What is it like to be a gay man in your county?
I am a trained assistant nurse, voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) provider, phlebotomist, and do outreach to young MSM. I am 29 years old and a native of St. Lucia. Being a gay man in my country is like staying in the closet and keeping my lifestyle to me.
What support systems exist in your country for gay men?
Support systems exist in my country for men who have sex with men and they include the Caribbean Drug and Alcohol Research Institute which offers rehabilitation services, shelter and holistic care for HIV, MSM and MSM drug users. “United and Strong” offers HIV education, with a focus on reducing stigma and discrimination. Clinical services are open to all but yet MSM prefer going to their private doctors because they are afraid of being discriminated against. There are some human rights lawyers who act as a body that focuses on justice for all.
What needs do gay men have in your Country?
In my country gay men need help with human rights and laws that would protect them. We need a clinic where MSM could go without being stigmatised and a social atmosphere where gay men could fellowship with each other without being harassed or have any form of violence perpetrated against them. We need more education, educational materials and support on HIV, men's health and sexual diversity.
Photo Credit: Daniel Volmy