My Truth, My Story:
A Caribbean LGBTQ Oral History and Storytelling Documentary Series
My TRUTH, My STORY is the Caribbean Equality Project’s multimedia oral history and storytelling campaign series that documents stories of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) immigrants of Caribbean heritage living in New York City. Launched in 2015, the project curates and share experiences of Caribbean LGBTQ+ immigrants, asylum seekers, activists, community organizers, performing artists, and refugees in their own words. The narratives and themes include experiences of escaping oppression rooted in the British colonial-era anti-LGBTQ laws in their country of origin, racism, lack of access to affirming housing, employment & healthcare and navigating cultural barriers on sexuality, gender identity, marriage, and love. The stories reveal struggles with suicide, mental health, sexual violence, the intersection of religion and sexual orientation, and HIV/AIDS represent the driving force behind these storytellers’ pride-filled personal growth and immigration experience.
Coupling inspiring storytelling with invaluable resources, "My TRUTH, My STORY" aims to unveil, liberate and unshackle survivors from a culture of silence and fear by addressing hate violence and discrimination, while providing education and awareness throughout the Caribbean diaspora. The project serves as an indispensable tool to promote healing networks of support for Caribbean LGBTQ individuals struggling with issues inclusive of, but not limited to: coming out, family acceptance, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, physical and mental health challenges, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression. In the current political and social climate around human rights and LGBTQ+ issues in the Caribbean region and the United States, it is vital to provide an authentic platform for immigrants to honor and celebrate their multiple, intersectional identities and share their stories to help educate the public on the complexities impacting LGBTQ+ identifying migrants. This vulnerable population tends to lack significantly supportive and safety networks, and as such, they serve as one of our main focus. We celebrate our campaign participants’ courage, diversity and strength to stand in their own light through their vulnerability. In doing so, they can live their truth fearlessly; with the hope of igniting thought-provoking dialogue on issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community in their country of origin and within the Caribbean diaspora.
Upon completion of production, the video archive is available as a free resource to the LGBTQ+ community, educators, and the public on the Caribbean Equality Project’s (CEP) YouTube channel. Year-round, CEP host nation-wide and international screenings of “My TRUTH, My STORY” at allied organizations, faith-based institutions, in the NYC public schools, and LGBTQ+ Summits and Conferences. In addition to regular community screenings and engagements, annually, CEP host "L.O.V.E.: Living Our Values Equally," a celebration of Queer & TGNC Caribbean love. At this annual benefit, we invite the Caribbean LGBTQ+ community and the general public for an intimate screening of the newest installment of our storytelling documentary series to showcase the inspirational journey of our prideful participants. This dynamic and multidisciplinary event also features Know Your Rights presentations, LGBTQ Caribbean storytelling, HIV activism, Trans education, and culturally diverse performing arts, all followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with our esteemed speakers.
The My TRUTH, My STORY project is supported, in part, by community donors, and from the New York City Council, through the office of Daniel Dromm and NAWS Central Queens. We thank our community partners for helping us to share Caribbean LGBTQ+ immigrant stories.
For more information on this project and how you can get involved, email info@CaribbeanEqualityProject.org or call 347.709.3179.