If you follow of international news, you'll know all about Gay Pride Week. It's a big event for Gay communities in developed countries, where they celebrate their identities and freedoms.

Well, in Belize, UNIBAM, the country's leading gay rights organization, is announcing that they're going to publicly celebrate their own gay pride week from August 4th to the 12th. This is the second year that that they've put together a series of events for gay pride, and today, 2 of the organization's leaders, Caleb Orozco, and Simone Hill, held a press conference to explain its importance:

Caleb Orozco, Executive Director - UNIBAM
"Prior to 2016, I can tell you we would have had no inspiration in trying to do something called pride week, much less a pride day. After 2017, our community reflected and we learn quite a few things. Visibility and leadership is an important part of change. We learn that we are complicit in our own violence and discrimination by remaining silent. We learn that the best advocates for an issue are not other people, but ourselves."

Simone Hill, President - UNIBAM
"We choose this week of the 4th August to the 12th, because it ties in with the 10th, when the judgement was given on the 10th of August, 2016. And for many LGBT persons in this country they have been looking forward to something like this and to actually have organizations doing things around this time. I know that my colleague Caleb has spoken a lot about that he wouldn't believe in a lifetime. For me I had a lot of faith in Belize."

So, what exactly will Gay Pride Week look like in Belize for the next 9 days? Well, the UNIBAM executives told us that they have a series of activities from parties, to a panel discussion on gay rights issues:

Simone Hill, President - UNIBAM
"At PETAL we are looking at showcasing art and we are showcasing art manly from women, who are identify as lesbians. So that is a first and I am so excited about that and we should be doing that on the 10th August and we will be inviting our good friends the media there and so I am looking forward to it and all the other exciting activities that we are having. I know at UNIBAM that we are looking at a panel discussion and that should be the last day to close this off."

Caleb Orozco, Executive Director - UNIBAM
"The other activities will include an event with Ernestine Carballo. Ernestine has been a long time ally in our community and at the last event at Belizean Beach, she rock the house like nobody business and I am hoping that she can help us rock at least for a few minutes whatever house we have prepared."

"That event is being coordinated by Empower Yourself Belize Movement. The other big event is being organized by the Belize Youth Empowerment and for Change and that's in Belmopan. The last time they were able to get Jenifer Burrows to do a comedy skit and what we discovered is that Belizeans like comedy and the more trash you talk, the more funny it is, the better for the attention side and so we found a formula where using entertainment or entertainers or comedy is an important of our event that we will continue hopefully in year 3."

Last year's gay pride week comprised sort of underground activities where only members of the community really knew what was taking place, and where they should show up to participate.

So, we wondered why the local gay community would risk public backlash from conservative Belizeans this time around, by making it a big public event. Here's how they answered that one:

Channel 7