Issue

LGBTQIA Rights

A transgender woman in Thailand who dreams of becoming a lawyer. A Ugandan gay rights activist who leads a double life. A lesbian in Jamaica forced to flee her country.

Pulitzer Center journalists examine the many challenges the LGBTQIA community faces, probing legal, religious, and ethical issues in the fight for equal rights. They report on a wide range of topics, from hate crimes in Russia to new gender identity laws in Bolivia. And they ask important questions: In a world plagued by stigma and homophobia, how do gender, sexual identity, and love influence the human experience? Where do LGBTQIA people find the courage to confront fear and the threat of violence?

Our journalists use many forms of media to tell their stories. Among them are Micah Fink’s full-length documentary The Abominable Crime, the stunning photography of Misha Friedman’s work in Russia and of Daniella Zalcman’s work in Uganda, and Live Hope Love, the Emmy award-winning video poetry work of Kwame Dawes, Josh Cogan and Andre Lambertson.

 

 

 

LGBTQIA Rights

Jamaica's Gays Worship In the Closet

It takes just 15 minutes to set up an underground church.

Two boxes and a white sheet make up the pulpit. The altar is a card table. Folding chairs constitute the pews. Then Rev. Robert Griffin, a solidly built gay American minister in his mid-40s, unpacks a battered cardboard box; inside is a wooden chalice, two candle holders, a communion plate and a dog-eared copy of the King James Bible. Add a pianist warming up on an electric keyboard and suddenly an empty meeting room is transformed into the Kingston branch of the Sunshine Cathedral, Jamaica's only gay church.

How AIDS Became a Caribbean Crisis

We may be accustomed to thinking of AIDS as most rampant in distant parts of the world like Africa, India, and South Asia. But these days the epidemic is flaring up a bit closer to home, in the Caribbean. Indeed, AIDS is now the leading cause of death among adults there, and the Caribbean's rate of new infections is the second highest in the world, following just behind Sub-Saharan Africa.

"Grand: The Piece Makes a Wonderful Whole," Wisteria and HOPE Review in the Winston-Salem Journal

Poet Kwame Dawes provided the words for HOPE & Wisteria, two back-to-back performance pieces that explore different aspects of the black experience. But his contribution, vital as it is, is only one part of the puzzle. Each production is a multimedia piece using music, images and Dawes' poetry.

The musicians and singers, performing alongside Dawes on stage, contribute immensely to the power of the production, as do the photographers whose work is projected on a large screen behind the performers.

HIV/AIDS in Jamaica: A Poet Responds

In an interview on The Root, poet Kwame Dawes discusses his role and shares his experience in creating the multimedia project "Hope: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica," commissioned by the Pulitzer Center to document the human face of HIV in Jamaica, the country of Kwame's youth.

Learn more about the Emmy-winning LiveHopeLove.com

Wisteria & HOPE featured in YES! Weekly

Although it's called the Black Theatre Festival, this biennial gathering of African-American artists draws creative people from all over the nation working in a variety of mediums. Kwame Dawes, the poet in residence at the University of South Carolina, will present his multimedia productions titled Wisteria and Hope during the festival. [For complete performance listings, see page 20.] Wisteria and Hope are two separate pieces performed back to back.

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