Ejecutiva & Negocios

CAISO founder dies of cancer

Writer, colum­nist and ac­tivist Col­in Robin­son has died.

Robin­son, 59, died in Wash­ing­ton DC, where he was re­ceiv­ing pal­lia­tive care af­ter a lengthy bat­tle with colon can­cer.

Robin­son was very open about the se­ri­ous­ness of his ill­ness. In his Sun­day col­umn last May, he re­vealed he was suf­fer­ing tremen­dous pain and dis­com­fort be­cause of his stage IV colon can­cer di­ag­no­sis. In Learn­ing to Die, Robin­son wrote that he had reached the re­al­i­sa­tion, «that what you are do­ing is dy­ing. And that you need to quick­ly learn how to.»

Robin­son, who wrote columns in both the T&T Guardian and News­day, was un­flinch­ing in his writ­ing and it was clear he viewed life through the lens of a gay, black, Trinida­di­an man ac­tu­al­ly liv­ing in Trinidad.

A life­long ac­tivist, he found­ed CAISO, which was orig­i­nal­ly an acronym for Coali­tion Ad­vo­cat­ing for In­clu­sion of Sex­u­al Ori­en­ta­tion, in 2009. In 2016, the name was changed to sim­ply CAISO: Sex and Gen­der Jus­tice. Robin­son had, at the time of his death, been its di­rec­tor of imag­i­na­tion

Writer, colum­nist and ac­tivist Col­in Robin­son has died.

Robin­son, 59, died in Wash­ing­ton DC, where he was re­ceiv­ing pal­lia­tive care af­ter a lengthy bat­tle with colon can­cer.

Robin­son was very open about the se­ri­ous­ness of his ill­ness. In his Sun­day col­umn last May, he re­vealed he was suf­fer­ing tremen­dous pain and dis­com­fort be­cause of his stage IV colon can­cer di­ag­no­sis. In Learn­ing to Die, Robin­son wrote that he had reached the re­al­i­sa­tion, «that what you are do­ing is dy­ing. And that you need to quick­ly learn how to.»

Robin­son, who wrote columns in both the T&T Guardian and News­day, was un­flinch­ing in his writ­ing and it was clear he viewed life through the lens of a gay, black, Trinida­di­an man ac­tu­al­ly liv­ing in Trinidad.

A life­long ac­tivist, he found­ed CAISO, which was orig­i­nal­ly an acronym for Coali­tion Ad­vo­cat­ing for In­clu­sion of Sex­u­al Ori­en­ta­tion, in 2009. In 2016, the name was changed to sim­ply CAISO: Sex and Gen­der Jus­tice. Robin­son had, at the time of his death, been its di­rec­tor of imag­i­na­tion.

The NGO re­leased a state­ment yes­ter­day say­ing it «shares in this great loss with the many com­mu­ni­ties, or­gan­i­sa­tions, and peo­ple who Col­in col­lab­o­rat­ed with over his four decades of ac­tivism.»

«He em­bod­ied fight­ing for jus­tice us­ing cre­ative imag­i­na­tion and in­stilled in us the im­por­tance of col­lec­tive voice and ef­fort,» CAISO said.

His friend and col­league Ma­ri­na Sa­landy-Brown said Robin­son, as an ad­vo­cate, was force­ful in the com­mu­ni­ca­tion of his idea, yet he re­spect­ed peo­ple’s agency. De­scrib­ing him as «some­body who was a stir­rer about things he felt he had to stir about,» she said in­stead of sim­ply chang­ing your mind, he’d rather en­large your view.

Robin­son was al­so a po­et. His col­lec­tion You Have You Fa­ther Hard Head was pub­lished by Peepal Tree Press in 2016. He wrote wide­ly and his work has ap­peared in Cal­abash, Moko: Caribbean Arts and Let­ters and The Caribbean Writer.

CAISO said plans for a cel­e­bra­tion of his life and work will be shared in a sub­se­quent an­nounce­ment.

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