Peter Tatchell, the founder of the Peter Tatchell Foundation and human and LGBT rights activist, has been named the winner of the prestigious James Joyce Award 2016 and is being given an Honorary Fellowship from University College Dublin.
The award has been given in the past to such renowned people as Noam Chomsky, Desmond Tutu, and Hans Blix.
Tatchell received the award today, September 21 in University College Dublin, for his contribution to LGBT equality and human rights over the past 50 years.
The award is an honour conferred on those who have “excelled in a field of human endeavour and have made a profound impact on the world around them”.
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)
In his acceptance speech at the award ceremony Tatchell said:
“My huge gratitude for this distinguished award and honorary fellowship. I feel humbled and overwhelmed to follow in the footsteps of so many illustrious past recipients.
“I would like to dedicate my acceptance of this award to the heroic LGBT campaigners of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and allied Ugandan movements.
“They are spearheading the fight for LGBT rights in Uganda – in a deeply repressive, intolerant society, at great personal risk to their liberty and lives.
“Despite government, police and religious persecution – and the constant threat of vigilante and mob violence – they carry on the fight for LGBT freedom.
“I salute SMUG and allied LGBT groups, and urge people to go to their website and make a donation to help them carry on their inspiring work against anti-LGBT hate.”
The acceptance speech continued to identify human sexuality as fluid, proposing the idea that homosexuality is influenced by social mores, cultural expectations, genetics, hormones received in the womb, childhood experiences, and more.
Indicating a future shift in sexual orientation identification, Tatchell predicts a homophobia free society in which identifying as gay or lesbian will be unnecessary.
“Homosexuality as a separate, exclusive sexual orientation and identity will begin to fade – and so will its mirror opposite, heterosexuality – as we evolve into a sexually enlightened and accepting post homophobic society,” Tatchell said.
“The vast majority of people will be open to the possibility of both opposite-sex and same-sex desires.
© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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