“The Rainbow Struggle” Brings Gay International News Home

In response to the United Nation’s June resolution to promote equality based on sexuality and gender identity, the GlobalPost is launching a 12+ part special report that will focus on the struggle for LGBT rights around the world. Over the next two months, the website will feature stories, videos, and photos about queer people from 13 different countries.

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

The project starts close to home — two stories about Dan Choi and the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell have already been posted. Using an interactive map, readers will be able to explore published and upcoming stories in “The Rainbow Struggle.”

While some of us in queer communities may be aware of international efforts for equality, LGBT issues are frequently framed only as national issues in the mainstream media. GlobalPost aims to bring attention to how truly universal the struggle is. Their project promises to look at local problems with an understanding that no man is an island.

The report is ambitious, but the plan looks solid. With a focus on the impacts of globalization, The Rainbow Struggle will explore political, religious, and financial connections to pro- and anti-LGBT movements. While the countries covered are home to a wide array of social landscapes, anti-queer tactics are startlingly similar around the globe. The project hopes that by telling stories that go overlooked, they can bring light to the benefits and drawbacks of a more connected world. LGBT rights director of Human Rights Watch, Graeme Reid, explains the dilemma:

Globalization has had paradoxical effects — on one had it has facilitated the gay movement and on the other provoked a backlash. New possibilities for communication and connectivity have given impetus to international solidarity. But globalization has also seen the growth of religious fundamentalisms. Many people feel that their traditional way of life is changing too rapidly, and LGBT people are often the scapegoats.”

In the upcoming weeks, you can read about corrective rape in South Africa, honor killings in Turkey, and marriage equality in Argentina. Even countries that are we often consider progressive don’t escape the report’s critical eye; Sweden’s transgender sterilization laws are challenged as well as the success of Spain’s conservative Popular Party.

In any revolution, there’s a need for moderates and radicals, the mainstream and the fringes, and everything in between.  GlobalPost, whose mission is” help fill the enormous void that has grown up in coverage of the world by US news organizations” might not be Newsweek in popularity or influence, but we’re getting somewhere. As queer stories spread from whispers among friends out to newspapers, TV, and magazines, we become harder to ignore. Here’s to homos all over the world.

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Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

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  1. Argentina is a great role model to the rest of South America… Especially to Venezuela, where i live! I hope we can move forward to equality but sadly we’re far far faaaaaaaaaaaaar away from that.! :-(

    • Venezuela is not so homophobic as it can be Perú or Bolivia…Todavía nos falta, but at least we have in our constitution a law that say that nobody can be discrimate…Lo que pasa es que el venezolano es muy pasivo, muy achantado. Porque si los dirigente del movimiento acá se mueven. Habrían mas cambios y beneficios para toda la comunidad LGTB

      Regards from Barquisimeto :P

      • Yes, i know… At least in Caracas u can hold hands without being attacked or arrested but as u said “todavía nos falta”… Right now we have a lot of other issues to take care of! :-(

        Regards from Puerto La Cruz! :-)

  2. Omg, Venezuela! Yes. I miss home. Anyway, we seriously need to move forward there. My whole family is there, and at least two of my family members are queer (like me, wee!), with me and only a handful of others knowing that. We might have laws, but I have yet to see them being enforced. We definitely don’t have the social backing of the law.
    We also need Spanish to play catch up and help us talk about rights in just as an empowering way as we can do it in English. It’s a struggle everywhere, but I know we can do it.

    • Another Venezuelan!! Yay! :-) Where are you now? US? Well you’re totally right… Im a lawyer and its so frustrating sometimes because even though we have laws they’re just “letra muerta”… My family know im queer! ^^ and they’re cool about it, same thing with my friends (well they’re mostly gay too xD) but in my workplace i can’t be “out” because of this so called “Ethic Code” that forbids homosexual behaviour and u can get fired for that… It’s like we have our own DADT, sort of -.-‘ i guess in the event that they do discharge me i could take it to court but i wouldn’t be too optimistic about their impartiality, so… (sigh)… It’s a struggle, yes!

  3. Chile needs to work on LGBTQ rights too (Soy Chileno!) :[ Actually, on second thought, the movement needs to extend to all of Latin America! My parents are in the process of moving to Panama right now… sadly only roughly 12% of the population believes in marriage equality and I’m sure those numbers get even smaller when it comes to trans* related issues… Sigh.

    • I wish i could tell you that you’re wrong but i can’t… I think they do get smaller… :-( r u moving with them?
      Historically we evolve slower than other nations (Latin America i mean) so its good that changes are happening in other places, hopefully soon enough we’ll change too.! ;-)

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