Allies: “We cannot change unless we educate ourselves”

“Hate stems from fear and a lack of understanding,” Sabela says when explaining the view that our society holds about LGBTQ+ people.

Indeed, where does hate stem from? Most of the time, our mind only thinks about things that are considered “normal” (please note that same-sex relationships are nothing new and have always existed), but it is not open to grappling with something new. The reason is that considering something new requires us to change our understanding, and changing requires a certain amount of reevaluation on our part. Our society does not want to accept same-sex lovers because it does not want to reconsider its position.Forget accepting; it doesn’t even want to make time to openly discuss the reality. After all, it’s easier to embrace the wrong understanding than to genuinely examine our thinking, isn’t it?!

So how can there be allies given the deep-rooted hatred in our society? Our guests for this podcast express how they, since childhood, may have had similar hatred for LGBTQ+ people as almost everyone else in our society. One of our guests said, “We cannot change unless we educate ourselves.”. What does self-education look like? Our guest phrased it succinctly: “Google and educate yourself.”.

As a queer person who has accepted herself, hearing this conversation left me with mixed feelings. Hearing society’s deep hatred of queer people reminded me of how much I struggled and how scared I used to be before I learned to accept myself. It also vividly showed me the struggle that is ahead of us.  

Finding allies, on the other hand, is extremely joyful and may give us hope that a brighter future awaits us. I say maybe because I find it difficult to imagine an Ethiopia that is accepting of queer people. Regardless, I invite you to listen to this conversation with a clear understanding that the struggle cannot be fruitful without the support of our allies. This is also why I hope we are able to garner more supporters.

I would also like to thank those of you who may not appear in any media but offer us support in different ways from your homes. 

Reading, asking, and examining make us complete.

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