I refuse to accept this any longer!


This time one year ago the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage and legalized it in all fifty states. A good time to talk about some equality related issues. 
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My name is Leah. I am 22 years young. I identify as female. I am a daughter. A sister. A grandchild. A cousin. A friend. A student. A really bad dancer. A mediocre karaoke singer. A peanut butter addict. A gym rat. A thunder storm enthusiast. A beer hater. A party smoker. A world citizen. A will-forget-to-text-you-back-if-I-don't-text-back-immediately kinda person. A human being. 

Hi, I'm Leah and I am so many things. And many things I am not.

I have always had a strong interest in LGBTQ topics and human rights. Never ever have I thought of homosexuality or queerness as being a choice. That I myself am a member of this community was not always something I was aware of but took a long time to realize, to process and admit to myself. 

I was born and grew up in a country that is supposed to be one of the most advanced in Europe if not worldwide. An economic cart horse. A multicultural paradise. A country where there is freedom of speech. Where you are basically able to do whatever you want to. A country with a good health care system. Where no one has to be homeless unless they voluntarily choose to do so. Germany is amazing and I am lucky to call this country my home but there's just one little flaw: I am not able to marry whoever I want to. I've talked about this with a lot people from all over the world, especially during my time in Korea, and most people didn't know this. They have this idea of Germany being the place to be and yes, it is way better than a lot of places in this world but when it comes to equality we are so behind. So far behind, it hurts

Being a member of the United Nations, Germany automatically agrees to protect a bunch of basic human rights which are supposed to enable people to lead a life in dignity. One problem about the UN is that there's basically no higher authority and that their treaties and conventions are not legally binding. So one could ask "What's the whole point then?" but let's just forget about this for a minute and pretend they actually were legally binding. Let's have a look at two very important articles mentioned in the United Nations Human Right Declaration *click*:

  • Article 3: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person"
  • Article 5 states "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment"
As you can see, you and I have a right to life and liberty. Self-determination. My life - my choice. But only on paper - not in reality. As a heterosexual you can marry whoever you want to because society says this is part of a normal life. You can have as many children as you want to - no one will ask a question. You have a right to not being killed for what you are or what you desire to do with your life as long as it doesn't harm others. But life is so much more than just your physical being and your physical safety. Life is such a big word. Life is your soul and your mind. Happiness. Life is about happiness - that's what we are all seeking for, no? By denying me the right to get married to whoever I want to, you are simultaneously also denying me the right to love. To happiness. To life. I refuse to accept this any longer. It's structural and cultural violence and it's so very much connected to Article 5, because it is not only degrading but also a punishment. A punishment for being completely normal. A punishment for existing. For being a human being. I refuse to accept this any longer. 

I am not a second-class citizen. I am Leah.

In an interview (recorded in 2015) with the German YouTuber LeFloid the German Chancellor Angela Merkel states that she is against all human discrimination yet she adds that she believes that marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples only. While she is entitled to have this opinion it doesn't change the fact that it is discriminating and helps creating second-class citizenship as well as alienation. She continues by saying that homosexual couples can register their partnership which gives them almost the same rights as in a legal marriage and that this is something to be happy about considering that queers used to have no rights at all. Excusez-moi
My love does not degrade your love, Frau Merkel. 

I refuse to accept this any longer. 

Let's be honest, before I came to Korea I didn't know much about it if anything at all. I came here before two years ago for like a week and didn't see much. Hear much. Experience much. I knew that Korea was rather conservative, yes. But I couldn't imagine how it would feel to live here. 
Being different in Korea is tough. Very tough. The government is doing its best to keep everyone in line and I am not just talking about LGBTQ people but the whole Korean population itself. 
I can't remember where, but I read somewhere that South Koreans use the term ibanin (이반인) which can be translated as "different person" or "second-class citizen" to describe homosexuals. Another, more respectful, term would be dongseongaeja (동성애자).
Seoul Pride in June was extremely beautiful and sad at the same time. Why sad? Because they are here. Queers exist - in Korea and everywhere else - even though the government tries it's very best to suppress them. Why beautiful? Because one day per year  - one day - people can walk down the streets of Seoul in the middle of the day holding their partner's hand without feeling like they're breaking a law. 
What I am trying to say is: No one should ever feel like an alien for holding someone else's hand. 

I refuse to accept this any longer. 

I refuse to accept that people have to feel like they are different even though they are perfectly fine. I refuse to accept that I cannot marry whoever I want to because other people believe that their love is more valuable. I refuse to be made into a second-class citizen. I refuse to be made into a second-class citizen and then being told that I should be grateful for what we have already. I refuse to be discriminated, degraded and punished for being a human being. 

I refuse to accept this and you should too.

I found this video from Pride weekend in Seoul this year and it shows a group of Korean Moms supporting their queer children and the LGBTQ community in general. There is hope. This is the evidence...

2 Kommentare

  1. its so awful that people are being deprived of their basic right to exist just as they are due to conservative and outdated standards of society. Love and acceptance should always prevail <3