A week of LGBT Pride commemorations kick off today, October 4, in the small South American nation of Suriname. This is only the third time the country has seen annual Pride events, which will culminate with a parade and closing night events on October 11.
Photo: Suriname Pride, Oct 11, 2012. Source: LGBT Platform Suriname
Events throughout the week include a opening night midnight party, community outreach event, karaoke night and tribute, and a workshop on workplace discrimination, as well as next Friday’s pride parade. They will be held in the capital, Paramaribo. Hundreds of people are expected to attend.
The series of events is organised by LGBT Platform Suriname, an LGBT rights organisation which was formed in 2011.
Same-sex relationships are legal in Suriname, although no legal ant-discrimination protections exist for LGBTI people, and the country has an unequal age of consent for same-sex and opposite-sex couples (18 and 16, respectively).
The parade has been held annually on October 11, since 2011, when it was first organised – to coincide with National Coming Out Day (a US originated event, held since 1988).
Flyer for this week’s events. Source: LGBT Platform Suriname
Although the LGBT community in Suriname is relatively small in comparison to many of its South American and Caribbean neighbours, activists are becoming increasingly organised. Since 2011, a coalition of Surinamese LGBT activists have been involved in international level lobbying actions, urging the government to equalise ages of consent, amongst other demands. Earlier this year, in May, community-led police training sessions were conducted on LGBT equality and diversity issues.
For more information see:
- LGBT Platform Suriname: Homepage
- LGBT Platform Suriname: facebook
- Gay Star News: Suriname to Host 3rd Annual Pride March