Remembering LGBT history is essential not just for LGBT people who identify with LGBT role models but also for straight people who can learn to be sensitive and understand what LGBT people have been through to be accepted not only by society and by their families but to also reach a level of self acceptance for themselves.
The history of homosexuality has shaped not only European history but world history as homosexuality is also present in many art forms and cultures.
Homosexulity has often been seen as negative and immoral. But attitudes towards Homosexuality and LGBT people have changed over time due to Gay rights campaigning (Stonewall 1967 riots) and to indviduals and society gradually understanding Homosexuaity as something which is not a disorder or immoral but a sexual orientation which is part of someone’s identity of who they are as an individual.
During the 1970s gay rights campaingers such as Peter Tachel and Harvey Milk have challenged homophobia and have fought for the equality of LGBT people. If it wasn’t for these LGBT campaingers then progress and the fight for LGBT people wouldn’t have been heard. This is why it is important to remember LGBT campaigns throughout history.
It has been fifty years since the decimalisation of homosexuality in the UK however, there is still a lot of campainging which needs to be done to end LGBT discrimination in Europe and around the world.
For example, the Home Office has released a report on the surge in hate crime committed against LGBT people by 33%. (Pink News) Gay conversion therapy used to be available on the NHS but recently Stonewall has campaigned to have that banned.
Although homosexuality was decriminalized in Britian 50 years ago homophobic attacks still happen in the UK nd around the world.
It is also illegal to be gay in seventy-three countries for example, places like Iran, Russia, Uganda, and Saudi Arabia make homosexulaity a serious offence and offer the death penalty as well as imprisment for those engaing in homosexual acts.
For example, Roger Ross Williams documentary God Loves Uganda emphasise how evangelicals coming to Uganda are exporting homophobia. In one part of the documentary you see hidden footage of Scott Lively an evangelical pastor using hateful rhetoric against homosexuals.
His leadership and views were widely admired and he helped draft the Anti-gay bill in parliament.
In Iran Amnesty International reported that two adolescent boys were due to be executed for engaging in homosexaual acts in 2016 the Iran regime frequently executes anyone found quilty engaging in homosexual acts.
Russia on the other hand does not offer the death penalty for LGBT citizens but relies solely on religious values held by the Orthodox Church which believe pedophilia and homosexuality go hand in hand.
These religious views held by the Church are also used as a political campaign in parliament as a propaganda tool to ban LGBT people from being protected under law and it also bands LGBT people from adopting children.
This has led to political figures like Putin to condemn homosexuality and to encourage intolerance and prejudice towards LGBT people in Russia.
Although Theresa May is planning on banning conversion therapy in the UK wer are not sure how effective this ban will be. Some extreme religious groups in the UK such as (Christian Concern) founded by Andrea Williams and The Core Issues Trust want to promote conversion thearpy to change a person’s sexual orientation.
Conversion thearpy is still prominent in some parts of America but is banned in some parts by the bill placed into law by president Obama.
It is also a practice which has been gowing on in Australia by Evangelical religious groups such as Living Waters which is an ex gay ministry which believes homosexuality is a sin and that it can change an individuals sexuality through prayer and fasting.
For example the documentary (The Cure 2012) highlights how ex gay therapy had a wide impact on the mental health of LGBT Christians being sent to missionaries such as Living Waters.
Although ex gay ministries like Exodus International shut down in America its ex gay ministires continued in North America and across the globe. For escample, the documentary The Cure for Love is about evangelical gays getting married to cure them of their homosexuality.
Although this remains the case within some evangelical groups there are also LGBT Christians who are campaigining within the Church to put an end to LGBT discrimination.
Such as, the Theologian Vicky Beeching who is an LGBT campaginer who went to peform in the Bible belt who came out as gay after being diagnosed with autoimmune disease and Matthuew Vines who is the author of ‘God and the Gay Christian.’