There are lesbian, gay, bi, trans or intersex people in every community. They are your colleagues and acquaintances, friends and family members. Even if you think that you have never met a single member of the LGBTI community, it is more than likely that you have. But some – or maybe all – of them have been forced to stay silent because they will face stigma, discrimination or even violence if they are open about who they are.
These injustices might have started in childhood. Young LGBTI people are more likely to be bullied, forced out of school or rejected by their families than their peers. If the person you know is intersex, they might have had surgery they never needed or wanted as young children and suffer from physical and mental repercussions for the rest of their lives. This continues into adulthood, when LGBTI people face discrimination and violence when looking for a home or for work, if they want to start a family, visit the doctor’s office, or simply walk down the street. If they live in one of the 70 countries criminalizing same-sex relationships, they might even have to hide from the government or face prison or even the death penalty. It is no wonder LGBTI people often have to hide who they are.
It does not have to be this way. Together we can create a world where it is safe to be yourself – no matter who you are or whom you love. Share to help break the silence!