“In the face of hate: Visibility, Pride and Resilience”. That is the motto under which the Pride 2022 demonstration will be held in Madrid on July 9, but also the firm position of the LGTBI + community at a time when discourses that despise people for their sexual orientation or their gender identity.
“This year the motto I think is current and what the LGTBI + collective is experiencing. Since hate speech is increasing towards the collective —and I want to expand it, not only towards the LGTBI collective, but also towards women or other minorities, such as migrants— we want to emphasize that, in the face of hatred, we are not going to take a step back, that we will continue to be proud, that we will continue to be visible and that also resilience, which is our mental health, is our power to recharge ourselves and continue walking in the present”, summarizes the president of the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Trans, Bisexuals, Intersexuals (FELGTBI+), Uge Sangil, in a conversation with RTVE.es.
This platform, together with the LGTB+ Collective of Madrid (COGAM) and the Association of Companies and Professionals for Gays and Lesbians of Madrid and its Community (AEGAL), has explained that Pride is one of the main tools that the collective has to conquer their rights and achieve real and effective equality in all areas of society. In addition, they emphasize that this 2022 its celebration is “especially important” because during the two years of the pandemic, visibility has been reduced.
“There are many stories. In full pandemic I remember that two girls who were living together, two young lesbians, had to leave because they had no money, they lost their jobs and they had to go back into the closet with their familywho knew nothing (…) The visibility after these years is very important,” says the president of COGAM, Carmen García de Merlo, who hopes that in this Pride the mobilization that existed before COVID will be seen again.
Rejection of hate speech: “Not one step back”
From these entities they also maintain that the health crisis situation has generated a increase in hate speech against those who choose to continue rebelling from a positive and committed perspective. They specifically mention the damage done by “far right speeches” and they insist that they will not take “a single step back”.
“There is the ‘microLGTBIfobia’ from day to day, the looks or the insults, but also, and above all, we are concerned about the hate speech that is poured from the institutions and by parties like Vox, which is constantly creating discourses against the collective. This also creates thought among citizens and creates LGTBIphobia and hate crimes, which have obviously grown. According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, they have grown 10% in recent yearsSo we have to be worried. And then there have been certain incidents or crimes such as the murder of Samuel that have brought about a social change in terms of the reporting of hate crimes. That’s why this year too we are promoting the social and state pact against hate speech,” adds Sangil.
Within the Pride acts, it has been organized a vigil in the Plaza de Cibeles in Madrid to honor Samuel Luiz, who was beaten to death in July last year in A Coruña. The act will also remember all those people who have been victims of hate speech.
According to the latest report from the Ministry of the Interior on these crimes, in 2020, the Complaints of hate towards people because of their sexual orientation they remained at a high figure, despite the pandemic (277). There are still no statistics on what happened in 2021, but there are recent data offered by the Mossos d’Esquadra in Catalonia, where during the first quarter of 2022 they received 39 complaints related to LGBTI hate crimes, nine more than in the same period of 2021.
García de Merlo recalls that those cases that come to have a complaint are only “the tip of the iceberg” and that aggressions, both physical and verbal, are “the order of the day” on the street and on social networks.
In fact, FELGTBI+ launched its “stopthehate” campaign last week with the aim of carrying out a social experiment that would measure the amount of hatred that still exists among the population towards difference and diversity. To do this, they filled Madrid with posters with LGTBI + messages of the style: “Homosexuality is not normal, it is only common”, “Proudly trans”, “I am… Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans, Person”, “Gay? okay bisexual? Great” and “There are a thousand types of family, this is ours”. The posters, contrary to what was thought might happen at first, were not vandalized, but the debate moved to social networks with some striking data: there were some 8.11K results, all on Twitter (including tweets and RTs). ), Y among all the messages, there was a lot of hateeither.
Facing that hate: pride, visibility and resilience
Faced with this rebound, what they propose, as the motto says, is more pride, more visibility and more resilience. “Pride is the pride of being who you arebecause what we celebrate every year is being who we are (…) And visibility is our reason for being. It is very important because it is also a reference for other people who can also be free and can be them”, emphasizes the president of COGAM, a transsexual and bisexual woman.
She maintains that, although there have been great advances in Spain, there are currently groups seeking “backlash” and numerous people who resent the visibility of diversity. “There are many people who are still in the closet. We are one in ten. I have dated when I was 54 years old and throughout my life I believed that I would never go outthat I was going to die like this, without anyone knowing who I was”.
Lastly, the resiliencesay Sangil and García de Merlo, is that “strength” that allows the group to continue with its struggles to protect the rights that it has cost so much to achieve and to achieve others that are yet to come.
Support for the Ukrainian LGTBI population suffering from the war
Beyond this global claim, other petitions and other shows of support will also beat at Pride 2022. For example, much focus will be placed on the Ukrainian LGBTI population that is suffering from the war started by Russia.
“For Ukrainian LGTBI people, the fact of being able to leave their country is complex, but also in their country they suffer homophobia. Let’s not forget that Ukraine is also an LGBT-phobic country. So, we will be in the Pride making visible them and all those people from other areas who are in vulnerable situations and at risk of being imprisoned or even dying for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans…”, says Sangil.
This same activist explains that the specific situation of the transsexual women in Ukraine is delicate and that they will also express their support from Spain: “They cannot leave normally because they do not have the proper documentation. They consider them men and put them to battle. Many of them escape through fields, through forests, risking their lives a lot”. García de Merlo also reports on this situation and adds: “Some have been able to leave through the border but chased by the army“.
Other claims: the stigma of HIV and the ‘trans law’
The same associations explain that this year they will continue to make visible and combat the stigma of people with HIV and that, in addition, they will ask that the call ‘trans law’ (the Law for the Real and Effective Equality of trans people and the Guarantee of LGTBI Rights), which was approved this Monday in the second round by the Council of Ministers, get up and running fast and don’t stay “in a drawer”.
“We need that legal shield now”, underlines the president of COGAM, while from FELGTBI+ they point out that they will continue to claim the “red lines” that were left out of the draft and that they want them to “grow” in the text during the parliamentary process. Fundamentally, they have to do with the rights of people migrantsthe non binary people and the minors trans.
The Trans Platform Federation has also requested that these aspects be added to the standard and, specifically, they demand the inclusion of legal recognition of the identity of non-binary people with the creation of a third box on the DNI; that the rights of trans migrants be guaranteed, allowing the adequacy of the name and legal sex in all documents issued; as well as the recognition of the right of trans children to the adequacy of their name and legal sex through administrative and simple procedures.
In the same way, that platform asks for the extension of the articles referring to the rights of trans people. In this sense, they have lamented that the group does not have a generalist law and that, as they have denounced to Europa Press, for “imposition of the majority partner of the Government”, the 43 pages dedicated to legislating on the recognition of rights of trans people who had the Law initially proposed by the Ministry of Equality, they have passed to only three referring to this matter in the draft.
The Minister of Equality, advanced this Monday a novelty that will be included in the text: the migrant trans people they will be able to change the documents issued in Spain, even if their rights as trans people are not recognized in their countries of origin.
The motto of the Ministry of Equality: “Pride of country”
On the other hand, the campaign of the Ministry of Equality for Pride 2022 will have the motto “Pride of the Country”. It will be represented by a poster that has a dynamic version and a static version, and that has been created by the designer Cecilia Erlich. The graphic idea of it, as pointed out by Equality, revolves around a Spanish flag that evolves into different flags that represent the diversity of LGTBI identities, from trans to non-binary through bisexual. “All different, in permanent transformation and coexisting in harmony”, they point out.
The message “Pride of Country” refers, they explain, “to the pride of living in an inclusive country and that values diversity. In this way, the idea of an integrating, respectful and democratic country is vindicated, which advances towards the future in an unstoppable way, leaving Spain in black and white behind. a rich country, diverse, plural, open and caring, protecting the rights and freedom of all people, especially women and LGTBI people. A Pride that appeals to the same idea of democracy, but that at the same time enriches us as a society and marks the path of the fight for a fairer world and a diverse and egalitarian coexistence”.