What do people live for or what is the meaning of life? People always ask that question to themselves. I think being happy is one of those answers.

For some, being happy is to have children and to live with children, for some that means to create – photography, painting, music. But something that is common to all of us is – to be happy is when you are being yourself, when you can be the way you are.

The second thing common to all of us is – being happy is about being accepted: First of all, being accepted by your family, by your friends, by your surroundings. Without that no individual can be happy.

We all know the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We all know that it is about human rights. But there are more important things there about which we do not often think but I want us to think about it. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. For me, the rights are secondary here. Dignity is the most important thing. It’s one thing that is for all of us – it’s something that makes us human.

If you fear, if you hide, if you pretend to be someone else, if you someone at home and someone different in other surroundings – that is a matter of dignity. And what does the UDHR continue with – They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The word ‘should’ here is very important, regardless of what group we belong to, we must all support the people around us, our brothers, our sisters, and our friends – in their pursuit of dignity, rights, and happiness.

This material was made possible through the support from the “Allies in Action” program by COC Netherlands and ILGA-Europe.