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Turkey, despite wanting to join the EU really needs to look at the rule book. Under EU legislation, every man, woman and child has the right to live without fear of persecution, prosecution and intimidation.

Despite being one of the go to destinations for LGBT holiday makers thanks to its great weather, fairly open minded locals (you know, the mere mortals not the government) and it’s local food, the government has cancelled, for the 3rd year running, a gay pride event. Furthermore, to really drive the message home, police used dogs, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse an official demo.

Isn’t that a little bit on the harsh side. Those people were there to simply say ‘I have a life, I deserve to live without fear of being beat about my person with rubber bullets and be attacked by dogs’.

If Turkey wants into the EU, it has to play by their rules. That basically means they have to live and let live. If they want a Shria country where women, gays, trans and kids have no rights, they can’t join the party.

The EU gets a lot of bad press, and rightly so for a lot of it, but the EU has trumpeted rights for all from the very beginning. Be you gay, straight, trans, black, white, male or female, rich or poor. It has a strong sense of right and wrong, and cancelling a parade for a load of rainbow flag wearing lesbians and gays who are covered in glitter, sequins and have fabulous haircuts isn’t allowed.

They have as much a right to do this as any other person. If anything, they have more right to do it, because it was only 60 years ago, Dr. Luther King started the civil rights movement. Back then, black people were enemy number one. These days, LGBTQ+ people are enemy number one, and demos like pride events are needed to prove that they are no different to anyone else, they simply want a voice. A voice to reason with the zealots. A voice to speak for them when no one else dares for fear of getting a rubber bullet shot at their ass.

They want equality and acceptance, and the only way they know how to get their cause known is to make it visible.

Martin Luther King made black people visible, and as you can’t really hide your skin colour, he had his followers march and prove their ‘blackness’ with dignity and pride.

Gay people can’t hide their ‘gayness’, so they have to prove to the world that they are no different to anyone else. Usually this is done with dignity and pride, though some can go OTT. But that is OK, it’s like being exposed to an illness. Once you get over the actual shock of it, you’re immune for life.

They don’t knock on your door preaching the good word of George Michael or Boy George. They don’t really want to steal your husbands or wives. They don’t even all know how to bake a quiche or have a house so spotless you could perform open heart surgery on the dining room table.

They are people, people who have a lot to give and expect little in return.

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Sara O'Connell
A passionate photographer from Arizona, Sara enjoys art and culture.