LGBTQ Coalition launches third Guyana Pride Festival

– eight days of events slated

The Guyana LGBTQ Coalition officially launched its third annual Guyana Pride Festival on Friday.

The launching of the Festival was held at the Secretariat of the Society against Sexual Orientaion Discrimination (SASOD) on Duncan Street, Lamaha Gardens and was hosted by Joel Simpson, Valini Leitch and Shabaki Singh.

According to Leitch, following the successful hosting of the Pride Festival and Guyana’s first Pride Parade, the Guyana LGBTQ coalition decided to make the festival a “bigger, brighter and better” event this year, by introducing a new event, which will be held on June 2. The event, named Creek Cooler Lyme, will be held at Umbrella Resort on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway.

The festival, which is scheduled to begin on May 28, will run for eight days, commencing with the Inter Faith Forum, which will be held at the conference room of the National Racquet Centre at 5 pm.

On May, 29, an Open Mic Queer Café, hosted by SASOD Women’s Army Guyana, will be held at Night Cap on Pere Street, Kitty, and will be followed by the Pride Symposium on May 30. On Friday, May 31, Guy Bow will be painting the rainbow at Club Privilege with the Pride party.

The Pride Parade, which will be held on June 1, is scheduled to begin at 2:30 pm. Over 500 persons are expected to attend the event, which begins at the Parade Ground and ends at the Square of the Revolution.

All Guyanese, regardless of sexual orientation, are invited to join the parade. In addition, the first 200 persons to arrive at the Parade Ground will receive free rainbow flags. The Miss Diamond Infinity Pageant will also be held on June 1.

The festival closes with a Queer Film Night on June 3 and the winner of a logo competition, which was launched a few days back on social media, will be announced on the last day of the festival.

The first prize for the competition will be US$150, second prize US$100 and third prize US$50. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 pm on May 25.

Most of the events are free, with the exception of the Creek Cooler Lyme, the Miss Diamond Infinity Pageant and the Pride party.

As it relates to security, Simpson disclosed that there will be police protection during the parade but said he hopes that, like last year, the Pride Parade will be incident-free. He also said that this year’s event will be larger than last year’s, as the events cater for persons in the diaspora.

He further stated that they have encouraged persons coming for carnival to stay for the parade, just as they had done last year. “We will be benefitting from a much larger diaspora turnout and persons are coming specifically for Pride festival if they are not interested in carnival,” he commented.

The LGBTQ Coalition consists of three organisations, which include Guyana Trans United (GTU), Guyana Rainbow Foundation (GuyBow) and SASOD Guyana.

Source – Stabroek News