At 29 YEARS, Kennty Mitchell seems to have everything going
He is a striving entrepreneur, a community activist and
is involved in a nine-year common-law relationship.
Yet, he is put down by society and verbally and physically
abused by many, including the police.
Why? He is homosexual.
Mitchell, however, is determined to keep his head up and
refuses to be forced into living his life in secrecy and
He has always been open about his sexuality, and now he
has decided to speak out publicly.
Mitchell was recently victorious in the High Court where
he was awarded damages for being ridiculed by officers at
the Princes Town Police Station.
He was stripped naked, laughed at and left in a filthy cell
for over three hours.
Mitchell says hes fed up with being ridiculed and
discriminated against, and is calling on the Government
to ensure gay people have equal rights.
people are people too, they are citizens of T&T and
they make a valuable contribution to the country...They
should not be treated as though they dont belong or
have no rights, he argued.
Mitchell, of Ritchie Street, Ste Madeleine, owns a DVD club.
He is also a maxi taxi driver, a pawnbroker and a moneylender.
His significant other (as he describes him) is a registered
teacher, but does not work at any school.
Mitchell says being gay is not a choice people make.
doesnt just wake up one day and decide they want to
be gay. There are over 300,000 gay people in T&T. But,
they are afraid to come out. A lot of them are in influential
positions in society, he said.
Many homosexual people, he added, come together at gay parties
in various clubs.
are gay people working in government buildings, Parliament,
hospitals, hotels, schools...you can find them anywhere
but they are in hiding, he said.
In his way of marking Gay Pride month (July), Mitchell said
he was speaking out for all the gay people without a voice.
we find disturbing is that in this country human rights
are not properly observed, he said.
vagrant on the streets is protected from discrimination,
the HIV-infected person in protected, but people based on
their sexual orientation have no rights.
Referring to the Equal Opportunity Act of 2000, he said
the law had been passed to protect people from discrimination
but it allows people to discriminate on the basis of sexual
He said the Immigration Act bans gay men and women from
entering the country.
(British singer) Elton John came here, he had to get a special
licence, he said.
Human Rights Committee and Amnesty International appealed
to Government to amend the laws to include protection for
homosexuals and lesbians in this country, but they have
people are afraid that if they have rights then every male
person might become a homosexual but that is not true.
Calling for the Act to be amended to include rights for
gay people, he said: The hate for gay people is worsening
and if something is not done soon to protect gay persons,
they will soon be denied basic things such as healthcare,
employment and entry into certain places.
Mitchell said they had taken a decision to vote only for
a political party that would revise the bill and give gay
might not be able to tip the scale in the next election
because we are a minority, he said.
we belong to a family, we have friends and they all support
us so it will be more than just the gay votes, he
Thanking attorney Haresh Ramnath and Kevin Ratiram for his
court victory, he said while he was pleased that he won
he intends to appeal the $28,400 he was awarded.
only compensated me for being locked up but not for the
humiliation that I went through, he said. He added
that he went through six months of therapy to help him get
over that terrifying and embarrassing ordeal.