Trinidad & Tobago is one of 13 completely independent Caribbean sovereign states that are not overseas territories, departments, or dependencies of large far-off mostly European countries.
The other 20 are politically attached to Europe and the USA.
As recently as June 2012 the T&T UN Ambassador Rodney Charles disparaged gay rights by stating that efforts by “those in support of gay rights and gender policy changes was all about sex and how they want to have it,” saying he would be “vigilant to oppose any form of endorsement or legal protection when it regards to sexual orientation or discrimination towards the category.” Overall, an activist in T&T has advised, “Caribbean attitudes and violence towards GLBT people are not terribly different from those in parts of their own countries or earlier in their own lifetimes…
the generalized view of the Caribbean (and the Global South) as backwardly homophobic is not accurate.
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The country obtained independence from the UK in 1962 and became a republic in 1976.
Unlike most of the English-speaking Caribbean, T&T’s close proximity to oil-rich Venezuela allows its energy-based economy to rely mostly on the petroleum and petrochemicals industry; T&T is the largest exporter of LNG to the USA.
Transgression and sexuality are also a part of Carnival, but in pretty structured ways and propriety is not abandoned since children participate in most aspects of Carnival.In a correspondence with members of CAISO (a human rights organization) Carnival is “complex with multifaceted cultural rituals and activities extending throughout much more of the calendar than its colorful climax in the springtime days before Lent.Its major components are pan (steelband), mas (masquerade characters, bands and competitions), calypso (a term used to encompass kaiso, soca, rapso, chutney music) and fetes (parties).Said one local man with a laugh, “our gay community is very active mostly at partying.” Such activities cannot be found on the anti-gay islands of Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent & Grenadines with Jamaica considered to be the most risky country for gays.As well, the mainland territories of Belize (Central America), Guyana and Suriname (both South America) are also what regional people consider Caribbean countries because they are former European colonies and now sovereign states.