COVID-19: Vaccine, Politics, and Socio-Economics: Are some Caribbean islands pricing themselves out of future visits?

The hidden economic engines that left town

Tourism has historically been the Caribbean region’s economic motor in former colonial rulers left more of the region.

It is the world’s most tourism-dependent country region, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives

According to analysts, this business contributes to as much as 40% of the Gross Domestic Product on some islands (GDP). Since COVID-19, travel expenditures have decreased by an astonishing 42% (about $500 billion).

International travel and business travel had the biggest losses, with analysts estimating that international travel spending decreased by 76% and business travel spending decreased by 70%, respectively.

As unemployment rose and the domino effect continued to be witnessed around the world, local businesses that had benefited from tourists were forced to close their doors even further.

It appears that every small business operation has dried up, and only a few of the fittest have a chance to maintain a normal standard of living.

Photo by Nathan Cowley

The levy that was previously in place has been relocated.

A few decades ago, some of these countries had robust economies. Sugar, banana, coffee, poultry, and bauxite companies, as well as a variety of other businesses, were critical to the area’s economic existence.

These jobs served as an economic engine, providing a safety net for what would have been the middle-class today, which no longer exists, as well as others from a local mom and pop store strategically tucked on a tight road.

Photo by Skitterphoto

In the wake of globalization and technical improvement, a large number of businesses were sold to foreign investors, and jobs were relocated.

However, as several reports have demonstrated and as has been observed by the worldwide shift, there were some that were self-inflicted, as a few in leadership would concede.

Lower labor costs, greater tax advantages, the facility no longer has enough room to satisfy their requirements, unforeseen business issues, staff safety concerns, and discovering better talents, according to experts, all contributed to the disinvestment. Millennials, for example, are young, creative talents.

Many of the businesses which had survived for a decade at the expense of these communities, products were either no longer competitively priced or had collapsed due to massive imports, poor management, reduced production, and corruption.

These industrial closures have impacted neighborhoods that rely on small enterprises such as retail establishments, restaurants, taverns, and street vendors.

It has expanded the wealth divide and increased unemployment, particularly in the Caribbean’s dominating islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Haiti, Dominica, Jamaica, and the Bahamas, as well as in other parts of Latin America that were already in desperate need of economic stimulus.

Additionally, regardless of which political party is in power, a significant social divide has grown with each subsequent generation, as has poverty and inequality.

Today, it looks like a lot of charitable organizations are asking for money rather than giving the next generation a place to come up with new ideas, which is important for the long-term survival of these shores.

Taking from Peter to Pay Paul: A fine line to walk in terms of their own economic servitude:

COVID-19, according to economists, has caused a threefold economic shock when compared to the 2008 financial crisis.

According to the IOM UN Migration, visiting and spending outside protected tourist zones is comparable to direct remittance, with nations such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Jamaica accounting for almost (USD 10 Billion) annually. However, as a result of the worldwide shock, that number has been lowered as well.

Since the pandemic, commodity prices have risen globally, as have the prices of building materials and even school supplies.

Furthermore, as evidenced by a slew of leading economic data, supply chains exacerbated volatility in import, export, and producer prices.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Nations that were unprepared, on the other hand, continued to suffer the most. Many people blame lockdown for their ongoing financial difficulties, but it is not the only issue.

There have been reports of massive fare increases when taking a local taxi from an airport to a hotel since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many local food banks have been unable to meet needs in a system where unemployment and the service industry have been severely impacted since the pandemic.

I’m not here to report on who should have done more to help where it was needed, but rather on what this reality has resulted in and how it has affected people.

The cost of excursion trips has nearly doubled, according to reports. Some of these businesses were already struggling financially prior to the outbreak.

It’s as if you’re simply covering the expenses of those who are afraid to travel.

A simple COVID-19 test, which few argue is required for travel, usually costs between $20 and $35 USD.

According to recent visitors who visited Jamaica, returning on a flight can cost around US$80.00, though this varies depending on location.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch

Many travelers have expressed concern that local customs officials appear to be using luggage fines to generate extra revenue while targeting citizens strategically.

A few ex-pats expressed concerns about shipping items ahead of time, citing increased hassle and the extremely high cost of customs clearance.

Several fines appear to have been imposed to make up for lost revenue from other activities as a result of the pandemic.

Furthermore, after inspecting luggage, report any missing items to clear check out.

