How dare you label me a criminal?

How dare you label me a criminal?

Frankly, I don’t even care about acceptance, but how dare you label me a criminal?

The truth is that I live in New Delhi, am financially independent and fairly well-known. 
All these help protect me but one only has to visit smaller cities, or go to villages to find out more about discrimination. I’ll also say that it’s not only about class and money; it is also about the environment. Imagine a mindset in which girls are raped in the belief that they’ll become straight.

  ~ Celebrity chef Ritu Dalmia on the Indian law, Section 377, that criminalizes her sexuality.

Nuestra ciudadanía hoy es más libre.

Nuestra ciudadanía hoy es más libre.

"Nuestra ciudadanía hoy es más libre. Hoy estamos más cerca de hacer realidad la aspiración de cualquier pareja a ser feliz, quererse, respetarse y protegerse en igualdad de condiciones, sin importar su orientación sexual. Como sociedad debemos sentir satisfacción al haber colocado un eslabón más en la extensa historia costarricense de respeto a los derechos humanos." ~ Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera

"Our citizens today are freer. Today we are closer to making reality the aspiration of any couple to be happy, to love, to respect themselves and protect themselves in conditions of equality, regardless of their sexual orientation. As a society, we must feel satisfaction at having placed one more link in the extensive Costa Rican history of respect for human rights."

I did not have anywhere to go

I did not have anywhere to go

When I told my parents last year I was gay, my father beat me up. My mom took a plastic bag, stuffed it with food and clothes and then I was kicked out. I did not have anywhere to go, didn’t have any money.
 
I did not dare to go back to school because of all the bullying that was going on. I ended up doing sex work to survive. Through an acquaintance I learnt about this shelter.”

~ Rajan, 18-year-old Albanian, on being expelled from his family home and seeking refuge at the LGBTQ shelter STREHA

...if not for the voices and actions of people...

...if not for the voices and actions of people...

“[The Minister’s] statement flies in the face of the constitutional rights to freedom of expression and association – and people are afraid to speak up. But we must remember that Tanzania would never have become independent were it not for the voices and actions of people who were opposed to the government at the time.”

Neela Ghoshal, Senior Researcher at Human Rights Watch on the crackdown against LGBT and other rights organizations

Break this vicious circle

Break this vicious circle

One form of fundamentalism or extremism is not a justification for another. Each is a reinforcing reminder of the global humanist crisis that lies before us. We must break out of this vicious circle that will leave youth globally facing a political landscape offering only a bleak choice of competing extremisms.

~ Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Karima Bennoune in her report to  the Human Rights Council

liberté personnelle

liberté personnelle

"À l'heure où le monde est en train d'évoluer, à l'heure où certains pays ont instauré le mariage homosexuel et l'ont reconnu, la moindre des choses est de dépénaliser au Liban, ce qui constitue véritablement une liberté personnelle." 

"At a time when the world is evolving, at a time when certain countries have established gay marriage and recognized it, the least thing to do is to decriminalize homosexuality in Lebanon, which really constitutes a personal freedom."

Former Lebanon MP Salah Honein wondering how it is possible to criminalize "a feeling". 

Courage and Determination

Courage and Determination

“Strong efforts must be made to increase LGBT visibility amongst ordinary Nigerians as well as [showing] the average Nigerian the great strides that are being achieved with regards to LGBT rights in other parts of the world. It is a long and arduous journey ahead and the challenge must be met firmly and with courage and determination.”

~ 25-year-old gay man living in Nigeria to the Bisi Alimi Foundation in their report  Not Dancing to Their Own Music