Tonight I heard on the BBC news about research done by the European Union into the current state of homophobia in Europe.
First of all…WOW. How amazing is it that they did this? There are people in the EU actually tasked with checking on the quality of life for people of different ethnicities, sexual orientations, etc. Why it sounds downright CANADIAN.
Sadly, 26% of respondents reported having been attacked or threatened with violence. Most of those people did not report this because they felt the authorities wouldn’t do anything about it.
Half of the people surveyed felt they had been “discriminated against” (impossibly broad) and again 90% of those people did nothing to report the discrimination.
This leaves me hungry for more information. Is it getting better or worse for example. The fact that it happens is terrible and needs to change but did they ask if LGBT people feel good about their current lives in the EU…or optimistic about the way things are going?
And I’m no activist but PEOPLE. Our governments, our friends, our families…nobody can do anything unless they know there’s a problem. Whether its because you’re gay or tall or female or whatever, we need to get on the record when these things happen.
At this point, I feel much self-imposed pressure to tell a dramatic personal tale of overcoming some awful wrong myself but you know what? I’ve been lucky. Aside from some blatant age discrimination with my boss, the president, at Expedia, any discrimination I’ve encountered has happened behind closed doors.
My philosophy? Be confident in who you are in your personal, family and professional lives and don’t take any guff. Be respectful…ALWAYS. Ask why, push back…do whatever is needed to understand decisions being made. And stay safe…in fact RUN LIKE HELL if you have to and then make sure the right people know what happened after the fact.