Friday, December 10, 2010
A New Day For Transpeople In The Caribbean?
In some cases such as Jamaica and Puerto Rico, violently so.
But interestingly enough there is change blowing in the warm tropical breezes as well for transpeople .
In Cuba sexologist and CENESEX head Mariela Castro (the daughter of President Raul Castro and Fidel's niece) has been a champion of trans rights advances in Cuba that includes trans people being able to have free SRS and change their ID documents without drama.
Trinidad and Tobago's Jowelle de Souza put the island nation on the international trans map in 1993 when at age 19, she became the first Trini transwoman to have SRS.
She's a businesswoman and activist who has served as a role model for other Trini transpeople to come out and be themselves such as Trini trans activist Ashily Dior.
In 2009 a groundbreaking trans human rights and health conference was held in Curacao from September 24-26 in which transpeople from across the Caribbean attended. The conference was sponsored by the IGLHRC and discussed strategies for increasing human rights coverage for trans people across the region. .
Organizations such as Trinidad and Tobago's CAISO and Guyana's SASOD are emerging that are increasingly willing to tackle the intolerance in their home countries and the region as is evidenced by the 1998 harassment lawsuit filed and won by Jowelle de Souza and a legal challenge Guyanese transpeople filed earlier this year to overturn the British colonial era anti-crossdressing statute .
In addition to being nice to see, here's hoping that my Caribbean trans cousins can begin to make headway against the faith based ignorance about us permeating the region and finally get their long denied opportunities to contribute their talents to building the nations that they inhabit.