Talk:LGBT rights in Portugal
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I disagree with the use of "legal challenges", as by Portuguese Constitution, it is explicit that there can be no discrimination against homosexuals. I think we should drop the term "legal" and keep the rest of the sentence... the challenges are more of a social, economical, etc. basis--126.96.36.199 (talk) 11:41, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Portugal is still a very homophobic country.
I agree, the actual reality is not so well reported in this article "Portugal is generally tolerant of gays. Homophobic violence is extremely rare (two reported cases in the past ten years)."
While younger generations have been increasingly more aware of the problem and less discriminating, most older people, man and woman, are predominantly against homosexuality.
From my personal view, after watching behaviors the past fifteen years, i can say that during the 90s, homosexuality in my school (primary and middle school, 5th to 9th year of school) was generally tolerated (in this case between young people), and more specifically if the parties were good friends or of the same class. I can say this because i knew two then-apparent gay boys in my class (which became bisexual or heterosexual years later), and both were well tolerated and respected by all peers on our class - in fact one of them was the best or one of the funniest and best friends of a lot of students in our class, but still they kept their sexual activities very private and very rarely disclosed or commented anything, fearing reprisals or isolation. It was not frequent to listen to anti-gay remarks, but occasional gay-bashing happened, although not aimed at particular targets. Also, in student agenda, it was more frequent to make fun of teachers or particular funny occurrences, than of sexual orientation. Other schools or even certain classes in our school might not have been the same - it all depended on region and cultural aspects. I can regard this school as predominantly tolerant and innocent, as all sorts of people were respected, including disabled people (blind, paralyzed, etc), and there was also no apparent racism, unless against gypsies - these were feared and rejected, but not harassed, which makes me think they were mostly isolated because people feared them, due to a lot of robberies, and not due to hatred of their race.
From this point on, past year 1999, after i transitioned to a new secondary/high school (10 to 12th school years), as sexual behaviors caught more and more on student speech, it was then apparent that homosexuals were constantly harassed. Racism was then visible as well, as so was hate to anyone different than the rest, including disabled people. This school was particularly bad in all these aspects, and if there was no one to blame of actual homosexuality, students would invent someone to blame, harass and curse, even if completely false. Most other secondary schools i visited were pretty much the same, which makes me think as people grow, the society's historical repression against homosexuals/bisexuals gets transmitted from the older people (teachers, parents, uncles, grandparents, etc) to the adolescents, and these became more and more compelled to act alike.
Now as adult (mid 20s), i can say that woman of my age are generally compassionate, friendly and do not frequently discriminate against gay people, and i even know two older woman (in their mid 30s) who claim they know gay people and are friendly to them. However just about every man of similar age, maintains distance, talk bad or harass, and some even are aggressive and talk like they would "give a ticket to the nearest hospital" to any gay people they encounter. Older people, well, while not physically aggressive, are always aggressive. As it is frequently the older people that do actually vote in elections and referendums, approving laws against discrimination (not only to gays, lesbians and bis, but also like said before, different skin color, background, etc) is really hard.
As for what happens today, things are different. For example, some of my young family members (two cousins, also twins, a boy and a girl) are now in middle school (year 8, age 13-14) and they frequently speak to me about their school during family reunions - they talk a lot of how they make fun of each others about their sexual orientation, in class, and generally in school, but also on their neighborhood, be it with friends or acquaintances, older or younger - but they specifically say there are no aggressions, and homosexuality is even tolerated in older classes in their school (10 to 12th year) - clearly in contrast to what it was in my time. As for racism, it appears to be nonexistent in their school, to a point that they even say that a black kid in their class makes fun of himself, which they find very weird. Probably they think that way because some people in my family are leaning to racism and most of them to homophobia, often making negative remarks about those topics, but when they arrive to school they see a different picture.
To conclude, as said, age and culture is relevant. While almost all of the core of elder people and most adult people are predominantly homophobic, the new generations are becoming more aware of this problem and becoming more tolerant. The advent of the internet and global communications are helping to reduce this problem and more and more people every day are seeing whats actually wrong with the "old thinking" that previous generations had.
There is still a long road to go into acceptance, not only by the people but also by the government and laws, but it looks more favorable than it ever was. The key to that conflict resolve is that the new generations are thought well of what is wrong and what is right... with no gray area in between such matters, as in, "its okay to respect your gay friend, but not every other gay in the planet" or "yeah, gay people can be together, but not close to me or ill punch them". There may exist 40 or 50% of people responding positively about homosexuality, specially if one of their closest friends came out of closet, but the other half does not. If i was to rate Portugal in LGBT rights, i would position it in the gray area, right in the middle... and not a "Portugal is generally tolerant of gays." LPCA (talk) 01:19, 12 October 2009 (UTC)