Fighting for Equality: Being LGBT in Colombia
El Carmen de Bolívar, Colombia: LGBTQ+ individuals are seen returning after decades of violence.
While the security of the LGBTQ+ community in this town is far from perfect, individuals say they are feeling more free to be themselves, and have not reported any recent threats towards their safety. LGBTQ+ individuals have been able to participate more in the community by doing what they love, like hosting folk dance groups and working as hairdressers.
Activism across Colombia in the 1990s led to paramilitary groups forming to suppress the uprisings, and for over 30 years, these groups threatened and attacked the LGBTQ+ community in El Carmen de Bolívar and surrounding areas.
In 1999, pamphlets were dropped from helicopters with threats toward the LGBTQ+ community to leave- otherwise they would be killed. The community feared being kidnapped, tortured, and having their homes taken over.
A major step towards progress was taken by the Colombian government as they recognized the damage to the LGBTQ+ community in El Carmen de Bolívar.
With the assistance of the government regarding the suffering the community endured, El Carmen de Bolívar and other areas can begin to heal and improve the quality of life for all citizens.
-Tiana Jennings, CULTURE Society Incorporated