Activists take to streets for Guyana’s first LGBT Pride parade

LGBT activists in Guyana peacefully held the country’s first ever Pride parade over the weekend.

Guyana is the only country in South America to criminalise homosexuality, under Colonial-era laws, and LGBT people still often face discrimination. ?

But campaigners in the country risked arrest on Saturday (June 2) when they took to the streets for a Pride celebration.

Hundreds of participants marched through the streets of the country’s capital Georgetown to call for an end to anti-LGBT legal and social discrimination.

Marchers called for legal reform to decriminalise homosexuality, relax restrictions on transgender people, and permit same-sex couples to gain legal recognition.

Groups including Caribbean Equality, the Guyana Rainbow Foundation, Guyana Trans United and the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) Guyana took part.

Joel Simpson of SASOD said the time had come for politicians to act on the issue.

He told Demerama Waves: “We are saying enough of the rhetoric, enough of the promises. It is time to make good on the legislative changes that we heard about from both parties in the 2015 elections and we want to see action and we want action now.

“Our rights need to be respected like everybody else’s rights so this is a very, very visible way of demanding our rights.”

The parade went off without incident, he confirmed.

Simpson said: “The parade was incident free. There was a lot of chatter on Social Media here and there and so on but Guyana did us well, Guyana did us proud.

“We had a completely incident-free, safe, non-violent, first ever Guyana gay pride parade.”

The British High Commission in Guyana flew a Pride flag in support of the march – a poignant symbol given the Colonial origin of the country’s anti-LGBT laws.

by Nick Duffy
Source – PinkNews