One traveler reported being fined for leaving items with a sale tag at the airport checkout, which discouraged her and her family from returning anytime soon.

It is not unusual for a group of locals to take a vacation to shop for new clothes.

These visitors who have families on these shores, frequently purchased items with the intention of giving them away or returning them if they were not worn.

Furthermore, even bringing a few extra boxes of protected masks to help aunt Jane was considered a business trip, and the imported ones at some local stores are significantly more expensive than she had paid elsewhere.

Prices can frequently differ from those of a nearby store a few steps away, particularly for basic food supplies, with little enforcement exacerbating the economic difficulties.

Regrettably, it appears to be a missed opportunity for previously lost revenue and will discourage future trips, particularly for budget-conscious many travelers willing to take the risk during this period of uncertainty and anxiety.

The truth or reality behind the masks

According to experts, as the global cost of living rises, the pandemic remains unpredictable, and vaccine skepticism persists, even among those who may have received the first dose, more families will fall further into poverty.

Photo by Maksim Goncharenok

The issue may not be with the number of persons still on the road who are violating established restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of this disease.

COVID-19 survival is comparable to running a clandestine company. As a result, a sizable audience marches in time with the beat of their drums.

Many argued that the risk is worth taking in order to feed their children and pay their bills in the face of insufficient government assistance.

A few residents observed that only well-connected, wealthy politicians can afford self-quarantine, have access to healthcare, and living a normal life.

Numerous impoverished individuals who were previously excluded from the local economy now face the fury of an outsider, particularly those who resist vaccination.

Some people are frustrated because the added division is between those who have access and are almost certainly already vaccinated, and they appear to be pointing fingers at those who violate rules or demonstrate an extreme need for economic assistance, or who brought the virus to the region or spread it locally. 

It is difficult to balance the need to open resorts and ports for economic gain with the need to avoid responsibility for the potential risk of the virus, regardless of who is carrying it.

While adhering to the guidelines is critical for visitors and residents alike, I feel that anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has other medical conditions and is aware of potential medical complications would not jeopardize their lives.

Additionally, as previously reported, there is a lack of vital resources, ranging from enough ventilation to adequate bed space, navigating healthcare systems that have outlived their elderly population, and the unpredictable nature of healthcare expenses.

Some local residents are concerned that healthcare systems are already overburdened in order to meet critical demands.

Additionally, while this influx has tested many local hospitals, the pandemic has uncovered inefficiencies in other critical areas that existed before COVID-19.

Overcrowding at a local hospital

If families are vaccinated as recommended, these countries will be able to recover considerably sooner, scientists say.

The difficulty in striking the right balance

The pandemic has divided many communities, with local officials debating whether businesses should remain open or temporarily close.

Managing pandemic danger while maintaining economic viability requires a delicate balancing act.

Some people said the confusion was exacerbated by the lack of consistency in local guidelines, which ranged from determining which companies would be closed to enforcing curfews and closing streets.

As I previously stated, tourism is a significant driver of many of these local economies. Managing the influx of visitors, some of whom may be unvaccinated, as well as the economic impact on the local economy if all are barred from landing, according to numerous local reports, is a difficult task.

When it comes to decision-making, the pandemic has put authorities in a bind. Closing the local economy necessitates a delicate balancing act, as others will perish due to the lack of an economic vaccine.


Even though many residents have observed social distance, wear masks, and have been vaccinated, frustration persists.

According to reports, some visitors were restricted, whereas others were free to move around and party, not following safety protocols and were leaving secured areas.

Photo by Monstera

Furthermore, many argue that leaders are using these times of fear, anxiety, and economic uncertainty to gradually push toward despotic political power through restrictions.

Though it may not be a call to limit democracy for public health, freedom comes only from knowledge, and reasonableness is only possible if talk leads to agreement.

Behind the mask are the unseen victims of unvaccinated economics.

Local communities are coughing up an economic virus that has been dormant for decades, on top of a fragile system that had a bad cold for decades.

The pandemic has cast a spotlight on the region’s governance, exposing the region’s vulnerable labor force, mismanagement, and poverty.

Photo by Julia Volk

Even though the whole region can’t be blamed for today’s inflation, supply chain problems, or COVID-19, it looks like some leaders have been playing economic poker, though.

It’s only that no one predicted the outcome of the hand dealt or how their nation’s economic problem would be resolved. On the other hand, with the same deck of cards, each election cycle delivers a more secure promised hand.

