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Jamaicans invite LGBTIs to join them for Pride, despite gay sex being illegal

Gay Star News is proud to be global media partner of Montego Bay Pride 2018 in Jamaica

Jamaicans invite LGBTIs to join them for Pride, despite gay sex being illegal
Pride-goers enjoying the beach at Montego Bay Pride in Jamaica. | Photo: Maurice Tomlinson

Jamaicans want LGBTIs to travel to their country for Montego Bay Pride next year – despite homosexuality being illegal there.

Gay Star News is today proud to announce we will be the official global media partner of Montego Bay Pride 2018.

The Jamaican organizers invited us to help them raise the profile of the event and attract more foreign visitors to join in.

What is Montego Bay Pride?

Montego Bay Pride’s fourth annual event will run from Monday 8 October 2018 to Sunday 14 October 2018.

The Pride event aims to strengthen the LGBTI community and bring together gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, allies and all members of the LGBTI spectrum. It sends the message that we are stronger united.

Montego Bay Pride also advocates for LGBTI rights in Jamaica. At present, male homosexuality is illegal, with a punishment of 10 years hard labour.

LGBTI Jamaicans have no protection at work and often face violence and marginalisation inside and outside their homes.

Maurice Tomlinson, founder and development coordinator of Montego Bay Pride, said:

‘Montego Bay Pride has grown exponentially from just over 150 persons in 2015 to over 850 in 2017. This is testimony to the urgent need for safe spaces where our persecuted LGBTI community can just be ourselves.

‘We continue to add exciting new programmes each year, such as Jamaica’s first-ever LGBTI film festival, as we celebrate the resilience of our community, educate the Jamaican public about LGBTI realities, and advocate for respect for the full human rights of LGBTI people on the island.

‘International partners like Gay Star News are essential to amplify the voices of our small LGBTI population as we strive to secure greater respect for our rights in our tourism-dependent country.’

How will GSN help?

Tris Reid-Smith, editor-in-chief of Gay Star News, said:

‘LGBTI Jamaicans are keen to invite other LGBTIs from around the world to Montego Bay for Pride.

‘The bigger the event gets, the more the Jamaican government has to take them seriously. Gay Star News is honored to stand in solidarity with our LGBTI family for Montego Bay Pride.

‘We hope 2018 will be the start of a long-term partnership. We want to empower LGBTI Jamaicans to tell their stories to the world and advocate for change in their country.

‘And for those who want to visit the island, what better chance could there be than Montego Bay Pride to enjoy the natural beauty of Jamaica and the warm hospitality of our LGBTI community there?’

A robust security system helps to ensure the safety of Montego Bay. It has now run for several years with no reported violence.

However homosexuality is illegal in the country. Therefore, GSN always urges visitors to the island to make sure they know their rights and to exercise caution. Please do not do anything that puts you or your LGBTI Jamaican hosts in danger.


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