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It’s June. That means it’s Pride Month. This commemorates the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement and highlights the courageous individuals who fought for change and paved the way for progress. It serves as a platform to advocate for equal rights, challenge prejudice, and promote a more inclusive society.
During this month-long celebration, cities light up with parades, festivals, and events that bring communities together. Pride flags wave proudly, symbolizing unity, love, and resilience. Allies stand in solidarity, amplifying voices that have been marginalized for far too long. Pride Month is a time to reflect on the milestones achieved, but also to recognize the work that still lies ahead. It reminds us of the importance of standing up against discrimination and to continuously strive for a world where everyone is accepted and embraced for who they are.
I’m fortunate to live (and have lived) in progressive, mostly accepting cities. I am openly gay. I’m married and my husband and I are free to live our lives. But, this is not the reality for many in the LGBTQ+ community. Conservative lawmakers are turning back the hands of time and looking to impose laws against LGBTQ+ people at an alarming rate.
Being accepted and even laws against LGBTQ+ folks play a role in where I choose to travel and my thoughts often go to safety and legality when planning. There are places that I would like to visit, but refuse because I’m not looking to put myself in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation and I’m not looking to spend my money somewhere I am not treated as an equal.
There are 64 countries that still criminalize homosexuality. Nearly half of them are in Africa. Some of these countries have extreme penalties, up to and including death. Others are changing quickly. Singapore’s parliament repealed a controversial law which banned sex between men in December 2022, for example. I research places and laws before traveling. I also assess risk. I have been places with anti-LGBTQ+ laws like Jamaica and Egypt. I felt that I needed to be careful here and thankfully did not have any issues. If you’re an LGBTQ+ traveler, you should also do your research before booking a trip.
Much progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go for global equality.
Anthony’s Take: If you’re asking what you can do, become an ally. Stand up for the LGBTQ+ community. Donate time and/or money to worthy organizations. Happy Pride!
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