Friday, October 21, 2016

SASOD presents “Butches & Barbies” Costume Ball this Saturday October 22!

The Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) is hosting its highly anticipated “Butches & Barbies” Costume Ball this Saturday, October 22, at the Tower Suites Hotel on Main Street, Georgetown.

The party starts at 9 PM. Mix Master Tony is on board to keep persons energized by playing the best hits in all genres of music. Added attractions include signature cocktails and shots. Partygoers are urged to come out with their best ‘butch’ or ‘barbie’ costume in order to win special prizes.

Limited pre-sold tickets for the event cost $1000 and can be purchased from the Vintage Wine Bar & Lounge, Lamaha Street; Oasis Cafe, 125 Carmichael Street; Tower Suites Hotel, Main Street and SASOD’s Office, 169 Charlotte Street. Admission at the door is $1500.

All proceeds from this fundraising event go towards SASOD’s Community Shelter Fund to build an emergency shelter for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) victims of violence in Guyana. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

SASOD and GEF Launch Public Policy Advocacy Programme for Civil Society Trainers

The Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) in partnership with the Guyana Equality Forum (GEF) with the support from the European Union (EU) and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice on Wednesday, October 19 launched the final installment of a three-part training series as part of the Guyanese Vulnerable Communities Capacities Strengthening Project. The three-day Civil Society Public Policy Advocacy Training of Trainers Programme takes place at the Moray House, at Camp and Quamina Streets, Georgetown, until Friday October 21.

Project and Training Overviews 
In a short opening, SASOD’s Advocacy and Communications Officer, Ms. Schemel Patrick, shared a brief overview of the Guyanese Vulnerable Communities Capacities Strengthening Project, stating that it was designed to contribute towards the equitable treatment of all peoples in Guyana by supporting efforts to strengthen the participation of vulnerable persons and their representative organisations in decision-making processes of the state.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

GEF Holds Second Annual Sunday Fun Day for International Day of Peace

    U.N. Resident Coordinator, and Director of Youth spoke of national importance to foster peace and development
The Guyana Equality Forum (GEF) on Sunday last commemorated International Day of Peace with their second annual “Peace Day Sunday Fun Day” in which five teams from various civil society and youth groups competed in eighteen activities, including novelty games and sports. 

International Day of Peace was celebrated under the theme “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace” which supports the GEF's mandate of human rights and equality for all Guyanese since gender equality, quality education, good health, reduced inequalities, peace and justice are all sustainable development goals (SDGs). 

Peace and Equality 

Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the event, the new United Nations Resident Coordinator for Guyana, Ms. Mikiko Tanaka expressed that peace is created in synergy with all the SDGs. Numerous studies, she said, have pointed out that poverty, hunger, unemployment, competition over natural resources such as land and water are factors that contribute to conflict. “Education and wellbeing, including living in balance with our natural environment and mitigating risks from disasters, are important drivers to sustainable development and peace.” Speaking of equality, she said that “peace can only be appreciated if we are all equal, despite our gender, race, sexual orientation, spoken language, religion or which part of the country we are from.” 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Remarks by Abdel Fudadin at World Suicide Prevention Day Candlelight Vigil

Remarks by Abdel Fudadin 
SASOD-TCV “Voices Against Violence” Candlelight Vigil for World Suicide Prevention Day

We have all been programmed to respond to the human difference between us with fear and loathing and to handle that difference in one of three ways: ignore it, and if that is not possible, copy it if we think it is dominant, or destroy it if we think it is subordinate. But we have no patterns for relating across our human difference as equals. As a result, those differences have been misused in the service of separation and confusion.

Prejudice, discrimination, social exclusion and mental ill-health are interconnected in more than one way. While people with mental illnesses may face discrimination due to stigma attached to mental health symptoms, discrimination on a variety of grounds can also be at the root of mental health issues.

Discrimination and exclusion have proven to negatively impact persons with mental health illnesses which then increase their risk of suicide ideation. On a social level, prejudice and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) are reflected in everyday stereotypes compounded by very rigid social identity expectations, for example, limitations on job opportunities, parenting, and relationship recognition are often justified by stereotyping assumptions.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Remarks by Allie Schlafer at World Suicide Prevention Day Candlelight Vigil

Hello and good evening. First, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Allie Schlafer and I am a current serving Peace Corps Response volunteer at both SASOD and Guyana Trans United, specializing in the field of mental health. For those who may not know, the Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the United States government in efforts to address social and economic development worldwide.

As a volunteer, I will be working in collaboration with SASOD to strengthen and support the staff in addressing mental health concerns within the community. The comments and views I express tonight are in no way affiliated with Peace Corps but are my personal opinions based on experience working in community mental health and also individual experiences of losing dear friends who have taken their own life.

We are gathered here on World Suicide Prevention Day to address the difficult and painful subject of suicide, a reality which fractures the happiness of too many families, individuals, and communities across Guyana. The loss of a family member, friend, coworker or peer through suicide is a devastating experience. Those who remain after a suicide are often overwhelmed by feelings of sadness, hurt, and regret; they struggle to adapt or understand a life robbed of the presence of a loved one, often times grappling with the simple question – why?

Friday, August 26, 2016

SASOD to host "Sing De Ting: Karaoke & Lyme" Next Wednesday

Next Wednesday, August 31, 2016, the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) will be hosting its first “Sing De Ting: Karaoke & Lyme” at the Dutch Bottle Cafe, located at 10 North Road, between Light and Cummings Streets, Bourda, in Georgetown.

The fun starts at 6 PM and admission is absolutely FREE. Karaoke fans are encouraged to come out for an entertaining and exhilarating evening filled with singing, networking and merriment. All genres of music will be available for singers to make their selections. Drinks and snacks will be on sale. Come enjoy the evening’s signature cocktails and shots by popular Guyanese mixologists. 

This exciting fundraising event will benefit SASOD’s LGBT Emergency Shelter Fund which aims to provide support and services to homeless LGBT youth and other victims of bias violence.

Friday, August 12, 2016

SASOD Engages in Three Days of Activities for Youth Day

On the eve of International Youth Day, Thursday August 11, the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) hosted a Youth Empowerment Session for 20 young people at their Charlotte Street office in Georgetown. The half-day session which was facilitated by renowned Guyanese motivational speaker and personal development coach Dr. Astell Collins focused on self- discovery, leadership, enhancing talents, abilities, and strengths to maximize potential and having emotional intelligence for good mental health. The session, which was well received by the participants, began three days of activities from the human-rights organisation to commemorate International Youth Day. Lunch and juice for the participants were donated by Bettencourt's Food Inc. and Global Fruit Mart, respectively.  

On the Day itself, Friday, August 12, SASOD participated in the Youth Fair organised by the Ministry of Education's Department of Youth which was held at the National Cultural Centre's tarmac.