LGBTQ Activist, Singer, Motivational Speaker, YouTube Channel Host, Instagram Blogger and MAX Model.
About Tasheka Lavann:
Tasheka Lavann is a LGBTQ Activist living in Toronto, Canada. She was born in the Caribbean island of Antigua where she made her mark in the media industry. Lavann worked as a Journalist and TV News Anchor for ten years at the Antigua/Barbuda Broadcasting Services where she also hosted many shows to include Good Morning Antigua/Barbuda. Lavann has also worked for the World’s Leading Honeymoon Resort – Sandals Resorts as the Public Relations Manager for Sandals Grande Antigua. She is the 2007 Golden Jubilee Queen of Carnival/Miss Antigua and Barbuda and 2004 Miss Leeward Islands Teen, among several other titles in pageantry. Lavann is a graduate of the University of the West Indies Mona campus in Jamaica and holds a certificate from the Roy H Park School of Communication at Ithaca College in New York. Now a resident of Toronto, Lavann hopes to continue her advocacy work, touching more lives, while working on her modeling and singing careers. In the meantime, Lavann has found a way to marry her journalism and advocacy work as she now hosts her own YouTube Channel – Island Lez Talk (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQkVfRNtKCY3uA693Q49OJA ), dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ community while discussing issues they continue to face.
The truth is my life was already planned out. I wanted my partner and I to build a future together in my country of birth -- Antigua and Barbuda. We already had a nice apartment, a four-legged son, we both drove and had great jobs. All that was missing was "acceptance"!
When he spoke about some of the worst hate crimes experienced by black people, Chris Rock made sure to let these stars know that our ancestors were "too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer". How did they react to the "grandmother swinging from a tree"? Laughter!
Coldplay, along with Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, gave one of the best performances the halftime show has ever seen with the simple yet powerful message, "Believe in Love." This fueled a reaction that is quite common to members of the LGBT community. To put it gently, the homophobes went to work all across the virtual world.
I was only 9 years old when I came face to face with a 'racist'. The sad thing about this encounter was not only what was happening to me, but the other person, who had no idea that they were actually inciting racial hatred. That person was another 9 year old girl.
For 2016, I am urging my black family to take back our culture. We live in a time when our black men and women believe that they have to lower their standards to be successful. We exist in a virtual world where image comes with a cost that many are willing to pay, by any means necessary.
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.
Transphobia has ingrained itself subtly in the entire system across many Caribbean countries. Magistrates do not impose harsh enough penalties on people who commit hate crimes against trans people. We don't even have hate crime laws here on our books.
Society's standards have moved so far from what is truly important, that instead of people trying to be true themselves and accepting their socio-economic circumstances, which isn't bad for many of us, we are working hard to 'fit in' and fit in I did to the point of depression.
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!