Today is International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia, and Twitter has been ablaze with comments asking what’s the point of having a day dedicated to it.
The same happened on International Women’s Day: people asked what the point was. Surely equality had been won and so, there was no point to it all? Wrong.
That people do not see prejudice is precisely why such events are needed.
The battle against homophobia and transphobia is not won. Uganda is perpetually attempting to pass legislation allowing gay people to be executed. This would not be problematic under international law; recently the UN voted to remove sexual orientation from the resolution condemning summary executions. Even in the UK, homophobia is still rife: consider the story two men thrown out of a pub for kissing. When other people arrived to protest, the pub decided to close its doors rather than risk seeing more same-sex kisses.
For trans people, the situation is equally bad: violence against trans people is commonplace–to the point that websites commemorating the dead are necessary. In the healthcare system, abuse and discrimination is frequent, as is sexual assualt.
Homophobic and transphobic jokes are still frighteningly frequent, and seen by many as acceptable. If you don’t laugh, you must be part of the PC-brigade (warning: link goes to a horrifying display of utter cuntbaggery).
Homophobia and transphobia haven’t gone anywhere. The need for a day to raise awareness of its existence is still there. The need for a day for activists all over the globe to get their shit together and fight oppression is still there. The need for a day where every person can ask what they, personally, can do to help the fight is still there.
When people cannot see the oppression and hate that exists in the world, a day is needed to make it clear.