I don’t scare easy. But when I do, often it is because of people and their peculiar beliefs. The first gay Cyprus pride parade was held this Saturday in Nicosia. I proudly took part. And as I marched down the street with Georgie in my arms, I watched people shouting that we would burn in hell and that I should be ashamed of myself for exposing my child to such issues! I may have sugarcoated that last sentence. For a moment I felt a lump in my throat. Could I or my child actually get hurt for having fundamental beliefs in basic human rights? In 2014? In Europe?
It’s no surprise though. The Church of Cyprus, a finance giant and a major role-player in the political lifestyle has once again reminded us of its disturbing beliefs. A press release came forth soon after the parade was announced. There was mention of ‘illness’, ‘affliction that should be treated’ and how homosexuality ‘has led to tragic results such as an increase in divorce, paedophilia, people dying of AIDS, families being torn apart, the unnatural adoption of children and many more.’ Makes you mad, don’t it?
Soon after the initial shock had worn off and the anti-gay protest made up of cross-bearing old men and pot-bellied small-minded drunks, was under control, I began to smile. The march started with a small group of people gathered in a park. Soon there would be over 3500. It was a historic moment that honestly brings warmth to my heart.Yesterday I felt a bit better about the world my little boy is living in. Until 1993, homosexuality was considered a criminal act in Cyprus. Progress has been made. People have wised up and learnt to respect diversity, embrace it and stand up for basic human rights such as who one can and cannot love. Hopefully when this is no longer an ‘issue’ then perhaps we can get on with solving the real problems this world has.
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