By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
FOUR days of pride celebrations will kick off this weekend in a bid to strengthen existing support systems for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.
Organisers yesterday confirmed that the “Bahamas Pride Freedom Weekend” will take place at an all-inclusive resort on eastern Grand Bahama beginning this Friday.
The event was originally scheduled for the Labour Day weekend, but was postponed.
In a recent interview with The Tribune about the event, organiser Victor Rollins underscored the critical need for outreach and empowerment within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) community.
He said he envisioned the pride weekend as an opportunity to target the marginalised community, members of which he felt were often stigmatised, manipulated or exploited.
“The Bahamas Pride Freedom Weekend will cater to the various layers that impact the lives of LGBT Bahamians,” a press statement released on the event yesterday read.
The press release continued: “This event is not the first event of its kind and leading up to Bahamas Pride Freedom Weekend, members of the now defunct Rainbow Alliance Bahamas, Bahamian Gays and Lesbians Against Discrimination and Hope Through Education and Awareness will be highlighted and given tribute for the cornerstones that they have laid for the community during their active period.”
The statement added: “The event will also have a moment of memoriam for all LGBT individuals who were victims and or lost their lives because of hate crimes or HIV.”
The weekend will feature seven themed parties, including a talent showcase and pageant; however, organisers also pointed to a Health Fair as integral part of the event. Activities highlighted include: a Great Gatsby themed all-white affair, a pyjama party, a retro party and signature beach and pool parties.
Society Against STIs and HIV (SASH) Bahamas, a nonprofit organisation, was listed as a major stakeholder in the planning of the event.
Amard Rolle, executive director SASH Bahamas, said: “The community needs a much needed boost of new energy, safe spaces and structured environments to truly be innovative.
“We agreed to be a part of this event because we at SASH Bahamas are committed to being social helpers and community builders.”
Yesterday, organisers could not confirm how many persons were expected to participate this weekend.