Canada gave me my real voice.
ranplett via Getty Images
You came into my life nearly five years ago at a time when I was struggling to find my true self in a homophobic Caribbean region.
Chel Beeson via Getty Images
There are some people from Africa that believe they are different than people from the Caribbean. They openly make a reference that they are "African" and the others are "black people." The divide between some of my people gives me a headache. The entire purpose of colonization in Africa between the fifteenth and nineteenth century was to separate African people from their culture and place them around the earth to make it hard for them to figure out who they are.
Proposing Canada acquire Turks and Caicos or rule Haiti may be outlandish, but it's not benign. These suggestions ignore Caribbean history, foreign influence in the region and white wash the harm Ottawa has caused there. Even worse, they enable politicians' to pursue ever more aggressive policies in the region.
Oleksiy Maksymenko via Getty Images
As much as I craved my mother's warm embrace, the smell of the sea and the happy moments that I did share with my partner in our home, I couldn't help but wonder if my homophobic attackers were still around. And that uncertainty - coupled with the fact that our love is still considered a crime there - was my wake-up call.
Loving and Living in this Planet via Getty Images
It's been about a week since my mom broke the news that two of my uncles passed away. Yet here I am in my new home, Canada -- a place where I have found true freedom to be my authentic self, but also a long way from a family that I absolutely love and adore.
Photograph by Justin Bonaparte via Getty Images
The Caribbean sees more than 25 million visitors every year. It's no wonder many Caribbean destinations are more crowded than the pictures in the brochures suggest. However, the Caribbean is home to more than 7,000 islands and 25 nations, some of which are drastically less crowded than others.
When it comes to black people, our hair, just like our skin tones, aren't a one type fits all kind of deal. And for far too long, in both our homes and in our communities, we've allowed hair discrimination to affect ourselves, and our future generations in more harmful ways than we think.
Darren Robb via Getty Images
Send your taste buds on a trip to the islands.
Mako photo via Getty Images
I've been fortunate enough over the last few years to travel to many tropical locations; and summer in Toronto, with its soaring temperatures makes me long for beaches and island drinks. So here are some of the best cocktails I've been lucky enough to sample from around the world.
James Darell via Getty Images
I arrived at St. Maarten's Princess Julia International Airport in the late afternoon, only a compact carry-on in hand. I was advised to pack light: space is limited on a sailboat and realistically passengers don't require anything other than some swimsuits and industrial-strength sunscreen.
Roy Hsu via Getty Images
With design-driven hotels, epic surf breaks, seaside music festivals, and a bold local food scene, Barbados is unbeatable. Forget having a destination wedding, have a vacation wedding you and your guests will never forget!
anyaberkut via Getty Images
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.