My heart swells with pride, with love, with joy and with strength.
I now fearlessly identify as a member of the Barbadian LGBT Community. We might be a dot on the map but each one of us in a universe, a universe struggling for its place in this vast galaxy.
The struggle of Gays, Lesbians and Transgendered people in the Caribbean is real.
The violence, the discrimination, the marginalization and the fear is what every LGBT identifying person has to deal with on a daily basis in Barbados.
What would surprise you is the number of people that actually live out reality. Despite the opposition, the community is vast and we are determined to live out our truth, to be ourselves, to be honest to our true feelings and to love who we want.
Today, we celebrate that.
These brave souls have shared their intimate, soul wrecking and heart touching stories in the hopes to shed some light on the injustices that occur to gender and sexual minorities throughout Barbados. Some of these issues included are abandonment from parents, trouble with self-acceptance, job discrimination and homelessness.
The hopes for the project is achieving a behavior change towards the LGBT community.
As one of the participants stated “We’re not asking for your approval, all we’re asking for is for you to accept us and treat us equally”
In a interview, Marissa Griffith, another participant of the project added “I think for the next couple of months the more people see this, the more difficult life is going to be for the persons who participated in the video but if nobody ever gets on TV and says ‘I am gay’, well, nobody is ever going to be able to walk the streets comfortably and be gay. It is going to be hard. It is very difficult and it’s going to get more difficult but it is very important.”
And that is the beautiful thing.
I may not be in this video but I am part of this struggle.
I left my country because I knew I couldn’t live in harmony the way I wanted to there. I ran away from the discrimination and the pain but it is my home country and no one should ever feel like I did. No one should ever feel like they don’t belong, like they’re wrong for loving who they want, like they’re abnormal and like the world would be better off without them.
I tip my hat to the participants in this video as well as offer them a standing ovation for their courage, their bravery, their honesty, their kindness, compassion and most of all, their love.
Check out Barbados GLAD on Twitter