Thursday 1 October, 2020

Barbados Welcome Stamp raises questions around the 'Pink Dollar'

Pink Dollar stock

Pink Dollar stock

Two prominent LGBTQ activists have chimed in on the issue surrounding the criticism of the Barbados Welcome Stamp's original requirements and how the language and laws can act as a hindrance to members of this commnuinty.

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Roann Mohammed and Donnya Piggott, founders of Barbados Gays and Lesbians Against Discrimination (B-GLAD) have both commented on how there must be more inclusion by the Tourism sector towards LGBT people.

This after an American blogger and talk show host made mention of how the Barbados Welcome Stamp did not allow for married same-sex couples to travel to the country as spouses.

Piggot, who is a human rights advocate as well as co-founder of B-GLAD, expressed the need for more inclusion of the LGBT community in the programme.

"As we begin to spread the word and Barbados begins to attract people interested in remote work to Barbados, questions around our laws and policies keep arising. Remote workers tend to be millennials and Gen Z , persons ages 24 to 40 and those without children are those most likely to have space in their lives to live remotely.

"A large majority of these young high-income earners usually in the Tech space are LGBTQ people or have very strong views about where they spend their money," Piggott said.

Piggott has gone as far as to draft a letter to both Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and the Minister of Labor  to further outline her concerns.

Mohammed has also been vocal about the discrimination that LGBTQ people face in Barbados.

She outlined how this moment very much showcases how the laws of the land are outdated and do not grasp the immediate social and economic impacts they have on the LGBTQ community and wider society.

"Moments like this underscore how antiquated laws and ideas of gender and sexuality that were imposed on us through colonization serve no fruitful purpose.

"Further to hindering economic stimulation and opportunities like in this instance, a lack of comprehensive recognition and respect for diverse identities, impacts the lives of thousands of LGBTQ people who live in Barbados. These colonial remnants determine LGBTQ Bajans’ ability to navigate the country and access resources that are essential to live with dignity like healthcare, employment and housing," Mohammed said.

The economic impact of LGBTQ people on nations has notable significance and has been highlighted as The Pink Dollar by scholars.

The United States estimated the US LGBT market value at approximately $1 Trillion and was 14 percent of all disposable income in the United States in 2016.

Since the criticisms on social media, the wording and definitions of spouse have been altered for the Barbados Welcome Stamp requirements. 

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