Guyanese found to be tolerant as hate toward LGBTQ persons decreases – Survey
Over the years, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) persons living in Guyana have faced severe discrimination due to their sexual orientation.
However, a new survey conducted by RMK Consultations Enterprise on behalf of the rights group – SASOD – the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, has shown a significant decrease in hate towards LGBTQ persons living in Guyana.
The survey results were announced on Wednesday during a media briefing at the Hermandston Lodge hotel, located on Lamaha Street.
A total of US$31,000 was invested into the survey with donations coming from the United Kingdom-based organization – Human Dignity Trust – and other supporters of the local LGBTQ community.
As reflected in the survey conducted nine years after the first one was done by the Caribbean Development Resources Services (CADRES), hate towards LGBTQ persons has decreased from 25 to 12 per cent.
This is significant because positive attitudes toward LGBTQ persons can be used to persuade policymakers to change laws that discriminate against this community, the Managing Director of SASOD, Joel Simpson said.
“What’s significant about the findings is that the LGBTQ acceptance in Guyana soared in the last nine years since we first did this in 2013.”
“We have acceptance going up from 19 per cent to 34 per cent. Significantly, hate decreasing from 25 per cent to 12 per cent, that’s a 50 per cent decrease, and between all those categories were seeing a cumulative or net change of 28.5 per cent,” Simpson noted.
He said this brings Guyana to a position where more persons are supporting the LGBTQ community.
“Now we’ve been in a place in Guyana where the politicians are telling us that society isn’t ready for certain legal changes and society isn’t ready for policy changes and now what this data is showing us is that society is more than ready and society is ahead of the curve,” he said.
Further, Simpson said Guyana’s views of the community has changed significantly, making it easier for organisations to direct their focus to persons who need to be desensitised about the LGBTQ community.
Meanwhile, RMK Consultancy Enterprise’s Director, Mark Kirton explained that the survey was conducted between June and July. Some 1,070 persons participated from coastal regions.
Although there was no participation from the hinterland regions, Kirton assured that the survey depicts representation of the Guyana’s population.
“We found that 1,070 is a pretty representative sample of the Guyanese community…we sampled from the regions, we did household samples and we got the demographics and the age cohorts,” Kirton explained.
Simpson later explained that the survey did not include hinterland regions because of the expenses such travel would incur. However, the ethnicity of participants was considered.
“If we were to go to the hinterland regions, the numbers that we could sample in those regions were so small because of the population that resides in those regions and you apply that percentage to a thousand respondents. In some of the regions we were going for double digits.”
“So what we did was the regions we did sample we ensured we went to indigenous communities and ensured we had indigenous representation in those regions,” Simpson said.