Same‑sex relationships are not on the rise, however, the Lesbian Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community is now more openly expressing their love and affection publicly as opposed to 10 years ago.
These are the words of Sulique Waqa who is the Creative Director at the Haus of Khameleon, a movement led by young transgender women who lobby, campaign, research, train and advocate for transgender equality in Fiji and the Pacific.
Waqa says the visibility of people who are in same-sex relationships is more recognised now.
Waqa says the 2013 constitution now protects LGBT people under the Bill of Rights which bans discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
However the Haus of Khameleon Creative Director says despite constitutional protection for LGBT people, the reality is that they still face high levels of violence, stigma, discrimination and even murder.
Waqa says a lot of LGBT people are aware of their rights and freedom and are not afraid to express themselves in public.
Waqa says a lot of young LGBT people are also coming out openly now at a younger age and the Fijian society to some degree is more accepting of people of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression compared to 10 years ago.
The Haus of Khameleon says straight men have always had sexual relations with gay men as well as transgender women since the beginning of time.
Waqa says it is because of the stigma and discrimination that is attached to Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender lifestyle and identity that makes straight men who love LGBT people hide their sexuality and suppress their feelings.
The Haus of Khameleon says a lot of straight men are also not afraid to experiment with gay sex and may enter into a casual or time‑to‑time bromance that does not necessarily identify themselves as gay.
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