From December, 2015

The Irrational Season of Christmas

This is the irrational season, when love blooms bright and wild. Had Mary been filled with reason, there’d have been no room for the child. ~ Madeleine L’Engle

I am a human rights activist. As someone who works for the recognition of human dignity and the achievement of equality for LGBT persons and their families across the world, I have come to understand myself as an irrational optimist.

Remarkable gains for LGBT equality have been made in 2015 such as the U.S. Supreme Court ruling for federal marriage equality; Mozambique removing its colonial penal code which had criminalized homosexuality and same-­sex love; Ireland’s national vote for marriage equality with thousands of Irish people coming home to vote; Botswana’s ruling to give space to a LGBT organization; and this week, Greece’s Parliament approving civil unions for same-­sex couples. Read more

World AIDS Day: Getting to Zero

Since 1988, December 1st has been World AIDS Day. This is a day to raise awareness about HIV, to stand in solidarity with those living with HIV, to remember loved ones we have lost to HIV, and to work together to end HIV around the world. The international theme for World AIDS Day 2015 is “Getting to Zero” which means working toward the dream of an AIDS-free generation.

Stigma and discrimination must be eliminated in the work to reduce infections, to improve access to healthcare and to open paths for advocacy. Populations at risk to HIV include LGBT persons, men who have sex with men, women living in poverty and sex workers.

2.79 billion people live in countries that criminalize homosexuality. Criminalization of one’s personhood, sexuality or gender expression makes one more vulnerable to HIV infection and less likely to receive adequate, even life-saving healthcare. Read more