Bahamian Gays and Lesbians Against Discrimination
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BGLAD IS A SUPPORT/ADVOCACY GROUP IN NASSAU BAHAMAS

Our meaning of FAGGOT: Fighting Against Global Gay Oppression Together
BGLAD Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is BGLAD?

BGLAD stands for Bahamian gays and lesbians against discrimination. We are a support/advocacy group formed on May 26th, 1999. As of October 24th, 1999, there were 16 full-time members. Our motto is: BGLAD – because life is short.

2. Why was it formed?

In the Bahamas, like most Third-world countries, homosexuality is still taboo. Gays, lesbians and transgender persons are generally scorned at and looked upon as sick and less than human. The word “sissy,” taught to children sometimes at pre-school age, is commonly used here. It means “gay” in a condescending way. Homophobia has become intertwined in Bahamian culture and discrimination is rampant. Fortunately, two concerned gay men got together to fight this type of discrimination and for the constitutional rights of all non-straight people. From their efforts this website was born, the group was established and a hotline set up.

3. Is it associated with other groups?

Yes. There are four gay community groups in Nassau, Bahamas. BGLAD and Hope TEA are the biggest and most organized. They both have websites and hotlines and their members share ideas and concerns. Two BGLAD members are also a part of Hope TEA. The other two groups are purely social ones but are interested in affiliating themselves with BGLAD and Hope TEA. BGLAD and Hope TEA also work along with the International Lesbian and Gay Association and are linked on the Association’s page profiling the Bahamas.

4. What is its objective?

In addition to creating an atmosphere where gay people can feel comfortable in expressing themselves, BGLAD intends to sensitize the public on the dilemma the GLBT community face. The constitution of the Bahamas affords all Bahamians the same rights, but gays and lesbians face discrimination in our laws. If it comes to getting petitions signed or lobbying to change these unjust laws, we are prepared to do it. Sadly, most gay Bahamians live deep in the closet and are hoping that someone else will come along and stand up for their rights. Fortunately, that someone else is BGLAD. We realize that through education, people become more tolerant of others who are different from themselves; be they differences in religion, ethnicity, nationality or sexual orientation.

5. Who is the leader or president?

There is no leader at this time and perhaps there will be none. Every group member is an equal team player. It will be totally up to the members whether or not they want to choose a leader and conduct an election of officers.

6. How does one become a BGLAD member?

Firstly, you must be interested in standing up for the rights of homosexual and transgender persons as we are a gay group fighting against our oppression. You do not necessarily have to be gay or bisexual to join but you must be sincere and willing to assist the group with at least one of the following: the printing of pamphlets, T-shirts and other materials, the posting and handing out of flyers, the organizing of events and trips, rental space or the establishment of a community center, transportation and refreshments. We are also looking for good writers, a cartoonist, a photographer and a media representative.

7. How often does the group meet?

Every other Saturday. We chose Saturday because it is a day when most of our members have free time. Once you become a group member, you will be notified of the meeting time and place. Please feel free to bring a guest or two.

8. Can BGLAD be easily found on the internet?

Yes. BGLAD is registered with more than 40 search engines including the most popular ones like Yahoo, Lycos, Altavista, Snap, HotBot, GoTo and AOL. It is also registered with 26 gay search engines.

9. What is the purpose of the hotline?

Since the inception of our hotline, we have been flooded with calls from people in Nassau, Freeport and other parts of the world. Most people call to find out more about the group, others call for advice with their relationships, for information on clubs and hangouts or for a date. The hotline was primarily established to give information and advice to people with problems in their relationships and everyday life and also to counsel people who are having difficulty coming to terms with their sexuality.

10. Who operates the hotline?

Gay men and women who are qualified. Our operators have been carefully selected – they are well-educated individuals with good inter-personal skills. It takes a good listener, someone who is mild-mannered, professional and non-judgmental to handle this job. If you are a counselor or feel you have what it takes to be a BGLAD hotline volunteer give us a call. We take our hotline seriously so if you select a time you must be available consistently at that time.

11. Does the group have a dating service?

No. About 1 in 5 (20%) of our callers ask this question. We realize that there is a need for a dating service and some members have expressed interest in starting one. Unfortunately, right now we do not have the resources but as the group grows, a dating service would be in our plans for the New Year.


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