I want the world to know

By Jon Huggett

Published in The Economist on 2020-9-5

“Tolerance” of gay people is progress, but it is not a Utopia of respect, acceptance and celebration of differences. Yes, more of us are coming out, and earlier, but it is still not easy. I don’t want to settle for “gay rights”. I want equal rights. Pride events are visible because they are unusual. For the rest of the year we check our surroundings before holding hands, even in San Francisco or London. Most American states still allow the panic defence, which allows someone to claim temporary insanity if they attack a gay person. And gay sex is still illegal in nearly 70 countries.

I have been out for decades and have grown used to being told that things are fine for us now, and that I should be grateful for other people’s tolerance. I was delighted when you called for equal marriage 24 years ago (“Let them wed”, January 6th 1996). But please consider a place for us gay folks beyond being tolerated.

Jon Huggett
All Out
San Francisco