Through these efforts, Guyana Together will amplify public support for overturning the country’s outdated law criminalizing consensual intimacy between two men – which a 2022 poll showed that 54% of the Guyanese public agrees should be eliminated. The majority of CARICOM countries have already eliminated their laws which criminalise same-sex intimacy. 

Historic “Guyana Together” Campaign Launched to Win Acceptance of Gay and Trans People

Historic “Guyana Together” Campaign Launched to Win Acceptance of Gay and Trans People

Through these efforts, Guyana Together will amplify public support for overturning the country’s outdated law criminalizing consensual intimacy between two men – which a 2022 poll showed that 54% of the Guyanese public agrees should be eliminated. The majority of CARICOM countries have already eliminated their laws which criminalise same-sex intimacy. 

The Guyana Together campaign was just successfully launched in Georgetown. This historic campaign aims to achieve greater acceptance levels among Guyanese and to reduce the level of stigma and prejudice. This will be done by telling real stories of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who have found acceptance and support from family, coworkers, neighbours, friends and religious leaders in Guyana. 

Through these efforts, Guyana Together will amplify public support for overturning the country’s outdated law criminalizing consensual intimacy between two men – which a 2022 poll showed that 54% of the Guyanese public agrees should be eliminated. The majority of CARICOM countries have already eliminated their laws which criminalise same-sex intimacy. 
Through these efforts, Guyana Together will amplify public support for overturning the country’s outdated law criminalizing consensual intimacy between two men – which a 2022 poll showed that 54% of the Guyanese public agrees should be eliminated. The majority of CARICOM countries have already eliminated their laws which criminalise same-sex intimacy. 

The campaign saw the launch of two of several videos that would be aired on television and digital media platforms nationwide. This includes the first video of its kind featuring Krystal, a lesbian and Eusebia, a mother figure in Krystal’s life whom she found an ally in over the years. Following the launch, Eusebia Liverpool, who is also a social worker, said she was eager to be part of this campaign. “When I found out Krystal was a lesbian, it didn’t change anything. I’m a Christian and I feel that God loves everyone, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people,” she shared. 

Avinash Narine, a fashion designer who is also featured in one of the videos is hopeful that the campaign would convince more Guyanese to support the repeal of Guyana’s discriminatory laws. “As long as the law continues to discriminate against gay men, it will send a message that we can be treated unfairly,” Avinash told those gathered at the launch. “I hope this campaign will open doors for other members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, especially young people who may feel unwelcomed and afraid,” he said.  

Pamela Nauth, a mother and social worker touched on the timeliness of the campaign. “We must speak out and stand alongside our neighbours who are facing unfair treatment,” Nauth told those at the launch. “Because we do not have to understand everything about what it means to be gay and lesbian to agree that everyone in Guyana should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams, be a part of their communities, and be afforded dignity and respect,” she appealed. 

The Guyana Together campaign was supported by several allies, including faith leaders. Rev. Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth called for the laws to be “updated now.” “I believe that now is the time to update our laws to respect and uphold the sacred dignity and worth of all people,” Rev. Sheerattan-Bisnauth told the launch as she called for a national dialogue. “When you dialogue with respect, you can overcome fear and prejudice to grow together in love and understanding,” she said.
The Guyana Together campaign was supported by several allies, including faith leaders. Rev. Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth called for the laws to be “updated now.” “I believe that now is the time to update our laws to respect and uphold the sacred dignity and worth of all people,” Rev. Sheerattan-Bisnauth told the launch as she called for a national dialogue. “When you dialogue with respect, you can overcome fear and prejudice to grow together in love and understanding,” she said.

The campaign is a much-welcomed approach to highlighting positive stories of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people while ensuring the call for the repeal of discriminatory laws remain visible, Joel Simpson, Managing Director of SASOD Guyana, said. Simpson pointed out that acceptance of gay and trans people had increased from 19% to 34.5% over the past decade, with acceptance and tolerance totally to 72.4% in Guyana, according to the 2022 poll. 

The Campaign is being supported by several partners. At the launch event Guyana Together organizers thanked several leading partners, including the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Black Entrepreneurs Association, the Guyana Press Association and SASOD Guyana. To date, the campaign has been endorsed by nearly 100 organisations, including civic groups, local companies, small and medium-sized business and service agencies. 

Guyana Together materials and pledges can be found at GuyanaTogether.gy where the public can watch the stories, take the campaign pledge, share their story and make a donation. 

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