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August 15, 2011 | by  | in Features |
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Reasons to be Proud

“Who would give a law to lovers?  Love is unto itself a higher law.” So said the philosopher Boethius in 524AD. The words of Boethius formed the thought that ran through the heads of the people that took Stonewall Inn.

It was the force behind 1979’s Reclaim the Night march, the passing of the 1986 homosexual law reform by 49 votes to 44 and the reason for every fight of the LGBT community since. All the actions that have followed, and the people that have come since are our reason to be proud.

Throughout history gay people have been fighters. From Harvey Milk: the first gay man elected to public office in California, to the Topp Twins: lesbian New Zealand sisters who yodelled their way to visibility, gay people have been positively representing us for generations. They have been top icons along with celebrities such as Elton John, Ricky Martin, Tegan and Sara, Ellen DeGeneres and Sir Ian Mckellen. The visibility and the success of these gay people is a feat to be proud of as it has encouraged all gay people to get out of the closet and be proud of whom they are.

Because of this visibility, and the work of politicians who are gay and gay-friendly, we can now get married in Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, Argentina, Portugal, and Sweden (to name a few).

Though all of this is significant, living life in the LGBT community was definitely difficult during the past. The mere act of talking to someone under the age 20 about your sexuality was forbidden, as was the production of gay-themed media. As a community, homophobia is something that is still present in today’s culture, but it does get better. Today the gay community is supported by close friends, politicians, celebrities and people in general who are open to the idea of love. The culture of our special events, such as pride week, Miss Tiffany pageants, and gay film festivals like Wellington’s own Outtakes have certainly created a huge impact in our modern day lives and what it means to be gay in New Zealand.

Acceptance of the gay community is gradually becoming more prominent than the intolerance of the past and the movement to cement this even further is still rolling.

There are so many reasons for gay people to be proud: those who have fought for us, the people who represent us, the history that has shaped our lives and the culture that surrounds us. We are who we are and we love who we love. That is something to be proud of.

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