How Brussels organizations are dealing with rising anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric in Europe

How Brussels organizations are dealing with rising anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric in Europe

Dimitri Verdonk, Co-founder of Le Refuge Bruxelles. November 10th, 2022

The Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of LGBTQ+ People published by ILGA-Europe in February of this year indicated a startling increase in anti-LGBTQ+ discourse, particularly from politicians and other leaders. 

The study discovered that nations with higher numbers of gay hate crimes are not just those with a major anti-LGBTQ+ discourse such as Hungary and Poland. Queer fuelled hate crimes have increased a total of 39% in Germany last year. Further, a recently released app in France where users can report anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes received 3,896 reports in its first year alone.

Coupled with a rise in nationalist ideals during an ongoing refugee crisis, many LGBTQ+ people are fearful for their safety when forced to evacuate dangerous situations. 

According to Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, Evelyne Paradis, “The spread of anti-LGBTI and trans exclusionary rhetoric outlined in this report has a very real negative impact on people’s lives. In country after country, we see how it negatively impacts people’s mental health and their sense of safety.”

La Refuge Bruxelles is a center for young queer people who are in need of emergency assistance. They offer housing and social aid to LGBTQ+ people aged 18-26, but also assist with refugees and asylum seekers. RainbowHouse Brussels is a LGBTQIA+ association that aims to provide the community with access to medical, social, legal, and psychological care. Both these facilities are dealing with the repercussions of rising anti-LGBTQ+ ideals as well as a rise in queer refugees.

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