Colin Robinson is Director of Imagination for CAISO: Sex & Gender Justice. His thought-leadership on sexuality, gender, power and justice in the Caribbean is globally recognized. He is the author of the 2012 Commonwealth Opinion “Decolonising Sexual Citizenship”; and his work is the subject of Andil Gosine’s 2015 Sexualities article “CAISO, CAISO: negotiating sex rights and nationalism in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Robinson’s contributions to analysis, culture, advocacy and organizations span four decades. He is Trinidad & Tobago’s leading national LGBTI advocacy voice, and has led the work of CAISO since its 2009 formation as the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation. In 2011, he spearheaded the revitalization of the Caribbean Forum for Liberation & Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities, a 21-year-old regional LGBTI coalition, and has developed its academy to develop emerging Caribbean activists as transformational leaders. In 2018, he was appointed by the InterAmerican Development Bank T&T country office to its NextGen board of changemakers, where he is spearheading a project to develop a shared facility to meet the management needs of smaller civil society organizations.
Robinson’s career also encompasses years of health justice advocacy, including HIV policy and training work with the Offices of the Prime Minister and the Chief Personnel Officer, the Ministry of Labour, the University of the West Indies Faculty of Medical Sciences; service on the board of the PanCaribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS and the New York City Board of Education AIDS Advisory Council; and nine years in public policy and management roles at the largest HIV response organization in the United States, Gay Men’s Health Crisis. In 2017, the Office of the Prime Minister had him physically ejected from the re-launch of the National AIDS Coordinating Committee for engaging other invited guests about its lack of representation.
He led pioneering organizing work in LGBTI communities of colour in the US, including service on government planning and advisory bodies while an undocumented immigrant for over a decade. Robinson co-founded the Audre Lorde Project, an organizing centre; and co-chaired the board of directors of the international human rights advocacy group Out|Right International. He produced the 1988 issue of Other Countries: Black Gay Voices, a literary journal that won the US Council of Literary Magazines & Presses seed award; and conceived Think Again, a 2003 AIDS Project Los Angeles & New York State Black Gay Network collection of essays rethinking HIV prevention. In 1998 and subsequent years, leading Caribbean Pride, he helped put a soca bigtruck in the Manhattan LGBTI Pride parade, and organized a historic 1999 reading of diasporic Caribbean LGBTI writers. In 2000, he was selected Grand Marshal for the Brooklyn Pride Parade.
Robinson’s poetry appears in the 2016 collection You Have You Father Hard Head, in “Lessons,” a 1996 work by Ronald K Brown’s Evidence dance company, and in film collaborations with Sekou Charles (Riding Boundaries, 2011) and Marlon Riggs (Anthem, 1990). He co-edited the 2015 “Firing the Canon” special issue of Moko: Caribbean Arts & Letters, and his reflections on global advocacy against dancehall “murder music” appear in the 2009 Caribbean Review of Gender Studies. He served as a field producer for Riggs’s landmark 1989 documentary Tongues Untied; and created the first three of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s “A Day Without Art” responses to World AIDS Day (1989-91) and several 1980s and ’90s programmes that took the Other Countries writers’ work into gay bars and nightclubs, élite academic institutions and an emerging performance circuit. Since 2014 he has written a newspaper column, which currently appears in Sunday Newsday, about bodies and nationhood.
Robinson has degrees in anthropology and management from New York University and the New School Milano School.
To learn more about Robinson, connect with him on, Facebook.