Montego Bay Pride: Break 'the mental chains' imposed on us

Schedule for Montego Bay Pride 2017. Click on the image to connect to the registration site.
Schedule for Montego Bay Pride 2017. Click on the image to connect to the registration site.

 

Why attend Pride in Montego Bay? “I pride to be free from the societal norms and mental chains that our culture has placed on us,” says Asheen Walford, a coordinator for Montego Bay Pride and an LGBT human rights advocate at Equality Youth Jamaica.

Dancing at Montego Bay Pride 2016
Dancing at Montego Bay Pride 2016 (Photo courtesy of Maurice Tomlinson)

In the run-up to Montego Bay Pride on Oct. 12-15, regional Pride coordinators in Jamaica are focusing on what Pride means to them and to the struggle for recognition of the human rights of LGBTI Jamaicans. This is the second in a planned series of three articles.

What Pride means to me

By Asheen Walford

Asheen Walford (Photo courtesy of Khavor Demario Brown)
Asheen Walford (Photo courtesy of Khavor Demario Brown)

Jamaica has just celebrated 55 years of independence and emancipation.

But — just like our country of land, wood and water — have we, the “Rainbow People,” been self-emancipated?

I pride to be free from the societal norms and mental chains that our culture has placed on us.

I pride for change.

I pride not just for a gathering of the people, but because I’m a proud advocate. I’m pleased to be a part of the great change that past and present advocates and activists have made, making our three years of Montego Bay Pride possible.

For this reason, I’m enthused. I’m also convinced that this year will be an awesome, fulfilling Pride in MoBay.

I had only been able to attend only last year’s Pride, due to unfortunate events in 2015. This year I’m hoping that we will have a bigger, better and an even more exciting Pride.

This is why I pride! Will you pride too?

Asheen Walford is a Montego Bay Pride coordinator and an LGBT human rights advocate at Equality Youth Jamaica.

Registrations for Montego Bay Pride are currently being accepted online. More information is available at MoBayPride on Facebook.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor/publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at info@76crimes.com.

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