The LGBT community faces discrimination because of culture or religion. For this reason, they need  both a legal support, the enforcement of the law as well as a real shift in people’s perception.

Just because they choose to love the person of their choice the life of an estimated 211 million people worldwide are threatened every day. Rather in school, workplace, hospital, in daily life LGBT people of all ages, all social class and in all part of the world are victims of violations of their human rights. I urge you to open your eyes on an issue that is more than just a symbol of social progress. We are talking about the life of million of people, this no longer a minority when we look at it on a larger scale (The williams Institute,2011). Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual are targeted by physical assaults – beaten, sexually assaulted, tortured and killed most of the times in countries that don’t provide legal support ( OHCHR website). More than just targeted, they are presented as criminal in more than 40 percent countries on the planet. The religious or cultural weight is sometimes so heavy that in more than 76 countries discriminatory laws criminalize public and private relationships between persons of the same sex ; these laws expose individuals to be arrested, prosecuted, imprisoned and even, in at least ten countries, to the death penalty.( Erasing 76 crimes,2016)

76-countries-for-76crimes-8-2016
Map of the 76 countries with laws against sexual relations between people of the same sex. ( erasing 76 crimes, 2016)

More than just decriminalizing homosexuality, countries need to create and implant law to protect their LGBT population and sentenced the one who put their lives in danger. One of the major and strongest support of this issue come from the United Nations.Last month The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon made a speech on human rights and the LGBT, reminding the international arena the importance of taking action to give fundamental rights such as security and recognition to the homosexuals and transgender. He said “I ask those who use religious or cultural arguments to deprive LGBT people of their human rights: what do you gain by making others less equal? Is your religion or culture so weak that the only way you can sustain it is by denying others their basic rights? There is no room in our 21st century for discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” (UN SDG’s website)

I truly believe than one way to make things change and to really sensitize people to this subject is art. That’s what Arjun Kamath has done , a 28 years old photographer from Bengaluru in India. He decided to show the hatred and persecution that Indian same-sex couples face every day in his country through a powerful series of images. India is one country with a strong religious and cultural background in which homosexuality is still unfortunately considered as a crime. The  photos realized in India represent a fiction story of two women who decide to bravely live the way they want in a country that condemns homosexuality violently. Beautiful shots describe their coming out as a lesbian couple. The metaphor of pushing the door to go out of a closet is very strong and represent the difficulty to live their love freely. The last images show the two women being followed by The Rakshasas, a type of evil in Hindu mythology that tied them, put them back in the closet after finally putting fire on it to burn the two women alive to punish them for their sins ( Dailymail, 2015). This fiction represent the sad reality, it shows the terrible anxiety experienced by a same-sex couple to rejected by the society or their own family which can lead to dramatic situations of honor killing.

The case of India is unfortunately not an exception. Even in France a country that has laws against homosexual discrimination and that legalized the marriage of people of the same sex face issues. Last month, the government realized a huge prevention campaign to promote safe sex for homosexual. The extreme right is offended by the health campaign and decide to censure the AIDS  posters ( le Monde, 2016). Most of them are activist in the ” anti-marriage for all”  a religious group that claims to represent conservative values, tradition and the real values of family. They proudly claimed the rampage of billboard around the country. They accuse the posters of “promoting homosexuality” or “participating in the degeneration of society.” Others associate homosexuality with an inadequate representation of society for children. Seing two men hugging on an advertisement is still considered  provocative for some and show that homosexuality is far from being seen as normal.

France, India or Orlando with the last attack that happened in June, no place is fully a safe place for LGBT. They shouldn’t be alone to fight for their right; every human being should understand and fight by their side to give other citizen fundamental rights to live in peace and dignity. This is not just a progress or symbol of development, this the way the world is supposed to be.

“All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.”
Harvey Milk

Lola-Iris Kadri / Dubai campus

References:

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