It might seem, in the middle of 2021, the LGTBIQ+ community only needs to finish fine-tuning the rights they have already achieved, but unfortunately we still have to fight to claim basic rights that the LGTBIQ+ collective has not been able to achieve.
Our society is diverse and this is part of its great wealth. The vast majority of people in the LGTBIQ+ community are proud of this diversity and promote it individually or together through struggle, socialisation, culture and volunteering in all kinds of organisations and associations that want, ultimately, to continue improving the situation of all those people who fly the flag of diversity.
It might seem, in the middle of 2021, the LGTBIQ+ community only needs to finish fine-tuning the rights they have already achieved, but unfortunately we still have to fight to claim basic rights that the LGTBIQ+ collective has not been able to achieve. And not only that, because in addition to the work that lies ahead, we must always be alert to fight against certain behaviours towards our group.
The cases of people who hate those they consider different, who hate this diversity, are still very much present everywhere. And certain political discourses fuel this hatred and empower it by protecting behaviours we can’t allow. Nothing can justify an aggression, neither physical nor verbal. Nothing can justify the prohibition of rights. We can’t allow being treated differently by denying what is evident, that we are an important part of society, and that we are proud to belong to the LGTBIQ+ community.
We’re talking about human rights, and they must be respected. But what can we do when that respect does not exist? What can we do when people feel unsafe in public places? We must be aware of the strength that lies in numbers and, now more than ever, different organisations must unite to defend the rights that have already been conquered and to continue on this path for the new generations and for the rights that are still denied to us.
The power of organisations
Historically, the work of organisations and associations—in Catalonia and in all the territories of the world—has always been at the heart of advances in freedom and rights. Whether they are veteran or newer organisations, they represent a great diversity and this is the secret weapon of the LGTBIQ+ community. Because, as I mentioned before, in diversity lies wealth and strength.
Associations connect with LGTBIQ+ people through one of the most influential contexts: the territory where we are born, raised, live or work. The power of organisations is great, since they have the trust of many people. And that strength can be further enhanced by networking, with organisations sharing resources and helping each other.
The critical moment that society is going through calls for joining forces to be able to give support and respond together. It calls for a defence of the rights of citizens wherever they are, since the reality of a territory like Catalonia is not only the one of a capital like Barcelona, nor should this one define the whole agenda. It’s very important that people everywhere, regardless of the size of the population of their place of residence, are visible and have the same resources and mechanisms. And this is what organisations and federations such as the Platform of LGTBI Entities of Catalonia (LGTBIcat Platform), which is made up of different associations of the LGTBIQ+ community, want to promote and protect. These are associations that belong to various fields such as culture, sports, health or rights, and that pool all their knowledge, experience and members to contribute together.
That’s the goal and the will: to be a force in the LGTBIQ+ public policy. But, how to achieve this? How can we reach everyone? The only way is through the great work of each of the entities that make up an organisation like ours and the transversal work that is done there. This work takes the best of each entity, shares it, and amplifies it. This is the way. If we hold hands, they won’t be able to get through.