Temitope Shiro|02.07.2018|Feature

Celebrating sexual diversity

This week, London’s LGBT+ community is coming together to raise awareness about LGBT+ issues and campaign for the freedoms that will allow us to live our lives on a genuinely equal footing.

Pride Month puts a spotlight on sexual diversity and recognizes the strides that many societies have made in creating safe spaces for the  LGBT+ community. We’ve come a long way – this year alone we’ve seen actress Amanda Stenberg use her platform to champion  LGBT+ inclusion. Marvia Malik also braced the airways in Pakistan as their first transgender news anchor. Amanda and Marvia are just two of many trail-blazing individuals who are consistently kicking down misconceptions surrounding  LGBT+ individuals.

Over 70 countries across the world currently discriminate or refuse to recognize  LGBT+ rights and some countries have even criminalized non-heterosexual relationships.

As a global city, London Pride provides us with an opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come, but also highlight the hostile environments that many  LGBT+ individuals are still living in. In many countries, it is extremely difficult for the LGBT+ community to access fundamental services such as health care provision and protection from the police. Our grantees in Kenya, MAYYGO, demonstrate how anti- LGBT+ rights make it challenging for HIV conversations to openly take place. MAYYGO do an amazing job in teaching and promoting safe sex and encouraging young  LGBT+individuals to take an active role in their health and provide a safe space to talk about their sex lives.

They remind us that we need to keep flying the rainbow all year round till equality and respect is the norm for the  LGBT+ community.

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