Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago consists of two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and numerous smaller landforms in the southern Caribbean. Unlike most of the English-speaking Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago's economy is primarily industrial-based, with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals. Although Tobago is often referred to as "the jewel of the Caribbean" and contains a few resort areas, the country as a whole does not rely heavily on tourism as a source of revenue.

Homosexuality is illegal in Trinidad and Tobago. However homosexuals have not been actively targeted by the laws. In 2007 a highly vocal campaign opposed Elton John's entry into the country. This was led by the local Anglican Church archdeacon. But the Tobago House of Assembly rejected the call to bar Elton John from entry, and the concert went ahead as planned in May 2007. Nevertheless, Trinidad is considered a 'relatively safe' destination for gay travelers.

 

 

Exile challenges Trinidad and Tobago over its life-in-jail gay sex ban

Both male and female gay sex is punishable by up to 25 years in prison The gay sex ban in Trinidad and Tobago is facing a legal challenge. Jason Jones, from Trinidad, is challenging Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offenses Act. Under the T&T law, gay sex is punishable with up to 25… Read more »

LGBTI rights: Important legal precedent in the Caribbean

In a landmark decision delivered on Friday, June 10, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that as a homosexual I must be allowed into Belize and Trinidad notwithstanding their laws that ban the entry of gays. The court also urged both countries to repeal these archaic bits of legislation, which create confusion for travel… Read more »

Hearings begin over LGBT rights to travel in Caribbean

LGBTI rights activist Maurice Tomlinson provides this report on the first day of hearings at the Caribbean Court of Justice in connection with his case challenging the ban against gays entering Belize and Trinidad & Tobago. The case started with me giving evidence based on my witness statement. As expected, the lawyer for Trinidad and… Read more »

7 battlefields: The fight for LGBTI rights in the Caribbean

A recap of recent gains, losses and ongoing battles over LGBTI rights in seven Caribbean nations (Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad, Belize, Barbados, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands), with help from coverage in the Caribbean IRN Blog of the International Resource Network: Areas With Anti-Gay Laws Guyana U.N. action: During Guyana’s recent Universal Periodic Review before the… Read more »

Ajamu challenges homophobia

A few days after our interview at Alice Yard, where he has just appeared as the first Caiso-endorsed artist-in-residence, Ajamu e-mails some images of his work. They are black and white photographs with a sense of poignancy—perhaps the first time the word “poignant” has been used to describe a self-portrait of an artist dressed in… Read more »

Man survives hate crime

“Do you believe in God?” one of Akil Thomas’ attackers asked him. Thomas replied: “Yes.” His attacker continued: “…because you are going to die here tonight.” Thomas was then stabbed 13 times—six stabs to the back, two to the chest, two in the arms, two in the neck and one on the right side of… Read more »

Trinidad: Caribbean LGBT youth unite to push for repeal of anti-gay laws

LGBT youth leaders from across the Caribbean have united to push for lingering anti-gay laws to be repealed. At a ‘Generation Change’ event in Trinidad yesterday, youth leaders representing Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago came together to discuss the problems they face on a day-to-day basis as a result of… Read more »

Catholic priest gives amazing speech for LGBT rights in Trinidad

Catholic priest Dr Fr Stephen Geofroy has called for the equal rights of LGBTs to be enshrined in the constitution of Trinidad and Tobago in a surprising speech to a government consultation Support for the legal equality of LGBT people has come from a surprising place during a Trinidad and Tobago government public consultation on… Read more »

Foodie Friday: Trinidad & Tobago’s Street Food 101

One of the first things you’ll notice about the islands of Trinidad and Tobago – besides the rolling mountains, romantic beaches, and endless palm trees – is the deep love of local food by those who know it best. With a unique blend of flavors that come from the islands’ mix of Indian and African… Read more »

Trinidad and Tobago: Prime Minister to give ‘due consideration’ to LGBT discrimination

The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago has gone on record to say that she will give “due consideration” to the issue of discrimination raised by LGBT people. A new gender equality policy is expected to be brought forward by the Prime Minister, who has said she doesn’t condone discrimination, which could suggest that she… Read more »

Timeline lacking as Trinidad pushes for LGBT rights

Kamla Persad-Bissessar, prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago In response to a letter from the UK-based LGBT advocacy group, Kaleidoscope Trust, Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has stated that the country’s new Gender Policy will include increased recognition of the human rights of LGBT individuals. As a result, there will likely be a… Read more »

Activist to sue Trinidad and Tobago entry ban on gays

A gay Jamaican activist is suing the government of Trinidad and Tobago over its entry ban against homosexuals Maurice Tomlinson, an LGBT advocate is to challenge Trinidad and Tobago’s entry ban on gays in an international court. Tomilnson, a Jamaican national and legal advisor for the NGO AIDS-Free World has been invited to give two… Read more »

2nd IDAHO Walk Urges Equal Opportunity

The 2nd annual IDAHO walkabout urges Equal Opportunity Commissioners, Parliamentarians to “add all three”, outlawing age, HIV and sexual orientation discrimination In a reprise of last year’s inaugural local commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (the anniversary of the World Health Organisation’s 17 May 1990 declassification of homosexuality as a mental illness),… Read more »

Gays, lesbians take to streets today

Outlaw age, HIV and sexual discrimination! That’s the message to legislators which T&T’s gay community will “parade” through Port-of-Spain today when they will stage their second annual commemorative walk against homophobia and transphobia. The walk will particularly urge Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) members and parliamentarians to outlaw age, HIV and sexual-orientation discrimination. “The goal of… Read more »

Gay Trinidad & Tobago News & Reports 2011

1 Trini gays call for equal rights 2/11 2 Local gays cry discrimination 3/11 3 Cenac: Separate morality from public duty 3/11 4 Homophobia, society effects and way forward 6/11 5 Homophobia ‘rife in T&T’…but local gays press for equal rights 6/11 6 Privacy rights for sexual orientation calmly take a small step forward 6/11… Read more »

Stirrings of a new LGBT movement

Anthony Morris and Judea Beatrice, study abroad students in Trinidad and Tobago, report on two LGBT rights protests and the potential beginnings of a new movement. When We got to Trinidad and Tobago, we immediately noticed the ubiquitous culture of homophobia. Hanging out with about 10 students, nobody questions the student who conversationally remarks, “I… Read more »

CAISO’s first Advocate Award

Something happened in July 2007 that sowed the seeds of an exciting new advocacy movement by gay and lesbian, bi and Trans people in Trinidad and Tobago – a movement that we have seen flourish over the past year. CAISO wants to recognise the person who sowed those seeds, and to acknowledge his role in… Read more »

Gay Trinidad & Tobago News & Reports 2004-10

1 Gays in Trinidad & Tobago protection–from Abroad, Not at Home 6/04 2 Gender on Trinidad & Tobago’s Government Agenda 3/05 3 Tobago To Elton John: You’re Gay, Stay Away 3/07 4 Black lesbian has head shaved bald in barbershop 4/07 5 Gay man taunted by cops gets $28,400 7/07 6 ‘Paradise Lost’ film shows… Read more »