A pride week set for June 2020 will not feature members of the LGBTI community parading throughout the streets of New Providence, said human rights advocate Alexus D’Marco, who yesterday insisted that the week-long event will be designed to fit the culture and climate of The Bahamas.
“Pride is not some decadence that people think that we are going to be marching in the street in a flag and people who identify with LGBTI will be marching in a parade in the street,” D’Marco told The Nassau Guardian.
“That’s not what pride is for [us] in The Bahamas. Our pride context is totally different from how they do it in America, or how they do it in Europe, or how they do it up north. We have to fit our climate and our cultural context of pride and that’s what we are doing.”
Following reports that the event was slated for next year, many Bahamians took to social media to voice their displeasure and disagreement.
D’Marco said the initial reaction to reports of pride celebrations taking place on Bay Street are based on propaganda.
“People don’t understand why pride is and what pride is and what it means for our community,” D’Marco continued.
“So, the reaction came from people not understanding. That’s why we’re having pride, so people can understand about our community; that we are inclusive, we are a part of this commonwealth, and we have a right to have pride. How we show pride and how we demonstrate pride in a public forum is now the question.”
The launch of Pride Bahamas will take place in May, around carnival weekend.
The week of activities will occur the following month, during the U.S.-recognized Pride Month, which commemorates the Stonewall riots agitating for gay rights that occurred in 1969 in Manhattan.
D’Marco said the week will feature activities of sensitization and education of the LGBTI community in The Bahamas.
The human rights advocate noted, “It will commence with a flag raising ceremony and then through the week we will have different articles running in the newspaper about our communities and the history of where we came from, and then in the evening we will have our activities, parties and events.”
D’Marco added, “I think the importance of it is because of the failed attempt of pride in the past based on this same fear-mongering. They tried to have pride a couple of years ago and it failed because they didn’t have the community’s buy-in. When I say the community’s buy-in, I’m talking about the LGBTI community.
“We now have a shift in our culture where we have LGBTI people who identify without hiding who they are… Instead of hiding who they are, they are saying, ‘This is me, this is who I am and we are a part of the Bahamian society.’
“I think for us, it’s now the visibility and giving those people space, who wanted space, to have an opportunity to be free from the stigma, fear and discrimination. No longer are we burying our heads in the sand to LGBTI people in this country. Inclusiveness is our theme and that’s where we’re heading. The Bahamas is not just for one set of people, it is for all Bahamians and we have enough space for everybody to exist.”
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications