In 2018, the committee known as Proud Republic for Intersectionality, Diversity, and Empowerment TT (PrideTT) emerged in Trinidad and Tobago with a mission to foster equitable social change through LGBTQIA+ Pride events and activities. This blog post introduces a significant document compiled by PrideTT, highlighting the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community in Trinidad and Tobago and recommending actions that should be taken by the government to protect their rights.
PrideTT quickly gained momentum, organizing over 50 events in 2018, which provided visibility, activism, and entertainment for the LGBTQIA+ community. The success of these events led to even larger-scale programming in 2019. However, in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PrideTT shifted its operations to digital platforms to comply with safety measures.
The overarching objective of PrideTT is to build a stronger local LGBTQIA+ community while creating visibility and platforms for LGBTQIA+ issues in the national sphere. Additionally, PrideTT aims to address the needs of displaced LGBTQIA+ nationals and forge partnerships to enhance developmental programming.
Recognizing that true Pride cannot be achieved until everyone can openly celebrate and live their truths, PrideTT adopted the theme #equALL – Equity and Equality for All in 2019. By doing so, they highlighted the struggle faced by transgender individuals, who were the originators of LGBTQIA+ pride worldwide. This commitment to intersectionality ensures that the most vulnerable members of the community receive attention and support.
Through extensive research, including “townhall” meetings, workshops, and national surveys, PrideTT identified several primary concerns within the LGBTQIA+ community. Mental health, self-harm, suicide, violence protection, access to justice, discrimination in various contexts (such as dress code, employment, law enforcement, and housing), and legal recognition of sexual orientation were among the top concerns. The document also highlights the importance of addressing access to PrEP and facilitating gender identification amendments in legal documents.
PrideTT firmly asserts that their endeavors are driven by the interests of the communities they serve and are focused on ensuring a better future for both the LGBTQIA+ community and the nation as a whole. Despite three decades of advocacy and activism, LGBTQIA+ individuals in Trinidad and Tobago are still denied their rights as citizens under the Republican Constitution. This denial perpetuates discrimination, abuses, and violence, without any systems or mechanisms in place to protect victims or provide legal recourse.
The document compiled by PrideTT aims to shed light on the difficulties faced by LGBTQIA+ minorities and presents recommendations for the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) to rectify the situation. The focus is on human rights practices and protections related to sexual orientation and gender identity, urging the government to take proactive steps towards legislative changes, policy reforms, and the establishment of systems to curtail discrimination and safeguard LGBTQIA+ rights.
PrideTT’s unwavering commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and their efforts to promote equity, visibility, and social change in Trinidad and Tobago are commendable. By compiling this document, PrideTT aims to bring attention to the challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals and emphasizes the urgent need for governmental action to protect their rights. It is our hope that the government will embrace these recommendations and work towards creating a society where all citizens can live openly, equitably, and proudly, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.