19 June 2014

A Gays-Only Village?

I have always had mixed feelings about high schools specifically for LGBT people.  On one hand, such schools might shield students from bullying they might experience in other schools.  On the other, segregation always turns the ones segregated into second-class citizens.

Now a developer wants to build a gays-only neighborhood in the Dutch city of Tilburg.  Mayor Peter Noordanus has endorsed the idea.

I'd be curious to know how much support there is for this idea in the Dutch LGBT community--or across the Netherlands generally.

Proponents of the project point out that recently, there has been an increase in the amount of violence and oppression against LGBT people.  That, in the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage and reputed to have some of the most gay-friendly laws and policies in the world.

Moreover, more than one-fifth of all gay people report that they don't feel safe in their own neighborhoods.

How can that be in the Netherlands?

Well, as in much of Europe, "Skinheads" and other hate groups have increased their membership.  These home-grown terrorists blame gays, immigrants and others who are simply different from themselves for their society's ills--including their own inability to get a job.

Sound familiar?

Still, I don't see how any good can come of such a program.  If anything, segregation sends the message to haters that it's OK to harass and brutalize those who already exprience oppression.   That is what happened in this country between the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of the Civil Rights movement.

And, if such a colony is constructed in a country like the Netherlands, what does it portend for LGBT people in other parts of the world?

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