Prejudice and stigma don’t affect us just on the grounds of who we are and whom we love, but also for whom others believe us to be.
In Sri Lanka, a report disclosed an alarming reality of forced physical examinations conducted by authorities to find “proof of homosexual conduct”. In Nigeria, a person could get stopped, questioned and harassed only for being perceived as queer, human rights organisations reported amidst the ongoing protests against police brutality.
In many parts of the world, authorities seek to strip our communities of basic rights. In Texas, United States, social workers can now refuse to assist people on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or disability.
This week also marked some victories. Aotearoa New Zealand elected the most diverse parliament in its history, including 13 out queer persons among its 120 members. In Russia, an attempt to target our rights failed, as the Cabinet rejected a package of discriminatory bills. After years of stalling, marriage equality in Chile seems to be moving forward as a Senate’s commission gave the green light to a draft bill.
Meanwhile, our communities worldwide are still gathering together, albeit virtually: this week, ILGA World member organisations in Europe and Central Asia, as well as in Oceania, are meeting online for their regional gathering and conference.