A gripping two-part series, titled The Fight For Equality, will be launching across London during February, telling the stories of Commonwealth youths who fight against discrimination under strict laws often inherited from British colonial rule.
Presented by RANKIN, this multimedia series brings together young people who share their experience of fighting for equality against laws that wish to strip them of agency. As stated in a press release, “The event will showcase the raw stories of those who fear in love.”
On February 12, part one of the series, Unlawful Love: Queer in the Commonwealth, will examine the criminalisation of same-sex relationships. The launch includes a private screening of the films, an exhibition of the work, and a panel discussion with the activists advocating for change. It is fitting that the showing takes place before Valentines Day, as the event grapples with how to love in countries where it is illegal.
Among the stories told during part one, Bonnie, a non-binary person from Botswana, shares their experience of living in fear and shame of their identity. After a charity in their home country was shut down for supporting the LGBT+ community, they fought the law for five years to keep it open. In 2018, they achieved a monumental victory as they won their case.
In Papua New Guinea, David is determined to redefine masculinity through the campaign #MenandBoysToo. After struggling with depression because of his sexuality, he is now openly gay and a proud activist, both of which are criminalised. In many ways, his mother’s words proved to be a turning point for him, as she said, “It’s not how long you have lived. It’s how much you have given in life.”
These stories are rich in experience and emotion as across the Commonwealth, the LGBT+ community continues to fight for recognition and equality. Through their determination and passion, they are carving out a space to live openly. Now they share their moving tales at the Annroy Gallery, London, to inspire others.
Part two of The Fight for Equality series will focus on the voices of women who stand up for representation and inclusion within the commonwealth. It is planned to launch in March and ties into International Women’s Day.
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