Many politicians and other well-connected individuals in these emerging and poor countries are like casino dealers; they always win. Thus, the pandemic has less of an impact on them because they are salaried employees paid by the public.

COVID-19 funds have been the subject of several reports detailing how they were spent, managed, and overall accountability. When there is a history of reported corruption woven into public service decisions, the reality is that this is what happens.

It’s not uncommon to see some leaders minimize or deflect when they have to justify numbers or compare audits to other countries in order to ease accountability concerns. However, the investigation is left to the country’s own independent accounting system.

As the cost of food, utilities, public transportation, and even government services like vehicle registration and taxes go up, many families are already having a hard time because they can’t afford to pay for these things.

In many poor and developing countries, wages haven’t changed for years, so families have to make some sacrifices to keep up with rising costs.

Today, more individuals are concerned about inflation, growing living costs, job shortages, and food insecurity, all of which have contributed to increased economic fever and financial issues.

Today, not only do privately owned taxi and bus drivers require a booster shot but so does a local shop outside of the tourist protected zone.

The dynamics of youth and how to best serve them:

According to specialists, this is beyond the time when a vaccination will be available for that demographic, or when students will be ready to return to a sense of normalcy in the classroom, which is crucial for their education and mental health.

Due to a shortage of resources, many students are unable to meet crucial academic standards, and some are forced to return to already overcrowded classrooms.

According to some estimations, three out of every four young adults are unemployed.

One of the few areas to find work is in contact centers, where many educated young people queue up to work.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki

Because of high unemployment and a weak currency, fewer middle-class people and more people living in poverty, crimes like robbery, murder, and assault are on the rise.

Others are saddled with enormous student loan debt and a dearth of professional prospects.

A small off-grid house from a low-paying job is becoming more and more difficult, and COVID-19 seems to have made it even more difficult.

Who is speaking for you at the table?

Nurses, doctors, and scientists have a critical role to play in educating the public about vaccination and vaccine safety. Rather than politicians, they are the ones who are on the front lines.

In addition to informing patients and their caretakers about the advantages and safety of vaccinations, they also provide information on the dangers.

Some people who are reluctant to get vaccinated because of religious views, distrust of their leaders, or ignorance may benefit from talking to a small support group about the vaccine.

According to reports, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) met to discuss a global coordinated partnership on the impact of the Coronavirus on global travel and tourism, but who at the table represents impoverished nations?

Photo by August de Richelieu

We can only hope that this vaccine will not be sold or used as a political platform in future elections regardless of location

If the equity in the vaccine is not obtained as most experts advised to avoid the virus’ spread, the outcome will be terrible. I agree that Heard Immunity may be the only solution to mistrust and bad leadership.

Here comes the sun

The sun will rise again on these lands, and price increases may not be necessary if people follow the science and recommendations.

Many people will continue to travel to reconnect with their history, for cultural reasons,  business, vacation, or just a mental break, despite the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Travel reports say that before COVID-19, a lot of people were going to places like the Caribbean, Europe, North America, and parts of Asia.

Photo by Natasa Dav

Additionally, trips to historic sites and cultural events in big cities are becoming increasingly popular as an addition to traditional beach vacations.

There must be a balance that allows everyone to negotiate this recent big change; locals and incoming and departing visitors must work cooperatively to ensure that no one feels excluded or pressured to maintain a sense of normalcy.

After duty, I’ll see you soon, with or without this mask! .. Keep yourself safe!


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Goodbye, going once, twice, sold

By R.D. Miller

The New Coast: Recently a solemn promise was broken. A few of us halted all travel plans until we were convinced that the government had the chikungunya virus under control. However, breast cancer took a dear family officer after 30-plus years in public service.

Despite the earlier concerns, many of us went and showed our final respect for fallen hero who also made it possible for countless family members who now have a career in law enforcement. After the flight landed, it was time to both reflect, and enjoy our heritage and the ancestors land.

Traveling the coastline, with the ocean dangerously few feet from the vehicle, while staring at beautiful homes tucked in hillsides, the temptation to pullover for a quick swim, or capture the sunset, and walk barefoot from the cold left behind emerged.

However, a once simple pastime and custom for natives from a hot sunny day or a weekend with families to prime free beach areas to relax, is apparently becoming very difficult and just an idea.

