Living LBGT

Piggott hopes Queen’s recognition will lead to greater tolerance

As a young girl Donnya Piggott knew there was something different about her, but she couldn’t quite describe what it was. It would be a long time before she understood that what was different, was that she was attracted to girls.

And it took years of inner conflict and soul-searching before she accepted her reality in a country where, like its Caribbean neighbours, homosexuality is still taboo.

Founder of the Gays and Lesbians and All-sexuals Against Discrimination, B-GLAD, Donnya Piggott.
Founder of the Gays and Lesbians and All-sexuals Against Discrimination, B-GLAD, Donnya Piggott.

“I struggled with it for a long time because I was actually a Christian. I struggled and I struggled and I had suicidal thoughts. I talked to God about it because I was a Christian and it was a push and pull,” she told Barbados TODAY in an interview this week.

“So I made an agreement with God. I said, ‘I do love girls, but because I’m a Christian, I won’t be intimate with a girl’. So that was it at first.

“But then as I grew up and I started to be intimate, I was like, ‘OK I would be intimate with girls, but I would still spread the word of God as a Christian’. But that was contention because I can’t be not setting an example. So I was like, ‘OK, I can’t do this. I can’t really spread the word of God if I’m a lesbian, so I would just be a good person. And once I’m a good person that’s all that matters.”

Admittedly, the decision was not an easy one for her to make. In fact, “it was rough”.

“And then I decided I’m not going to struggle anymore, I don’t want to live a life of constant push and pull. I hated myself. So I just decided to accept myself and that was the best decision I ever made,” she told Barbados TODAY.

The 25-year-old is no longer a Christian, but has “a slightly different belief system now”.

Having overcome her own personal fears, Piggott began speaking on behalf of the local gay and lesbian community, and founded the advocacy group for sexual minorities, Barbados – Gays and Lesbians and All-sexuals Against Discrimination (B-GLAD).

Her work with the organization over the past five years earned her the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards at Buckingham Palace in London on Monday. She was one of four Caribbean youth to receive the honour – an award she said means a lot to her and the LGBT community.

Barbadian Donnya Piggott was among  60 youth leaders chosen to meet the Queen.
Barbadian Donnya Piggott was among 60 youth leaders chosen to meet the Queen.

“I find that especially in a Caribbean context where LGBT rights is something that doesn’t have a lot of support on the ground, it is sometimes difficult to do the work. Because it’s not like assisting women or children or displaced or homeless people. It’s not like people see it as something that is charitable, something that needs to be done to include people,” she said in a Skype interview.

“People are quite fine with denouncing the movement and I think it causes people to ask the question, ‘So what about this deserves an award?’”

Barbados’ LGBT community, Piggott says, is a group of people who are disadvantaged. She admits that being the face of BGLAD and championing the cause of the LGBT community is not an easy undertaking.

“Sometimes I get attacked. I get attacked online, I get attacks in my inbox. People send me some nasty messages sometimes.  These are the things that affect the work that I do and affect me personally because I’m still a human being.”

She told Barbados TODAY that since she started to publicly identify as a lesbian five years ago, she has lost several friends.

“I had some friends that didn’t want to be my friend anymore and they outrightly (sic) said that. There were others who were supportive and I had some close friends who cut me off . . . they just cut me off,” she said.

But while she has accepted her sexual orientation, Piggott says she would like the public to understand the plight of members of the wider LGBT community, and stop discriminating against them.

“Discrimination is a real thing . . . and in Barbados it’s subtle and it’s an oppressive environment. I think sometimes it’s often hard to pinpoint but you feel the energy and people would say things under their breath.”

She is hoping her recognition by the Queen will make a difference in helping the public to be more tolerant of the LGBT community.

“There are a lot of people who have a lot of respect for the Queen so what happens is these people who are associated with the monarchy and believe in this kind of thing, they see she honours someone who champions the cause, I think they will definitely start to question what this is about.”

The LGBT community in the US scored a major victory on Friday, after the Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage was a legal right in all states.

Piggott, who spoke to Barbados TODAY ahead of Friday’s ruling, said while she supports same-sex marriage, it was not a priority for gays and lesbians in Barbados and other Caribbean countries at this time.

“Gay marriage is so far beyond what we as gay people in the Caribbean and Barbados need. I mean we want it but it’s a step-by-step process. We first need to be recognized under the law so that we’re not discriminated against, so that we’re protected from discrimination.

“Marriage is something that the global north has pushed and that’s fine, that’s something I totally support.  But as the head of BGLAD, a Barbadian organization, I have to look at the issues that we face – young people are being abandoned, there is no protection from discrimination, there is no protection in the workplace, LGBT couples are not protected. And then there’s the law that says same sex intimacy is outlawed. So these are the things that apply to a Barbadian context,” she stated.

