Cayman to host LGBT conference

The 7th annual Queering Paradigms conference, an international conference focused on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, will be held in Cayman in June.

The focus this year will be on addressing issues with human rights and sexuality in the Caribbean.

Conference organizer Olivia Connolly said, “The Caribbean in particular is quite far behind” in terms of meeting human rights obligations. She said she hopes the conference will “bring attention to the legal deficiencies in the region.”

She explained that the conference is looking for papers dealing with relevant studies in a number of themes, including religion, law, health, family and culture.

“‘Queer’ in the academic sense means anything that challenges binary distinctions of gender and sexuality,” she said.

A challenge to discrimination

Organizers note the aim of the conference is to challenge discrimination and “to provide intellectual tools for empowerment of both academics and activists in the Cayman Islands and the wider Caribbean region.”

The organization recently announced two keynote speakers. Eugenio Raul Zaffaroni, justice at the Inter American Court of Human Rights, will speak on decriminalizing homosexuality, and Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, will address religion and homosexuality, according to conference organizers.

Last year, the conference was held at the Canterbury Christ Church University in the U.K. Earlier conferences in the Americas have been held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 and Quito, Ecuador, in 2014.

Ms. Connolly added that the conference is “a good way to continue to build on the momentum” she said has been developing in the Cayman Islands for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights. “Government is becoming more aware of the problems and the deficiencies in the law,” she said.

Organizers have sent out a call for academic papers for the conference.

More details are available at