By Joshua Wright | @joshuawright098
In the fifty years since the Stonewall riots in New York, LGBT issues have become ingrained within society. From the box office successes of recent films like “Rocketman” and “Love Simon”, to record numbers of politicians, artists and sportspeople being openly out, with an ever-increasing number of allies along the way. Even those once infamously against the community, like US President Donald Trump and UK PM Boris Johnson, have now both come around, with them both tweeting their support during recent Pride Month parades.
An increasing number of people, particularly the Gen Z and Millennial generations, identify as non-straight in the UK; and in the US, around 12% of people identify as LGBT in 2017, going from 20% of Millennials to 5% of people over 70. Though these are both polls with a limited scope, it is almost certain that people identifying as such are increasing exponentially.
“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows” – Rocky Balboa
Unfortunately mirroring this increase, homophobic and transphobic hate crimes and double and tripled, respectively, and these statistics only account for crimes reported, and against those openly identifying as such – so the real numbers are possibly much higher.And this mix of progress and regression at home is echoed in worldwide trends.
Whilst 28 countries worldwide now recognise, accept and perform same-sex marriages, (the most recent ones being Austria, Taiwan and Ireland), over 70 countries consider it a criminal offence to some degree, and eleven still wholly consider any kind of homosexual behaviour or activity punishable by death – the most recently of these being Brunei, who placed a moratorium on their Sharia law implementation, less than a month after increasing their imprisonment sentence to execution by stoning.
So although we can celebrate how far we have come, there is still a long way to go, and this applies to gender and racial equality, as much as it does for the queer community.