Every October 11th is International Coming Out Day. This LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and others) awareness day emphasizes the most basic form of activism within this community: living openly and unapologetically as your true self.
Our country is ranked second in the Rainbow Index. ILGA-Europe ranks countries every year on their efforts to support and protect LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people.
Belgium has once again secured a place in the top 5 on the Rainbow Index.
This year we have come second, no less. This annual index offers an overview of the rights and social situations that LGBTI people encounter in each of the 49 European nations. It evaluates such affairs as gay marriage or the right for LGBTI people to adopt children, but it also considers anti-discrimination legislation, protection in the workplace or the rental market and hate crimes against LGBTI people.
Especially in terms of legislation, Belgium is a good place for LGBTQ+ people to live. In 2003, it was the second country ever to legalize gay marriage. A few anti-discrimination laws were also passed that same year and adoption by same-sex couples became legal in 2006.
Earlier this year, the original 2007 transgender law got altered, making it possible for people to change their legal gender without needing a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and undergoing medical treatment. Blood donation for gay men also became legal, though the conditions are very strict.
Love should always win - Belgium knows that very well!