‘I wish we were accepted’ – LGBTQ living in Antigua

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Actual LGBT pride flag

SOURCE: LOOP-While it is safe for LGBTQ persons to live in most parts of the Caribbean, it’s not all peaches and cream.

Homosexuality is still taboo.

Stigma and discrimination are undeniably prevalent, so much so that many are still in the closet.

Take 19-year-old Ken for example.

A gender-fluid pansexual who knew they were ‘different’ since the age of 13.

“I told my school friends when I was 13, we were just talking about sexualities, most of my other friends either know because I met them through other queer folks,” they shared.

But they are still hiding their sexuality from their homophobic family and the general public.

They said that while they feel relatively safe in Antigua, it is unfortunate they (the LGBTQ community) “are not accepted.”

In most Caribbean countries some same-sex conduct is still criminalised.

Jeff, a 24-year-old gay man, didn’t share the news about his sexuality with his friends and family until he determined that they were trustworthy. Primarily out of fear of becoming a public target for verbal discrimination.

He said that while he is not physically bullied “I’ve been called names and heard all the insults in the world.”

“I hope that one day everyone can live and be free and all colonial ideas of sex and gender are eradicated,” he remarked.

Ren, 25, has also been keeping their sexuality a secret from some family members for 12 years.

The gender-fluid demi-sexual said that “since I only told those I explicitly trusted the reactions were supportive though some did have slight concerns about my safety or lifestyle.”

They said that dating is particularly difficult because “some do react harshly or with ridicule.”

Nevertheless, they said, “personally have little issue with how others perceive me but I would feel freer to express myself if I didn’t live here.”

Ren added that migrating would help them to feel “at home” and “free.”

They said: “I believe that laws should not be dictated by religion as we are not a theocracy and not everyone on this island lives by Christian principles so it is unreasonable to force them to follow laws based on those same principles.”

Now, 27-year-old, Chris feels very comfortable living as a gay man in Antigua mainly because he has learned to silence the noise.

He said: “when I first came out many of my friends distanced themself but that did not negatively impact me at all.”

But he too called for a revision to the existing legislation which quite frankly makes it difficult for men like him.

“I believe the laws are antiquated and need to change. We are only a Christian society with morality when it suits us. Not understanding that change is inevitable. However, I believe the legislation needs to be looked at and we need to lobby for change,” Chris stated.

Finally, Felicia, a transsexual, 30, who has been out and proud for most of her life has been subject to a lot of ridicule because if one person knows it is quite easy for all to find out in such a small state.

Felicia said that she learned to be comfortable in her own skin but many around her disagree with her lifestyle.

She transformed from a man to a woman many years ago and was once bi-sexual.

However, she says she is now only attracted to men.

Her family too were not pleased with her choice.

“I tried my best to hide it from my family, especially my mom. My mom was a very Christian-like person. My father wasn’t really a Christian but he wasn’t into the gay lifestyle.

“My siblings were against it as well because of the people they hang around,” she explained.

She said she was subject to ridicule and condemnation and to this day has only been able to fully reconcile with her mother who she says “doesn’t like my lifestyle but she supports me as her child”

She added that over the years she has been subject to physical and psychological bullying but “the physical treatment has decreased.”

“There are some guys that still have an aggressive way of dealing with us but it depends on where you live…so people like me I try not to go to certain areas,” she continued.

“Verbal discrimination is more prominent,” she then remarked.

Felicia has learned to ignore the ‘haters’ because she accepts that not everyone understands what it means to be homosexual, that “it is not a choice.”

But like the others, she holds on to the hope that one day the LGBTQ will be welcomed with open arms and feel free to express themselves in Antigua and Barbuda.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. So you are not a God fearing bible believing citizen. That is your choice. Why do you want God force those who are disgusted by your sexually deviant life style to tolerate you and expose their young impressionable children to your behaviors. Just as you have the right to have sex with men or women other have the tight to maintain traditional values and stay as far as possible away from you

  2. Chupz if you want feel free and be free you can do so by selecting and gender you prefer. However, just like you mentioned laws should not be made base on Christian values, you cannot be what your not created to be weather u like it or not fact still remains ur birthright is a male. If u want to live do so.. but remember we will not be forced nor persuaded to accept you with the changes you made. In life there are consequences for the decisions or choices we make.

  3. “Gender fluid transsexual”? You get up in the morning and decide what “sex” you’re going to be for the day?
    And you wonder why why you’re not accepted?
    Wow, just wow…
    BTW, your DNA decides your gender, you don’t.

  4. It’s not a Choice to feel the way you do about your sexuality and attraction towards mem..I am talking from experience but you don’t have to get involved sexually because it’s a sin like any other sin..God made you a Man and regardless of how you feel or what amount of Homons you take to change your body, you will always be a man and can never be a woman.I hate the idea sections of society referring to guys like Bramble and others like hime as She or Her.You can’t force no one to accept your lifestyle vice versa. All my life to this Day am struggling with same sex attraction and would not wish that on no one..I have had my share of name calling and even when I try having a girlfriend the same people who have issues with you would be against me for having a girlfriend and would find ways to tell the woman I see you wid Antiman so so so.I have learnt to deal with my Demons by the Help of reading the Bible and accepting christ as my savior.. Like any other sin, I still do get tempted.I have had dealing with married men, professional sports men and at times these men look very masculine but when you meet them in bed, they want that punishment more than you. A lot of straight looking macho men out there would curse you out during the Day vbut knocking on your door at nights.

  5. No!!! we’re not accepting that you were born a man, want to be a girl and taking d*ck in your b*tty hole; your weren’t born with a vagjna.

    Y’all can’t reproduce!! stop the nonsense now 😒

  6. In many ways we are still a work in progress and in parts of our society we are taught that homosexuality is wrong, against the teachings of God and is a Sin. Gradually we are emerging from that thought process and making progress on that front. In time discrimination against LBGT humans will also be a thing of the past.

    • Once it’s against God’s teachings it will forever be wrong. Principles were set from afore time, but God will return to right the wrong in his own time

    • @Sharon Lycorish – explain your position to Yeshua Messiah

      In the more worldly sense, your DNA defines you…period. The author of the letter is obviously deeply troubled and desperately needs psychiatric help.

    • @Sharon Lycorish – regarding your thoughts, you’re going to have a fight on your hands.

      If you have a problem with God’s law, take it up with Him.

  7. This article saddens me, but not for the reasons “they” might imagine. I do feel sorry for the individuals described. It saddens me that so many persons are living in such a state of perpetual delusion, that they are bringing such misey on themselves by denying the nature that is right in front of their eyes, and that they are ostracizing themselves from their friends and family by fighting for an illusion. I sincerely hope that they wake up one day soon while there is some life left to live and enjoy in all it’s natural glory…

  8. First of all, your secret is that of your own. If any gay person thinks they are hiding their sexuality they are only lying to themselves. Antigua is a safe haven to gays and other queer folks. You will have words dropped on you if you walk down the street by folks as a straight person so don’t use your gayness as some type of reason why you are being picked on. It’s the Caribbean it’s what we do. We are a Christian nation and homosexuality is considered a sin. Therefore, as with anything that’s contrary to our values and Christian principles, it will take time to accept it. The fact you aren’t been beaten like a gay drum at a gay parade or a gay man in the leather man’s group speaks volumes. Antiguans are an accepting group of people if you stick to your side of the street.

  9. People in Antigua don’t care whether you are gay or straight. Just keep your sexuality to your self and not try to force other people to recognize you and your lifestyle. We don’t care who you sleep with while it is not a minor.

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