The high criminal elements that are sometimes a deterrent has now been taken over by: segregation, isolation and the fight equality now seems more dangerous.

Even vacant lots that should have been designated as historic land and preserved are either leased or bought by foreign private investors. Home prices are extremely high and few older structures that could use an upgrade, owned by the less fortunate people passed on from their ancestors, and dating back to British rule, many found themselves restricted to move freely.

As the mega-building rises, green land and trees are diminishing, thus contributing to the record high temperatures, while ignoring the environmental impact.

Many of the local people I spoke with are not against investments or people who do not look them; and they should be respected and protected, but these residences would like to see a balance. They work hard and played by the rules, but finding it more difficult to get ahead and like-stability for everyone; especially ones without a voice to survive.

The gentrification in disguise is a global trend, creating social stratification sold as transformation. Sure, a few job are created by new stores, and hotels. However, some working conditions often look like a previous century, working in hazardous conditions for extremely low wages, unable to purchase a small home in the communities they are serving.

What is the trade-off, and where are the unions to balance labour and human rights? The region is now dominated with massive imports. Locally grown products have dwindled to small corners like news racks covered with international news clips while local customs and identity get lost.

Analyzing the region’s plight from the outside is difficult. Who are the investment banks in disguise, as famous faces who claim they are in love with the region while commercialization threatens native culture. Obviously an incredible lack of knowledge or accountability about who are the human piñata lining their pockets. What is troubling, it seems an iPhone, Facebook, and YouTube appear to be more important to some, while the sand is being swept from under their feet.

The New Master/Employer

This new push in the Caribbean is not an overnight success for some. China started its diplomatic engagements in the early 1970s, or what can be called their blueprint. For Jamaica, the voyage started under former Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson on a high-level visit in 1998, when Jamaica opened an embassy in Beijing. Later, the Caribbean Economic Trade Cooperation was forged. In 2005, Jamaica hosted the first China-Caribbean trade fair. Other Caribbean countries have seen an explosion in key areas.

A few months ago, I wrote about China’s penetration into the Caribbean markets for anyone who has access to a red carpet. The modernization of technology and infrastructures brought to the region should not be an economic long-term sentence for some.

This new colonization with local hidden alliances has not lifted the poor from poverty. Many still depend on handouts for survival while the middle class struggles and remittance from family members. The lack of transparency, accountability and ignorance continue to slow growth.

One report noted that China uses its financial influence and CARICOM as its umpire to expand. Several projects, from medical centers to stadiums in St Lucia, Grenada, Dominica, and Jamaica, and others with cheap loans has some positive effects, but who are the real long-term beneficiaries?

McKinley & Company, a global consultant firm that operated in more than 40 countries, once noted that several companies have failed, especially in the energy industry, due to cheap imports from China over the past ten years. To the Chinese credit, education is mandatory.

(1 Dec 2015) Chinese President, Xi Jinping

They have tremendous control over the value of their currency in spite of questionable human rights issues. While the priceless seaports and other infrastructures are being sold, leaders should at least learn some of their business strategies, and even negotiate an energy efficiency deal to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel, especially in Jamaica where an average customer pays about 42 cents per kilowatt-hour. Many factories should be mandated to clean up the air, but that will hit the elite who run the country.

Li+Keqiang+Jamaican+Prime+Minister+Portia Simpson

Some agrued that investments are ok, but after that cameras aSome argued that investments are ok, but after that cameras are off, little financial accountability, but in order to positive some remain cautiously optimistic and hope these inroads- pay off in the long-run

Dominica PM Skerrit
Tian Qi (R), China’s ambassador to Jamaica, and Jamaican foreign minister Kamina Johnson (2019) Update

Selling Our Souls: While many Africans sold slaves, they did not invent slavery. Today, the selling of native land is a rebirth of such dark period. The Europeans and others turn the plight of others into major businesses. Having few natives at the table today does not make it more acceptable.

In November 1927, Marcus Garvey was deported from the US. He fought for self-governance and despite push-back even from black leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois, who once described Garvey as “a little, fat black man; ugly, but with intelligent eyes and a big head.” The region could use him today as an ambassador. Patriotism cannot only be in the music that comes out of the region.

Marcus Garvey

This paradigm shift along these blue waters is troubling. Sunday, November 17, 2014, opened the world to an issue kept off air when CNN aired Anthony Bourdain’s Part Unknown. To some, it was uncomfortable, but viewers saw that Jamaica is not all about reported violence, marijuana, and a relaxed attitude.

