What should men who wear skirts & women who dance with women drink this Carnival?

Local rum monopoly Angostura, a CL Financial company, as part of their rebranding effort have produced a Carnival ad that appears on giant billboards, saying: In Scotland, men dance in skirts. In Trinidad, men dance with women in skirts. Prior to the CL crisis, the Angostura group was one of the leading local philanthropers. The ads are getting international attention, due to their deliberate provocation, through coverage in the British media. Disgraced CL Financial head Lawrence Duprey, and company secretary Michael Carballo, discussing the company’s controversial ethanol plant a few years ago, shared how Angostura has always focused on dominating the local market, but their vision was to make the company global in spirits: “We are doing very well and trying to become more globally competitive.”

Red Stripe parent company and European conglomerate Diageo has stopped funding music events in Jamaica to avoid sponsoring “murder music”. They have produced over 30 ads for their products targeting the GLBT market, including a 1997 Johnnie Walker scotch whiskey ad featuring a Lesbian marriage that never aired. The largest GLBT advocacy group in the US has given the company a perfect score three years in a row on its “Best Place to Work” survey. Diageo is the world’s largest liquor company. In addition to Johnnie Walker scotch, several Diageo brands are market leaders: Smirnoff vodka, Baileys liqueur and Guinness stout.

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CAISO Sex and Gender Justice

In late June 2009, on the eve of the fifteenth anuual celebration of Pride in Trinidad & Tobago, the Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs gave our community a big fat slap: We are not dealing with any issues relating to same-sex unions, homosexuality or sexual orientation in the National Gender Policy and Action Plan, she told the media. Two days later, a range of groups and leaders in Trinidad & Tobago had come together to form the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation, to foster a forward-thinking, visionary and humane approach to sexual orientation and gender identity and full citizenship in our proud nation, one consistent with the title of our national development plan, "Vision 20/20".

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