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Roja Directa & Campo de Gibraltar LGTBI Observatorio Against Discrimination

Rosario Pérez | Photos: Fran Montes, ReachExtra

During June, several demonstrations took place to mark the start of pride month in the Campo de Gibraltar, with many speaking out against a rise in discrimination. The Asociación Roja Directa and the LGTBI Observatory are the two most active groups in the area promoting diversity and fighting against social prejudice.

The Campo de Gibraltar is preparing for the June 28th International Pride Day, although with certain Covid-19 restrictions.

The Roja Directa Andalucía association and the “LGTBI Observatory” are the two most active groups in the area in promoting diversity and are in fighting against social prejudice.

Among other events, which will include the setting up of information stalls within different municipalities in the region, on June the 28th, a meeting is set to be held in Algeciras at the José Luis Cano Documentary Centre, and a mural will be inaugurated in Los Barrios next to the Roja Directa headquarters.

An open-air exhibition on transgenderism will be opened at the Plaza de la Iglesia in Los Barrios on the 29th and on the 24th of July the María Cristina Park became the venue for the “Pride Party”, which was free to enter but with a limited capacity.

Director of Roja Directa, Jesús Tomillero
Director of Roja Directa Andalucia Jesús Tomillero

Director of Roja Directa, Jesús Tomillero told ReachExtra that the aim is “to vindicate diversity and rights of the LGTBI collective and to make society aware of the importance of defending rights, at a time when, unfortunately, these rights are questioned and threatened”.

The Roja Directa Los Barrios headquarters, which has been provided to the group by the local City Council, who the group is grateful to for their “constant support and commitment”, recently presented a report from the Observatory Against LGTBI-phobia Cádiz faction, which concluded that society is still a way off from eradicating certain behaviours which threaten LGTBI people.

Report finds 80% of crimes against LGTBI go unreported to the police

The Observatory is a resource which provides for people “who have suffered aggression, discrimination or any incident which is believed to be motivated by LGTBI-phobia, and has the necessary tools to combat the situation so people do not feel helpless”, and has found that 80% of hate crimes are going unreported.

According to the organisation, the pandemic has worsened the situation, as confirmed by their president Marta Castellano and Maríá Elana Trillo.

The General Director for Gender Violence, Equal Treatment and Diversity of the Junta de Andalusia’s Ministry of Equality, and Social Policies and Conciliation director Ángel Mora, said that the data was “very troubling” and “driven by homophobia, biphobia, transphobia or an aversion to people due to the simple fact of being different”, which she says “materialises in discrimination, harassment and both verbal and physical abuse in private and public spaces; homes, streets, bars, schools, workplaces, public transport…”

Director of Roja Directa Andalucia Jesús Tomillero

According to the report, the most common abuses over the last year have been verbal which accounts for 66.6%, followed by harassment at 42.9%, physical violence at 28.6% and hate speech at 19%.

It found that the most common cause of abuse was down to homophobia, which corresponded to 71.4% of recorded events, although transphobia was also highlighted in the report which was at 19%.

Giving the “Red Card” to LGTBI-phobia in Sports

This is another aspect which is covered by associations like the Roja Directa, which was first started as a way to denounce discrimination and harassment in sports; more specifically in the world of football.

This is something which the organisation’s president and foundtr Jesús Tomillero has suffered; to the point which he says he “could no longer bear it”, causing him to have to drop out of a sport which he is passionate about.

Currently, Roja Directa offers comprehensive care and advice for the LGTBI community throughout the 8 municipalities of the Campo de Gibraltar; providing special attention to young people. They have carried out over 20 projects like workshops and training courses for police and civil protection units, information and awareness campaigns, protests etc… the group is made up of around 30 volunteers.

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