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Brussels is a renowned LGBT+ capital. A Pride is organized every year in the city, and other related events are held weekly during the rest of the year for members of the community. There is even a ‘gay area’ near the centre of the town, the Marché du Charbon street. Nothing particularly surprising coming from one of the biggest cities of a Kingdom that legalized same-sex marriage and adoption before all of its neighbours. A Kingdom which has been directed by a gay prime minister during more than 2 years, a country that has been for the rest of the world the advocate and pioneer of gay rights.
By Nicolas Baudoin
I should be thankful for living here and I am in some ways. But I can’t ignore that there are several important discrepancies between this discourse and the reality in Brussels. When I first walked in the ‘gay area’, I was pretty shocked to encounter only one letter of the LGBT+ acronym. The ‘G’, which actually encompasses white cis male in their thirties. I began to understand that all of the space within the community was actually kind of pervaded by their presence.
Sexist, racist, transphobic behaviours are not rare at all in these ‘inclusive’ spaces. In fact, it just mirrors in real life how Grindr profiles work online. Of course, there are always alternatives, especially within the underground punk scene. But it’s still not satisfactory. LGBT+ spaces should belong to LGBT+ people. We should be inspired by the history of the movement and promote diversity and openness instead of being satisfied with a half-victory tainted by xenophobic undertone.
Example. There are no permanent places for lesbian girls in the city. The success of Mother And Daughters, a temporary lesbian venue at Beursschouwburg, proves the need for these kind of venues in Brussels. Neither are there places for trans people, except for the evenings organized by associations such as Genres Pluriels. There are no places for non-white people, at a time where (racial) non-mixity seems to be such a hot topic. What are we waiting for? We should start shedding light on these issues instead of congratulating and contenting ourselves for being what we already are. Let’s think what we can become instead.