His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, a spiritual leader for millions of Buddhists around the world, stopped by the GLAAD office recently to talk about LGBT advocacy and his charitable works with GLAAD's Omar Sharif, Jr. (pictured above) and the rest of our staff. He explained his philosophy of "Live to Love" (which takes action in his nonprofit foundation of the same name) in these words:
"Live to Love" is a process of education. I am hoping that we will be educated how to live in this world. To love each other, not to hate each other. That's the kind of education that I am trying to be activated, to make people understand that."
When asked about anti-LGBT laws in his home country of India, His Holiness spoke out against the criminalization of homosexuality.
I have to say again and again the importance of equality... Those people who have power to create all these laws, they have to have special knowledge about the important of equality... [The people subjected to these laws] might be gay, lesbian, or whatever. After all, he or she is a human being. After all, he or she is a being. So we need to respect them equally… Rather than punishing them and killing them, giving them a hard time, this is not the solution.
And His Holiness had a message for LGBT people:
You should be confident and be yourself and try to make use of yourself and your energy. Stand up and help each other and raise your voice up in the world.
Take a look:
His Holiness was recognized by the Dalai Lama. The Drukpa has followers in India, the Himalayas, Europe, Mexico, Peru, Malaysia, Hong King, Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia, and the United States. A strong advocate for the environment, gender equality, and HIV/AIDS care, His Holiness has started speaking out against dangerous laws that criminalize homosexuality and queer culture in countries like India.