In recent years, the LGBTIQ community and civil society have grown in strength and number in the Caribbean. Numerous organizations have been formed and obtained legal registration and thus have supported their local communities and have been advocating for change.
Additionally, OutRight has helped to support the registration and formation of the region's first transgender network and contributed to strengthening partnerships in the region. In turn, OutRight has seen activism and visibility increase in the region.
While over half the countries still criminalize same-sex relations under so-called “buggery laws” left over from British colonial rule, since 2016 Belize and Trinidad and Tobago have overthrown these colonial legacies, and cases have been launched by civil society and individuals in St. Vincent & Grenadines, Jamaica, Barbados, and Dominica, as well as at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
However, changing legislation alone does not lead to genuine inclusion of LGBTIQ people in society, nor does it change societal perceptions. To address this, OutRight's current programs in the Caribbean – established and conducted in close collaboration with local activists – focus on tackling gender-based violence, challenging deeply ingrained and outdated expectations of gender roles which lead to violence against those who do not fit the narrow parameters, and training service providers on LGBTIQ inclusive services. OutRight continues to support civil society efforts to decriminalize same-sex relations and promote the formation of legal gender recognition procedures, particularly through advocacy at national, regional and international levels.