June is coming to an end, and we come to you with a topic that is particularly important this month. In June, the LGBT+ community celebrates its holiday – Pride Month.
It so happened that at the end of May, Kinaole entered into cooperation with the largest organization working for the LGBT+ community in Poland. For over a month now, we have been implementing a joint project with KPH. And in June, research and interviews with LGBT+ individuals were ongoing.
We thought it would be worth treating this cooperation as a pretext and adding our perspective as part of Pride Month.
Interviews with LGBT+ respondents
The research for the project involved interviews with several target groups, but today we would like to focus solely on LGBT+ individuals.
During our conversations with our respondents, many interesting conclusions were drawn regarding the needs of LGBT+ community members. Conclusions that we can share with you independently of the project we are implementing. And we want to do this because we care about ensuring that individual voices from the LGBT+ community are heard. Our reflections are very universal.
For the interviews, we invited ten LGBT+ individuals from various age groups (from 18 to 50 years old), from different backgrounds (students, ordinary workers, lawyers, media personalities, etc.), and of course, with different sexual orientations and gender identities.
So, what did our respondents tell us?
More perspective from “other letters”
When asked how they envision the ideal representation of the LGBT+ community, they almost unanimously responded that one person cannot represent the community. It must be a group of people – a multi-person representation that would show the diversity within the LGBT+ community.
Respondents noticed that the media mainly present the perspective of gay individuals, occasionally lesbians. However, as they themselves described it, there is a lack of perspective from “other letters.” Not only does society view LGBT+ through the lens of gays, but within the community itself, content is primarily created from a gay perspective. Transgender, non-binary, bisexual, asexual individuals, not to mention those from “other letters,” are sidelined, often ignored, or even forgotten. There is a lack of their perspective and presence in the media, despite the fact that the LGBT+ community is very diverse and heterogeneous.
More substance and socially important topics
According to the respondents, LGBT+ media is dominated by “colorful content.” Light, entertaining topics that exude a large dose of fun. With a predominance of positive news.
For many of our respondents, this poses a problem, especially for those who have long identified with the LGBT+ community. Such content, on the one hand, creates a simplistic image of the community, and on the other hand, pushes important and substantive topics into the background.
Our respondents lack mature and pragmatic content. People in long-term relationships who would like to “nest” need more material on how they can legally sanction their relationship, through marriage or otherwise. The issue of adopting children is also important. Both of these topics should be discussed more often.
Our respondents need more material that would provide them with arguments in discussions with opponents of the LGBT+ community.
They also miss socially important topics, such as discrimination against transgender individuals within the LGBT+ community, the silenced topic of asexuality, the perspective of LGBT+ individuals with special needs, such as individuals with disabilities.
“Let’s not focus on otherness, let’s emphasize that we are the same and we are part of society”
Our respondents do not expect anything more than what others have. They have the same needs and are no different from the rest of society. They want to be perceived as part of it, not as a separate group.
According to them, LGBT+ individuals should appear more often in the public space, including in advertisements or morning television shows. This would allow society to see that LGBT+ individuals are ordinary people.
Our respondents emphasized that they do not want to fight for special rights; they want equality in rights, which are universal human rights: the right to love, the right to start a family, the right to respect, and the right to feel safe…
“It’s not that we’re fighting not to be beaten and insulted. We want to be equal, we want the same rights when we fall in love. The status quo we contest against is currently disregarding us. And Those who advocate for the status quo are in favor of discrimination.”
We thank our respondents and KPH Lfor the opportunity to contribute to equality. We hope that our conclusions have proven valuable to you!
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