georgetown for their voice to be heard, chanting ‘LGBT Rights and Justice’.

The Parade is seen as a positive stand against discrimination and violence towards LGBT people.

The objective for the parade is to promote self- affirmation, dignity, equal rights, increase visibility, build community and celebrate gender and sexual diversity.

A number of persons from the Guyana LGBT Community danced and sang as the marched down the streets dressed in their Pride colours.

The Guyana Rainbow Foundation (GuyBow), Guyana Trans United (GTU) and Guyana’s Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) make up the LGBT community.

The march kicked off from Parade Ground, moved south on Carmichael Street, east into Church Street, then onto Vlissengen Road and finally ended at the Square of the Revolution.

Managing Director for the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), Joel Simpson told the News Room at the event was a success.

“I think today has been very successful, given that this is only the second parade.”

“When SASOD started 16 years ago nobody could have imagined having a parade on the streets of Georgetown,” Simpson said.

However, there is still a long way to go in recognizing the rights of LGBT persons.

“I think legislation and policies haven’t caught up with how socially progressive the society is, I think a lot of people have been educated, have been sensitized and learnt a lot from the information that has been put out publicly by organisations,” Simpson said.

The Managing Director said a lot of training has been done with different stakeholder groups, which has helped the society to understand to ‘agree to disagree’ with LGBT persons.

“We still have laws which criminalize same-sex intimacy between men and we still have no protection from discrimination for LGBT people,” Simpson said.

According to the Managing Director, there is no protection on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

The first Pride Parade in the entire English speaking Caribbean was held last year in Guyana and according to Simpson, Guyana’s Pride Parade has inspired other countries such as Barbados, Trinidad and St. Lucia.

On Sunday the Pride paraders will be going to Madewini Eco Park on the Soesdyke Linden Highway for the ‘Creek Cooler Lime’.

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