Third Annual Jamaica Pride Kicks Off

Jamaica’s third annual Pride celebration began on Monday with Sports Day. The events will run from August 1-7, coinciding with Emancipendence celebrations in the country. Emancipendence marks the end of slavery in Jamaica in 1832 and its independence from Great Britain in 1962. PRiDE JA is organized by J-FLAG (the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays), which describes itself as “the foremost organisation advocating and lobbying government and policymakers for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.” The first PRiDE JA took place in 2015, becoming the first Pride celebration in the English-speaking Caribbean. The events have been incident-free for its first two years, and organizers hope to see participation from bigger crowds from across the Caribbean and the Diaspora at this year’s celebration. Same-sex sexual relations between males remain explicitly illegal in Jamaica, but advocates are hopeful that with increased awareness will come increased acceptance from Jamaican society. As TransWave documented in their takeover of our Instagram, there is certainly no lack of joy and pride in the Jamaican LGBTIQ community.

Upcoming PRiDE JA events include the PRiDEJA 2017 Conference, a Wellness Walk & Health Fair, and a Beach Party. TransWave shared a full schedule on their Instagram account: