LGBTQ issues: Look beyond your country

The following post was written for Canadian readers of my Gazette blog, but it can apply to everyone. I’ve changed the headline for this blog.

I wonder sometimes if members of Quebec’s LGBTQ communities, indeed, Canada’s LGBTQ communities are somewhat oblivious to the problems faced by LGBTQ people in other countries — like Russia, Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon and on and on and on. After all, we LGBTQ people have it pretty good here — nobody is going to send us to jail in this country for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans. But while in Quebec today we start the official process of dithering over whether a few people can wear religious symbols in their public workplaces, gay people are being rounded up by police in some African nations to face jail terms or even death. Russia seems poised to start what some are already referring to as a gay Holocaust. Sadly, I don’t hear many Quebecers and Canadians speaking out against the oppression and persecution of LGBTQ people abroad.

I, too, might be shrugging off the persecution of LGBTQ people in foreign countries were it not for this blog, which as many readers know started out as an account of personal gender transitioning. After all, what can we do about it?

Well, I have an answer for that question. A funny happened when I started blogging for The Gazette (and there are no coincidences in life, theosophists know): I started getting emails and comments from people around the world. In fact, more than half of my readership of both of my blogs comes from the United States, Britain and beyond. I noted that when I write about anti-LGBT events in various countries — as I started doing after there wasn’t much more to say about my personal journey — readership from them grows. For example, I don’t think The Gazette ever had as many readers look in from Croatia as we did the day I wrote about some anti-LGBT legislation in that nation and used the word “boycott.”

I’ve received letters from LGBTQ activists in African nations and from around the world (and Canada, too), all of whom read something in my blog that inspired or induced them to write to me. Many of them have thanked me for pointing to the issues in their countries, and for showing support for them, and urged me to keep writing. Indeed, this blog has largely become about them now.

And that’s how you can make a difference: by writing on social media. You can do more, if you want: you can call for protest rallies outside embassies, you can boycott the products of nations that oppress the rights of LGBTQ people, etc.

You can also point out in social media to the leaders of countries like Uganda and Nigeria and Cameroon, who keep telling everyone to mind their own business and butt out, that they are brute relics of the Stone Age and that they can’t hide in caves anymore, and that all people on Planet Earth are citizens of a global village in which the cry of one is heard around the world in an instant — and that we are not going to idly sit by and let those wacko leaders get away with their crimes against humanity.

If enough of you cry out on social media and in demonstrations etc, our governments might become more proactive — and will do more than issue official statements condemning anti-LGBT legislation. At the very least, you will be showing your support for persecuted LGBTQ people, and believe me, they will be grateful.

Speak up! Speak out!

– Jillian

The great lost chord of modern civilization is forgetfulness of the fact in nature of universal brotherhood, which means not merely a sentimental or political brotherhood; it means that we are all of one common cosmic or spiritual origin, and that what affects one affects all . . . – G. de Purucker

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