For as long as I can remember, being black and gay was like the biggest crime one could commit in my community. It didn't matter where you were born, the culture was one that saw black churches openly bashing homosexuality and parents disowning their children, leaving them on the streets to survive however they could. Fast forward to 2016, and the black LGBTQ community is growing by the minute and more and more black gay men and women are embracing who they are without apology. Here's what pride means to us.
Mid-summer is the most popular time of year for travel. Unfortunately, it's also the time of year when accommodation rates skyrocket, gas prices rise and restaurants forego the two-for-one specials they offer in the off-season. Summer is the busy season for most North American and European destinations, but that doesn't mean you have to pay more to travel during this prime time of year.
It may seem counterproductive to visit the Caribbean when your hometown is finally warm and sunny, but there's no better time of year to visit the region often regarded as "paradise." When the demand for Caribbean escapes falls, you can enjoy some major perks, including lower accommodation prices, smaller tourist crowds, and insane deals on everything from souvenirs to tours and beachside beers.
When one thinks of Jamaica, two things immediately come to mind and it's not Bob Marley and Usain Bolt this time around. Rather, it's dancehall music and homophobia -- two things which are one and the same. So it was quite shocking when Jamaicans and residents from other Caribbean islands learned that the son of Mr. Ninja Man, a popular dancehall artist, was gay.
Once the holiday festivities have passed, winter starts to sound a lot less appealing. For many Canadians, that means it's time to start planning a warm winter getaway to the Caribbean. However, choosing a Caribbean destination, finding the perfect accommodations and planning what you'll do when you arrive can be overwhelming.
As we speak, there are thousands of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender folks from across the world who are not able to spend Christmas with their families this year. They have been beaten, cursed at and made to feel like they do not belong, leading them to say goodbye to their family and friends.
After being chastised by my own country of birth for coming out as a lesbian in April of this year and speaking out against the discrimination and harassment I had endured, I began to think that our Caribbean LGBTQ community would simply have to crawl back into our holes of pain and isolation and with muzzles over our mouths. That was until Marlon James!