2 Stories of Gay Discrimination and the Inspiring Responses

17 Apr

Unfortunately, discrimination remains a fact of life for many people whose only crime is showing the world who they are truly are. Thankfully, there are lots of other people out there who remind victims of discrimination that they are far from alone.

1) London, UK: Jonathan Williams and James Bull were finishing up a very happy first date with a drink at the John Snow pub in London’s SoHo neighborhood. After a while, they began to kiss. This disturbed some patrons. After a while, somebody claiming to be the landlady asked them to leave because their kissing was bothering some of the patrons. A plainclothes officer said she had the right to ask them to leave. I have to say that two people kissing is probably one of the more innocuous things to happen at a bar during a busy evening.

So yesterday, hundreds of people attended a kiss-in outside the pub in question to protest the treatment Williams and Bull endured. The pub decided to close down and forfeit an evening of profits rather than open in the middle of the protest. Human rights campaigners from all over London attended the festivities. Word is that the happy couple at the center of the story will go on a second date sometime after Easter. Hopefully, it will be a little more low-key.

2) Brazil: At a semifinal match last week in a prominent Brazilian volleyball league, the fans erupted in cheers of “bicha” (which means “f****t”) in Portugese. Those cheers were directed toward a member of Vôlei Futuro named Michael. He was forced to come out to the press saying, “I’m gay. Everyone knows who I am. My team fully respects my sexuality.”

So at a second semifinal, the team showed Michael how much they were behind him. During warmups, the entire team wore pink jerseys as a sign of solidarity and the team’s libero, a player who wears a different color jersey than everyone else, wore a rainbow-colored tee shirt. The crowd displayed a large banner that read, “Vôlei Futuro Against Prejudice” and had thundersticks with the word “Michael” on them to drown out any potential homophobia that erupted during the match.

They won too.

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