Jermain hails from the Republic of Suriname, a country located in the northern tip of South America with a population of approximately 500,000 people. While he never set out to become a human rights activist, his organization LGBT PLATFORM Suriname has been active in raising the profile for Suriname’s LGBT community. Jermain notes that community members still experience issues and threats that go unreported despite laws that address violence. He notes that this restricts persons from being more open about their sexuality.
Jermain sees great opportunity for his country within the context of LGBT travel. He feels that those travelling from Suriname can assure that people abroad get to hear about Suriname and the work done by those focused on improving the living standards for its LGBT community. On the flip side, Jermain says that LGBT travel to Suriname is also proving to be a plus. Groups visiting from other Caribbean countries have taken note of how his organization has educated the general population on LGBT issues. In turn, they have integrated similar approaches in their own countries. Suriname also receives many LGBT visitors from the Netherlands, which allows airport staff, including immigration officials, to become more aware of same-sex couples. This is where he sees that LGBT travel to and from Suriname can be a positive aspect in so many ways, not just for the LGBT community, but society as a whole.
In addition to reflecting on his involvement at the IGLTA Convention, Jermain is looking forward to meeting other participants in Chicago to learn about their cultures and gain additional perspectives on LGBT life around the world.
by Warren Brown, for the IGLTA Foundation
Views and opinions expressed in the IGLTA Foundation Blog are those of individual authors and do not reflect official policy or positions of IGLTA or the IGLTA Foundation.