The LGBTQI life has both supporters and opponents in this country. Abortion has the same status, and feminism too, for that matter. The rest of the world is more or less balanced in this regard, by which I mean, people are not using their fists in their struggle to achieve goals, whatever those goals might be: They just use their tongues when they intend to put forward their principles and ideas. Here in Georgia, we don’t talk. We go physical forthwith when we are offered something that is not very much to our liking. I’ll try to explain it by means of analyzing our national oversensitive nervous system.
We are herewith talking about the supporters of the Pride Movement in Georgia and their opponents. The Pride activists try to hold parades here once a year, in order to remind society that they want to enjoy life and human rights exactly as other people do, and they undoubtedly have reason for this. Throwing in the encyclopedic definition, a pride parade is an outdoor event celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary and queer social and self-acceptance, achievements, legal rights, and pride.
We saw rather large crowds of people in the streets of Tbilisi over the last few days, either for or against the parade, but I strongly suspect that many of the supporters and opponents of the Pride Parade, including the journalists, don’t have even the slightest clue of how the English word ‘pride’ translates into Georgian, which means that they place themselves for or against something, despite the content not being completely clear to them. This sounds like one of my little jokes but, you know, every joke has a grain of truth to it. And the grain is that some of us, be we LGBTQI supporters or opponents, need to be a little better versed in the roots of the situation.
Nothing is simple here in Georgia. We are living in a totally different world compared to what we witnessed 30-40 years ago. Human life and our ability to reason about it has been drastically accelerated by electronic information flow, within which we often get lost, not being able to tell right from wrong, or to answer questions like how much humankind in general gains from either supporting or opposing a small bunch of people who are only trying to tell the world that they don’t mean any harm; that, if nature calls, then the human effort to ignore that call is futile, so let them be who they are and want to be.
But every coin has a flipside. The story of humanity is long and complicated, and has accumulated certain stereotypes which are not easy to overcome as quickly as that, and there are people who want to continue living those stereotypes. The question is, do they also have the right to be that way? Perhaps novel attitudes and renovated interpretations of very old human habits and ways of life need to be introduced more gradually than is being done in our accelerated times!
The situation is highly contradictory, but there is one undeniable truth about it. In our times of runaway spiritual and electronic development, violence has become totally irrelevant, and it is high time for all of us on our beautiful earth to substitute violence in general with something that is more humane, and that is, of course, intelligent discourse.
Things like Human Rights, LGBTQI Life and Pride Parades are all Western phenomena, vigorously and hastily being planted nowadays in the Eastern world. The notion of the West is mostly associated with tolerance, patience, and benevolence towards anything that is innate to Homosapiens, but Westernization cannot happen quickly. It is a painful process and it needs a lot of education and understanding to be applied. Awareness of this might not be a universal panacea, but it could at least keep us safe from bruised faces and death threats.
Op-Ed by Nugzar B. Ruhadze