For Saturday, International Women’s Day, Michelle García, in an article for Advocate.com, showcases some of the LGBT women and allies who are working to ensure equality around the globe. Two of them are from the Caribbean and are posted below. For the complete article follow the link below.
Kenita Placide, St. Lucia
The Caribbean may be viewed as a paradise, but antigay laws and persecution can make a difficult life for its LGBT inhabitants. In fact, Immigration Equality says Jamaica is one of the countries from which it receives the highest number of asylum inquiries (aside from Russia, at the moment). But in St. Lucia, Kenita Placide won’t let LGBT rights get pushed aside. She is the co-executive director of Saint Lucia’s United and Strong Inc, the eastern Caribbean coordinator of the Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities, and the Alternate Women’s Secretariat of the International Lesbian and Gay Association. Most interestingly, however, Placide was namedPeople’s Choice For Person of the Year 2013 by the St. Lucia Star newspaper.
“I realize that although we get a lot of negative comments, by educating and informing, we have helped to make some of their lives much, much easier,” she told the newspaper. “It’s one thing to be afraid of what you do not know, it’s another to take some time to understand about the issues.”
Mariela Castro, Cuba
One of the biggest surprises to come out of Cuba in the last decade was from a Castro — specifically, the daughter of current president Raul Castro and niece of Fidel, Mariela Castro. Her whole-hearted campaigning for LGBT rights has captured international attention, especially as her home nation is known for having sent LGBT people to labor camps during the 1960s and ’70s and forcing many people to remain closeted for decades due to the culture. Now, through her work and collaboration with many others, things are improving. Castro is the director of Cenesex (Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education), and her proposal for the government to fund gender affirmation procedures became law in 2008.
For the original report go to