Afro, Putagee, or Indian?: An Examination of Race and LGBTQ+ Identity
This Alternative Break will examine the intersection of race and sexuality in Guyana and more broadly, in the West Indies. This program will allow participants to make connections between the US and Guyana, while also understanding the complexities of race and sexuality in the West Indies. Rather than attempting to “fix” these deeply systemic issues, this program attempts to educate participants on an issue in an area of the world that is often left out of social justice discussions.
Day 1: Arrive in Guyana in morning
Arrive at Kanhai's Center of Excellence hotel in Georgetown, Guyana. Settle in/ refresh time.
Debrief over lunch provided at the hotel about car ride observations from the airport to the hotel. Pose beginning questions.
Visit and discuss with community organization A about LGBTQ+ status in Guyana.
The Museum of African Heritage
Debrief on museum
Lunch in town
Visit University of Guyana and speak to professor and their student academics on ethnic conflict
Meet with Guyanese representative from Department of Culture
Breakfast and schedule for the day
Community partner B visit and discussion
Lunch with local family at their home (Brandan’s Aunt)
Discussion points: Perception of ethnic-conflict from family. Ability to access ownership in society based off of racial background.
Visit Cheddi Jagan’s House (Museum)
Service Day with a community partner based off of the needs of the community partner
Ferry Ride to Island (Breakfast on the go. Food items available for purchase on ferry)
Visit RIVAH - discussion about gender- and sex- based violence in Guyana (rural areas)
Lunch with community members
Take evening ferry ride back to Georgetown
Debrief about day once back at hotel
University of Guyana visit
Discussion of LGBTQIA+ identity in Guyana
Meeting with campus organizations
Meeting with professors that focus on ethic conflict and gender and sexuality
Lunch on campus
Continuing morning work
Dinner in Georgetown
Breakfast and debrief
Flight out (pending flights)
Brandan Persaud is a senior studying Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government (CLEG) and is also getting certificates in Community-Based Research and Advanced Leadership Studies. He is passionate about LGBTQ+ rights and working with others to continue building environments focused on inclusion.
"After traveling to Guyana to visit family several times in the past, I am beyond excited to lead an alternative break where I we will look at racial conflict and LGBTQ+ status in Guyana, but more broadly in the West Indies."
Karla Palmer is a junior in the School of Public Affairs studying Political Science with a certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies. She is excited to lead an Alternative Break to Guyana in order to promote greater awareness of racial differences and LGBTQIA+ status in the West Indies.
"Being of Jamaican and Thomian descent, I am excited to learn more about how these systems of power and privilege present themselves in other West Indian societies."