By Ranee Mohamed – Photos by Asoka Fernando
There was much happiness and laughter when Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexuals and Transgender (LGBT) persons came together in a sporty competition at Shalika Hall, Colombo 5 last Saturday.
One hundred and seventy five (175) persons took part in this year’s games which was held from 9.15 a.m. to 4.15 p.m. The success of the event heralded a sign of victory in reaching their goal – the goal of acceptance by society.
Spearheading all efforts at happiness and acceptbility is Sherman De Rose, Executive Director of Companions on a Journey — the leading gay and lesbian organisation in Sri Lanka. Companions on a Journey has become a forum that has given support, solace and refuge to these different people.
“This is the second time that Diversity Games is being held. The first was in 2008,” said Sherman De Rose. Athletics, discussions and an opportunity to interact were key factors at Saturday’s event and there was integration, friendship and kinship among members from the east, west and south.
“The Family Planning Association provided young men and women as volunteers and we are thankful for their support.
We are also thankful to the Red Cross Society of Sri Lanka for providing members of their staff and an ambulance on standby,” said De Rose, who went on to say that there was much food, friendship and support that made the event an enjoyable and extremely rewarding experience.
“This was indeed an extremely important opportunity at which the LGBT persons came together on a common platform. This coming together fulfilled the very objective of diversity itself. We have three main objectives – creating greater visibility of the community, community mobilization and increased solidarity and achieving one’s personal best,” observed Executive Director Sherman De Rose.
It does take different kinds of people to make this world of ours, but we often tend to be blind to the talent, kindness and strong friendships that these different people are capable of. This is perhaps why they are appealing for that wall of social prejudice to be torn down.