The month of June is recognised as Pride Month, where members of the LGBTQ+ community fight shame and social stigma, marching in the face of threats and violence.
Pride events inspire celebrations of difference and show that the LGBTQ+ communities will not be intimidated and will continue to demand equality.
For the most part, this has been easier said than done.
In Namibia, even though not legally recognised, there has been significant progress and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community members in society.
This has been observed at the various events and celebrations that have taken place over the month, which were attended by not only members of the LGBTQ+ community but also those who are heterosexual.
Also, less violence has been reported – that is great news for Namibia.
However, this does not mean they should start getting comfortable and think their lifestyles are accepted by everyone.
Nothing worthwhile comes easy – and the acceptance and recognition of the LGBTQ+ will be no different.
There will be and are still people who do not approve of their lifestyle or sexual orientation.
These people do not walk around with a sign, saying ‘I do not approve of LGBTQ+’ or hide behind fortresses.
These are people we all interact with every day, your everyday Joe going about his or her day – and they are not limited to a certain group of the population.
It is the young child playing on the playground, the teen answering questions in class or the young adult who recently graduated – they are everywhere.
To make matters worse, as we have seen, they could be sitting in the parliament, debating the laws of the country every day.
It’s sad that these issues exist, but it’s for reasons like these that June is internationally recognised as Pride Month, during which the LGBTQ+ community not only celebrates how far they have come in their fight for equality but also highlights how far they still have to go to live in a world fully accepting of their community.
That is the reality of the matter – that while there has been progress socially to a large extent, there are still those that do not even want to hear or know anything about Pride Month.
As to who is right or wrong, everyone is entitled to their opinion – and everyone has rights.
• Olavi Popyeinawa
• Twitter: @olavipopyeinawa
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org