Our attitude towards homophobia is the key to overcoming it

We’re in the year 2019 and as crazy as it might seem there are still people that show their hate towards the LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender) community. And when I talk about hate I mean situations that have to do with discrimination, insults or teasing, sexual and physical assault, and even the murder of people, only because their sexual orientation is different to the heterosexual one. There are countries where homosexuality continues to be a crime that is dealt with by prison time, punishments, or even the death sentence. I insist, all this is occurring in 2019!

It is also true that the LGBT movement has grown a lot in the past few decades, so much that, in the month of May in 2019, homosexual marriage or civil union is recognized in 27 countries around the world, and a great number of countries have created specific laws that prohibit the discrimination of people for their sexual orientation. Yet we have a long way to go, especially when we talk about our attitude towards this subject.

Analyze your own attitude: we often consider ourselves as respectful and tolerant; however, look at a homosexual couple kissing in the street and think to yourself: “they can do what they want, but they should do it in private”. I ask you, would you think the same if instead, it was a heterosexual couple that was kissing? Then it’s not just about “tolerating” the diversity and homosexuality, but it’s about accepting it with complete normality and naturality, and part of that is looking at couples of the same sex showing their affection towards each other in public.

Speak out and support them: If you’re heterosexual, you might be thinking that this fight has nothing to do with you and that it only pertains to a small minority of society, but I invite you to look at it from a different point of view. In the same way that a person doesn’t have to be a woman to fight for women’s rights, you don’t have to be LGBT to fight for the rights of that community. Rights are inherent to human beings, just for being human beings. Therefore, if you want to participate in the Gay Pride parades that take place every June, do it and support them.

Discuss the matter with your kids: homosexuality is not a learned behavior, but homophobia is, and it is often acquired at home. Your kids will probably take a similar position to yours, so it is good to teach them early that the LGBT community deserves the same respect and consideration as any other person. Inspire them to defend any peer that might be a victim of aggression just for being different, whichever the difference may be, and ask them to let you know so that you can inform those in charge and responsible.