On her return home she is planning to continue programmes on behalf of the LGBT locals, including sexual health workshops and community outreach.

“We’re gonna try to . . . change the conversation so that people understand the needs of the LGBT community and how they’re really affected by the discrimination that exists in society.

“I just want people to understand that it’s about helping the disadvantaged and not get sidetracked about whether it’s right or wrong to do this.

“I think people have to acknowledge that people are being disadvantaged, people are being excluded, people are depressed and have a lot of anxiety issues.

“This is a group of people, regardless of what you think about them they’re not living up to their fullest potential. I think people just need to help. That’s all. They just need to help,” she said.

28 Responses to Living LBGT

  1. Sophia Als
    Sophia Als June 27, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Why do gays think that God does not love them is be on me.

    • Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
      Cherylann Bourne-Hayes June 27, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Because narrow minded people that call themselves Christians say it all the time.

    • Sisi Kitty Greenidge
      Sisi Kitty Greenidge June 27, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      If Sophia is using a windows phone I could understand lol

    • Sophia Als
      Sophia Als June 27, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      Just because “the so call Christian”say something does it make it right. Get to know God personal and stop living in a world of hear say.

  2. Boopcy Npg Applewhaite
    Boopcy Npg Applewhaite June 27, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    These gay ppl only making d youth that coming up feel this is rite

    • Boopcy Npg Applewhaite
      Boopcy Npg Applewhaite June 27, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      So true cause if being gay was rite y God made Adam & Eve

    • Boopcy Npg Applewhaite
      Boopcy Npg Applewhaite June 27, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Yes an if u are keep it to ur self don’t make d youth feel it a rite thing

    • Boopcy Npg Applewhaite
      Boopcy Npg Applewhaite June 27, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      I ain’t promoting no gays acts nastiness or trying to defend it I believe in the bible

    • Boopcy Npg Applewhaite
      Boopcy Npg Applewhaite June 27, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      U trying to b funny Alisha Bee stupessss

    • Boopcy Npg Applewhaite
      Boopcy Npg Applewhaite June 27, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      I don’t hate them I hate how they trying to make it seem rite

    • Taurus Bull
      Taurus Bull June 27, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      It is wrong in the eyes of God,Str888.

    • Boopcy Npg Applewhaite
      Boopcy Npg Applewhaite June 27, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Taurus Bull str88888

    • Gavin Dawson
      Gavin Dawson June 27, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Taurus Bull , war in the eyes of your god is wrong, murder in the eyes of your god is wrong, thieving in the eyes of your god is wrong,sleeping with different men / women. In The eyes of your god is wrong, gambling in the eyes of your god is wrong, and now being gay is wrong, so if a preacher or priest is gay in the eyes of your god is wrong then why do they preach his word are they wrong also?

    • Taurus Bull
      Taurus Bull June 27, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      When all of wunna done trying to justify the Gay movement it still wrong,wunna bring all other things that people doing,wunna can turn the bible inside out ,up down an all around,it still wrong ,Str8888. An it would never b right,never,never ,ever b right. So stop illustrating folly.

    • Taurus Bull
      Taurus Bull June 28, 2015 at 10:47 am

      Wunna can put a thousand,a million illustrations on the table about homosexuality an it still wrong,wrong,wrong an it will never b right ,never,never ,never. We eint accepting r converting so who with me say Amen. Str888

  3. Sonia Romain
    Sonia Romain June 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    God is the judge and jury. Who are we?

  4. Sonia Romain
    Sonia Romain June 27, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Who without sin cast the first stone. #iknowiwillgetcussbutmybackbraoad. Lol

  5. villager. June 27, 2015 at 2:57 pm


  6. Thomas Katt
    Thomas Katt June 27, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I don’t care what bullers, wickers or even the queen say. It’s wrong, nasty, unhealthy, immoral, an abomination, perverted, unnatural and ungodly. And it will forever be wrong.

    • Peggy Stoute Morin
      Peggy Stoute Morin June 27, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      Thomas, I hope you haven’t had (or are now having) sex with anyone to whom you’re not married. If you’re single I hope you’re living a pure, chaste life and will continue to do so until you’re married, and even if you never marry that you continue to live a pure, chaste life. Thomas, I hope you’re not thinking lustfuI thoughts about girls or women you may have seen walking down the street or in church. Thomas, I hope you haven’t coveted or slept with another man’s wife, haven’t stolen anything, haven’t lied. Thomas, unless you can answer those questions with the correct answer, you do not get to condemn anyone.

