Friday, May 29, 2020

Caribbean community organizations call for decisive action to end homophobic abuse and cyberbullying

Alexus D’Marco, Executive Director of the Bahamas Organization of LGBTI Affairs

Ulysease Roca Terry was a gay Belizean fashion designer living with HIV. He had recently lost his mother and was coping with depression. Even without a new pandemic, it was a difficult time.

He was arrested for breaching COVID-19 curfew laws in April. While in custody he suffered homophobic slurs and bullying by a police officer. A video of the abuse was posted to social media. He also claimed that he was physically attacked while detained. Days later he died.

This month in the Bahamas, a video circulated on social media of a gender non-conforming woman being beaten by three men hurling homophobic slurs. One man smashed a piece of wood onto her head. Others slapped and punched her. As the video circulated online, some made fun of the victim.

While countries in the Caribbean focus on combatting COVID-19, community organizations have been raising their voices against the casual verbal, physical and emotional abuse that is a feature of life in the region for far too many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. And they are sounding an alarm that this cruelty is increasingly playing out online.  Read more >>