by C. Connoisseur
Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia; a day to say No to homophobia and transphobia and to celebrate diversity. For information on events in New Zealand click here. There is also a post on the Handmirror blog.
The world we live has a rather large default button that says ‘Straight and Cis-gendered’. Anything else seems to demand a ‘coming out process’. I would love to live in a world where I didn’t have to think about how people react to who I fall in love with and share my life with. I have caught myself thinking twice about holding my partner’s hand in public, in case we get yelled at or get ‘funny’ looks. The political part of me has a ‘fuck you’ attitude but the reality sometimes feels different. I feel anxious at times if we are holding hands; torn between something so wonderful, my relationship with my awesome partner, and visibility that comes with holding my partners hand. This seems like a small concern given my privilege of being a white, middle-class, academic living in New Zealand. In Uganda homosexuality is illegal and punished with imprisonment. Just last week in Uganda a law that would have seen same-sex attracted people sentenced to death was, thankfully, overturned. I am ecstatic that in New Zealand I have the freedom to fall in love with a woman and not fear imprisonment.
The reality is that we are all affected by transphobia and homophobia in some way. It maybe though internalised homophobia and transphobia or having to deal with workmate, peers, friends and strangers on a daily basis and not mentioning the gender/sex of your partner. Homophobia and transphobia affects those of you who identify as ‘straight’, heterosexual and cis-gendered as you are living in a world where diversity is not always celebrated. Hopefully somewhere in the world today at least one person faces their homophobia and transphobia and moves to embrace diversity and celebrate love and accept the challenge to change the world.