Sunday, July 15, 2012

LGBT Unity and the power of the Environment

Post 15th July, 2012

The power of rivers in shaping the Belizean environment cannot be underestimated.  But when used to to address the emotional well-being of the Belizean LGBT person, it impacts cannot be measured. Working together, the United Belize Advocacy camp team of three, saw over 20 persons show kindness, united in play, and express concern about discrimination. One particular-team building activity showed how individuals wheel-borrowing and walked in pairs, ensured that the person next to them kept paced with the group and all made the kilometer long hike to get to the river for tubing down a mile long path.

  More interesting than this, is in knowing that our people could play games and not be concern about sex, social differences, or the discrimination that often occurs while in Belize City or Dangriga or else where. What we discovered was that while the lesbian community may not experience a high degree of violence, they nevertheless, may experience random violence from young children as young as nine stoning over the Queens Square fence and yelling" unu fucking unibam" or they experience intense sexual harassment, if they work, in a male -dominated profession. It is clear that our process of coming out maybe all different. This may include leaving a video on the TV stand where mother, sister and niece sees it, watches with the only concern,  " How she look better than me? and i da wa real woman?" while others come out by text or have to deal with a mother who gets high blood pressure and faints. We know as well, gay men may come out of their house to avoid the stress of families trying to "pray the gay away." Such moving out expereinces leads to mothers realizing the importance of family, but highlights how different a mom vs a dad may react. Interesting enough, gay men do not count dads as having an option on the issue, especially, if they don't live at home.

The camp itself during the night walk showed that a person could care about the safety of their fellow community member, and not expect anything in return. It was a place where city folks learn that in order to see wild animals they needed to be quite and still. We listens to bats scoop out small fishes out the river and learnt that wild animals do not necessarily want to see a human being. It was the first time that most did not need to worry about a bullet or being robbed as their concerns were ensuring no snakes cross their path and no jaguar suddenly showed up. It was interesting to see how a couple returned to the visitors camp while most endured the 1 hour long journey. During the walk, one person said" Unu si it? unu si it?" ...and in my excitement asked "what?" and the person replies," the million flies we di come!" Upon arrival at the visitors center, that same person yelled"si di jaguar deh!" referring to a statue that was staring us in the night light while we walked pass the visitors center. I am proud must as our people came back in one piece to Belize City.

THE GROUP HUNTED AND POSED WITH A JAGUAR!






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