We’re all going through drastic times together, and our emotions are on a cliff.  This seems to be a time when we should have something to cheer about, especially related to our community. 

Each day during this quarantine, I’ve been doing a Facebook Livestream at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).  Part of the Livestream is to give an update on LGBT news from around the world, and you might be surprised what is going on while here in the U.S. we’re all entertained or frightened by the clown in the White House. 

According to a survey by the China Family Planning Association, an official government agency, found that 15% of China’s University students identified as LGBT.  This might also explain why China, in the last few years, has begun to be more accepting of LGBT issues. Now the country has an LGBT app and advertisers have same-sex couples in ads; there are now known LGBT bars and restaurants, and The Chinese court system just accepted a case of a lesbian couple custody case — one of the women disappeared with the couples’ two children. 

For weeks we watched as Poland became more and more homophobic. From cities putting up signs that stated “This is an LGBT Free Zone,” to legislation that prohibits teaching anything about LGBT issues in schools. Last Sunday — International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia — in an effort to create dialog on LGBT issues in Poland, the United Kingdom ambassador to Poland’s capital, Warsaw, Jonathan Knott and his staff wore rainbow face masks. When interviewed about his mask, he stated, “We continue to protect the values in which we believe.”

There’s so much more good news too. Idaho Falls expanded its LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance; the oldest soap opera on TV in the world “Coronation Street,” in Great Britain created a gay footballer character; Tel Aviv’s government is fighting conversion therapy; Taiwan celebrated the first anniversary of being Asia’s first nation to legalize marriage equality. Joe Biden, when asked about states that allow conversion therapy stated, very simply, “That’s sick.”  Albania banned conversion therapy, and if all of that wasn’t enough, on the same week that small country, Albania celebrated a virtual Albania Gay Pride. We’ve built a community and not even a pandemic can stop our struggle for equality.  Pride season is upon us, pandemic or not.  While there may not be a parade, the beat of our community continues on.