By the way, Happy Independence Day if you feel so moved but judging from the cartoon in the Observer two years ago in 2009 it makes one question how independent are we?
Yes we are free from colonial rule and are supposed to be managing our affairs but our former colonial masters left a template for us to use in the form of the Westminster parliamentary system and as far as freedom of choice and orientation goes they have removed the buggery and other related acts and laws to secure citizen's rights and privileges. Not to mention the other ills which I won't go into now.
A law for the rich and and law for the poor is what we have ended up with for the past 49 years which still dogs us in however subtle forms it may present itself. I mean I never expected things to happen overnight but one would have expected more enlightened legislation and thought from the intelligentcia on class, sex, sexuality and sexual orientation. With three major University campuses, various law schools and an additional 4 overseas institutions operating here all of whom offer some Psychological and related studies independent and liberal thinking are woefully lacking.
The two types of justice at least exists but for gay people in general as we all know there is very little for us when we have to access the state mechanisms to achieve closure. We are ignored or vilified and accused of paedophilia even without proper investigative procedures. It's only since the new Police Commissioner stepped into office we have seen slight improvements as far as the police community relations are concerned. Gays and lesbians still have it hard and to think our motto says "Out of many, one people" we are eons away from it. Older gay folk with tell you that in the sixties and seventies we never had this kind of trouble except for the occasional taunt by kids whose parents would discuss a suspected neighbour over their dinner table or some ostracism but that was as far as it went, now even under the slightest suspicion you can be beaten or killed at the least warned before the impending doom is enacted.
Justice where is it for us?, most gays are subject to ridicule and forced outings when allegedly caught in the act, we are dragged into court, cases are tried (if it gets to trial) in open court instead of "in camera" meaning without the public present in the room, names published in the papers, stories embellished for sensationalism to sell papers, cases languish in court that is if we persistently attend mention dates (if it gets so far as arresting officers scarcely follow up) we may get a sine die adjournment long after then the arduous task of clearing your police record if you want to access certain services or to clear ones name.
Is it that we are going to have to consider civil unrest and have martyrs among us to get the point across or to effect change and How many of us a are willing to take that stand? We are so busy living in our own worlds and have become so individualistic we forget others because we are not poor so many feel we won't get beaten or hurt and are far removed from the realities on the ground, so we can hop on a plane and go somewhere else. Justice is a reciprocal process as I see it we can't just sit by and demand it, we have to act as well legally firstly and if needed, civil disobedience. Even our advocacy has been tainted by this elitist stance in a sense, the powers that be aren't from the larger LGBT body politic and are immune or far removed from the matters of homophobic violence etc of which they speak on, which is not to say they cannot speak but we have to include those voices directly in the mission but often times they are missing from the agitations over these many years, just take a look at the latest video campaign which has persons of a "lighter shade" who may never know save and except for reports what violent homophobia is all about, the video would have made a better impact if real victims were used if it means concealing their identities that has been done before. Many in the community are not pleased with the video although the intent is noble and is a start from the rigor mortis that had set in over the years, thankfully vigilance by us is also forcing the sleeping giant to act as was evidenced in several party interventions which JFLAG booths have been seen lately a feature that was not present before, we hope it continues and not die which would suggest it was used to keep the criticisms to a minimum.
Hmmmm some questions for us:
Are you comfortable as a GLTBQ citizen in this country?
What has happened to the legal agitation that started in 1998 to decriminalize buggery?
What about the public engagement for tolerance and understanding?
Why do gay politicians ignore who they are and join the band waggon in the name of political correctness?
Why are we hiding in the shadows (DL) instead of coming out?
Independent? I think not as far as gays are concerned, we have imprisoned ourselves in certain respects as well there are powerful movers and shakers in this land who can help to shape a more tolerant society instead they sit and are quiet. Even as we celebrate there are reports of only continued homophobic violence but gay on gay violence as well and a oblivious advocacy system that seeks to heap praise on itself more than directly engage certain sections of the LGBT body politic that are deemed undesirables.
Tolerance is what counts we all can co-exist, we can't go asking for it from John public and we can't even extend or agree on the cohesive way forward.
FREE UP YUSELF