Is it easier to be gay in your country than ever before?

India saw it’s largest ever gay pride marches over the weekend, the first ever in Bangalore and New Delhi. It was a big step for a society in which many indians believe that homosexuality is deviant behaviour that can be cured.

Last week Cuba’s first gay pride event was cancelled in Havana because it wasn’t officially sanctioned. At least 20 people were injured when the Czech Republic’s first ever Gay Pride parade was attacked by rightwing extremists armed with tear gas even before the event was due to begin in the city of Brno. In Bulgaria police arrested 60 skinheads who tried to disrupt the country’s first Gay Pride parade.

In May the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said homosexuality will not be tolerated in his country and went on to say he would “cut off the head” of any gay person caught in The Gambia.

Meanwhile the Anglican church is facing a worldwide split over the ordination of gay clergy and the blessing of gay relationships. Traditional anglicans who claim to make up at least half of the worldwide communion have effectively set up a church within a church in opposition to the what they call the “false teaching” used to justify active homosexuality.

Should we all accept homosexuality? Is it easier to be gay now, than ever before? Is it a good thing to be gay, or is there still a stigma where you live?

49 Responses to “Is it easier to be gay in your country than ever before?”

  1. 1 nelsoni
    July 1, 2008 at 13:41

    In Nigeria, Any one who professes to be gay openly will basically be commiting sucide because it is out lawed under nigerian law. The people are conservatives who see that as an anomaly to core african values. Its seen as dirty trend from the west. In fact, its not just possible to do so in Nigeria because its not tolerated at any level be it government, the society, family or religious arena. They are not homo phobic, they just see it as an aberration.

  2. 2 nelsoni
    July 1, 2008 at 13:46

    It is not tolerated under any guise in the nigerian society. It runs contrary to core african values. So any openly gay person in nigeria, will have a miserable time living not because nigerians are homophobic but because its simply not not accepted.

  3. 3 steve
    July 1, 2008 at 13:52

    I’m telling you, gays are harming their cause when they have gay pride things, playing up every single negative stereotype about gays, such as cross dressing, being in your face. That, and with new studies showing HIV rates are going up with men who have sex with men (rather than saying gay, in the press, becuase apparently some men who aren’t gay have sex with men )..


  4. 4 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 1, 2008 at 13:54

    It is a lot easier to be gay in the US than before. Since celebrities’ lives are shown on television everyday, I think people have seen that these people can “come out” so others are willing to “come out,” as well. However every part of the country is not as open to homosexuality. I remember this guy in high school dressed as a girl everyday at school and he looked better than a lot of girls. People made fun of him but he was never beat up. Also this guy in college lived in the girls dorm because he considered himself a girl. I didn’t realize the person was a male until my senior year.

    People will always say things but it is a lot safer than it used to be.

  5. 5 steve
    July 1, 2008 at 13:56

    I wonder how the situation for gay palestinians has changed. This article is 5 years old now, but gay palestinians felt safer fleeing to Israel than living with Palestinians.


  6. 6 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 1, 2008 at 13:58


    I can’t stand those men who say they are not gay but have sex with men. It scares me. My aunt cautioned me about the new class of men before I moved here. I just pray that I don’t date or end up with someone like that. If you talk to people who have that mentality, they really don’t think they are gay. Some of them actually look down on men who classify themselves as “gay.”

  7. 7 selena
    July 1, 2008 at 13:59


    There used to be laws against homosexuality in Canada and the US not so long ago.

    A change began in Canada in the 1960’s but even as late as 1996 there were raids on Gay Clubs.

    Today homosexuality is largely tolerated but remains controversial in religious circles. So much so, the tide could swing back at any time.

  8. 8 nelsoni
    July 1, 2008 at 13:59

    @ angela not in africa and in the muslim world

  9. 9 nelsoni
    July 1, 2008 at 14:03

    @ selena. In african society, it goes beyond the law. Homosexuality runs contrary to the foundations of any african society or culture. Besides, any celebrity openly professing, homosexuality, has simply dealt his career a blow and can not be seen as a role model. I dont see that changing either now or in the future.

  10. 10 1430a
    July 1, 2008 at 14:05

    In Nepal,Homosexuals are looked upon as the lowest cast in the society.Not only here but also in other asian countries like India and Bangladesh.they have this anti-gay feeling amongst themselves.this can only be reduced when everyone realises the importance of human behaiviour and the fact that everyone is born in the form they are and no one can ALTER IT.