The culture is going through a silent erosion where few rich individuals and companies are building resorts that not even the locals can afford to visit. “Imagine prohibiting an American from a public park,” as one vendor’s legal struggle put it to keep one of the last free beach from development.

When Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell was not selected as the 2015 Miss Universe, many mobilized in the street, online and voiced their displeasure. The same emphasis on these issues as to the plight of their nation — access to where one can live or swim free — is needed. As many questioned Kaci’s skin colour to represent Jamaica, it only underscored the argument that a few are still stuck in an identity crisis to see even more dire issues

Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell

Where is the local tourist board?

Furthermore, few are willing to sell their souls and local government leaders appear muted. When personal financial gains ruin an entire community, conflict is inevitable. With high unemployment and poverty, and division, the criminal enterprise thrives and hopeless youths become radicalized, not necessarily from religious ideology, but stemming from polarization, isolation and the lack of opportunity.

New Charity Economy: Today, it seems the region has more charity organizations than small businesses to help the youths. However, not all charities are bad. In the US, one in six receives some type of food support and many school students go hungry each day.

Philanthropist Jeff Levitetz recently funded several schools in Jamaica’s rural outpost “In Honor of his 96 year old Grandpa Charlie”, working with Coconut Creek’s nonprofit Food for the Poor. The charity aims to build or upgrade 50 schools on the island. Jeff’s grandfather has a personal love and affection for the Jamaican culture.

eff Levitetz, president of The Levitetz Family Foundation, proudly stands… (Food for the Poor / Sun-Sentinel )

In addition, US$166 million is pledged to Jamaica to addresses climate change. The irony is that the coastlines are being ripped apart by development, causing severe climate issue. Furthermore, despite millions donated, some charities do not serve the desired purpose, and the lack proper oversight leads to actions where donations are used to further personal needs.

When politics becomes more important than higher education that only a few can afford, it only creates a new generation of ignorance. Throughout local districts, several primary and high schools still lack a good library and other educational resources to properly educate the next generation. Yes! You can continue to blame slavery, and the lack of reparations. The arguments remain valid, and add several economic downward slopes since independence to the debate.

Even 200 years ago, education was a necessity. Between 1835-1842, the region had a slave fund shortly after emancipation. While many in the region and elsewhere were denied access to education in that same period, the British government voted 30,000 pounds per annum towards the education of former slaves. The fund ended around 1845, as studies have shown for many of the British West Indies colonies. It played a pivotal part in training teachers, and building schoolhouses. It was called the Negro Educational Fund.

As 200 years ago, very little funds came from the West Indian governments. The once colonial power seemed to have more interest in educating former slaves than many leaders today to analyze global trends and make decisions.

The disappearance of good governance some could learn something from 200 years ago. It seems handouts have become the normal way for survival for some, while the communities need a sustainable long-term foundation. New charities and awards checks are not capitalism.

New Approach: Few economies have rebounded since the 2008 financial economic collapse. The Caribbean still has an economic virus. The unemployment rate, inflation currency devaluation, and crime remain a problem. Despite these issues, the people are welcoming, but they must not be fooled in a misguided perception that the few millionaires who own these shores are totally in love with the island’s relaxed vibes, food, and people.

Love does not hurt others. When Ian Fleming (and James Bond) fell in love with Jamaica in the late 1950s, conflicts were not about access to one’s own land.

The few who have the media are skilled at making noticeable linguistic shifts, while masking an urgent need to resolve the dangerous ideological faults even within their party. While it looks like capitalism on the coasts and inland; however, if it is one-sided, it defeats capitalism as a driving force to end poverty and inequality.

Today, we are left wondering how young police officers will be able to afford a home in area they will patrol to protect mega properties and address the untold stories, where hard drugs and young girls who struggle to find employment become nightclub dancers for a few dollars, controlled by pimps who force them into prostitution, sexually abused and exploited. They are not beach beauties that stroll the sand, they are victims that are often overlooked throughout the region.

Modernization is important; however, it should not take a nation back centuries, where only the rich and famous get to rewrite.

As Burning Spear once said in a song, “My island don’t sell out.”

Jamaica Reggae Superstar: Burning Spear

The rabbi is gay, what’s next on your shores?


