Happy PRIDE, Guyana

Pride is about being able to walk the streets of your homeland in peace, without fear of persecution for being and expressing who you are. it was wonderful to see so many people out yesterday, joyfully living their truths. i remember the last time such a parade was attempted in Guyana (yes folks, contrary to reports- yesterday was *not* the first time a pride parade was held; some of us with longer memories would remember a walk organized in 2014 by the late Zenita Nicholson..) Some people wore brown paper bags over their heads then, and we were reluctant to take and share photos. some participants of that 2014 event reported experiencing victimization afterwards- from persons who saw them or their pics. fast forward four years later, and boy, what a different scene it was in Georgetown yesterday! lots of work is still needed- both within the LGBTIQ community, as well as in general Guyanese society- there is still a lot of internalized homo, bi, and transphobia, and intolerance from religious fundamentalists/evangelists and discrimination against LGBTIQ persons still exists in multiple sectors, both private and public (at another event earlier in the week a gay Guyanese man talked about the ostracism he experienced from his family members and his deep pain and sadness at the 19 years he has waited in vain for contact and acceptance by his children). things are changing for the better though (no thanks to the spineless politrickians). it was a very pleasant surprise to find that most of the persons standing on the outskirts of Parade Ground were not our opponents, as we had initially assumed; in fact, most of them turned out to be family members and friends. only two persons refused the free stickers that we were handing out and i only saw one man haranguing us in the name of Jesus as we paraded past him. he got some free dutty wines in response but then we moved on, living and letting others live. Happy Pride, Guyana. #keepprogressing #onelove #liveandletlive #celebratediversity #alutacontinua

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