  11. 11 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 1, 2008 at 14:08

    There are still laws on the books in some states that illegalize certain behaviors. People have not been prosecuted but the laws are still on the books.

  12. 12 Brett
    July 1, 2008 at 14:11

    Absolutely it is easier in the US than ever before. I don’t think there is any doubt. There is still a long way to go for the gay community in being more widely accepted, especially in traditionally conservative bible-belt states, but overall, it is much easier than in the past.

  13. 13 steve
    July 1, 2008 at 14:14

    On Key Bridge on Saturday I saw a lesbian couple, mixed raced (one was black, one was white) holding their hands, crossing from DC into Virginia. I doubt that would happen in Africa or in the middle east outside of Israel.

  14. 14 nelsoni
    July 1, 2008 at 14:15

    Last month, @ the Civicus World assembly, there was a debate on WHYS, “should developing nations aspire to a western life style”, the western media has glamorized homosexuality presenting it as something cool and trendy. And quite a number of folks in the developing world see this and want to introduce in their own lifestyle but they have problems because their society is not ready for that.

  15. 15 nelsoni
    July 1, 2008 at 14:17

    @ steve. You are correct. That will never happen in africa.

  16. 16 nelsoni
    July 1, 2008 at 14:19

    Judging from the comments, its obvious that its far more easier to be gay in most of the western world than in the developing countries.

  17. 17 Patou
    July 1, 2008 at 15:17

    @Steve and Nelsoni

    I agree with you that in religiously conservative countries homosexuality is against the law. This is so in Cameroon where tGays can be burned alive on the street.

    This is seen as a curse or a disease that can be cured. Most importantly it is perceived as a behavior that has been brought to Africa by Westerners. Core African values call affirm manhood via initiations and rituals in most traditional societies.

    I can not imagine a Gay Pride parade in Africa currently.

  18. 18 Anthony
    July 1, 2008 at 15:37

    It is WAY easy to be gay in America, especially in Los Angeles. I had a problem once outside a night club. 3 gay guys in a truck kept trying to pick up on me, being VERY perverted, specifically telling me what gay acts they wanted to do to me. I was getting upset and they would NOT stop. After them going on and on, and me yelling at them (like 10 minutes), I finally just put a big rock through the back of their truck (I was young).

    So YES, it is VERY easy to be gay, at least in Los Angeles.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  19. 19 Mohammed Ali
    July 1, 2008 at 16:15

    To be a gay in Liberia is the most difficult thing. If society knows that a paricular person is a gay, you will get isolated, nobody will want to interact with for fear of being branded as gay too. Everywhere you went people will shun you. Basically there are gays in liberia but they are discreet about their gay activities.

  20. 20 steve
    July 1, 2008 at 16:17

    Fortunately we can leave Iran out of this discussion, becuase as Ahadmenijad said, there are no gays in Iran!

  21. 21 Peter Gizzi UK
    July 1, 2008 at 17:09

    As I h\ave said on this site before I was BORN homosexual! Why I do not know? I was “illegal” until I was 25. I manged though now the law has changed it makes life easier. I get really annoyed by religious bigots who say one is NOT born homosexual, that’s partly why I’m an atheist.

    I’ve had affairs with married men but never caused a divorce. I’ve had affairs with men from many countries and many complexions. Enjoyed them all.

    I now live alone in quiet retirement but still have the occasional flutter! I live with many pleasant memories.

    Gay Pride marches never interested me I just got on with my life. I do find it sad the word “gay” came into being when its original meaning was so pleasant.

  22. July 1, 2008 at 17:22

    If one is a religious zealot he/she would hate gays to their core. But I find it a lot hypocritical when these same religious zealots tend to tolerate mass murders and outright thieves then people whose only sin is against themselves if one may class gayness as a sin.

    Here in Liberia Charles Taylor was sought after by all the religious leaders despite the fact that he was a known mass murderer. People who openly steal government money are also usually made the special mothers and fathers in religious organizations. But religious leaders and the ordinary misguided Liberian masses, get extremely pious and emotive when something like gay sex is brought to them.

    I myself would never contemplate doing gay things, but equally I wouldn’t condemn anyone who feels that that is his/her disposition.

