Part 1: One L.U.V (Love, Unity, and Victory) Creating Safe Spaces for Black and Brown Caribbean Queers in the US Virgin Islands

Welcome to the Labyrinth of the First Gen, where we explore the stories and wisdom of leaders of African descent, breaking barriers across Central America and the Caribbean. In this episode, we shine a light on One Love, a beautiful organization focused on activism, allyship, and empowering the black queer community in St. Croix and the US Virgin Islands. Join us as we delve into their journey, the challenges they’ve faced, and the impactful work they continue to do.

The Birth of One L.U.V

One L.U.V was born out of the need to create a safe space for LGBTQ students at the University of the Virgin Islands. Founded in 2015 by LGBTQ students who experienced homophobic slurs and felt unsupported by their fellow students and even professors, One L.U.V became a beacon of hope and solidarity. Jay, the current president of One L.U.V, shares the organization’s humble beginnings and how it has evolved since then.

Allies in Action At One One L.U.V

One L.U.V not only serves the LGBTQ population but also focuses on educating allies. Their goal is to create understanding, tolerance, and acceptance within the community. By organizing presentations and discussions, they shed light on pronouns, different sexual orientations, and gender identities. The result is a more inclusive and peaceful community for the local LGBTQ population.

One L.U.V’s Impact on St. Croix & the Caribbean

Like many Caribbean societies, has deep-rooted conservative values. The LGBTQ community has historically faced stigmatization and limited acceptance. One L.U.V strives to challenge these perceptions and create a more inclusive and accepting society. By organizing community events, pride marches, and educational activities, One Love helps break down barriers and fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance for the black queer population.

The Power of Representation Representation matters.

One Luv recognizes the importance of diverse representation within their organization and on their board. They have members from the LGBTQ community, including trans and non-binary individuals, as well as allies who actively support their cause. By having representation across different sexual orientations and gender identities, One L.U.V ensures that all voices are heard and valued.

Collaboration and Alliances

One L.U.V understands the strength in collaboration. They actively work with other LGBTQ organizations, such as St. Thomas Pride and St. Croix Pride, to amplify their impact. Additionally, One L.U.V is a proud member of the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Sexual Diversity and Equality (ECAID). This alliance brings together LGBTQ organizations from across the Caribbean, united in their fight for equality and acceptance.

Overcoming Barriers and Progression

While progress has been made, there are still hurdles to overcome. Jay, Bobby, and Jamal from One L.U.V discuss the ongoing challenges they face, including the perception that being queer is foreign to Caribbean culture. They also address the intersectionality of being black and queer, and the complexities that arise from this dynamic. Despite these challenges, they remain hopeful and committed to driving change. Conclusion: One L.U.V continues to make a profound impact on the LGBTQ community in St. Croix and the Caribbean at large. Through education, community engagement, and pride activities, they are breaking down barriers and creating a more accepting society. Their dedication to support and uplift the black queer population is inspiring.

To stay updated on One L.U.V’s work and learn how you can get involved, be sure to visit their Facebook page here For More Information on One L.U.V follow the One Luz Facebook page here.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, where we delve deeper into One L.U.V’s plans and their vision for a more inclusive Caribbean. Join us next week for another enlightening episode of Labyrinth of the First Gen. Thank you for reading, and remember to spread love, acceptance, and peace in your communities.

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