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The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in BELGIUM...
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These are really good suggestions on ways to help strengthen and promote the LGBTI cause. Is ILGA working on anything like this as an integral approach to its lobbying and communication campaigns?
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Inspired by the article I read today about Karel De Gucht being slammed by EJC for "anti-Semitic" comments made in radio interview, I've decided to post this. If you think about it, the word "anti-Semitic" is a particularly powerful word when you consider the amazing damage it can do to the public, professional, and/or political images of anyone accused or perceived as being "anti-Semitic" - a word that reminds people of WWII, Hitler, and the many atrocious crimes that were committed by "anti-Semitic" people.

It would be wonderful if there were a word just as powerful that the LGBTI community could use as a weapon to defend themselves and attack as well in the same way to get the same powerful results as were achieved by EJC in getting Karel De Gucht to publicly apologize once he had been successfully accused publicly by different parties as being "anti-Semitic". Unfortunately "anti-gay" or "anti-LGBTI" don't have that effect.

Maybe it's time to coin a new word, one that would get attention, be acceptable to the main stream world and obtain the kind of naming and shaming that the term "anti-Semitic" achieves.

One detail that should never be forgotten and which I personally feel gets completely overlooked or forgotten my most is that during WWII, LGBTI people were rounded up, put in concentration camps, tortured, abused, and killed just as cruelly as were the Jews, although, granted, not in nearly the same numbers.

Ideas:
1. Develop and promote positive role models and archetypes within the LGBTI communities - we are people and we bring positive value to the societies we are born into, live among, and/or work with.
2. Develop sound arguments to promote a positive image of LGBTI individuals somehow in main stream media and communications.
3. Get more laws passed to protect LBGTI from being targetted in any jokes or dialogues in mainstream media - even better make it a crime punishable by fines or imprisonment.

Just some ideas.
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What if different LGBT organisations and groups began working cooperatively on different communications campaigns:

1. Targeting LGBT that helps define and promote a positive identity for LGBT people that has a useful, positive, productive role in their local communities, societies, countries, the world, etc...

2. Targeting Mainstream audiences that communicates the positive, productive roles that LGBT people fill in society:
2.1 What % of GNP can be attributed to the professional activities of LGBT people? (Could include amount of company revenue attributable to LGBT people who are managers, CEOs, business owners too...)
2.2 What % or amount of money that funds government and/or social services within any given country is thanks to the contribution of LGBT people? (Could include amount of company tax attributable to the revenus generated by LGBT people who are managers, CEOs, business owners too...)
2.2.1 How much or what % of public education funding is thanks to tax money paid by LGBT people?
2.2.2 How much or what % of funding for security/defense is thanks to tax money paid by LGBT people?
2.2.3 How much or what % of funding for healthcare? etc...
2.3 What % of consumer economic activity/growth in any given country is thanks to the spending by LGBT people? (Could include amount of company revenue attributable to LGBT people who are managers, CEOs, business owners too...)
2.4 What is the overall contribution to academia/culture within any given country which can be attributed to output, artistic creations, publications, teaching, etc...thanks to LGBT people whether openly out or not about their LBGT lifestyle or identity?

Where this line of thinking is going is that in order to improve acceptance and integration of LGBT people within greater society, the above 2 things need to happen:
1. Work on building, reinforcing, and promoting positive identities for LGBT people
2. Work on the perception greater society(-ies) has/have of LGBT people -- if they are confronted with cold hard $ figures of what LGBT people do for society, if those numbers are non-negligible, this could help people view LGBT people differently.
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