Flamingos & the Queer Community in Laveau

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By: Vivienne C.

During some ‘field’ visits to Laveau, I met wonderful and courageous people from the queer community. It was unexpected and I had to learn more so I interviewed, initially, Alicia, a lovely trans-woman working at Wicked Studios who spoke to me of the untold suffering of the LGBTQI+ in a place like Laveau but also of how the community can stand and support each other.

Alicia made quite an impression on me, so when I saw the advertisement on Dark Odyssey party hosted by Flamingos and The Empire tattoo parlour, I went undercover (I shall not divulge the reasons for this choice). I saw up and close the party scene and coupled with then following Mason’s twitter account I decided to speak with him, with the purpose of introducing youu to Flamingos.

The Manager

Mason Cain is a talented and dedicated trans-man, who through hard work was offered the opprtunity to lead this business, and he along with partners relaunched the place with a party.

“I wanted Flamingos to relaunch with a bang. The place needs a bit of a facelift and that’s in the works but I wanted an event to encapsulate that. I got close with Hell and Kingston a while ago and spent a bunch of time in Empire so it only felt right to collab with them, we discussed this quite a few months ago so it was exciting to see it come to life on the night of Dark Odyssey and to be such a big hit. Big credit to those two, though. They were monumental in the organization of it.”

Mason – Manager of Flamingo

Now that the relaunch had been successful, Mason has big plans in the future. Not only for the club but also for the LGBTQI+ community, he told the Observer that:

“Laveau can be dangerous for anybody. I think the LGBTIQ+ community are particularly vulnerable in any part of th’ world.. but more so in Laveau. I think we got a way to go but as a whole, yeah. It’s been really important to me that I can create a haven for us. It doesn’t just have to be our community. It can be the outcasts an’ th’ weirdos or the allies too. The vision I’ve got goin’ ahead is to create some more fundraisin’ club nights or something. I was lucky enough to have my chest removed over a year ago and if I can help with that or access to hormones or-.. PREP or other safe sex zones for LGBTIQ+ people. Then I’m proud t’ be part of that.”

Mason – Manager of Flamingo

The Community

Laveau and Hathian are places that can be fraught with dangers for all, but especially those who do not conform or pass as a ‘regular’ whatever that means. Members of the LGBTQI+ also face the personal challenge of not being supported by their families and friends. So it is important, to establish and foster connections and networks that could.

Amazing people like Alicia, have a powerful message and a calling that we should all support;

“We are people. At the end of the day, we’re all human. Doesn’t matter our names, where we come from, where we are – a bit of empathy and compassion goes a long way. Do what you can to donate to local shelters. Money works best. Vote for politicians locally, ones that help with seeing to the needs of the people. Advocate for decriminalising sex work and drugs. Support safe injection rooms and needle-exchanges. Dismantling the stigmas of drug use and sex work tears down the networks of abuse. It’s so very complex, but that’s all the more I can say as an ending statement. Help others.”

Alicia

If you are a member of the LGBTQI+ community, an outcast, and/or an ally, there is a community that is growing in Laveau. Flamingo is hiring, creating opportunities for fundraising, and offering support to those who need it. If you are a citizen who wants to do their share in giving back, then donate to a shelter, soup kitchens and vote responsibly. At the end of the day, we are all connected, and cycles of oppression follow each other. We are not free until we are all free.

Stay Safe Hathians’.

((More photos from Dark Odyssey party can be found on this link HERE))

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