Kuwait disturbs queer-friendly post
June is known within the scene as "Pride Month", among other things. According to the BBC, US Ambassador James Holtsnider took this as an opportunity to send greetings to the LGBTQIA+ community in both English and Arabic. On this, he was summoned. He was asked to refrain from "supporting homosexuality".
More specifically, it was about Biden's statement that all people should be "treated with respect and dignity." It was precisely this that prompted the emirate to "insinuate" that the American president and the ambassador in question were supporting homosexuality. This should be refrained from in the future. Posts like these violate norms.
It is particularly interesting in this context that the post that was the bone of contention has not yet been deleted. In addition, the profile of the American embassy shows a rainbow flag.
What is the situation for queers in Kuwait?
People who belong to the scene have a hard time in Kuwait, among other places. Those caught performing same-sex acts face a prison sentence of up to seven years. Until recently, transsexuals in the country could be punished with one year in prison even without corresponding acts, because they would "imitate the opposite sex." However, a few months ago this law was abolished.
Nevertheless, it would certainly be naïve to believe that this would have fundamentally changed the situation of queers in Kuwait.
Ambassadors must also 'answer' for queer-friendly posts in other countries
Ambassadors being held accountable for queer-friendly messages they spread on behalf of their country is not uncommon. Just recently, a similar incident occurred in Indonesia. At that time, the UK embassy in the country decided to raise a Rainbow Flag in front of the building to show solidarity on the occasion of May 17. The whole thing was supplemented at the time by a statement in which it was made clear that it was wrong to criminalize queerness and that it was important that the violence against members of the community ended.
According to media reports, among others in the newspaper "Independent", the government in Indonesia apparently felt strongly attacked. Because: It described the statement of the British embassy simply as disrespectful. Rather, it was important to respect the "sensitivities of the Indonesians".
Indonesia takes a kind of "special role" here. Because: Homosexuality is not forbidden here in the vast majority of areas. However, this does not mean that people there can live freely and openly. Many queers in Indonesia are still put under a kind of "general suspicion" by society and are definitely not accepted as they are.
The government's reaction to queer-friendly statements is ample proof of this. It almost seems as if they want to completely exclude the topic from everyday life and thus try to suggest that there is nothing beyond "straight" and "man and woman".
What is actually so "bad" about queer-friendly posts and statements?
This is exactly what many members of the queer community might ask themselves after learning about the reaction of the government in Indonesia and Kuwait. However, it is obvious that two world views collide here and that especially conservative forces might feel attacked in their opinion if they are made aware in such an explicit way that there are indeed countries where queers can live more freely and openly.
It remains to be seen how the messages will act in the future and how it can be possible to carry the rainbow flag - despite all resistance - perhaps a little more into the world - even where the community currently still has a very difficult time.
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