Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Gay pride at women's rights march

...there is a change sweeping the country says SLF

Participants display flags and placards duringthe 'Women's Rights March and Rally' hosted by the Coalition of Organzations Against Gender Based Violence and the Life in Legging TT movement at the Queen's Park Savannah. Photo: CURTIS CHASE

The Silver Lining Foundation (SLF), a guardian body for marginalised and bullied youths, said on Monday it's been heartened by an “overwhelming” show of support for Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) rights at the weekend's “Life in Leggings Women's Rights March” at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain.

The Foundation in a statement on Monday, said it had noted a large contingent of supporters at the march, many waving rainbow pride flags, the symbol of LGBT pride and support.

Supporters also hoisted pro-LGBT signs and chanting the slogan “gay rights are human rights”.

The Foundation said this not only demonstrated a monumental moment for the local gay rights movement but also signaled a tide of change sweeping through the country, with more citizens welcoming diversity, celebrating inclusion and seeking equality.

The Foundation, which also works to prevent suicide as a result of bullying, also works for the inclusion of LGBTQIA youths.

Executive Director at SLF, Jeremy Edwards, stated: “Our presence at this march was intended to stand in solidarity with women across our nation on the common themes of discrimination, exclusion and inequality, which continues to form the everyday reality for LGBTQIA citizens of this nation. This Women's March provided the often unseen LGBTQIA community a welcomed opportunity to maintain a larger presence of visibility against adversaries opposed to their human rights, of which SLF, alongside other organisations, was extremely proud to lead.”

Edwards said the Foundation believes that beginning with its own work, discrimination and homophobia may be reduced. This must include better access to education and support, and sensitisation to the issues that affect LGBTQIA citizens.

“We remind both our leaders and fellow citizens of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states, 'All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights',” Edwards stated.

“Therefore, SLF again calls on our leaders to do more to fully include LGBTQIA citizens into our society where respect for their rights is upheld and protection under the law is guaranteed.”