You are gay or lesbian and you live in Guanacaste. It bothers you that people label you in the street, that you can’t freely kiss your partner in a bar, or that at work you have to hide the truth so that others will accept you. Every day you complain. But have you done anything to change your reality?
Agreements that four of Guanacaste’s eleven municipalities have made against all types of discrimination, including against sexual diversity, are an important symbolic first step in these communities.
The problem is that nobody has taken concrete actions to transform theory into practice. This is an urgent issue. Guanacaste needs a community that integrates gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT) and that is actively committed to fighting for their rights.
“If we don’t do it, who will?” said Keith and Albert Toney in this edition’s cover story. They tell how they were the first gay marriage in their city.
Of course municipalities must execute public policies that guarantee access to tools that promote diversity awareness like campaigns, workshops, and marches. But it is local citizens who must demand that these policies move from paper into widespread practice in their cantons.
Businesses also can’t wait. Alternatives to greater inclusiveness for the LGBT community are right in front of their noses, but they’re afraid of losing business or that their clients will freak out and not return.
They haven’t realized that the new generations applaud the change and will even pay to see it happen. They also don’t know that being openly gay-friendly could even bring them economic benefits: stable same-sex couples without children oftentimes have two salaries to spend.
Council members who have proposed these motions are morally obligated to follow their proposals up. The citizens should make sure this happens.