    Don’t forget that there are some of our political leaders who, it is rumored engage in gay sex. But just as someone said earlier they don’t consider themselves gay. Silly!

  23. 23 Anthony
    July 1, 2008 at 17:33

    @ Peter

    I don’t think you’re born gay, but I believe you’re molded to be gay since birth. Either way, the way you describe your life (like a series of one night stands, indulging in nothing but pleasure), and now living alone (which is sad in my eyes) is what gives being gay a negative connotation. At least that’s what I think 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  24. 24 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 1, 2008 at 17:40


    Some people may be born gay but not all people are that way. Many people just like trying different things today. I don’t engage in those activities but I know people that tried and just liked it and converted.

  25. 25 Anthony
    July 1, 2008 at 17:49

    @ Angela

    Or they are just tired of getting shoot down by females. I know about 3 guys who were HORRIBLE with the ladies. Then they found out how easy it was to hook up with gay guys, and they just stuck with it. That’s just lazy, hehe. Personally, I like the challenge. I have no respect for the gay guys who go to “sex parties” and have sex with random guys every weekend, however, I’m cool with the gay guys who have life partners .

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  26. 26 Mohammed Ali
    July 1, 2008 at 17:51

    I totally agree with you. I am not arguing that there aren’t gays in Liberia, but their gay activities are discreet. In fact they deny being gays in the public.

    Personally, I don’t have any problem with an individual prefers living his/her life provided it does not infringe the right of others.

  27. 27 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 1, 2008 at 18:07


    That is the funniest thing I have heard in a long time. I have heard of girls doing that but not guys. I don’t agree with the people that choose to do the wild weekend thing but I would not judge.

    I can’t see how it would be easier to get a guy than a girl because many guys that I know are pickier than girls.

  28. 28 Anthony
    July 1, 2008 at 18:23

    @ Angela

    Oh yeah. I knew this gay guy who said “gay guys ALWAYS get laid”. If I wanted to, I could literally hook up with 10 guys on Saturday. And I could probably do that every Saturday and find new guys each time. There are a lot of gay men who run through guys like I run through Doritos. :). Almost every gay/lesbian I know goes to “tea parties” all the time, where they all have sex with each other all night.

    You know what’s funny. The gay men I know who don’t “act gay” are good successful men, who are looking for a committed relationship. The flamboyant ones I know, who say their “S’s” like a snake, are the pleasure mongers.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  29. 29 graceunderfire
    July 1, 2008 at 18:24

    @ Anthony

    I believe people are gay from birth. I observed two of my first cousins; one as a contemporary, the other from birth three years younger than myself. Even at five years of age, I knew they were both different from my self, as well from their elder (and in later years, younger ) siblings. My female cousin being seriously dating a younger girl at fourteen, while her brother eventually underwent a sex change operation. I know these are only two data points; but they are two I know very well, both from a nature and a nurture stand point.

  30. 30 Peter Gizzi UK
    July 1, 2008 at 18:27

    Antony thanks for your comments. I know I was born gay, but lets not argue. As for living alone I’m an absolute bastard to live with. Much safer this way.

    Angela in Washington DC I realise most people are born heterosexual. I am obviously homosexual and it seems some men just find it attractive. At 66 and fat I don’t go looking for it now, but just enjoy the company of friends who are mostly heterosexual. Sometimes though I still get asked! Amusing. I don’t often say “yes” these days.

  31. 31 Anthony
    July 1, 2008 at 18:30

    @ graceunderfire

    Yes, but you are shaped more in the first 5 years of life, than any other point in you’re life. At that point, they would have already been shaped that way. I see it like preference in ice cream. Why do I like Cookie Dough the most? Well, I was just shaped that way since birth, and eventually got to that preference 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  32. 32 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 1, 2008 at 18:50

    I agree with Anthony, many people are shaped that way. I know these twins who are both gay and their sister is gay, as well. Their environment was different from my as a child and they ended up having different preferences.

  33. 33 graceunderfire
    July 1, 2008 at 19:16

    @ Anthony
    That which you and Angela say is certainly true. I cannot say conclusively their gender identities where set at birth. I can however say that we, along with other first cousins, the total of us being fourteen strong, lived in close proximity (at each other’s house almost), and these two stood out in remarkable contrast to the other dozen. Also, I can not pick out a single adult – child interaction from these memories that now speaks to me as a “gay” influence (And, I was always the quiet, observant one.).

