Although she is only 24 years old, Alexa’s youth has not stopped her from becoming one of Barbados’s leading and most visible activists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) rights. Often seen leading impromptu ‘flash stands’ – short, pop-up, low-key demonstrations – in the centre of Bridgetown, Alexa has become the voice for the island’s often unheard LGBTI community, particularly focusing on transgender issues. “I consider myself to be quite old emotionally,” she says.
Alexa was instrumental in organising the first-ever Barbados PRIDE week last November. With the support of the Canadian High Commission, Alexa spoke about the need for more legislation to protect the vulnerable LGBTI community, and noted that if its members continue to emigrate to places such as Canada because they feel unsafe, Barbados will continue losing skilled workers and creative minds that could be contributing to the growth of the Barbadian economy. “When we leave and give our skills to another country, that country benefits,” says Alexa. “I like Barbados and I want my home to benefit instead.”
Alexa continues to work toward making Barbados a safe space where LGBTI people can feel at home.“I used to be scared to leave my house,” she recalls. “I never wanted to be too far from people who could rescue me if I was attacked. This impacted my ability to get a job because I didn’t even want to catch the bus to go beyond a certain distance from home and be exposed to the public and potential violence.” Trans women in the Caribbean are often subjected to horrific assaults and many are abandoned by their families. Read more via Zing