Times have changed a lot that gays and lesbians no longer have to hide in the dark (or in the closet) anymore. Most of them are now free to express their gender choices and even cross-dress if they are confident enough. Those who are in relationships with one another even get to get married for real because some US states and countries now allow that to happen. Best of all, it is legal too. Indeed, the LGBT community is doing better now than they did before but underneath, problems still exist.
Even though their lives are better now, there are still challenges that the LGBT community continues to face until now. LGBT activists speak up on behalf of the gay community to voice out their sentiments and ensure that the people in authority know about it and they can include such changes in the policies they make. While gays and lesbians live better now, some are still discriminated and had to endure some sort of violence (verbal or physical) now and then.
In the United States and many other parts of the world, this is a worrisome time for LGBT activists, as the pace of civil rights victories has grown uneven and reports of anti-LGBT violence and persecution surface relentlessly.
In the past two months, there have been large-scale detentions of gay men in Nigeria and Bangladesh, and chilling accounts of roundups and torture of scores of gays in Chechnya.
In Indonesia, a major police raid on a gay sauna was followed two days later by the public caning of two gay men.
More than 70 countries continue to criminalize gays’ sexual activity.
In some places in the US, serial killings of gays have flooded the news not long ago that it became a cause of alarm for the entire LGBT community. In far away places of Bangladesh and Nigeria, gay men are also being detained. Other similar cases are happening in various places all over the world that the LGBT community is calling for everyone to unite in the face of extreme and violent oppression and make their voices heard.
But this year, the meeting leading up to the parade was not to finalize organizational touches. Instead, many members of the LGBT community bombarded Capital Pride organizers with their concerns about corporate sponsorship, police participation, the lack of diverse leadership, and fundamental questions of whether this year’s Pride should be a celebration or a demonstration. For more than two hours, attendees pushed for significant changes, outnumbering those who wanted Pride to remain the same celebration it’s been in recent years.
In various ways, the meeting in DC was a microcosm of concerns that have become more prominent in planning Pride celebrations in the era of President Donald Trump, from New York to Los Angeles. Cities all over the country began having June parades in 1970, on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots, in which patrons of a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn spontaneously rose up against police harassment in an event generally considered to be the beginning of the LGBT liberation movement. Over the years, the events became lively festivals and parades celebrating LGBT identity, with increasing corporate sponsorship and police participation.
Gay pride is no longer just a celebration but more of an opportunity to protest. It’s more than just being out and proud but fighting for their inherent human rights that the rest of humanity enjoys. However, like everything else, this is easier said than done especially if you live in America. With a president like Donald Trump, you can’t expect to live a normal life as a member of the LGBT community. He isn’t the type of person to support such causes and it is easy to see how disconnected he is from the gay community as a whole.
In reality, these issues fail in comparison to the threats of war and terrorism that we all now face. However, it does not mean that they don’t have any bearing at all because we are still talking about people’s lives even if many people consider them queer. Nobody should be above anyone for we are all created equal. Of we only keep this in mind, there won’t be any problem achieving world peace at all for everyone regardless of their gender identity.