Wednesday, 3 July 2013

And the next prejudice on the list is... Homophobia!!

In the wake of London Gay Pride and the passing of the gay marriage bill in the US, I read a great blog entitled Where's the straight pride? It's not fair, by a very successful blogger Jack Monroe who basically came out to all her readers in this post. I found her heartfelt words extremely moving- it's easy to forget as a straight person all of the little (and big) things that can be more difficult for gay people. For example holding hands or kissing in public, or wondering how new friends/colleagues will react when you tell them. 
Britain and other Western countries are working to eradicate prejudice and pass laws for equal rights for gay people, most currently the right to marriage. Even though it seems to move exasperatingly slowly at times, you only have to look back in modern history to see how much things have changed and that we will inevitably get to a point where being gay is as accepted and normal as it is to be a woman, or to be black.
We did the fight against sexism. Then we did the one against racism. And now we're here. In a way we're living through a time in which history is being made. One day hopefully people will look back and say 'Wow, I can't believe it used to be like that.' And just as I am forever grateful to the suffragettes, so will future generations be to the people now who are fighting for the right for gay people to be treated the same as anyone else.

My experiences living abroad have shown me exactly how lucky I am to be from such a modern society. In Korea homosexuality was somewhat of a taboo, only acknowledged through 'homo hill'- the one small street in the city where there were a handful of gay bars. I know of at least two colleagues who hid their sexuality whilst working in Korea, worried about the negative impact it might have on their employment.
And what about Saudi Arabia? They haven't even got anywhere near equal rights for women yet, let alone for different races. And I'm pretty sure they still stone people for behaving homosexually. So give them a couple of hundred years and maybe they might catch up to where we are now.
There are still many places in the world that treat women as inferior and I know now that in this respect I took being brought up in England for granted. Then there are even more places where people are discriminated against because of the colour of their skin. But more widespread even than that, there are countless countries where to be openly gay would be to endanger your life. 
I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though we're perhaps not quite there yet, I'm proud to be a part of a nation that constantly works towards equality. 


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