The Location LGBTQ(+)

One of the most common questions I am asked when I write an opinion piece about, say, any social issues that affect our community, and in most cases, a nation.

As an example,  are you a member of the LBGTQ and now plus community? My response is always, “I have friends who are straight, gay, bisexual, and some who are still trying to figure it out.”

Photo by Steve Johnson

I’m only writing this today because I have faith in humanity.

So, if you read this thoroughly based solely on my being a straight man, you may be divided, and similarly, if you read this because you thought it was a gay man, you may also be divided mentally.

I’ve also taken part in several Breast Cancer walks; I don’t have cancer from my recent doctor’s checkup. I’ve also taken part in a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) walk, and my doctors have found no reason to be concerned.

I believe that many people avoid supporting important issues in our society because it may make them appear to be one of those over there.

Others will make donations, while others will sit and watch from afar, and support for or the lack thereof comes in a variety of forms, especially in today’s hectic world.

Even if one does not, he or she remains a member of our society.

Nevertheless, this peace is simply using a small platform to share a few observations and thoughts with a few followers.

But, most importantly, to give a voice to some of those who are less fortunate to be who they are and cannot afford or have the means to protect themselves from violence and discrimination.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that they should have been shielded from the social ice rain by the same colors, many people are often left to freeze or burn simply because of who occupies that side of the umbrella.

I hope you continue to support all foundations, so let’s get started on what’s next I have to say.

The coming out!

GilSteinlauf, senior rabbi of Adas Israel, one of the largest conservative movement-affiliated synagogues in Washington, DC, recently came out as gay.

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, announced his homosexuality shortly after. “You don’t just leave your wife to be gay any more than you would resign her to be straight,” one blogger wrote.

“Apple has lost its pioneering skills and sought more businesses,” wrote another.

As I previously stated, I am not a member of the LBGTQ+ community, and I do not keep track of how many rich and famous people came out as being gay.

Photo by cottonbro

Everyone, in my opinion, is a human being with full potential who deserves the opportunity to contribute to their society.

While it may be much easier for those with higher socioeconomic status, we must also recognize that there are others looking for a place to be seen in these colors where social disadvantage can be as invisible as mascara.

Fortunately, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf and Tim Cook both have financial anchors, bridges, a solid foundation, and retractable vessels that can weather storms and bypass rough tides

On the other hand, some may argue that, unlike Michael Sam, an openly gay player who was cut by two National Football League (NFL) teams for being gay, others will disagree.

Is there a prerequisite for coming out as gay? I inquired. Despite the media attention, the gay community’s stories are much larger than these two men

Photo by Kindel Media

Furthermore, as it appears in Michael Sam’s case,  The National Football League (NFL) indirectly sent the message, you can be gay, but keep it in the closet, in his case the locker room to have a number on the filed.

Fortunately, many wealthy and powerful people find that publicly disclosing their sexual orientation can increase their wealth and power. However, this is not a story about the Rabbi or Tim Cook.

Other stories that are rarely told:

It is a profound observation, where is the balance for this pendulum that society appears to be struggling to keep in the middle, especially for those who do not have the means.

Even when the pendulum roars to take everything that is different, it is more difficult to get out of its way, let alone a canvas to paint in their own direction.

As I travel around the world to many poor and developing countries, I see the similar constant socioeconomic divide that I see in rich and powerful nations.

I also like to read about trouble spots and navigate for my own safety and good places to relax after working for months or years.

Photo by Anete Lusina

On some sides of town, economic status, political system, and laws may determine whether or not a person survives, receives justice if reported, or has access to treatment.

Many less fortunate gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender; do not have speedboats to escape tides or community captains and pirates ready to throw them over the board.

Today, many people are trapped by their location under an ancient colonial doctrine, a never-ending battle for acceptance in search of an anchor or a shield from a raging tide. These are lovely places that many people visit for a vacation or to catch up with family members and reconnect with their roots.

Outside many luscious greenery, breathtaking sunsets, and blue water symbolize a liberated vacation for many visitors, but outside their villas and hotel rooms, victims are routinely teased, bullied, and even killed from ignorance – even by straight perpetrators who, as studies have shown, may struggle with homosexual tendencies.

Photo by thiago japyassu

The hidden colors are looking for a canvas.

I’m sure you’ve seen some of this before if you’ve read a few earlier or later blogs. Despite the beauty and warmth of the locals and the fact that the sun never sets, it remains a delicate dance for inclusion.

