The rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people progressed rather swiftly in the past few months in the US — the biggest victory being the collapse of barriers to marriage equality. But, something has kept me in my seat, rather than jumping for joy like other LGBT folks. I finally named my hesitation. It is the fear that the heterosexual, cisgender dominated country we live in will soon grow tired of us. Favoring LGBT rights and celebrating how similar people are no matter their sexual and gender identities seems in vogue right now. If things progress as they have for racial and gender justice, in a few decades, some major victory will be considered no longer necessary and there will be loud claims that we live in a post-sexuality/post-homophobia and post-gender/post-transphobia society.
But, still today, the fight for equal rights and status of LGBT people is far from over, and far from won. Just look from a global perspective:
- “Haiti gangs beat 47 gays with machetes, sticks and cement blocks“
- “Russians Are Using Social Media to Lure In and Publicly Humiliate Gay Men” (also see this). This is happening in the midst of increasing legal forms of discrimination that have been passed by Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, to make homosexuality illegal essentially. Some have been boycotting Russian products (e.g., Stoli vodka) and warning about the dangers for many LGBT athletes and spectators when the Olympic games are held in Russia in 2014.
The United Nations has initiated a campaign, Born Free & Equal, to challenge trans-, bi-, and homophobic prejudice and discrimination around the world. It is a start, and they have a huge task ahead of them.