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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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Piet (user currently living in BELGIUM) posted for gay lesbian transgender readers on 10/12/2012 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, sexual orientation +10
I'm born and raised in Belgium and being a gay teenager hasn't been a problem for me yet. I think Belgium and most of Western-Europe is like a gay heaven.
I have to say though the phenomenon gay-bashing, that has been coming up the last few years, also in Brussels, Belgium, scares me. I don't want to be racist, but it's a fact that most of the gay-bashing in Brussels was done by imigrants, so I'd suggest not to defy them.

Transgenders are completely legal here, but it's not that accepted among Belgians. I actually think it's more of a taboo.
But the transgenders here don't really care.

This is how I, as a young Belgian, experience it!

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Student (user currently living in BELGIUM) posted for gay readers on 24/05/2012 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention +20
I'm a filmstudent and I just finished my short documentary about gaybashing in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. U can find it on http://www.johfrah.be/gaybashing-in-brussels
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Ndingi Mac Kundu (user currently living in BELGIUM) posted for gay readers on 02/12/2010 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention +5
Belgium is a paradise. My social assistance tells me gay rights are human rights and are such respected here. I feel like a fish from a desert into an ocean. My greatest worry is, my partner is still far. I hope, i dream one day we can unite to part no more.

Long live love.

Ndingi Mac Kundu
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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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Vous êtes en Belgique et vous avez bien de droits et de lois en place qui sont là pour vous protéger dans un pays où le mariage gay est un droit. Mais il n'y a que vous même qui pouvez prendre les démarches pour vous défendre.

Est-ce que vous avez pensé à l'idée de les prendre en photo avec votre GSM, par exemple, et ensuite porter plainte à la police? Si vous avez une manière de les capturer en photo depuis une distance sans qu'ils ne se rendent compte pour éviter des problèmes pour les avoir pris en photo...

Quand ils se feront interpellé par la police pour harcèlement morale, et si vous pouvez faire mettre en place une ordre restrictive contre eux, ça peut résoudre le problème comme ils sauront qu'ils ont déjà une fiche avec la police qui attend à être rempli de plus de plaintes s'ils continuent à vous ennuyer.

Juste un commentaire et des idées.
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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.

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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