Since 1999, when former US President Bill Clinton declared June Gay and Lesbian Pride Month In the United States, nations around the world have used this month to celebrate those who have been historically marginalized due to their sexual and gender expression. Our collective understanding of gender and sexuality has expanded since the late 90s, and now we celebrate not only gay and lesbian people, but also bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, queer and other people who don’t match that. strict heteronormative ideals.
For lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people, being open about their sexuality or gender expression can often be a dangerous undertaking that can expose them to discrimination, violence, oppression, abuse or stigma. Research shows that LGBTQ+ people are at increased risk for violence, sexual assault and discrimination because of their identity – both at the micro level with abuses by individuals and at the state level with systematic barriers to their basic rights. This map by Human Rights Watch (HRW) details state-level laws in different countries that harm LGBTQ+ people and prevent them from equal access to basic rights and services.
The queer community has had two particularly difficult years with the appearance of COVID-19 in 2020 and waves of increase marginalization which came with. Annual The PRIDE marches were canceled. Clubs and spaces where gay people can find support and like-minded people have been closed, forcing many people back into the closet as their main social outlets were ripped away. For those living with unsupportive family members, this often meant hiding and suppressing their identity – a choice that can negatively impact people’s lives. Mental Health. Online channels for LGBTQ+ communication have also been wiped out in China, as LGBTQ+ people and women were scapegoats for the country’s declining birth rate and other social problems.
Rising global conservatism is undermining the hard-won rights the LGBTQ+ community has fought for. But the community does not take these offenses to account. Around the world, LGBTQ+ people and allies have taken to the streets to resist authoritarianism and protect their rights. Of Azerbaijan and Turkey at Thailand and Brazil, protests, awareness campaigns and acts of civil disobedience signaled that queer people would not tolerate continued marginalization.
Some anti-LGBTQ+ governments try to diminish local queer activist movements by labeling them new”Western idealsthat are part of modern “woke culture,” in fact, throughout history most cultures around the world have independently developed a range of nuanced sexualities and expanded gender expressions. In Indigenous communities in North America, there are two-spirit people, a term for those who identify beyond the male-female binomial. In Indonesia, there are war, a term for people born male but living along a continuum of gender identity. Different groups from the African continent had also a wide range of sexual and gender expressions before being forced to abandon these traditions under Western colonial rule.
But even as some LGBTQ+ groups fight for their rights and identity, there have also been instances of progress and growing tolerance. Argentina is including questions on gender identity and ethnicity during its census this year, which is a major step in ensuring equal rights and access for LGBTQ+ people in the public sphere. Jowelle De Souza was the first openly transgender woman to serve in Trinidad and Tobago’s parliament when she was named an MP. temporary senator for a day.
Global Voices is partnering with the Berlin-based Disruption Lab this year to explore the issues of in transition and hear voices from Ukraine, Taiwan, Western Europe, and the United States who share their challenges and accomplishments on their journey to visibility, equal rights, and artistic expression.
For other resources on LGBTQ+ rights and identities, see this map created by PBS explore the range of historical gender expressions across the world.
For more on the state of LGBTQ+ rights in 2022, check out our coverage below.