Governments' Apologies For Past Anti-LGBTQ Atrocities. Do We Accept?
Would you accept an apology for your government's past aggressions against the LGBTQ community? We've covered some of more recent occurrences of nations trying to make reparations for their previous mistreatment of their LGBTQ citizens by making official apologies. For example:
Now, Senator Ged Nash has campaigned for Ireland's official apology to coincide with the 25th anniversary of decriminalization of the homosexual act in 1993. Sounds great! Historic and the right thing to do, correct?
Derek Byrne, a journalist and broadcaster from Ireland, recently shared is disgust of the practice of nations apologizing. When he heard that his Ireland was planning to apologize to men who were convicted of engaging in same-sex sexual activity, his initial response was one of anger.
I endured hatred every day of my young life for simply being the person I was, being true to myself, being the person I was born to be. What I would like to know now is who is going to apologise for that?
Who is going to apologise for the years of dread I felt just walking out my front door in the morning, the years of taunting and bullying I endured at school and having the back of my coat covered in spit every day as I walked home?
Who is going to apologise for the people who later at work, would stand on the other side of the corridor as I walked past and insisted that I use my own knife, fork and spoon in the canteen so that they wouldn’t catch Aids?
Who is going to apologise for the loss of the man I was in love with, who took his own life at the age of 21 having been forced into a relationship with a woman because he knew his father would be ashamed to have a gay son?
Who is going to apologise for the fact that I had to grieve his loss in silence and alone without being able to tell any of my family or friends that the person I was in love with had taken his own life with the shame of not being able to be the person he was born to be.
A hundred thousand apologies could never erase the deep and profound pain I still feel when I think of those dark days as a gay man living in Ireland prior to 1993. - irishtimes.com
You can read more about Derek Byrne's opinion on the apology from the Irish government over at irishtimes.com as well as why he did not support the marriage equality referendum in 2015, believing that it was just a way for people to give permission for him to be accepted and equal to others when permission should not needed to be treated equally.
What do you think of the practice of nations apologizing for their pas aggressions? Is it needed? Do you accept it? Are the people apologizing the ones that were guilty of the atrocities 25 to 35 or more years ago?
Do you think that Derek Byrne is right? No apology can make up for the pain that was endured?
Or do you think Derek and others should accept the apology as a sign of the government trying to move forward?