  34. 34 Dennis
    July 1, 2008 at 19:21

    Being gay is hard in most parts of the world….it is hard in some parts of the United States of America.

    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America



  35. 35 Luz María from Mexico
    July 1, 2008 at 19:48

    Should we all accept homosexuality?
    Yes. I think is a matter of respect for other people preferences. I think is bad to deny and conceil homosexuality.

    Is it easier to be gay now, than ever before?
    Yes, I think it is more accepted than before. Yet, it is still a big stigma in some countries/societies

    Is it a good thing to be gay, or is there still a stigma where you live?
    Here in Mexico, depends of the city and the context. It is more accepted in Mexico City, the touristic destinations (costal towns) and border towns than in smaller cities and towns. However, there is still a lot of stigma and -sadly- homophobic violent acts toward homosexuals.

    In general, I think there are more gay people (in the “closet”) in conservative societies than in open societies. I have know many cases of people (women mostly) that married gay people in the closet and later in life found out about this. Most of them lived in conservative and homophobic environments.

  36. 36 Catalina
    July 1, 2008 at 22:11

    @ Anthony

    I think that’s one of the most ridiculous things i’ve heard in a while. The fact that you compared sexual preference with ice cream aside, you should read As Nature Made Him and see if you still feel the same way. The blatant truth is that homosexuals are born that way, and as someone else stated previously, it is obvious from a very early age that they are different and don’t have the same preferences. You simply cannot shape your children to be gay or straight one way or another. If anyone is ever successful in doing so, it’s simply because the child has just given up on wanting to stay true to themselves and just go along with what the adult says. I HIGHLY recommend reading the book I mentioned above.

    PS. Women go through that constantly. Now you know how it feels to be a woman harrassed by guys.

    As for the questions that were asked in this post, i agree that it’s a matter of respect to just accept someone for who they are. You don’t necessarily have to agree with the way they lead their life, but you can respect the person.

  37. 37 nelsoni
    July 1, 2008 at 22:27

    @ catalina. Homosexuals are not always born that way. They at some point in their lives they are subject to certain influences which encourages them to be homosexuals.

  38. 38 Catalina
    July 1, 2008 at 22:52

    @ nelsoni

    I don’t believe that. I firmly believe that homosexuality isn’t a choice. Yes, I agree there are people who experiement and those that allegedly “became gay”, but that’s because they feel they’re not successful with the opposite sex.

  39. 39 Anthony
    July 1, 2008 at 22:54

    Hmmmm. So here is a question for those who believe you’re born gay. If you clone a gay man, and give the babies to parents in an average U.S. town with almost no gays, will those clones turn out gay?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  40. 40 Emile Barre
    July 1, 2008 at 23:11

    It is never easy to be different anywhere.

  41. 41 Catalina
    July 2, 2008 at 17:10

    @ Anthony

    idiotic question. You cannot clone a person, and even if you did, there is no proof that that child is predisposed to being gay simply because their parents were. If that was the case, every parent of ever gay person would be gay.

    Rethink your question.

  42. 42 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 17:23

    @ Catalina.
    Listen to your response and think about it. If you cloned a person, then they wouldn’t have parents. And I’m the one with the idiotic question? Hehe, lol!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  43. 43 Catalina
    July 2, 2008 at 17:39

    Seriously? Okay, let me put this in simply terms.

    You want to clone a gay person right? that person had parents.

    the clone therefore has the same parents. You want to give that clone to average US. It’s nurture vs. nature

    What don’t you understand about that? and yeah that was an idiotic question because you can’t clone human beings.

  44. July 2, 2008 at 18:34


    You stated:

    ” The blatant truth is that homosexuals are born that way, and as someone else stated previously, it is obvious from a very early age that they are different and don’t have the same preferences. You simply cannot shape your children to be gay or straight one way or another.”

    Please come to Africa. Homosexuality in the African traditions does not exist because from an early age, kids are initiated in almost everything that has to do with manhood. Go visit the Pygmies where, even lovemaking is thought from an early age.

    there are two things here.

