(Port of Spain, October 29, 2015) The Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities (CariFLAGS) joins in expressing shock and deep sadness at the news of the untimely death of our colleague, LGBTI, HIV and Human Rights Advocate Zenita Nicholson.
Zenita was a Board Member of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, country coordinator of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, an ally and supporter of a range of Guyanese NGOs, and a friend to many.
Dane Lewis of Co-Chair of CariFLAGS says “Zenita’s passion for the rights of LGBT people saw her demonstrating her agency as a strong ally voice for the LGBT movement in the region which has always meant a great deal to those of us who haven’t been able to be on the front line and be present in the ways she had been. Her energy and passion will be greatly missed.”
CariFLAGS stands in solidarity with Zenita’s family, friends and our colleagues at all the NGOs and coalitions Zenita worked with in Guyana and regionally. We send our deepest condolences as we stand by each other in this difﬁcult time.
To us in CariFLAGS, Zenita was a strong Caribbean woman, a respected advocate, a radical movement shaker, a person of courage, and a champion of human rights. An outgoing person, she always had a smile.
Her passion, commitment and understanding of the issues affecting our communities will forever be remembered. Her absence is a huge loss for national, regional and international advocacy.
“It is very hard for me to deal with this tragedy. She is gone but will not be forgotten. Her death proved for me again that we need to work harder to ﬁght domestic violence and spend more time looking after each other”, says Tieneke Sumter, Executive Director of WomanSway of Suriname and Co-Chair of CariFLAGS.
She partnered in our work in many ways at the local, regional and international levels and, dressed in an unforgettably pink jacket, was a leading part of our 2013 delegation to the Organisation of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Guatemala. A vibrant and visible individual, Zenita’s infectious laugher, charming personality, passion, work on human rights and justice will live on even though she is no longer with us physically .
ASA/RevASA, CAISO, Groundation Grenada, J-FLAG, UNIBAM, United and Strong and the region-wide CariFLAGS network join in paying tribute to Zenita’s legacy and offering sincere regrets at her loss to her extended family of kin, colleagues and friends.