Rob Jetten is concerned about the emancipation of the LGBT community. Lesbian women, homosexual men, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people sometimes take a step back under pressure from cultural tension. Homosexuals in the Netherlands, for instance, think twice before walking hand-in-hand.
He stated this in the annual Kerdijk lecture. And that, he emphasizes, in the country that introduced same-sex marriage.
“Out of fear of negative reactions. Sometimes out of fear of aggression. That fear is often projected on people with a migrant background." Jetten admits sometimes also experiencing this feeling of discomfort.
Jetten refers to his visit to Madrid with his partner last summer. There, he noticed how easy it is for two men or two women to walk hand-in-hand. "With pride, without any reservations. Freedom as it should be."
New Raised Wall
According to Jetten, this kind of tension leads to a new wall that separates society. "On one side of the wall are people with roots in the Netherlands who experience unease about migration and the cultural vulnerability that comes with it." On the other side are people who feel that they will never be truly accepted in the Netherlands. "Not even when they are born and raised here. Nor when they try their utmost at school or work."
He calls it ironic that it is often people who themselves struggle with denial and exclusion, that are negative about homosexuals. On the other hand, the other person must also be taken into account, says Jetten. As an example, he mentions the terrible fact that a native Caucasian candidate with a criminal record in the Netherlands is invited three times more often than an applicant without a criminal record, but with an Arabic sounding name.