On 13th April 2015 Chilean President Bachelet signed into law the legalisation of same-sex unions, and a week ago the law came into effect. Although this progress is welcome Bachelet’s re-election included a campaign promise that wasn’t civil union legalisation; his pledge was to legalise same-sex marriage. What this shows is that even in Chile, which is a religiously conservative country, the LGBT community is becoming more socially accepted. Same-sex marriage in Chile may not be that far off.
Germaine Greer has recently hit the headlines because of her comments regarding transgender women, specifically her view that transgender women “are not women”. As a consequence people have petitioned Cardiff University, where she was going to speak about women in the twentieth century, and as a result Greer has been uninvited. I have said in a previous post how I would want to campaign alongside the transgender community in order to remove stigmatisation and make society more inclusive, but I am also angered by these self-righteous people who are fundamentally misunderstanding free speech and the purpose of universities.
Just under a fortnight ago the BBC announced that transgender actor Riley Carter Millington would be portraying a new character on the popular UK television soap opera Eastenders. This is a significant step forward for the transgender community as history has shown that societal acceptance of the LGBT community has been boosted as a result of becoming more openly part of mainstream pop culture and entertainment. The presence of LGBT people in the entertainment business is nothing new however openly identifying as LGBT has often resulting in facing widespread stigmatisation; the prevalence of LGBT characters and entertainers humanises the community and can only result in greater acceptance.
Being the Great Firewall of China there has been a social awakening. In the last few days a video of a man on the Beijing Subway proposed to his boyfriend has gone viral on social media due to the bravery of the couple. Thankfully he said yes and the person on one knee was spared public humiliation but the reaction of the crowded carriage was the most interesting part of the whole situation.