  7. Վդփժը Գչփչթ
    Վդփժը Գչփչթ June 27, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    There’s a place in heaven for everyone.. God does not discriminate!! In life we all have our struggles..She has been brave and courageous enough to share her struggle with the entire world!!!.. She has broken her closet down… No more skeletons there.. She’s no longer a slave to society and public opinion.. She has released herself from all bondage. Whatever decisions she makes is between her and her God.. I have few questions for all of you who think that you all are so righteous and heaven bound.. What are your struggles?
    How many of you are willing to bare your souls and stand naked before the world as she has?
    How many of you are willing to show the stains upon your hands let alone your hearts?
    How many of you could face public ridicule if your deep dark secrets ever came to light?
    She’s not dictating to anyone else how they should live their lives all she’s asking is that she’s allowed to live her in peace.. She’s no less of a human than any one of us..she was made by the same God who made everyone else.. God does not make junk neither does he make mistakes. In his wisdom he intricately designed each and everyone to his own specifications…I won’t be surprised if many gays make it to heaven before many of us.. You kno why?.. Because they have nothing but love in their hearts.. While ours are filled with hatred and malice. Every one can come on this forum and quote every last bit of scripture.. But when that day comes the Lord is not goin to ask you about Joey next door or Jill across the road he’s goin to ask you about you!!

  8. Paula Jane Wnbf Pro
    Paula Jane Wnbf Pro June 27, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    God has given everyone the right to choose. Even if they choose not to follow his teachings he’s ok with that.

    How does lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, jealously, treating each other poorly, selfishness etc. measure up?

    All are a displeasure to God; yet we do these things. At least she is honest about who she is and has made it known. Because you “sin” in the dark doesn’t make what you’re doing is any less “sinful”.

    Let people be who they are and let God do his work. The type of “God” we’ve been socialised to think exists (I personally believe) is not representative of who “he” really is and this concept of “heaven/hell” is what we create on earth.

    I applaud her; 96% of people are not living the life they like, not doing the things they love and are stuck in their comfort zones looking at other people who are living on purpose and pulling them down instead of finding their calling and following it. Why? Because they are AFRAID; they are FEARFUL.

    It takes guts to do what she’s doing and I give her credit for that.

    Love, release judgement, offer support. The bigger questions are: “What legacy will you leave”; “How will people remember you”; “What’s your contribution to humanity”; “How have you influenced the world”; “Did you love; have you lived; have you accomplished anything that really mattered”?

    Until you have solid answers to these questions you’re living in your comfort zone and taking up too much space and standing in the way of others who are making waves.

    Free your mind and the rest will follow.

  9. Wade Gibbons
    Wade Gibbons June 27, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    As I see it, even if one doesn’t agree with this lifestyle, these people are still citizens and human beings and have the same rights as heterosexuals. Being a homosexual is not a crime, but buggery is, which seems contradictory, but that is another argument. Being a lesbian is not a crime, sexual contact between two women is not a crime either, which seems discriminatory to men who practise they thing. But say what you will about this Piggott lady/gentleman, one must admire that at 25 she has the courage to be doing what she is doing despite the derision and criticisms which she will attract. And I believe one can appreciate that irrespective of one’s sexual orientation. Leave them alone, if they offend the Almighty, let Him deal with that when the time comes, whenever that is. We all have fallen short in some way and it doesn’t have to be related to anything sexual.

  10. Cherry June 28, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Hmmmm…..when she made the decision to give up the struggle something happened. She was no longer a Christian, she said it. We all have a moral compass and deep down she knew that darkness/sin and light can’t dwell together. Donna it’s not you that Christians don’t like it’s the sin but you should still be treated with respect. Love covers all wrongs and your sin is covered when confession is made to God. He started something in you long ago and he will finish it.
    People often open doors through the spoken word or actions and I dont know if it was you, your parents or an ancestor but one was opened through lesbianism.
    The same passion you have to advocate for gay rights God can change that situation in the opposite direction where you will bring gays to God.
    The wider public wants to silence Christians but everybody else has a right to say what they feel. We have the same right to speak out.

  11. jrsmith June 29, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Everyone have they take on god, our fore parents spent three centuries as slave , where was god and Jesus, now the young generations of the slave masters are inflicting mental slavery again on us again, we have lost our culture .

    Lucy and her friend betty goes to the same church, they all get in the spirit together, Lucy is having an affair, with betty husband who goes to the same church, betty is having an affair ,with her husband brother, so they have no chance for heaven.

    Suzanne’s son is a drug dealer, who supplies many of his mothers friends, who are so call Christians, no chance for heaven.

    All you Christians , need to do something ,because ISIS/L are beheading ,burning ,burying you alive and you have no one supporting you.

    As for being gay , so what. most of you despise your gay son or daughters, and you refuse to talk to them, but if then anyone of them won 10 millions on the lottery, your deceitedness comes into play, all is forgiven.

    You fool yourself, you deceive your friends , you hide your evil doings, you conspire to do bad things with others, but still you wicked a lot of you.


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