The LGBT+ community of Trinidad is on its way to ridding their nation of its unjust anti-gay law. Now they’re going further to serve the public good — by picking up litter.
Over the weekend, as anti-LGBTI partisans held a rally in Woodford Square in Port of Spain, members of the LGBT+ community and friends were on hand to remove six bags’ worth of litter.
Pastor Keith Ramdass told the Council of Evangelical Churches rally that the repeal of the nation’s anti-sodomy law (currently under appeal) would just be the beginning. The LGBT community wants to end all forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, he said.
Of course, those weren’t the words he used. He described that “gay agenda” as a plan to discriminate against persons who are not LGBT. He claimed that the LGBT community has “planted judges and lawyers to further their agenda legislatively.”
The LGBTI group said they were taking action to move the spotlight to real issues facing the nation. Rampant littering is a more urgent matter than what the rally, they said.
So members of the LGBT+ community spread out to clean up Woodford Square. Below is their story, as told on Facebook by the Trinidad-based Silver Lining Foundation, which advocates for marginalized youths, including bullied LGBT teenagers and those considering suicide.
‘We have to stand as one nation, in love’
Members of the LGBT+ Community of Trinidad & Tobago and their friends came out today to clean Woodford Square, Port of Spain, at the same time that members of T&T Cause were assembling to begin their rally against decriminalization of the buggery law.
This latest public mobilization activity of the LGBT+ Community aimed to place a spotlight on real issues facing our nation – such as rampant littering and its impact on the environment – which is a clear breach of laws and regulations. Yet, it seems that some persons choose to focus on matters which have little or no real effect on the wider society.
Twenty-two year old Josh Ryan, one of the organizers of the clean-up, commented that “what consenting adults do in their bedrooms, should not be what citizens expend their energy, time and prayers on. We have to stand as one nation, in love, and confront issues of crime – especially against young children and women; the depressed economy; and corruption and inefficiency which has cost many their lives.”
The group of LGBT+ activists sang along with the crowd while receiving some stares and a few comments about their eventual judgment to ‘fire and brimstone’, but most persons sat quietly watching as the square was cleaned, a few offering their empty water bottles or snack wrappers to the group for their garbage bags. Nefertiti Orr-Thompson, another member of the clean-up crew, mused on the fact that “it is interesting that people can sit and ignore the trash just around them – this is an example of the general desensitization of our people. Our nation needs us to take care of it – not encourage division, hate and fear.”
The LGBT+ Community continues its public outreach over the next few months with T&T Pride to be commemorated from June 22nd – July 22nd.
#StandWithUs #United4Love #QueerTT #QueerTT.com #AJD #TTPride #SLFtt
- Love won in Trinidad. Let’s show haters what that means (
- Trinidad court overturns anti-sodomy law (
- Trinidad protesters urge overthrow of sodomy law (
- Trinidadians protest as court ruling looms
- Foe of Trinidad buggery law gets his day in court (
- Trinidad suit could help undo Caribbean anti-gay laws (
- Seeking LGBTI rights in Trinidad, finding them in Canada (September 2016, 76crimes.com)