For some, homophobia rages like the ocean, destroying anything in its path that lacks an anchor. Several impoverished and developing regions have been eroded by these unchecked anti-waves.

This is not limited to the Caribbean, Asia, or Latian America; as reports have shown, South Africa is widely regarded in Africa and many other parts of the world as a leader in legislative protection for LGBTI people.

It does not, however, prevent the rise in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes. It endangers not only the victims’ lives but also the country’s tourism industry.

Many people have died despite little progress across the continent and elsewhere.

Many faces of people who died as a result of barbaric ideology, which is frequently the result of ignorance and a cultural trait that is passed down like a receipt, could be shown.

You are free to change the ones I’ve chosen if they provide any reflection.

But today, I wanted to highlight what a called the “locational gay: it is more than this person’s gayness if there is such a word, but the fading colors from one skin tone, woven in economic and social disadvantage that exists even within this community of people of color.

There have been several reports of an increase in murders within the LGBT community since 2010. Youth and young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 were 2.41 times more likely to be victims of physical violence.

Gay 16, teenager was dead -Dwayne Jones beaten, stabbed, shot and ran over  (AP Photo/Jay, J-FLAG)
human_rights_watch: Photo

I could go to any LBGTQ website, criminal data, or GLDD and pull the constantly changing numbers, but I’d rather go back and see what’s changed so you can write the next chapter.

Many parents face discrimination as a result of having gay children, and they are more concerned about social stigma and hostility today than they are about their children’s future.

The hostility has caused safety concerns, a sense of guilt and hopelessness, and has frequently resulted in abuse, homelessness, and death.

The lack of resources, access to medical care, and support have also resulted in their expulsion from their community.

It appears that the only visual representation of a voice mail or iTunes may be the sound of broken sewer pipes dripping and hovering over their heads as a result of living under decaying bridges.

Being gay is not a sin or learned behavior; however, bigotry, intolerance, and atrocities against gay people are.

According to Human Rights Watch, there has been an increase in violence against gay people simply because they are perceived to be gay, and these communities have little support.

What does true love look like?

Many people are unable to provide the resources they need to live a normal life, despite ongoing efforts by some local groups to pass legislation to protect this group.

Furthermore, many HIV-positive people, according to reports, may avoid treatment or have limited access to HIV testing, despite the fact that HIV testing is an important gateway to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support services.

“All people deserve to live with dignity and respect, free from fear and violence regardless of their gender and sexual orientation” – an excerpt from a proclamation by President Obama on May 29, 2015, at an LGBT pride event.

Photo by Tiger Lily

A few people I know who used to be with us but are no longer with us

(One) — Rupert. His church memberships and choir memberships began to dwindle soon after he came out.

He no longer goes to the beach. Few friends’ lives were cut short because a barbaric treatment of them became acceptable.

Photo by RODNAE Productions

They were repeatedly denied access to community activities and employment, and they were forced to relocate for their own safety. He was once burned alive, stoned, or scorned.

(Two) — Sonia dressed like a man, with brittle hair, cargo pants, and boots, despite the fact that she finds comfort in tending to the small town floral garden.

While some visitors admired her floral garden designs, others mocked her and threw rocks at her. Her sexual orientation had no bearing on her creativity.

Photo by Monstera

(Three) —Burma is beautiful and does an excellent job.

She fits in well with her peers, comes from a pleasant family, and is well educated.

She is, however, terrified of coming out. Despite rumors, she consistently shrugged off the question of why she does not have a child her age after they discovered her holding hands with her partner on the other side of town.

Photo by Vitu00f3ria Santos

I’m curious if a few people had taken the time to get to know her if they would have discovered that her father’s friends raped her as a child at a local bar by men he trusted.

Even after she died of breast cancer, her remains were treated as if her homosexuality was an Ebola virus. Her ashes have been interred in the garden she created.

Her faith in men deteriorated as she had nowhere to turn for assistance, and she became isolated. now that you’ve gotten this far in this blog.

I hope you now have a better understanding of why I write about this to keep their stories alive, but I still have more to paint. 

An umbrella still looking for the right shades:

Despite many small steps in many regions, the community is that some government institutions have recognized and will continue to recognize same-sex marriages.

It will take time and new laws to catch up with a century of polarization, intolerance, and political ideology that threatens this fundamental change.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon

So how do you re-write this ship with the economic power?

