News coming in from around the world on IDAHOT 2015 plans

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As the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia draws nearer, across the globe plans for action are becoming more concrete.
Although many organisations cannot publicly communicate on them for security reasons, we hope that the few snapshots below, which are a selection of some of the more “unusual” actions we have heard of, will give a nice flavour of what’s coming up. We also hope they will spur more organisations to action. Remember that your ideas might inspire others, so please take a minute to update us on your plans by writing to us at contact@dayagainsthomophobia.org
In many contexts where public action is not an option, IDAHOT will be marked by community events, often supported by foreign diplomacies and other allies. These events, albeit not visible to the world, are clearly a most important part of the Day, as these events have an irreplaceable impact on building resilience and strengthening confidence of communities. As they create spaces for alliance building, these events are paving the way for a brighter future.
We wish all activists around the world and their supporters and allies a fruitful preparation process. We are looking forward to hearing more about your exciting plans.
The IDAHO Committee board and team
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Collective actions:
“LGBTI Youth” is certainly becoming one of the most popular focus issues in the Day’s history, and we are hearing of many initiatives on this theme. For example, the international ItGetsBetter campaign announced that all affiliates would develop specific IDAHOT initiatives. LGBTI Youth networks in Europe, Asia and Latin America are busy working with their members on IDAHOT mobilisations and will be looking at drawing mainstream Youth networks into this year’s mobilisations.
Like each year, the European IDAHO Forum will hold discussions between LGBTI Governmental focal points, European institutions, Local governments (Rainbow cities), LGBTI organisations and networks like ILGA Europe and IGLYO. It will be hosted this year in Montenegro, with the theme “Ending Violence and Discrimination against LGBT people”.
UNESCO will launch the first comprehensive regional report on homophobic and transphobic violence in educational institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean (in Spanish). This report will be based mostly on the outcomes of a regional meeting that took place in Bogotá in October 2014 and brought together 50 representatives from governments and civil society organizations from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. The report will be launched through a series of events in several countries in the region (countries to be confirmed).Contact: Mary Guinn Delaney, UNESCO Regional Advisor
Also noteworthy, organisations from various countries, which work on shelters for homeless LGBTI Youth will come together over a joint mobilisation and awareness raising activity, which is being discussed at the moment. If shelters or housing for LGBTI homeless people are part of your programmes, or your objectives, please join the action by writing to us.
While mainstream youth organisations will have a specific engagement for the Day, we are also hearing that organisations fighting for Freedom of Expression, which were actively mobilized through last year’s global focus issue on this, will be on board again this year with specific initiatives to be announced in our next newsletter.
On May 17, Christian LGBTI organizations will remember victims of violence related to gender identity and sexual orientation. The European Forum of Christian LGBTI Groups and Progetto Gionata have invited all Christian communities, Christian LGBTI groups and individuals around the world to make their proposal for a biblical verse marking the 2015 vigils and the Sunday celebrations. The list of proposal will be published and votes for the most popular verse, which will become the IDAHOT 2015 official verse, accepted from February 25 on https://inveglia.wordpress.com/.
 
Country level actions:
In Lebanon, plans for this year’s IDAHOT are mainly to develop and publish flyers related to LGBTI issues in order to raise public awareness. National organisations are also convening an event that will gather LGBTI people from different nationalities as well as international and local NGOs working in Lebanon.
In Kenya, organisations are getting ready for a national online campaign, which will include messages, pictures, captions and themed messaging to create a buzz about LGBTI issues. In Nigeria, a new website will be launched to provide an alternative platform for LGBTI issues in the country.
This year, the regional African network of MSM organisations, AMSHeR, will focus on the operationalisation of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights resolution against SOGI-based violence. AMSHeR members and partners will develop a guide on how they see the implementation of the resolution happening practically in their countries. Wherever relevant, members will highlight these recommendations in their IDAHOT actions.
In Bangkok, there will be a number of events, led by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration under the theme of «Bangkok – the City of Equality ». One of the highlights of IDAHOT commemorations in Thailand will be the lighting up of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre in a sea of rainbow-coloured lights, which is organised by UNESCO Asia-Pacific. Other events throughout the IDAHOT week will be organised by UN Agencies, LGBTI community organisations and other partners on issues facing LGBTI youth in Thailand.
In Hong Kong, a large alliance of LGBTI groups and allies will organise a season of activities all the way up to IDAHOT, with exhibitions, screenings and talks in most of the Universities in Hong Kong as well as in Macau.
In Latin America, more regional institutions (UNESCO’s plans were reported in our last newsletter) have announced their mobilisation for May 17th, with more specific information to be shared in our next newsletter. Local organisations are in the process of finalizing theirs, with some already well defined, from the traditional national march in Brasilia organised by the Brazilian LGBT federation, to media round tables scheduled in Peru and a new edition of the Paraguayan “Kiss in”. In Venezuela, the IDAHOT activities will include University seminars on LGBT young people, a media training workshop on the eradication of homophobic language, a national march against homophobia and an advocacy strategy to get May 17 officially recognised by additional municipal councils in the country.
LGBTI refugees and their situation will be the focus of IDAHOT mobilisations of the Swiss organisation Pinkcross, which will feature public events and a hashtag campaign advocating for better treatment of LGBTI refugees.
In Milan, Italy, the soccer Diversity Cup 2015 will aim to highlight homophobia in Italian football. On the other side of the Adriatic sea, Montenegrin LGBTIQ Association “Queer Montenegro” will mark IDAHOT this year with the second edition of the Queer movie festival “Merlinka”.
In Portugal, the national LGBT youth organization, rede ex aequo will again be distributing free hugs and information material about sexual orientation, gender expression and identity. This year the (Ida)hugs initiative will be taken to even more cities across the country. ILGA Portugal will be again using the occasion of IDAHOT to release the report from their Observatory on Discrimination.
Athens Pride will stage a « Just like you » Freeze-in action in the historic centre of Athens whereby 6 people will perform 6 different situations, each wearing one of the 6 colours of the Rainbow Flag. Each of the 6 Freeze Actions will portray different aspects of LGBTQI experiences.
With the support of the Swedish embassy, the Lithuanian national organisation LGL will be organizing the fourth edition of their Rainbow Days action. This year LGL is planning to have a number of events, including their traditional bus ride in the centre of Vilnius and film screenings in three Lithuanian cities.
In Romania, Bucharest PRIDE Festival will begin on the 17th of May and will comprise of a week full of events dedicated to LGBT and equality issues, culminating with the Pride March.
Organisations in Germany, and in other countries which prefer not to be disclosed at this stage, will be organising Rainbow balloons flash-mobs, while in Sweden the International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network will hold an international poetry & music evening as a salute to IDAHOT activists from all over the world.
In Ukraine, it is interesting to note that a national report addressing discrimination and inequality in Ukraine, which includes a focus on LGBT people, will be officially release and presented to the media around IDAHOT, in order to underline the focus on this particular group. The report is the result of a 2.5 year long project by Nash Mir, the Equal Rights Trust (UK) and other Ukrainian NGOs.
 

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