surinenglish

Pride and prejudice

The Duke of Cambridge said on Wednesday that he would be "absolutely fine" if one of his three children came out, but admitted that because of their roles he would be "worried about barriers and persecution". It would be nice to think that the rest of society would embrace the idea of a gay royal, or better, simply not bat an eyelid.

Today, Spain along with other countries around the world is holding events to mark exactly 50 years since New York's Stonewall riots and it is heartening to see that along with some young royals, town halls in the province are actively supporting their LGBTI+ communities.

The Stonewall riots were seen as the most important event leading to the modern fight for LGBTI+ rights in the United States, which had a knock-on effect in other countries and Spain was one of the first countries in the world to legalise same sex marriage in 2005.

Rincón de la Victoria is holding a gala event today, where three local activists are to be recognised for their work with the LGBTI+ community and Malaga town hall's logo appears on a poster advertising a LGBTI+ Pride gathering starting on the city's Plaza de la Constitución this evening. With elections finished for another four years, it seems that some politicians don't just see their support as a vote-winner.

Yet, it's still heartbreaking to think that 50 years after the events that took place at the Stonewall Inn, homophobia is still very present and appears to be on the rise again.

Last month images of a lesbian couple who had been beaten up by a group of men on a London bus because they allegedly refused to kiss each other went viral on social media and even made the Spanish news and closer to home, a newly elected Vox councillor in Torremolinos was forced to leave the party days after the local elections having been seen to support the town's Pride festival - an act which flies in the face of the party's homophobic views.

The party's leader, Santiago Abascal, has been recorded saying that the party believes, "marriage is the union between a man and woman", and that a different word should be used to describe same-sex marriage. In 21st century Spain, while on paper homosexual couples now enjoy the same rights held by straight couples for centuries, has this kind of discourse led to a rise in homophobic incidents ?

Are these examples just coincidence or am I right in fearing the worst? It seems it's hard to tell which way things will go . On the one hand many public figures are speaking out about dignity and respect towards others, while others are actively trying to quash those same values.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if by Stonewall's 60th anniversary all communities could mark the occasion without "barriers and persecution" regardless of their status in society or sexual orientation?