Monetgo Bay in Jamaica will host their fourth Pride event with an anticipated 2,000 attendees, which will include a week of activities from film festivals to social justice programs.
LGBT rights are shaky in Jamaica — gay sex is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison, but sex between two women is legal. Some LGBT youth live in sewers after being rejected by their families, and a gay man was stoned to death in 2015, reported NowNowNext. Montego Bay Pride started in 2014 to build a sense of celebration and community among the nearby LGBT population.
“The challenge in any society with accepting or understanding LGBT people is that they only hear one side of the story. That's what is preached by the churches that we are all pedophiles and all these ridiculous things,” Montego Bay Pride organizer Maurice Tomlinson said to Jamaica Star. “We are actually members of your society. We are your brothers, your sisters, your doctors, your nurses, whatever. We are there.”