I have to be honest with you. This issue has been one of the hardest to create since I took on the role as the editor of XX.
In fact, this entire issue had been completed and ready for print when I made the
last minute decision to scrap it in its’ entirety. In lieu of fashion tips, relationship advice and beauty tricks, I felt compelled to address what’s been going on in our country.
Truth be told, before this week, I didn’t know much about LGBTQIA+ rights. Like most Trinis, I didn’t follow Jason Jones’ challenge to the constitutionality of certain sections of the Sexual Offences Act. I didn’t even really give it much thought. But as I saw and heard of the hatred and discrimination that the LGBTQIA+ community has experienced in the last few weeks, I felt an immediate need to get involved.
For many of us, it’s easy to ignore certain things that don’t involve us. I don’t eat fish, so the oil spill doesn’t affect me. I haven’t been sexually harassed, so #MeToo isn’t my problem. I’m not homosexual, so gay rights don’t matter to me. I’m guilty of it too. While I gave my silent support to friends and family who were members of the LGBTQIA+ community, at the end of the day, it really didn’t impact my life, my choices, my future.
When we committed to dedicating this week’s XX to the LGBTQIA+ movement, I knew that it was my duty to learn as much as possible, to get as involved as I could, to ask as many questions as I had, in order to do justice to all of the years of oppression and progress and tears and trials and so much more that the members of T&T’s LGBTQIA+ community have faced.
What I learned over the last week has opened my mind, touched my heart and quite frankly, enabled my voice.
After Thursday’s ruling, the number of comments that swept in on social media—on our
Facebook video recap of the day, on our photos shared, on our live coverage of the ruling—has been overwhelming, and sadly, not in the best way. The discrimination, hatred and animosity towards the members of the local community, allies and activists was heartbreaking, and I found myself logging off of Facebook almost immediately after signing in.
I hope that reading today’s paper helps to answer some questions many may have, and to clarify some blatant misconceptions.
This week’s issue’s pages are special, because for the first time, they don’t tell the story of a person, but they tell the story of our nation.
We have come so far already, and we have so much further to go.