Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Mandela Day

It's one of the worlds' most iconic hero's birthday today. Nelson Mandela. For the very few of you that do not know Mandela, you can read up about him in this bio on wikipedia. Nelson Mandela is a man I am largely inspired by (if you do not believe me- look to the top right hand corner and you will find a quote by him). Not only was he an anti-apartheid activist, but he also fought for equality. Equality in it's true form- meaning no exclusions of the minorities.

On a day such as today, which was declared International Mandela Day by the United Nations in 2009, I think it is important we recognize the struggles some endure for the greater good, just as Mandela did. Also it is important we share our support for those who are still in the fight today. There are still many countries where equality is a distant dream- where woman, gays and transgenders still do not have rights. For the people of these countries- freedom and equality aren't as prevalent, and it is important we show our support- even if it is words of reassurance or signing your name to a petition. And although today is a day of celebration we need to look back and acknowledge why we are where we are today, and show our appreciation.

In the image depicted above the words "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." are written. I often think that homophobic people fear us due to their lack of understanding. We essentially become teachers when we come out, which leads me to another quote of Mandela...
"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy." If we ever expect homophobic people to learn about and understand us- we have to help them understand/learn. Although this may seem "easier said than done" it does not mean it is impossible. I remind you of Mary Griffith, a homophobic mother, who began to learn more about homosexuality after her gay sons death. It may be difficult but it is not impossible.

Final Thought:
Nelson Mandela fought for freedom in a country were many had given up on it. Often, it may feel as though your'e alone, but it's only when you stand up that you begin to see the others who are there with you. 18th of July is not only Mandela's birthday- it is a day to inspire others to stand up and fight for equality. It is important we do not accept defeat- rather get involved. Remember " There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you." (-Nelson Mandela)


All images were taken from Google- should any belong to you and you wish to have them removed please notify The Righteous Gay immediately.

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