International Day Against Homophobia, biphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOT)
2016, May 17th ! “Global Celebration of Sexual and Gender Identities”
Tintin, Super Professeur and Ronning Against Cancer support the global LGBTI (The Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex) movement.
International Day Against Homophobia, biphobia
& Transphobia (IDAHOT) 2016, May 17th ! International
Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia truly deserves its title of
“Global Celebration of Sexual and Gender Identities”
International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on
Tuesday, May 17th 2016!
This year again, the International Day
Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia truly deserves its title of
“Global Celebration of Sexual and Gender Identities”. Beyond the rather narrow
notions of “Homo”, “Trans”, “Bi”; the day offers a fantastic display of
diversity, which mirrors the many facets of human sexualities and gender
identities and expressions.
All over the world, advocates and their
allies are fighting for what matters most to them: the right to be free from
criminalisation, persecution, stigmatisation.
Sometimes the right to just live, as in
many countries people have to fear for their lives.
specifically, we are seeing the “fault-line” deepening between places where
activism is increasing and those where it is repression that is on the rise.
On the one hand, activism in some
countries is definitely rising, with more and more visible events and strong
support from institutions, which the Day has always been a good framework for
and this year again many official buildings will be lit in Rainbow flag colors,
such as the Chilean Presidency building.
Rainbow flags will be flying all over the
UK and Australia, where this action has become a national IDAHOT favorite.
In Albania, the now traditional “Bike (P)ride” has already been a huge success last week
end. Brussels Pride, always celebrated on the Saturday closest
to IDAHOT drew tens of thousands onto the streets. Trans activists in Canada
are getting ready to crown years of advocacy as the Government announced it
will introduce groundbreaking
legislation on May 17th. In Cuba, the IDAHOT week is again celebrated throughout the country. All over the
planet, from Moldova to Bhutan, campaigns will take it online and onto the
streets to mark the Day. Concerts, flashmobs, film festivals, Transgender
beauty pageants, same-sex wedding ceremonies, conferences, lectures, community
events and many more have been announced and will be reported
on on our social media channels.
On the other hand many activists have
asked not to disclose information about their actions for fear of backlash,
even in countries where conditions were relatively safe in previous
years. In Lebanon for example, the public conference organised by Proud Lebanon had to be cancelled under pressure from
In some places, this reaction comes as a
backlash against stronger visibility of sexual and gender diversities but in
some other places, there is increased State and social repression even though
the levels of activism have not seen any significant change.
This shows that highly visible recent
victories, and some severe defeats, on LGBT issues on several fronts have
certainly increased the focus of moral and religious fundamentalist movements
on sexual and gender rights. Activists from the sexual and gender minorities
movement now have to struggle against increasingly well funded, well organised
movements, which are getting much better than before at occupying the ground of
values that appeal even to otherwise socially progressive constituencies.
international organisations and progressive States are more than ever showing
support. Local activists in dozens of countries are supported by Embassies and
representations from international organisations.
The United Nations’ Free and Equal
campaign has released a special “Why we Fight” music
video for the Day. European institutions have
held their annual IDAHO Forum, hosted this year by the Danish Government.
Unesco is about to open a two-day inter-ministerial meeting on Education sector responses to
homophobic and transphobic bullying.
The United Nations have also taken a
specific stand this year on the global IDAHOT focus issue on “Mental health and
well-being”, as a large alliance
of UN experts have issued a joint declaration toend
the pathologization of LGBT people, highlighting the many harmful impacts
of human rights violations. In over 30
countries, this issue of Mental health and
well-being will be a central part of the IDAHOT discussions.
As we see
all the fantastic energy and creativity which the activists deploy around May
17, it is more than ever urgent to increase the capacity and resources of
activists to stand their ground and promote positive social change.
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