Representation is Key!
In 2023, it is astounding that around one third of countries in the world criminalize same-sex relationships, and LGBTQIA+ people are subjected to discrimination, prejudice, and violence. It is important to look at why these countries are treating their people this way on the basis of sexuality. Despite the strides made over the past two decades, LGBTQIA+ community still finds itself misunderstood and discriminated against in everything from mainstream media to healthcare.
Producing good representation in the media is crucial to empowerment against persecution. Most recently, Marvel undertook this task in Thor: Love and Thunder, with Tessa Thompson’s role as Valkyrie- making her Marvel’s first LGBTQIA+ superhero. Despite the strides made over the past two decades, Queer representation still finds itself lacking in television, film, and other mainstream media.
LGBTQIA+ and Latiné Communities Finding Common Ground
More recently, activists have utilized this day to start conversations around the harm of conversion therapy; emotionally, mentally, and physically amounting to torture. The World Health Organization (WHO) aims to make it clear that LGBTQIA+ individuals are entitled to universal human rights, regardless of sexuality.
Roughly 69% of Latiné LGBTQIA+ individuals have experienced verbal assault or abuse, which in turn causes nearly one-third of Latiné adults who identify as LGBTQIA+ to be diagnosed with depression. In addition to this, 42% of Latiné LGBTQIA+ adults have experienced physical assault or threats, and less than half of these adults feel connected to the greater Latiné community.
A study produced by GLAAD and the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), found that most Latiné people broadly support equality for the LGBTQIA+ community, but hesitate when morality is brought into question – only 55% of Latiné people see being gay as morally acceptable. Focusing on shared values such as family, connection, and tolerance can help bridge any barriers between younger Latiné LGBTQIA+ people and their families who may have a hard time coming around at first.
The most important action we can take for LGBTQIA+ people in these countries, and across the world, is to listen to their stories and make sure their voices are heard.
With the advancement of the Internet, younger generations have grown up more easily connected, and in turn LGBTQIA+ people can see each other across the world. Catering to the LGBTQIA+ community, Queering The Map is an interactive online site that allows users to anonymously drop a pin and write a note about their experiences as a queer person. This not only connects queer youth around the world, but also serves as an anonymous safe space for members of the LGBTQIA+ community in countries who have more prohibitive laws concerning homosexuality.
It can be very difficult to be queer in many countries, but let these messages prove that there are people like you everywhere!
- Puerto Rico
- Costa Rica
- Puerto Rico