Established during the 2015 election season, the Alliance for Justice and Diversity is a social justice coalition of organizations and allies led by Trinidad and Tobago (T&T)’s LGBTI+ NGOs: CAISO: Sex and Gender Justice, Friends for Life, I Am One, Silver Lining Foundation, Transgender Coalition of T&T, Women’s Caucus of T&T, and Womantra. In addition to issues related to sexuality and gender identity, the groups work together to prevent gender-based violence, strengthen school safety, improve policing, and champion protection against discrimination for age and health conditions.
Extrapolating from polling by Gallup in the United States and in Trinidad & Tobago by regional firm CADRES, we estimate very conservatively at least 37,000 LGBTI+ registered voters—larger than the national populations of several ethnic and religious minorities (Chinese, Syrian/Lebanese, Methodists, Orisas, to name a few). Not counting our non-LGBTI+ family members, together we are 20 to 60% larger than the entire electorate in any single parliamentary constituency; and if the country were proportionally represented in a national legislature, LGBTI+ communities would hold one—and perhaps two—of 41 seats.
During each of the past two election campaigns, LGBTI+ groups have introduced a policy agenda intended to direct media and politicians’ focus towards issues that are most relevant and important for the national LGBTI+ community, as a way to provoke election-season conversation around feasible areas for state action. In 2015, AJD proposed 12 such action areas, in which state decisionmakers (outside of the courts) took several steps — decrminalisation, parliamentary representation, policing, school safety, strengthening human rights institutions, workplace protections — over the past five years.
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