Though the ships and planes of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community have eventually reached many shores, others are still looking for that elusive lighthouse for guidance off these shores.

Today’s violence along the coast is the result of decades of unresolved social issues, where even if some offenders have been victims, there are limited resources for treatment and accountability. Victims should not be put in jeopardy by reporting crime.

So, with economic power, how do you rewrite this ship?

The economics

According to Curve Magazine, the gay, lesbian, and transgender community spends over 550 billion dollars each year.

Given its clout, particularly along blue water and white sand, it is critical to promote more education and other grassroots support.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Despite their status in the LGBT community, some of these elite holiday places around the world can’t afford to turn down potential cash.

The Advocate also stated that “the LGBT community earns its place at the table of economic opportunity with an input to the economy of over $1.7 trillion and an estimated 33,000 jobs.”

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

Today, many people could have lived to their full potential thereby becoming famous stars, teachers, and police officers. They too were son’s daughters, uncle, aunt, mother, father, and friends still would not be welcome in many places today for being gay.

Unfortunately, several LGBTQ people did not have the resources and are still struggling to book a private party where they can dance like no one is watching.

Others are still not welcome, not because of their bright colors, but because of their origins.

Many left their communities to find comfort elsewhere still living in the shadow.

Today families are left wondering who could have lived up to their full potential, becoming famous stars, teachers, and police officers.

They, too, were son’s daughters, uncles, aunts, mothers, fathers, and friends who would not be welcome in many places today because they were gay.

Some of these groups should not be forced to plan homosexual holiday routes solely based on gay-friendly places in the Caribbean, Africa, or any other region as if it were an election tactic aimed solely at their registered voters.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on

As the fight continues, there is an illusive tide of change:

History has also shown that the pursuit of equality does not sit well with many people on ideological grounds.

This I believe represents a culture of homophobia woven in decades of social-political and stigma to vanish sexuality and gender inequality.

A recent YouTube report by an Arizona pastor claimed that “if gays were executed, we could have an AIDS-free world by Christmas.” If the god they all worship is love for all, who decides which one he does not love?

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

It is difficult to reverse a generation’s worth of intolerance. Subconsciously, the Anglicization of families under British colonial rule centuries ago continues to this day.

Today, countries in Africa, Asia, the South, and North, as well as Latin America and a few Caribbean islands have taken steps.

But do not be fooled there are many unanchored vessels that will require stronger anchors to hold any movements toward the bean of colors.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon

The Cayman Islands rejected an Atlantis gay cruise in 2010. According to the Trinidad Express, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the “decriminalization of homosexuality” in Trinidad and Tobago is not something her administration will pursue because “it would not be prudent for the government to go ahead in that direction.”

The Jamaica Gleaner recently reported on an anti-gay march in St Thomas in response to a proposed bill that would recognize marriage as an official union of two people rather than the traditional man and woman.

Several Jamaicans opposed amending the Buggery Act, which was enacted during colonial rule around 1861. However, many advocates are hoping for a break in the colonial chain there, as well as in other places.

Today, many regional leaders remain deafeningly silent on human rights amendments or new legislation.

Homosexuals and their agenda, according to anti-gay protesters, are bad for strong and healthy families, righteousness, and justice.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on

Collaboration regardless of location, race culture, and economic status.

Despite statistical evidence of increased tolerance, this issue remains a deep stratification.

These regions will not be able to achieve acceptance on their own, while others who are less fortunate will be forced to look in with their flag folded.

The gay community, like other racial and inequality issues, must continue to fight for equality because, while they dance to fun rhythms on the beach in these regions, many lyrics are strategically placed to demonize the community, such as racial epithets and codes used to polarize, create intolerance, and hate.

Photo by Sander Dalhuisen on

Only when societies become more educated and tolerant will we be able to dance together and turn back the clock on a monster that was created.

Pushing for the legalization of marijuana, despite its potential for long-term addiction, gay rights should do the same.

As I previously stated, No, it does not! You don’t have to be gay to support their cause, but should it matter?

Change takes time and is frequently resisted. Candidates who share the values of these communities must be chosen.

Just remember the new design you waited 24 hours in 10-degree weather to purchase the next time you turn on your iPhone to spread hate. The designs were vetted by a gay man.

Photo by RODNAE

Rest in Peace • • Leslie Feinberg – for fighting for equality for all.

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