Silence is still the worst enemy

Doing my bit on queer rights at the OECD in Paris. I had the pleasure and honour to give a speech on the development on queer rights in Iceland (From Oppression to Rainbow Revolution: LGBTQ Social Progress and Legislative Victories) at the second year anniversary of the Group of Friends of Gender Equality Plus. Iceland is doing a great job raising awareness of LGBTQ+ rights within the OECD under the leadership of Kristján Andri Stefánsson, the Icelandic ambassador. I spoke about how societies, in general, go through a number of stages in the process from intolerance to acceptance regarding queer rights - though their timeframes may be different and they may dwell shorter or longer at each state. I argued that the Icelandic society evolved in six stages. I finished the talk by saying: We will of course have to continue to fight homophobia and transphobia just like women continue to fight for equal social rights. Three final points. First, we need to make sure that LGBTQ rights are labelled human rights. Queer rights are human rights and we should never ever give discount on that fact. Second, securing full equal rights is like climbing a high mountain which in the beginning seems impossible. It is a challenging task, but the step-by-step approach (discussed in the speech) will slowly but steadily take us to the top. Finally, we have to make sure that the queer communities are visible on the way to the top. Silence is still the worst enemy.

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