The Caribbean Equality Project: Finding Freedom at Queens Library
Posted by Tabitha Laffernis
Mohammed Q. Amin, founder and executive director of the Caribbean Equality Project, is passionate about increasing the visibility of LGBTQ individuals in the Caribbean and South Asian communities. “You could be Guyanese, and you could be gay at the same time, and you don’t have to be ashamed of who you are.”
Based out of the Lefferts Community Library, the Caribbean Equality Project is currently the only support group and educational service agency of its kind in New York. Working with the Lefferts staff, the group has found a safe space to conduct meetings and welcome new members, all while being conveniently located in a familiar environment. Once a month, the CEP hosts Unchained, a meeting where all concerns are treated with support, confidentiality, and, if necessary, the trained ears of a registered psychotherapist.
The CEP team is acutely aware of the stigma and struggles faced by members of the Caribbean community who identify as LGBTQ. To that end, the acceptance they find at Lefferts and other community branches is something they value highly. “The library is a phenomenal safe space for all of us,” said Zaman, a Queens-based dancer who has performed internationally. “I myself, as an openly gay entertainer, have performed in many of the libraries in Queens, and the staff is extremely welcoming.”
If you ever need to take a deep breath, have some alone time, or seek out a supportive community, remember – Queens Library is for everyone.