Nhojj Raising Funds for LGBT Center in Guyana
The Christmas holidays are a special time of giving, and in the true spirit of this holiday season award winning singer-songwriter-activist Nhojj has launched a campaign to build a LGBT Center in Guyana. As a vehicle for this campaign Nhojj is using GoFundMe, an easy way for people to donate online.
He urges friends, fans, those concerned with LGBT rights, and all socially conscious people to donate to this cause. Donations are tax deductible and will go to the Astraea Foundation, the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI human rights across the globe. Astraea will then send the funds to Guyana's SASOD (Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination).
Why Guyana? Why a LGBT Center?
Nhojj grew up in Guyana. He started singing in church there. As a little boy in Guyana he experienced both the protective wing of his parent's love and the hateful sting of bullies' homophobic slurs. Although name calling is mild in comparison to experiences of other LGBT kids, they were enough to cause him to feel shame about being gay and Nhojj believes no one should feel shame about who they are.
In Guyana there is no legal protection for LGBT people. SASOD is a group based in Guyana which is committed to eradicating discrimination based on the grounds of sexual orientation. It came into existence in 2003 with the campaign to include sexual orientation as one of the fundamental rights in the Guyana constitution, and has since been working to promote the rights of LGBT people.
In June of this year Nhojj returned to Guyana to give a free concert celebrating the 10 year anniversary of SASOD. "I felt a deep sense of pride in what this small organization has managed to accomplish in spite of all the insurmountable odds," Nhojj wrote in his Huffington Post article "LGBT Warriors in the Caribbean." During his visit Nhojj participated in a panel discussion with the Head of the Roman Catholic Church in Guyana - Bishop Francis Alleyne, who reaffirmed the Church's commitment to ensuring the repeal of Guyana's discriminatory laws.