Out Of Paradise
Greetings! To all my fellow LBTQ women from around the world. You can call me ‘superwoman’. I’m from the tropical islands, Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, where there is lots of sand and sea, a true paradise on earth. (See the map below) I am an avid fanatic of sports; I love the outdoors and just hate being indoors.
Basically, in my column, ‘Out Of Paradise’ I invite you to journey with me as you follow me as I share with you how it is dealing with the ups and downs of being a lesbian in the Caribbean. Please leave comments as I would love to hear from you. Everything I write is from my point of view; as we say in the Caribbean, ‘CHECK MEH NAH! Yeah!!!
A Lesbian In The Caribbean
Pigeon Point Beach
The Caribbean is situated 100 miles south of Florida, an arc of islands over 2,000 miles long stretches east and then south to the coast of Venezuela, in South America. The Caribbean Islands are renowned for its tropical weather and as such, during the winter months the islands attract tourist from all over the world. There are several hundred islands in the Caribbean and the populations are made up of mainly Blacks and Asians, with many minority ethnicities.
Being a lesbian in the Caribbean is divided with different attitudes among the races and countries but universally there is less tolerance in most of the islands especially the smaller islands, with the notable exception being Jamaica, they are intolerant period. My home islands of Trinidad and Tobago however, are more tolerant than the other islands, although most lesbians do not come out for fear of victimization on their jobs and also from their family members.
There are clubs and parties, but they are always advertised privately among the gay community but usually there great attendances. Only at our Carnival celebrations can the particularly big LGBTQ community be open in the streets, since everyone is more often than not intoxicated, therefore very mellow and liberating. Lesbians come from all over the world, to my paradise to enjoy the debauchery of the season.
Off the bat as we say in the Caribbean or straightforwardly let me say that lesbians have no rights in the Caribbean. We do have lesbian groups but they don’t come out to advocate, they operate more in the capacity of support and entertainment. Most lesbians would rather attend the underground social gatherings privately, again always mindfully of being seen especially knowing if seen you could loose life or limb. (Killed or beaten) Still there are many who bravely live their lives openly like my girlfriend and I and we are okay with it, although people have stared and made nasty comments.
More and more there are radio and the few television shows where they discuss in depth, if lesbians and gays should have the legal right to marry and being accepted by society.
At the end of it, lesbians have to be comfortable in their own skin before there can be any official attempt to protest the treatment of the LGBTQ community. Our greatest barrier however, seems to be internal. Fighting and bickering within the lesbian communities and labeling of each other. On topics that are so infantile, it’s laughable; “who is butch and who is femme”. We tend to box our own selves in and create more unnecessary problems for ourselves, instead off pooling our considerable resources into an organized group. Not until lesbians and our gays brothers come together and unite would we achieve our rights to live, and love as lesbians and more importantly beings of this world.
So there it is, girls! Now you know where it basically stands in the Caribbean, I will take you to each island and show you the good the bad, the ups and downs of living out of paradise.
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