Globally, there is increased inequality based on health, race, gender, nationality sexuality wealth and other tiers of social stratification. Sex and sexuality lie at the heart of these issues, as stubborn cultural and ideological beliefs create and reinforce discrimination. Sexual and gender minority persons face dangerous levels of homophobia, transphobia, gender-based and political violence, and dislocation from their homes and sometimes from their own countries. In addition, marginalized communities bear the brunt of corrupt governments, and an ever-shrinking space where they can freely and safely create change.
May 17, the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, is a day for sexual and gender minority persons to celebrate this year's theme of "Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights," which speaks to the heart of this chaotic world we live in and is particularly important as we have witnessed reports of bodily and rights violations, loss of lives, and continued shame and indignity that too many of us continue to face.
These three stories highlight why we need to protect their rights, de-shame their bodies and continue to celebrate their ives.
Eddie Ndopu is a South African-based disability activist and global advocate for the United Nations' Sustainability Development Goals . He was a speaker at the Global Black Gay Men Connect's pre-conference at ICASA 2021, where he talked about the "intersectionality" of disability and being queer. Intersectionality recognizes that there is no one identity or situation of a human being. We have multiple identities, face multiple issues and our lives intersect with multiple forms of oppression. It is thus expected that the more complex and diverse we are, the more we face marginalization and discrimination on multiple levels, based on these identities. He began his remarks by focusing on the word "intersectionality" which offers us an opportunity to develop new methodologies and new insights on how we tackle exclusion and discrimination.
"It is important that when we speak of 'leaving no one behind' within our own community we do so by paying particular attention to those who embody identities that position us at a profound disadvantage when it comes to issues of autonomy access to comprehensive sexuality education, and sexual and reproductive health rights," he said.
He gave an example of how, when people think about accessibility they often imagine building a ramp to a building. He noted "a ramp facilitates entry into a building, but...