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IDAHOT week celebrations have started around the world

In many countries around the world, IDAHOT has over the years evolved into a full week of action. Once more this year activities have already started as early as last weekend.

In Cuba for example, Mariela Castro sponsored a symbolic blessing ceremony for gay couples on Saturday to kick off the IDAHOT week. In Bangkok, the IDAHOT week actions have also started, with events leading up to the City Hall being lit in Rainbow colors. Last week, the Trans Murder Monitoring IDAHOT 2015 update revealed a total of 1,731 cases of reported killings of trans and gender-diverse people between 2008 and 2014 while ILGA-Europe released this weekend its much awaited 2015 update of the Rainbow Europe report and maps. On Sunday, more than 230 representatives from European institutions, governments and organisations gathered in Montenegro to open the Third International Ministerial IDAHO 2015 Forum titled “Ending Hate Crime and Violence”,which is sponsored by the Government of Montenegro. The banning of the recent Pride March in Montenegro for security lessons will certainly be at the center of discussions.

 

And throughout this week many more IDAHOT events will unfold around the world

 

On May 14, the UN Free & Equal campaign will launch an uplifting new video, “Faces”, which celebrates the contributions that LGBTI people make to families and local communities around the world. There are no actors, just real people filmed in their workplaces and homes – among them, a firefighter, a police officer, a teacher, an electrician, a doctor and a volunteer, as well as prominent LGBT ally and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon! The video will be launched in Times Square, where it will play throughout the day and will be available on the Free & Equal campaign website (NB: this link will work only after 9am ET/NYC, 14 May).

 

On Wednesday, ILGA will be releasing the 2015 update of its very much awaited and authoritative State-sponsored homophobia report which details evolutions in legislation across the world.

 

At country level, many more events were announced since our last newsletter and we are trying hard to keep our website’s country pages updated. Please visit our interactive map for details of the snapshots below.

 

On the 15th, the South African NGO GALA (Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action) will host an event for the launch of a new guide on sexual orientation and gender identity for workers, employers, HR managers, trade unions and NGOs.

 

Today, May 11th, will be celebrated by activists from the Egyptian organisation Bedayaa as the EDAHO “Egyptian Day against Homophobia and Transphobia” in memorial of the Queen Boat events. The organisations announced an online campaign “I’m not a criminal I’m just different”.

From painting nails to a burpee challenge, Australian supporters have this year found some truly unique ways of marking IDAHOT. From professionally organised events to small amateur actions Australian groups across the country have shown an incredible response in their attempts to address the wide range of issues facing their community.

 

In Whanganui, New Zealand,  the organisation Inside Out is currently working with the Sexual Health Network to run a regional hui for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia over IDAHOT weekend. The event, called ‘Shift Whanganui, will run in three parts – the Affirming Diversity workshop by Family Planning for health professionals on Friday, a workshop for parents, whānau and caregivers of young people with diverse sexualities and genders on Friday evening and two days of workshops and activities from young people for young people aged 13-24.

 

Much information has come in from Latin America, where events will again take place in almost all countries in the region, details of which can be found in both English and Spanish on the Day’s official website.

Marches in particular will mark the day in much of the region, with events being held in at least Chile, Brazil, El Salvador, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Venezuela.

Activists in Mexico will hold a ‘public kissing’ on May 17th and have asked all participants to wear a purple shirt to remember LGBT Youth bullying victims.

The Peruvian organizations Red Peruana TLGB and PROMSEX will present their annual report on LGBT Human Rights situation in the country on Friday 15th.

Brazilian organizations are organizing events through all the upcoming week in different states such as Sao Paulo, Paraná, Sergipe, Mina Geraís, Espirito Santo and Santa Catarina.

 

The regional UNAIDS office and the IDAHO Committee will release a joint infographics on the situation of LGBT Youth in the region.

 

Groups in Eastern and Central Europe will be bustling with IDAHOT actions too, even in Georgia where activists will respond to the attacks they were victim to for the last two years with a peaceful photo protest action organised by the Women’s Initiative Support Group.

