Corporate Barbados is being accused of shutting its doors to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
The founder of Barbados Gays, Lesbians and All-Sexuals against Discrimination (BGLAD) Donnya Piggott told a symposium on gender-based violence that transgender individuals and cross-dressers were being denied employment because of their lifestyles.
“People who don’t generally conform like myself may have a hard time finding employment because they are not presented in the traditional ways that people accept or want for a man or woman to present themselves,” Piggott said.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY following the presentation, the leading LGBT advocate stressed that the primary victims were members of the transgender community.
“Especially in the case of transgender people finding jobs, it’s very, very difficult; or people who just don’t generally conform, like tomboys,” Piggott said.
The BGLAD president charged that members of the LGBT community were already facing domestic challenges, with some of them being kicked out of their homes and ostracized in their neighbourhood.
By refusing to hire them the business sector was placing them at further disadvantaged, she said.
“LGBT people need employment; they are in vulnerable positions at home. Sometimes you don’t have a support system in your house and your parents are putting you out . . . and you have that issue supporting yourself and on top of that can’t find a job.
“The kind of avenues that you find yourself in as a young gay person, people are preying on young people and that kind of thing and they might not have the support system that heterosexual or most heterosexual young people have,” she said.
Piggott argued for tolerance and for a more educated society so business leaders would be more understanding of the LGBT community.