May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

March 21, 2009


idaho2009Each year, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (the “IDAHO”, as it is usually called), will see actions and initiatives take place in many countries and contexts and on many different issues.

All these activities and initiatives are a very strong signal to all, decisions makers, public opinion, civil rights movements, human rights defenders, etc… throughout the world that our fights for our Rights as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex, etc… is vibrant ! The Day provides all different kind of actors with a very powerful opportunity to express their demands and to advocate for their case.

Each year also, the IDAHO aims at using the extra public, political and media attention that it provides at all levels to highlight one specific aspect of the struggle for sexual rights.

This year, it was decided to put this emphasis on the burning and often neglected issue of transphobia.

We have therefore extensively consulted with Trans people groups at various levels and from various contexts to identify a focus that could be common to most organisations involved in campaigning on Trans issues. We have thereafter devised jointly an Internation Appeal to reject transphobia and respect gender identity

Indeed, every day, people who live at variance to expected gender norms (transgender, transsexual, transvestites,…) face violence, abuse, rape, torture and hate crime all over the world, in their home as well as in the public arena. Though most cases of violence never get documented, we know that in the first weeks of 2009 alone, Trans women have been murdered in Honduras, Serbia and in the USA. Trans men are equally victims of hate crimes, prejudice and discrimination despite their frequent social and cultural invisibility.

Therefore, organisations of Trans People and Human Rights defense organisations have come together to launch an International appeal to respect gender identity and reject transphobia.

If you are an organisation, entity, local authority, celebrity or personality, and want to support this Appeal, please inform us by sending us an email. Your name will be added in the list of « first signatories » that we will present to the press and the wider public when we launch this campaign on the 2009 edition of the IDAHO, around May 17th.

This Appeal will then be accessible to sign online on this site by the wider public.

The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia
A global movement against all discriminations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

it may seem that these days sexual orientation and gender identity is getting less and less of an issue and people who live their gender identity and their sexuality differently from the majority enjoy comfortable and secure social and political spaces to do so.

When you have a closer look though, you will witness that there is increased homophobia and transphobia in a majority of places ; and the XXth century was actually one of the most homophobic periods ever in History.

Everywhere homosexuality and gender variance is being discriminated against ; in more that 80 countries in the world, same sex relationships are criminalised and in 7 of them, death penalty can be enforced.

Intolerance, prejudice, hate, ignorance and fear still largely prevail in individuals, groups, States, international institutions, etc…

This is why this international day to fight against homophobia and transphobia and for sexual freedom was created

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