What you can do

Privacy and the international picture

Privacy is important to most people - whether it's at home, at school or at work.

We often preserve from people the things that we hold closest to us. Sometimes it’s a secret, other times perhaps a past experience that we'd prefer to remain discreet about.

For lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people, however, privacy can sometimes be protection. It's what can stand between an individual and teasing, bullying and isolation. 

It can make the difference between life and death. 

And this is certainly the case in some of the 75 countries where being gay is illegal. And the 10 where it's punishable by death.

What the Ashley Madison hack highlights is the hiding forced upon so many LGBT people whose right to be themselves is bound to scared secrecy and shame.

Of course, this 'outing' of so many people across the world has sparked huge concern. And rightly so. But it's a story. And whilst stories fade fast, consequences continue.

What we now need to focus on, long-term, is the international picture for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.

We must educate friends, families and colleagues around the social and legal inequalities that so many LGBT communities around the world are up against.

And at Stonewall, our international work will continue.

Stonewall works with human rights defenders around the world, exchanging knowledge and expertise, and looking at how using these can allow us to be impactful in our own countries.

We don’t march into countries to tell them what to do to affect change. We know that work must be led from the experts on the ground; those who have the lived experience and understand what's best for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities they represent.

And we will continue to help those individuals tell their stories and support their work, when asked. We will help them to continue fighting their fight until all people, everywhere, can live freely as who they are without fear of persecution.

Acceptance without exception.