I did a terrible thing - Press realease

I did a terrible thing - Press realease

„Life is too short to hate our children “– is the major message of the online educative campaign which the ARA ART organization launched on social networks.

The purpose of the campaign is to point to the problem of a multiple discrimination of Roma LGBT+ minority.

This minority often faces discrimination not only on the part of a majority because of their ethnicity or sexual orientation but also on the part of Romany society which tends to be very traditional, perceives homosexuality as a taboo. Roma LGBT+ are sometimes excommunicated from their families or the whole community and they end up homeless, without their family and friends. ARA ART, on its webpage www.udelaljsemhroznouvec.cz (I did a terrible ting) shows a short film based on a true story. The film in Romany language aims at the Roma community to open a discussion and move the perception of a different sexual orientation from the level of a taboo to the level of acceptance of their LGBT+ family members.

„We have been dealing with the issue of Roma LGBT+ minority since 2012. We have since made a big progress; however, education is still needed. Every year, some four hundred Roma LGBT+ from all over the Czech Republic contact our counseling service “I Will Come Out”. We very often deal with the issues of bullying within families, fear of coming out, social control, and finally even excommunication from families and the whole community. For instance, early this summer, a young student contacted our counseling service. His family turned him out of the house when they learned that he was gay. Some traditional Roma values are alright, but it is necessary to change some other values, mainly in the case of the Roma LGBT+. A different orientation should not be a trigger of negative reactions of the family. That is why we offer consultations to parents who do not know how to deal with the coming out of their children”, says David Tišer, ARA ART director.

The online educative campaign is realized under a wider comprehensive project called „Make Roma LGBT+ more visible “, supported by the EU program for the rights, equality, and citizenship, in cooperation with partner organizations Diverse Youth Network of Hungary, and QUO VADIS of Slovakia. The project responds to a critical situation of the Roma LGBT+ minority, which is excluded from inclusive and integration policies and measures. The peripheral position of this community deepens its vulnerability and strengthens the risk of manifestations of hate, stigmatization, homophobia, and the overall societal non-acceptance. Concealing different sexual orientation and sexual identity is the only rescue before social isolation or excommunication. Therefore, it is necessary to exert effort to remove obstacles which are commonly known and strengthen intervention in defense and implementation of their rights on the national and European level.

“We want to deepen and broaden multisector cooperation, create a network of Roma NGOs, academic society, educational institutions, and the state administration so we could find common new systemic solutions which would contribute to solving manifold discrimination not only in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, but also in Europe at large. There are 1.5 million Roma LGBT+ living in Europe who lack targeted, professional assistance. We believe that with this project we will arrive at the point where stakeholders and institutions will agree that multiple discrimination is a problem of a common European interest, and it is necessary to solve it in a systemic way,” says David Tišer.