This year, after a two-year hiatus owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Guyana Pride Festival will return to the streets on June 19th, 2022.
Under the theme “Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights”, the Guyana LGBTQ Coalition launched festival at the Residence of the British High Commissioner Jane Miller on Thursday.
Most of the Festival’s activities will be in-person events this year.
Guyana Pride Festival will open on Sunday, June 19, 2022, with a Virtual Inter-Faith Forum hosted in collaboration with the Caribbean Inter-Faith Network (CARIN) at 18:00hrs on SASOD Guyana’s social media pages. Then, on the night of Saturday, June 25 2022, the Guyana Trans United will be hosting the much anticipated “Drag Fest” event, further details will be provided by the GTU in the coming days.
On the evening of Friday, July 1, 2022, the Coalition will host an “Open Mic” Night where attendees are invited to take the stage to showcase their talents in music, dance, poetry, prose, spoken word and other art forms. On Monday, July 4, 2022, SASOD Guyana will host a Movie Night.
On the following Friday, July 8, 2022, the Coalition will also be hosting a Games Night which will see competitors battling to win a number of exciting prizes. Then, in the afternoon of Sunday, July 10, 2022, GTU will be hosting a Tea Party and Hat Show. The following day on Monday, July 11, 2022, GuyBow will host the Pride Symposium which is slated to start at 17:00hrs.
Finally, Pride 2022 will conclude on Saturday July 16, 2022, with two of the most anticipated events: Pride Parade 2022 and the Pride Party. As customary, the Pride Parade will move off from the Parade Ground at Middle and Carmichael Streets at 14:30hrs and is set to conclude at the Square of the Revolution.
GuyBow will then host the Pride Party from 21:00hrs at Cocktails Hotspot Bar and Grill on High Street, Kingston.
In providing brief remarks, the British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller OBE noted that “the UK is very proud to be a champion for LGBT rights across the whole world. LGBT rights are fundamental human rights and we are committed to the principle that everyone, everywhere, should be able to love the person they love and express themselves without fear of violence”.
Joel Simpson, Managing Director of SASOD Guyana, stated that the advocacy focus of this year’s Pride Festival would center around sexual rights, noting that, “we want to draw attention to laws which criminalize same-sex intimacy; we know that these laws are colonial in nature and they are relics we inherited from colonial rule.” He shared that as part of the Festival’s advocacy plans, there would be various opportunities during the course of the activities for there to be discussions around the impacts of the criminalization of sexual rights and how they particularly impact the LGBTIQ people in Guyana.
Simpson stated that the Festival would see “us celebrating ourselves, our communities and who we are and we are saying that we will not shy away, we will not cower in the face of stigma, discrimination and prejudice. We will stand proud because we are a part of the Guyanese society and we are championing a one Guyana these days and we believe that we are part of that one people, one nation and one destiny that is promised to everyone in this country.”