As Pride celebrations continue around the world, the upcoming parade in the tiny nation of East Timor is a welcome reminder of why Pride exists at all. East Timor (Timor Leste) is one of the world’s youngest nations. It has been on a path of self-discovery after gaining independence from Indonesia in 1999. The new nation – located about 2,000kms (1,246 miles) north-west of Australia – has been busy developing itself from the ground up. So there hasn’t been much time left to think about the LGBTI community and its needs. Timor-Leste’s LGBTI community is a powerful force for inclusion and acceptance. In a region growing increasingly hostile to the community, we compel support from all walks of life,’ Pride Timor organizer Natalino Ornai Guterres told Gay Star News. LGBTI people face daily discrimination in East Timor. A shocking 2017 report showed queer women and trans men faced extreme levels of violence, often at the hands of their own family.
July 16 / Gay Star News