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Gay Pride festival launched in Guyana

By News Room Guyana

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Persons wearing their rainbow colours with pride during last year’s parade. [Joseph Allen photo]

(NEWS ROOM GUYANA) — The Guyana LGBTQ+ Coalition on Friday officially launched the Guyana Pride Festival 2019 at the Secretariat of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD).

Joel Simpson, of SASOD, said persons should come for Guyana Carnival and Stay for Pride 2019.

The Pride Festival will run from May 28 to June 3, 2019, and will see eight events being held, starting with an Inter-Faith Forum followed by a Pride Symposium, Pride Parade, Creek Cooler Lyme, Open Mic Queer Café, the Diamond Infinity Pageant, a Pride party. The events will come to a close with the Queer Film Night.

Simpson, speaking on behalf of the Guyana LGBT+ Coalition, said this year’s event promises to be one like no other since the event also caters for persons in the diaspora.

“Persons are able to home for [Carnival and Pride] and we know persons are coming for Carnival and Staying for Pride, which is what we encouraged persons to do last year; so we will benefit from a much larger diaspora turnout.

“We are also seeing now that persons know that the pride festival will open the day after the Independence holiday.

“Persons are coming specifically for pride if they are not interested in carnival.” Simpson added.

The Guyana LGBT+ Coalition also launched a competition for the public to design a logo that will serve as branding for the various organizations that form the coalition.

First prize will be US$150, second prize US$100 and third US$50. All entries must be submitted by 11:59PM on May 25, 2019. The winner will be announced on the last day of the festival.

L-R: Joel Simpson – Managing Director of SASOD Guyana, Shabaki Singh – SWAG Chairperson and Valini Leitch – Homophobia(s) Education Coordinator SASOD at the launch of Guyana Pride Festival 2019.

According to Simpson, most of the events to be held during the festival are free events except for the Pride Party, Creek Cooler Lyme and Diamond Infinity Pageant.

Simpson said that security will be available at all events so persons are encouraged to come out to the events since it will be a safe space. He said last year the parade was incident free and he is expecting it to be the same this year.

This year ,the festival will showcase how far the LGBT movement in Guyana has come in building consensus and finding common ground with faith communities and getting faith allies to stand in solidarity with the LGBT community on human rights and social justice in the country.

The Guyana LGBT+ Coalition is made up of three organizations which include SASOD, Guyana Trans United and the Guyana Rainbow Foundation.

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