It is IDAHOT 2016 today, a day which celebrates sexual and gender differences
Today, 17 May, is IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia), a day created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the media and the public to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people across the world.
IDAHOT is celebrated in 130 different countries as a ‘Worldwide Celebration of Sexual and Gender Differences’ with Brussels Pride always being celebrated on the Saturday closest to 17 May every year. Trans activists in Canada are set to reap the rewards of years of hard work campaigning for rights on IDAHOT 2016.
UN activists for global LGBTI rights have made a video explaining why they fight for these rights, citing equality, social justice, and dignity as reasons. The uplifting video can be watched below.
However, IDAHOT’s good work is not over yet. An IDAHOT spokesperson has declared “This year 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.”
In the the latter, “spaces for expression are […] shrinking, with increased social and state repression acting to silence advocates for sexual and gender diversities. In some cases 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.”
Looking at countries where LGBT propaganda is not permitted such as Russia and Lithuania, or countries where same-sex relations are prohibited like many African nations, participation in IDAHOT could cause unwanted repercussions.
“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,” said the IDAHOT spokesperson.
It is at this time that we would like to express solidarity with members of the LGBTI community of countries where engaging with IDAHOT could land activists in serious trouble.
© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.