Monday, December 16, 2013

Beat Homophobia!

Jonatas Baptista

You think two boys can freely hold hands in the centre of Brussels, the capital of the second country in the world that made same-sex marriage legal? You are WRONG.

It is in the main square of Brussels that you get insulted for holding each others’ hands by two straight men walking freely, holding their girlfriends' hands, and get beaten by them until your face is bleeding. It is not even midnight yet, plenty of people are walking around.

It is in this very same square that the police, 20 meters away from you, doesn't notice anything that is happening and when you run for their help in despair, they tell you that they would punch you in the face too unless you calm down. They do not offer any help, even if they see the blood dripping from your face onto your clothes, the broken glasses… Instead of offering to take you to the hospital, or try and look for the aggressors that ran away barely a minute ago, they just tell you that you should hold your nerves and go get a certificate from the hospital by yourself, because that is “the procedure”. You are made to feel as if you were a criminal yourself, not a victim of a hideous crime. The policemen refuse to show any identification and hide their names when kindly asked to do so.

It is in this very same Brussels, that you get shouted insults at in Arabic, while walking in the streets with your bleeding face. And when you dare answer to these insults, you get called a “yahudi”, a Jew.

The conclusion? Even in the most advanced and liberal countries, you will find people who still live in the Middle Ages and for whom “gay" and “Jew" are the worst insults. And even in the most democratic states, supposedly amongst the most respectful of human rights, you can expect the police to behave as it would in these very same countries where “gay" and “jew" are insults. Call it irony.

Jonatas Baptista
Jonatas Baptista


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