    1) The societal values have an influence on your behavior. This is why muslims believe that there is a collective spirituality that needs protection. This is why you see in Iran and Afghanistan institutions that enforce certain rules to ensure that there is no deviation from the collective spirituality that reflects decency (as defined by the Coran). Note that this contrasts with the West where spirituality is solely and individual process which has no protection whatsoever.

    2)If there is any true collective spirituality, then there is an ackowledgement of the written/stated foundation that reflects that spirituality. Hence, it would be a deviation from nature to act outside of the written and stated norms.

  45. 45 Anthony
    July 2, 2008 at 19:05

    @ Catalina

    You’re right. It’s impossible to clone a person. I’m sure there no secret US human cloning facility somewhere. Oh wait. You CAN and there is published information on how to do it.

    As to the parents, I wasn’t stating that. If you take a CLONE of someone who was gay, and homosexuality IS genetic, then the clone WILL be gay, right? Since its a genetic copy, then the clone will no doubt be gay, just like if they had diabetis or blue eyes.

    @ Patou

    Huh? Where did I put that? Why would you put quotations around something thats not a quote?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  46. 46 Catalina
    July 2, 2008 at 19:19

    @ Anthony

    Right, and aliens exist. That i find highly doubtful. When you clone yourself, please let me know. I can then deeply apologize for my ignorance.

    As for your second comment, I do apologize, I misinterpreted what you were trying to say. I’m not sure how to comment on that. Kudos to you for making that statement

    @ Patou

    I stated that, not Anthony. I’m not exactly catching your drift on what you’re trying to say. I don’t understand what collective spirituality has to do with homosexuality.

    The bottom line is that in most cases people will fall on either side of this argument: nurture vs. nature.

  47. 47 selena
    July 2, 2008 at 23:50

    I find it passing strange that someone who is not gay can tell someone who is gay how he got to be that way.

    I wish that I had this kind of pipeline to *God*.

    Let’s just assume that Peter knows more about his life than we do. 🙂

    Also some of you are way too preoccupied with sex. It is just a bodily function. Making more of it will just give you a life of remorse and misery, in my view.

  48. 48 E.
    October 24, 2008 at 22:39

    Opppsss…and I forgot to mention that my other siblings ain’t gay…just me…!!

    I have 4 heterosexual siblings. 4 out of 1! So why is it that 4 weren’t able to ‘influence’ 1?

    Is my case an ‘exception’?

    If it’s possible to ‘convert’ a heterosexual man to being ‘gay’, why then is it not so in the reverse?

    I don’t believe in the theory of ‘conversion’ or ‘being shaped’. If in an older age, a heterosexual man turns gay/bisexual, then he sure has always been attracted to same-sex! If he’d only be honest about his deepest desires/feelings!

    Heterosexual men can suppress their gay feelings for years. Some never come to terms with their desires/feelings. Some fantasy about men even when with the opposite sex. Who is fooling who?

    Anyone can be gay. Believe me, lots and lots and lots and lots of heterosexual men are in the closet especially in the African societies. I have heard a lot and seen a lot.

    Beware of aggressive homophobics! Most times, they are suppressed gay/bi men. The sterotype gay man simply remind them of their closeted not-to-be-accepted deepest ‘shameful’ sexual feelings! Who is fooling who?

    I have friends who have given ‘b.jobs’ to ‘straight men’, and they still come back for more! I have friends who have slept with so called ‘straight men’. Yet these men remain ‘straight’ and not ‘gay/bi’. Who is fooling who?

    Unfortunately, I’m a good guy…I don’t have any scandalous experience to tell…duh!!

  49. 49 E.
    October 24, 2008 at 22:41

    Thanks for that brilliant observation Selena…I find it passing strange that someone who is not gay can tell someone who is gay how he got to be that way.

    I’m gay…was born gay…I did not pick it up or get converted or shaped (whatever anyone wants to call it). I vividly remember growing up with an sexual attraction for boys like me. I may not have known what to call it then but as I grew older, I discovered it to be ‘gay’.

    At about age 3, I loved to play ‘mom’ in house. At 5, I was the top singer with her own show, and my sisters were my back-up singers. At 5, I would roll in bed with boys and have little erections. At 7, I was DIVA!! At 12, I knew I had arrived…I SURE WAS GAY!!

    So, who says I wasn’t born gay? Raise your hands!! Duh!!!

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