Saturday, April 11, 2009
Triumph and Danger
The world keeps spinning, doling out both good and bad news on the LGBT Human Rights front. Marriage equality takes major strides forward www.eqca.org in Iowa, Vermont and Washington, DC. Concurrently, gay men have once again been executed in the Middle East and a popular “gay friendly” gathering place for the community is set ablaze.
In Turkey, LGBT refugees huddle in closet size rooms called safe houses as they await word from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) www.unhcr.org regarding asylum in countries who will not persecute them for who they are. Since the asylum process may take months, organizations like the Iranian Queer Railroad www.irqr.net provide a lifeline of advocacy and resources to assist in the struggle. Simultaneously, half way around the world in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, local activists are hard at work organizing their second gay pride event. Two years ago, they managed a dance on a boat docked in the Tonle Sap river. Now they are gearing up for a week long celebration in May 2009 that will include performances, art exhibits, workshops, and another kick-ass dance party. Two years from now, perhaps even a parade through the center of town.
And so it goes around the globe. A few steps forward and a few steps back. Progress and resistance go hand in hand. This is the reality we, along with our brothers and sisters face in the day-to-day struggle for equality. The promise of both triumph and danger around every corner.
Photos: Marriage in Vermont and a gay execution in Iraq.