B-GLAD speaks out against discrimination of its youth
The group representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Barbados has alleged that young people in that community are facing job discrimination, bullying, physical abuse, abandonment and rejection because of their lifestyle.
Barbados Gays, Lesbians And All-sexuals Against Discrimination (B-GLAD) made the complaint in a nine-page document and a video report with four testimonials of young people talking about their hardships of being LGBT at the Generation Change conference in Trinidad and Tobago over the weekend.
Director Donnya Piggott reported that while Barbados is a relatively safe place for those members of the community who conform to societal codes for attire and behaviour. It is a sad situation for those who don’t – non conforming lesbians and transgender or transexual women.
She alleged that those who are “visibly LGBT” are faced with verbal abuse and harassment, bullying, job discrimination, homelessness and, in some cases, physical abuse.
Noting that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, in response to an appeal from B-GLAD, said he would remain dedicated to lobbying regionally and internationally against discrimination against any Barbadian citizen, Piggott said:
“The laws still discriminate and sometimes the police do not take attacks or threats against LGBT people seriously. The situation causes great physical, emotional and psychological damage.
“Our leaders and the people of the Caribbean need to recognise that despite our differences in sexualities, we should all be afforded equal opportunities, treated with respect and protected under the law from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” she added, as she accused leaders of talking but taking very little action to combat these issues.
Generation Change brought together activists from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St Lucia and Jamaica at a conference at the Kapok Hotel. Contributions were heard
from Belize and Guyana and the British High Commissioner Arthur Snell also spoke and expressed his support.
The event was sponsored by the British High Commission and supported by the British-based Kaleiscope Trust.