Addressing discrimination in the Parliament of the Netherlands as Member of Parliament of Curaçao. Photo: van der Ven (2015)
The sixth edition of Curaçao Pride will be celebrated from September 27-30, 2018. It’s a 5-day long event filled with activities catering to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ ) community and the Curaçao people.
I said at the opening of Curaçao Pride back in 2013 that the fact that compared to many of our neighbors we have been historically tolerant towards the LGBTQ doesn’t mean that we have to condemn the LGBTQ communities to silence. We should continue to speak out against all forms of discrimination in Curaçao.
Of all people, we should know that discrimination, prejudice, bigotry is a deadly poison. Our fight against injustice goes way back to the dark days of colonialism and slavery. Yes, we have come a long way. We know however that large groups continue to face discrimination because of their sex, creed, religion, origin, skin color, physical appearance and sexual orientation.
As we celebrate Curaçao Pride this year, let’s (again) realize that our journey to equality for all is not complete until our LGBTQ brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – including legalizing same sex-marriage under civil law. Marriage should not be a heterosexual privilege for if we are created equal, then the love we commit to another human being must be equal as well.
We must realize however that there will not be a magic day when we wake up to a country without discrimination and prejudice. The LGBTQ needs to be more united. We all need to be united, because the LGBTQ struggle may look different than ours, but their pain is the same as our pain when treated unjustly.
Curaçao pride 2018 will most definitely not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a starting point. Bonds of solidarity must be forged between all communities on our island. You don’t have to be a LGBTQ member to understand that what’s happening is plain wrong. You don’t have to be a LGBTQ to feel compassion. Despite our diferences we are one people. I stand with you LGBTQ.