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Montego Bay Pride pushing the envelope

Published:Wednesday | October 17, 2018 | 8:58 AM


"Mi feel legal!" the young man screamed in ecstasy as he walked in Jamaica's first-ever LGBT Walk for Rights on Sunday, October 14. The half-hour Walk along 'Bottom Road' was the highlight of the fourth Montego Bay Pride, which aims to build a sense of community among LGBT people in western Jamaica, many of whom feel left out of LGBT organising that is usually focused on Kingston.

As a small grass-roots 'Pride' we have been able to be very 'edgy'. So, growing from a small pool party in 2015 with just over 150 persons, we have constantly added programmes, and this year, we had a weeklong celebration that saw over 1,000 persons participating. Some of the highlights from this year's Pride included an LGBT film festival, which included the world premiere of A Colourful Fight, which was produced entirely in Montego Bay. We also had a thought-provoking panel discussion on the different approaches to LGBT liberation, globally.

Social justice project

Our social justice project saw LGBT community members painting a building that serves the public, and this year, it was the Cornwall Regional Hospital. A Pride Praise & Worship Service presided over by the Rev Canon Garth Minott preceded the groundbreaking walk and a fun-filled beach day. In addition to many local and international guests this year, we also welcomed a representative from the EU delegation in Jamaica.

Montego Bay Pride will continue to 'push the envelope' so that one day, LGBT people will not only feel but actually BE legal in our homeland.

Maurice Tomlinson