News Americas, BROOKLYN, New York, Fri. Sept. 18, 2015: A Gay pageant set to return to Brooklyn next weekend is aiming to bridge the gap of understanding between the Caribbean heterosexual and gay community’s, its organizers say amidst continued reports of homophobia.
Here’s what you should know:
1: The Gay Caribbean USA Pageant, now in its seventh year, is set for tomorrow, Saturday, 26th September from 8 P.M. at Restoration Plaza, Brooklyn, NY. This year’s event is dubbed The Royal Battle and organizers are bringing back former queens back to battle among themselves for the 2015 crown. The female impersonators who appear as contestants are judged under the following categories: swim wear, talent, evening wear and interview.
2: Contestants are Caribbean nationals in the US Diaspora
Contestants in the Royal Battle hail from Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, St. Lucia, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, U.S.V.I and Trinidad & Tobago, organizers say. They insist the goal is to bridge the gap of understanding between the Heterosexual and Gay Communities. On a larger scale, contestants are also educated on issues that affect the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community within the Caribbean and in their own respective Caribbean countries. These issues include homophobia, acceptance, bigotry and health related issues including STDs, HIV and AIDS.
3: Past winners of the pageant include Miss St Lucia, Miss Jamaica, Miss Trinidad and Tobago and last year’s winner, Miss Barbados.
The delegates are judged by a distinguished panel of judges in, swimwear, National costume, talent, evening gown and intelligence. Competition is fierce, as are the delegates, who are all well poised to win the coveted crown.
Tickets for this year’s pageant are available at www.eventbrite.com or by calling 1-347-692-9428 and cost $40 in advance.
4: The annual event dubbed an exciting “Brooklyn Staple” is presented by Heat Wave Productions and Hemish Gervis. He lives by the philosophy that one should not become an autumn leaf because they will be blown in any direction. Hence, Gervis has pursued his dream through the establishment of his own production company. Gervis says he saw the need for a pageant which brings together Caribbean nationals within the gay Diaspora, thereby providing a forum for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered to be heard in the form of a pageant.
The aim of the pageant is to one day be integrated into the mainstream annual events within the Caribbean social circles. Gervis, hails from St Lucia and has worked extensively within the LGBT community.
5: Several countries in the Caribbean have anti-sodomy laws where men can face up to 25 years or even life imprisonment for having anal sex with other men. Almost half of the countries have laws that prosecute women for having same-sex relations, and at least two have immigration laws that ban gay people from entering the country. In a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., six American religious groups including Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice, the Alliance for Defending Freedom and United Family International were cited as anti-gay Christian groups that have spread their message in some capacity — whether financially, socially or politically — to foreign countries.