In Albania, young LGBT activists and straight allies will team up on a public campaign with posters asking the simple question “How long do you have for your rights?”, while the PINK team Albania will tour the country’s Universities for a series of lectures and discussions.

In Azerbaijan, a bowling championship and a remembrance tour will mark the IDAHOT programme while in Armenia, NGO “New Generation” organises an online IDAHOT Photo Contest titled “Homophobia in my eyes”.

A portable public photo booth on Brussels main square will allow the organisers to form a gigantic ‘wall of support’ from photos made of supporters on the day

In Denmark Copenhagen Pride will mark the day with a special international celebration, in which they are asking individuals of all backgrounds to ‘fight tolerance across national boundaries’. As part of the event advocates are encouraged to bring flags from across the world to demonstrate that the fight for equality is a global issue.

Sarajevo Open Centre have once again planned a vast programme for the IDAHOT celebrations. The programme includes seminars, an online campaign, action in public space, info sessions for journalists, film screenings, party, discussion rounds, conferences and an exhibition

Two activities on May 17th are shaping up in Sofia, Bulgaria: A joint action between the LGBT activists and anti-fascist groups and an Anti-homophobia and anti-transphobia football game, organized by Bilitis Resource Center, and supported by FARE.

In Slovenia, organisation Legebitra decided to join IDAHOT and the Aids Candlelight memorial into one event to be held on Sunday.

In Italy, activists will target Milan’s World Fair, to ensure the highest possible visibility of their action while in France, this year’s IDAHOT main event will be a rally on the Human Rights Plaza, facing the Eiffel Tower, to alert to the fact that death penalty for same-sex behavior still applies in at least 11 countries.

 

In quite a few countries, the raising of the Rainbow Flag is becoming a popular way to mark the IDAHOT. In Australia, Brisbane City Hall will be among the many places where the Rainbow Flag will be seen. The strongest concentration of flags will surely be in Nottinghamshire, UK, where over 100 flags will be flying over the region on Sunday!

The rainbow flag will also be flown by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in addition to the support which the country provides through its Embassies to many IDAHOT activities around the world. Several other Dutch Ministries, including the Ministry for Education will also roll out their respective IDAHOT action programs.

In Chile, more than 35 municipalities and 10 embassies will celebrate the Day by raising their LGBT flags.

 

In Spain, activities will be held across the country, from Madrid to the Canary Islands, and Grenada to Sevilla. A balloon arc with the colors of the rainbow, workshops at elementary and secondary schools, photo contests, films screening and the launch of a smartphone app will also be a part of the celebrations.

The Queer Students Representatives at the University in Heidelberg are adding yet another event in Germany, with programme starting on May 7th which includes presentations on the situation of LGBTTQI people in Russia and Africa, film screenings, rainbow flashmob and info booths.

 

In Ireland, IDAHOT will be marked by a number of events coordinated by the pro-LGBT faith group Changing Attitude Ireland (CAI). The CAI events include ecumenical services in churches with invited guest speakers.

 

In South Korea, the Rainbow Action Against Sexual-Minority Discrimination will be launching a Facebook campaign and will hold a  cultural festival with information booths at the very busy Seoul Station Square.

 

In the Philippines, the Association of Transgender People in the Philippines (ATP) will be holding two events this year, both in Cebu City and in Quezon City.

 

Many islands in the Caribbean will see IDAHOT events taking place. We have just heard that United and Strong in St Lucia will be joining in with the support of the National Youth Council

 

After all the wonderful news from across the world we wanted to close this newsletter with a special message received from Trinidad and Tobago: “In honour of International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 2015, my same-sex partner and I would like to visit New York together so I can introduce her to my family”

 

This might not be the most politically significative IDAHOT action, but it tells a story of what this day has become to mean, not just for our community as a whole, but for each and everyone of us. A Day that truly belongs to us all.

If you have more news and events to share with the world, write us at
contact@dayagainsthomophobia.org

 

The IDAHOT Committee.

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