Stonewall's fiftieth anniversary

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1969 was an important year, certainly in the United States and it is right that it is well celebrated, but it is a single step in American history where there had been gay movements for a long time and their national poet had already sung the praise of male love a century earlier. And it does too little justice to what happened in Europe earlier, such as the abolition of laws against sodomy, which happened with a delay of two hundred years in the USA (not in 1791 as in France, but in 2003).

It is a great success that this anti-gay law was abolished, from France and the Netherlands to the entire EU, the USA, and India, and that it came up for discussion elsewhere. Unfortunately, they are still in place in many countries. Some countries even want to reintroduce such legislation, for instance the Russian Federation, Turkey and Brazil. There and in other countries there are other laws that stand in the way of sexual freedom, such as bans on public sex, on sex work or around age limits, or there are restrictions in place, such as on sex and gender education. There are many prejudices that not only citizens but also the police and legislators suffer from, making it difficult to show sexual behavior that people do not consider "normal," for instance sex with animals (which are massively murdered for the meat industry but sex, no way), with multiple people, around scat and kinky sex and so on. In the Netherlands, education about paedophilia, sadomasochism and bestiality is explicitly forbidden, no matter how interesting it would be to teach children and sex, or that love and eroticism are not only pleasure but also pain. The word perverse is out of fashion, but the prejudices that exist about it unfortunately are still present. GLBT rights are being fought for, but how many other people deserve a better and freer sex life? How inclusive are the men and women with whom it all began at the time?

source: Article 'Stonewall's fiftieth anniversary' by Gert Hekma; Dutch title: 'Stonewall vijftig jaar'; Gay News (most articles are both publised in English and Dutch in this magazine), Number 337; September 2019