TRINIDAD & Tobago’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community is reportedly up in arms over plans for reggae singer Buju Banton to perform in the twin-island republic on April 22 next year.
A recent report in the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian quotes Colin Robinson, director of the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO), registering his discomfort with Buju Banton being allowed to perform there.
“Why wouldn’t LGBT people be concerned about Buju performing here? If there are folks marching at Parliament and the Hall of Justice every Friday who don’t want to share our country with us, why would it be a surprise that LGBT people aren’t happy to share our country with Jamaican homophobes?” he reportedly stated.
Robinson, however, distanced his organisation from a wider plan to prevent the Jamaican artiste from performing in T&T.
“CAISO isn’t part of any local plans, if they exist. The visit is 13 months away. We have enough work to do here and now. And I have no idea if Buju will still be the person he was when he gets out of jail,” he is quoted in the Guardian.
This is not the first time the gay community has expressed concern about the entertainer’s music. His 27-year-old hit single Boom Bye Bye has sparked outrage from that global group since its release. Prior to his arrest and imprisonment, he had various run-ins with members of the community who have staged protests which resulted in his concerts being cancelled.
In 2009, Buju Banton had a 40 minute sit-down with members of San Francisco’s gay community. The meeting was held in Larkspur, California, and was used to discuss what was described as his troubling history with gay people. Both parties said the meeting was “civil”.
Just over a week ago, it was announced on the Love and Harmony Cruise that the incarcerated entertainer would do his first performance in T&T.
Buju Banton is currently serving a near 10-year sentence for drugs in the United States. He is slated to be released on December 8 this year.
The entertainer is known for songs including Wanna Be Loved, Untold Stories and Not An Easy Road.