When many of us look around, we see a world which is moderately accepting of who we are – as community members, as homosexuals or transsexuals and as human beings. When I say moderately this is because slowly, society seems to be working towards our favour – equality.
But we still have a long way to go and the battle rages on.
Homophobia and Transphobia may not exist for many of us, but we are the fortunate ones. We are the small percentage that more than likely live in a major metropolis, where this non-equal behaviour is condemned in our work places, in our schools and even in our homes by members of our own family.
However, we don’t live in a bubble or a closed system. We need to see the world outside our comfort zone, our own walls and only look beyond our backyard to see how homophobia and transphobia is still as destructive as ever.
Even within our own cities, one only needs to venture out to the city suburbs, which are predominantly family orientated and choose to follow leaders (political, religious) who’s opinions and views would have the world’s population split down the middle: Us vs. Them – to create a difference between acceptance and misunderstanding. As recent as this week a political member in Australia made a comment on national TV about how his heterosexual family was worth more than that of the Lesbian Minister’s – sitting 4 feet away. Yes – on National TV. Members of Religious Political Groups continually seek to justify the existence of marriage between a man and a woman only by denying the rights of Homosexuals to marry. And this all from us city folks.
Members of our community who live in rural cities and towns have it worse still.. There is no support network, no ombudsman so to speak, where someone can take a complaint of harassment or bullying to. Our teachers in rural towns lack the resources, training and confidence to address homophobic bullying in our schools and our employers in rural companies still do not have the facilities in place (sometimes by choice) to address these issues and protect homosexual / transsexual identifying citizens. One political member who represents a large rural area of Australia, who has strong views against homosexuals states that the lifestyle, the acts etc. are “Disgusting” … and his community keep on voting him in.
Looking beyond our borders we can only hope and ironically, pray for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) people from countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Indonesia, Malaysia and Zimbabwe where in some places – just being LGBTIQ is punishable by death. DEATH.
This is why we need to band together to take action against Homophobia. This is why we have an International Day Against Homophobia. As a community, as citizens of the human race – none of us should ever rest until we have full equality for all of us, no matter where we are located, who are families are or what our beliefs should be.
But in our opinion – IDAHO is only a symbolic representation. A Day to highlight these issues on a global scale. In our opinion it should be EDAHO – Everyday Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
But that will only ever occur if everyone accepted each other regardless of sexual orientation.
To conclude, I’d like to leave you all with a Quote from Gandhi follow by a question to ask yourself.
Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world” …..
Now ask yourself: “What change have I caused to combat Homophobia and Transphobia?”
We all have a part to play. It’s now time to play your part.
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