I don’t talk about tolerance

Alice/Austria (pahichan) January 26- One of my best friends had her coming out just recently. When she told me she was quite nervous, as if she had to confess something horrible. I think she was afraid it would change our relationship for good. But for me really it didn’t matter. 

I’m a child of the 21st centaury and was lucky enough to grow up without any stereotypes being injected into my mind about homo-/trans-/bi-/intersexuality. My friend is my friend no matter who she sleeps with and what gender identity she belongs to. Same goes for anyone else, what do I care what people do in their bedrooms or how they dress?

For me love is love. A human is loving another human. A soul is loving another soul. A mass of flesh is loving another mass of flesh. Not genders are loving their opposites, like as if there was an unwritten yin and yang rule regarding that. Same goes without saying for sex!

You would think that Europe or western countries represent the same mindset as I do. But sadly they don’t.

Let’s be clear about one thing: I don’t talk about tolerance, because tolerance is the common curtain behind which Europeans hide their conservative opinions and prejudices. I talk about inclusion and equality. I talk about the right to marry, to adopt children, to be open about your sexuality in your working place, to get financial support for gender change or hormone therapies, to show affection in public and physical integrity in general.

Just recently a lesbian couple shared a kiss in a cafe in Austria (Vienna) and got kicked out. And in Austria, showing public affection is quite normal by the way. Only since 2009 registered partnerships are possible in my country. Marriage is still not allowed. After lots of efforts finally the Austrian court allowed same sex adoptions in 2015. But I’m pretty sure it’s harder for a same sex couple to adopt than for other couples.

Overall the situation in Europe may be not bad but not half as good as I wish it to be or as it could be! The Christian perception that a family consists of mother, father and child is still very deeply rooted in our collective consciousness.

I’ve been here in Nepal for almost 5 months now and I’ve seen the engagement of my college mates and I’ve been baffled by it. Since the government doesn’t really offer support to lots of topics that deserve attention, the Nepali people mobilize most of the needed resources themselves and invest time and energy into the projects and values they support. I think that is very admirable and a beautiful thing to do. Nepal should be proud of it’s ambitious and motivated people that try to change the perception of this country and its people. You have still a long way to go, same as the European countries do! And often the way seems hard and impossible but I believe in love and I also believe in people and their ability to change.