I was thinking the other week about the possible effects of equal marriage on countries that have not yet legalised it. I remembered when many countries were ahead of the UK in recognising equality within marriage, long before they introduced “Civil Partnerships” here, the predecessor of equal marriage.
Remembering comments from my friends about how wonderful it would be for it to happen here one day. Naturally there is a lot of politics involved but I wondered how many of our actions were influenced by Europe and beyond, and how much we have influenced others too.
We only have to look at the Stonewall Riots, New York, 1969, to see how much influence the Stonewall movement has had on countries globally. This tragic event is seen to be the catalyst for our fight for Equality. In the UK it led to marches starting in 1972 which all paved the way for the pride events of today. No doubt these events have had a great effect on people’s view of the gay movement. In time more of the people got involved in projects. Something that started out as a tragic story in one city in America has had global influence on equal rights.
Another example is more recent when an actor sent an open refusal letter to a Russian film festival, posted on a LGBT website, stating he would not take part because he was gay and he could not accept recent Russian policies pertaining to gay rights. This act sent a shockwave across the world telling a lot of young isolated LGBTQIA community people they are not alone.
As a global community, we have been heavily influenced by the Internet, since the late 90s. We have now forged bonds and we can influence, support and protect each other without the burden of distance. It is remarkable to think that if you send one message, it can reach hundreds of countries within seconds. I tweeted a while ago about a UK TV program talking about transgender issues, within a few minutes people were talking about something that was on British TV globally.
The content does not always have to be about LGBT subjects. If LGBT people are seen online or in a pub talking to each other on matters that concern them, it is contributing to stifling the myth in the homo-unaware world, all we talk about is ….sex! No matter your sexuality,, sex is a subject that will come up, but other subjects come into play as well.
“The Net” for those struggling with their sexuality gives them someone to regard as role models, it confirms and strengthens their resolve to realise they are not sick and they are not criminals, they are not abnormal, they are just as unique and diverse as everyone else in the world. The Net can be a vehicle of hope, something that could not be delivered twenty years ago.
There are about seventy-five countries where it is illegal to be homosexual. We must do our part to wipe out homophobia and influence the changes of these laws, as much as we can. We must use our voices and actions, as silence is not an option, and is equivalent to giving consent.
Remembering back to the days of Stonewall and the effects 1969 had on equal rights globally, there will be people out there listening to our voices and reading our words. These people may not even be in countries where it is illegal to be homosexual but places where laws need to be strengthened, then attitudes will follow. Talking to others and airing our views could slowly influence both the law makers and those with attitudes to an extent.
Recently I had an online conversation with a gay advocate who had just made a speech and people were saying how wonderful he was, yet he was not comfortable with speech making. My comment to him was simple, his speeches, movies and open personal life give inspiration to all of us and encourage us to go forward and do our own bit in our own way. This may sometimes have us personally unaware of how effective and inspiring we are.
Everybody is aware that the Chaos Theory is a phenomenon whereby a minute localised change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.
Ask yourself, is this what is happening in the LGBTQIA community? Are we not flapping our beautiful coloured wings on one side of the world and reaping slow but changing effects on another? As I said to my hero, we all need to find our own sweet way and be role models, just like the gay celebrities are and be seen as a beautiful diverse LGBTQIA family.
Note : even though there have been many achievements for the gay community in recent years, there still are prejudiced groups and individuals that attack it. The massacre in Orlando, USA, demonstrations in Mexico against equality in marriage and same sex couples being able to adopt -though it is legal now, those groups are trying to have them banned again. Australia and North Ireland, the only part of United Kingdom where equal marriage is still not legal, continue fighting to get it legalized, just to mention a few examples).