Curaçao’s first Gay Pride started yesterday with the pre-activities and is set to go full-force this weekend with parties, after parties and a ‘Dance 4 Love’ on one of Willemstad’s main public squares. The event is already stirring up emotions of solidarity as well as some of the less pleasant emotions.. ..
While in many parts of the world gay people are generally accepted, many of the Caribbean islands still have all kinds of taboos surrounding the LGBT lifestyle. Mostly this doesn’t go much further than name-calling and threatening with eternal damnation, but there have also been plenty of incidents of gay bashing or even murder in the Caribbean region. Luckily Curaçao has long been peaceful in this respect.
One of the reasons why we love Curaçao is the relaxed attitude towards its sexually diverse community. Same-sex couples can walk on most streets while holding hands and no one will bat an eye, the annual Get Wet Weekend was a success every year it was organized since 2005 and Willemstad’s downtown is often overrun by gays when a gay cruise arrives.
The Curaçao Gay Pride is one of the first held in the Caribbean region and we thought it would just be another edition of Get Wet Weekend with a new name. But we appear to have been wrong. Now that the main event this Saturday is coming closer emotions have begun to stir, culminating (so far) in a hateful letter by Winnie Raveneau, Member of Parliament for Pueblo Soberano, to the island’s church leaders.
In this letter Sra. Raveneau basically asks church leaders to go prehistoric on the gay’s asses (no pun intended) before Curaçao suffers the same fate as the people of Israel in the Old Testament. The letter has of course set off some intense discussions on Facebook where people are not afraid to rain damnation on others for not supporting a particular view. So, apparently, there is cause for a Gay Pride because there are still hurdles to be taken before sexually diverse people are fully accepted as part of our community.
We support the Curaçao Gay Pride with all our hearts because we believe that everyone has a right to love whomever he/she wants. The slogan on Curaçao’s LGBT tourism website has long been “Biba i laga Biba” (Live and Let Live) and we think that’s very much applicable here! Let’s have a party and treat each other like Jesus would do, with a kind heart and tolerance, whether you’re for- or against the Pride celebrations. We don’t live in Old Testament times anymore!