Asia’s Newest Nation of Timor-Leste Is Fighting for LGBTQ Rights

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05/21/2019

On a sunny morning last July, thousands of Timor-Leste residents took to the streets of Dili. Clad in white shirts, gripping rainbow-striped banners and flags, they were there to celebrate the city’s annual Pride Parade. What began in 2017 with a few hundred attendees now welcomes an annual turn-out of 1,500, along with a procession of floats and a marching band—all to celebrate inclusivity and support the nation’s queer community. “We have people from all sorts of backgrounds this time,” explained LGBTQ activist and member of the Pride Parade committee, Natalino Guterres. “I’m so happy to see them march and be proud of who they are.” The parade is just one part of the nation’s LGBTQ community’s ongoing fight for acceptance.

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