Barbadian LGBTQI+ community bridging the age gap: IDAHOBIT 2024

May 21, 2024

Executive Director of EQUALS Barbados, Rondell Trim, and panelists during the discussion on intergenerational allyship for IDAHOBIT 2024 at UN House, Barbados.

UNDP/Yajaira Archibald

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS, MAY 21, 2024 – Bridging age gaps within the LGBTQ+ community is important for sustaining the human rights gains made in reducing stigma and discrimination in social spaces, policy, and legislation.


This was a key point emerging from a hybrid panel discussion on intergenerational allyship held on Saturday, May 18, aimed at strengthening bonds within the LGBTQ+ community by exploring the differences in the stigma and discrimination faced by various age groups, as well as tapping into those experiences to discuss how the community can address contemporary issues.


Organized by EQUALS Barbados, with support from the Being LGBTI in the Caribbean (BLIC) project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the event was held at UN House, Hastings, Barbados, one day after the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) observance on May 17 under the theme, “No one left behind: Equality, freedom and justice for all”.


“As we commemorate IDAHOBIT, we hosted this event to discuss the challenges and the hardships, the trials, and tribulations that we've overcome over the many years as the LGBTQ+ community and the resilience that we continue to show. Together, as a community going forward in solidarity, we will continue to overcome these hurdles as we strive toward equality and equity. We also have shown intergenerational resilience, and through knowledge-sharing, resource-sharing and the connections that we can make between generations, we can continue to develop best practice solutions and assist the [LGBTQ+] community in facing some of the stigma and discrimination that is systemic throughout Barbados,” said Rondell Trim, Executive Director, EQUALS Barbados.


In welcoming attendees to UN House, Juana Sotomayor, Human Rights Advisor to the United Nations Resident Coordinator's Office, Barbados and Eastern Caribbean, underscored that advocating for human rights focuses on multiple causes. “We are fighting for a specific community, but we are also doing this for everyone. [There is] the need to connect LGBTI issues, stigma and violence included, with the situations faced by persons with disabilities, by older persons, by other persons outside the community, by people of different ethnic origins, by migrants in this region… It is important to engage and find the intersectional dimensions of our causes.”


Karin Santi, Regional Team Leader – HIV, Health and Development, noted the importance of intergenerational allyship in fostering understanding, solidarity and resilience within the LGBTI community.  “In a world where the struggles of LGBTQI+ people have spanned generations, intergenerational allyship is crucial. It bridges the gap between those who continue to carry the torch forward by learning from the wisdom of the past, embracing the energy of the present, and envisioning the possibilities for the future,” she said, adding, “At UNDP, we commit again to work closely with you to ensure that LGBTQI+ people in Barbados, the Caribbean and globally can enjoy equality, freedom, and justice.”


(L-R) UN Human Rights Advisor, Juana Sotomayor; Karin Santi, Regional Team Leader – HIV, Health and Development; Nia Brathwaite, National Project Coordinator for BLIC in Barbados.

“EQUALS has been a key civil society partner for the Being LGBTI in the Caribbean project in Barbados. BLIC works to strengthen the LGBTQ+ community – and that starts from within; from a place of empathy and understanding among community members. One of the project’s main objectives is to support the community in reducing inequality and discrimination and we need all perspectives and experiences to inform these efforts, so that no one is left behind,” Nia Brathwaite, National Project Coordinator for BLIC in Barbados.


Meanwhile, Jean Sano Santana, BLIC Regional Manager, who visited Barbados for the event, emphasized the importance of coalition building and allyship within the LGBTQ+ community and urged civil society organizations to see UNDP as a key partner in their work.


During the dialogue, panelists representing four generations (Baby Boomers, Gen-X, Millennials and Gen-Z) shared their experiences of discrimination and their perspectives on how each generation could support each other. It was noted that while the nature of the stigmatization against community members may have changed over time, this does not make it any less challenging to cope. For example, fewer instances of physical attacks may be counterbalanced by the mental and emotional distress experienced through online interactions and microaggressions in the home, workplace, and other social spaces. Accordingly, there was a call for creating mutually beneficial spaces where knowledge-sharing can flourish within the local LGBTQ+ community to support a deeper understanding of nuances in the Caribbean context and strengthen advocacy efforts.


After the panel discussion, in-person attendees delved into how homophobia, biphobia and transphobia show up in Climate Change/Climate Justice, Social Inclusion, Laws and Policies, and Access to Healthcare (including mental healthcare) and proposed strategies to address this.


The Executive Committee of EQUALS Barbados at UN House for IDAHOBIT 2024.

UNDP/Yajaira Archibald

About UNDP
UNDP is the leading United Nations organisation fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at  or follow at @UNDPBarbadosEC.


About the BLIC Project
Being LGBTI in the Caribbean (BLIC) is a regional programme, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in four Caribbean countries: Barbados, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica. It aims to enhance knowledge, partnerships, and capacities of LGBTI communities, civil society, and States to reduce human rights violations and negative attitudes towards LGBTI people in the Caribbean.  Learn more at  or follow @lgbticaribbean.


About Equals Barbados
EQUALS works to educate and empower the LGBTQ+ community in Barbados by promoting human rights and ensuring stigma free access to services. The non-governmental organisation strives to achieve its goals through community empowerment, sensitization training, the provision of a safe space & accessible healthcare services, and rights-based advocacy. Learn more at or follow @equals246.