Commentary: LGBT people of all races, unite!
I have received an e-mail with a press release from the ARA ART association saying that more than 20 Romani men and women of minority sexual orientations gathered recently in Prague's National Minorities' House for a first-ever, historic seminar about Romani lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans-gender persons (LGBT). In and of itself this is not shocking - it was bound to happen, although Romani people with minority sexual orientations have a harder time in life for several reasons.
Besides the existence of more reasons for them to be discriminated against by those around them, these people very often come from traditional Romani environments where the approach to different sexual orientations is a bit more complicated. The press release then went on to describe an incident that happened Saturday evening when a gay club refused some of them access.
I have experienced this myself many times. I have been with Romani children on a field trip where no one would let us into a pub to buy a soda, with my Romani students at times when no one would let us buy a coffee, and with Romani friends at times when no one would let us into a disco. Many people deny that this phenomenon occurs in the Czech Republic.
If, under the weight of the evidence, people are forced to admit that this really does happen, they argue that Romani people are to blame for it themselves. A gay club, however, should understand how absurd any argument based on the principle of collective guilt is.
First published on Deníkreferendum.cz.
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