Boris Dittrich

by Amina_C on April 22, 2013 - 6:39pm

Boris Dittrich

            LGBT rights is the new growing trend in seek of equality. More and more people are waking up willing to do anything to help towards equality, not only for the LGBT people but for everyone no matter their sexual orientation. Boris Dittrich, a Dutch politician and activist, is a great example of someone who started out as a simple politician in the Netherlands and who later declared his sexual orientation, and became the first openly gay member of the Dutch national parliament for twelve years. Today, he is a member of the Human Rights Watch association where he represents the LGBT news in the World. Dittrich has made significant changes in regards of LGBT rights: he organized two side-events at the UN headquarters in NY regarding sexual orientation and gender identity that lead to the joint statement of 66 countries to fight against homophobia. He also led the Netherlands to be the first country to legalize same-sex marriage, which gave the right example to more than 14 countries today that legalized the civil right. Today, he writes articles introducing many hidden stories of homophobia internationally, and travel around the world to bring awareness of LGBT rights. What interest me the most is the fact that he was able to accomplish many from simply initiating events at the UN headquarters, and convincing many countries to placate homophobic tensions and improve the rights of LGBT community internationally. Dittrich started off by convincing his own community, the Netherlands, to improve the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people by legalizing same sex marriage and proposing a bill that protects their right as citizens and fight against discrimination over sexual orientation. Even if I do not have a prestigious position as politician in Canada (my community) or at the UN headquarters, it inspires not only me but others that even the littlest event can bring awareness and make the biggest chances. I don’t think I would be able to change the world in a day with the event and the club I am currently working on in Champlain College, but if my school community can be aware of the lack of rights LGBT people need, or the consequences of homophobia, words can be spread out about the issue with the help of social media, and it can, at least, make a slight difference in my community. I was also inspired by this news story posted on April 10th, 2013 on the Huffington Post by writer Thomas Adamson that tells the devastating story of a gay couple who were walking at the streets of Paris and got beaten up by a group of young males for holding hands. The man in question, Wilfred de Bruijn, and his mate were unconsciously beaten on Sunday, which consequences were five fractures in his head, abrasions and a lost tooth. De Bruijn then uploaded the picture of his injured face to Facebook, and since has become a symbol against homophobia across France and Europe. The beating brought awareness of the recent news discussing the legalization of the same-sex bill in the French Senate that brought many anti-gay marriage riots and protester to act against, but according to Adamson “But whichever way the Senate votes, the image of De Bruijn's battered face has made for a symbolic end to five months of bitterly divisive protests.” This event has led French interior Gay organizations to act against the anti-gay riots, and have since used De Bruijn as a symbol against homophobia. This recent news gave me knowledge that homophobia is still, as seen in my recent news summary, present in many places in the World. The Internet and the media can do many goods to fight against it since the picture went viral because of Facebook and other social media; this could be a great idea for the LGBT club I am hoping to create. Opening a Facebook page or simply spreading the word about the club by creating events such as what the French organization did can help fight against homophobia and, like Dittrich did, help my organization have a more open viewed on the subject of LGBT rights.


As I am also writing about LGBT rights, your article is very interesting to me.  On another note, I am of Dutch heritage, so I find it nice to know that it was the first country to legalize gay marriage. 

You mentioned that even though you are not a famous politician, he inspires you to make a difference.  I wrote my article on Brittany McMillan, who as a high school student made a big difference.  She started Spirit Day, a day on which people wear purple to show their support to the gay community, by posting about it on tumblr.  It is also articles she saw about teens committing suicide because of bullying due to sexual orientation that she decided to start the day.

I also hope the club we are trying to start at Champlain will promote acceptance and help students.  Bullying of LGBT students is wrong and I hope this club can make a difference for these students.