The Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, has made the following statement on the occasion of the celebration, today May 17, of the World Day against LGTBIphobia:
On a day like today in 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its International Classification of Diseases (ICD). It is a highly relevant historical milestone that unquestionably paved the way for the dignity of gay and bisexual people. Today, when 30 years have passed, the struggle of all the people who make up the LGTBI collective has borne numerous fruits, and the perception in the collective imagination of sexual, gender and family diversity has been radically transformed … in Spain and in some regions of the World.
In Spain, indeed, much progress has been made in recognizing the rights of people with a sexual orientation, a gender identity or expression, or non-majority sexual characteristics. Both in the legislative field and in social consideration, our country is at the forefront and serves as a model for many countries around us.
However, this health crisis of COVID-19 has highlighted the many gaps that still persist to achieve full equality in the field of law and in real equality.
We have painfully seen how many trans women have been seen on the street and without resources in front of a social system that, too often, does not contemplate or treat them with the respect and consideration they deserve.
How so many older people have found themselves in the most absolute solitude, without family or social networks to support or support them, after a past in which this society has persecuted, locked them up, mistreated psychiatrically, expelled from their homes and places of residence …
How many and many young people have been harassed through the networks for their sexual orientation, their identity or their gender expression with a complete lack of protection because, sometimes, they do not even have the support of their own family or defence resources and information from their educational centres.
We have also shared the concern of couples of women who, almost at the end of their pregnancy, have seen their marriage procedures paralyzed and, with them, the possibility of giving their daughters and sons the security of a double affiliation.
We have listened to volunteers, technicians and coordinators of LGTBI organizations transmit their impotence in the face of the overflow of their social resources, in the face of the large number of cases of vital emergencies to which they are having to respond with minimal means, if not non-existent.
All this and much more is emerging during the alarm state. Pre-existing discrimination has added to the complications of the health and economic crisis to multiply this context of inequality and, on many occasions, of pure helplessness.
Discriminations that, let us not forget, go through the persistent pathologisation of trans realities, with the consequent humiliation of female citizens who are not recognized the right to self-determination of their identity and are forced to be protected by a medical opinion. ; for the survival of therapies for reversal of sexual orientation or gender identity, true torture of irreparable psychological consequences; or for the maintenance of cosmetic operations on intersex babies who are surgically assigned a sex without being able to know their gender identity.
Just a few days ago, the entire country was able to see how a local police officer, someone who must be there to defend the rights of citizens, retracted us to terrible times past and verbally attacked a trans woman with cruelty and abuse of power who did not even deign to treat according to their gender identity. An isolated event, without a doubt, within the forces of order, but which indicates how much remains to be done in the field of education, training, education, pedagogy of professionals of all kinds and of society in general.
All this is only a small photograph of what is happening in Spain, that, as we say, international avant-garde clearly, with all the data in hand, of LGTBI rights.
If we move away from our country we can find persecution, anti-promotion laws for sexual diversity, prohibition of demonstration and assembly, criminal persecution in more than 70 states, and social persecution in many more, death penalty in 11 of them, more than 300 annual murders of trans people.
This year, in which we celebrate, as we say, 30 years of the depathologisation of homosexuality and 15 years of the approval of Equal Marriage -another milestone that facilitated the path of understanding and social equality-, the Government of Spain, and especially the Ministry of Equality, they commit themselves to the defence of sexual, gender and family diversity. And through its General Directorate for Sexual Diversity and LGTBI Rights, the first in history, the doors are opened for this diversity to enter more than ever, with more right than ever, in the structures of the State, to say loud and clear that this society is rich because it is diverse, it is strong because it is respectful, and liveable because it is plural and inclusive.
This is the message that we want to convey this May 17, International Day against LGTBIphobia: we are all diverse, we all have the same right to our sexual orientation, our gender identity or expression, our sexual characteristics, and from this Ministry of Equality We are going to work day and night so that this is not only a wish, but, as our Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ratify, a reality inside and outside our borders.