International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

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Louis-Georges Tin at the 5th Minsk LGBT Conference, organized by Gayrussia.ru and Gaybelarus, in Belarus on Sept 26, 2009[1]

May 17, or the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO or IDAHOT)—as it is widely recognised[2][3][4]—is an essential feature in the international LGBT rights calendar. In the 9th edition, in 2013, commemorations took place in almost 120 countries, in all world regions.[5]

The day aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide. IDAHO's date was chosen to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990.[6]

The original founders of the International Day Against Homophobia (or "IDAHO"), established the IDAHO Committee to co-ordinate grass-roots actions in different countries, to promote the day and to lobby for official recognition of May 17.

History[edit]

The day was conceived in 2004. A year-long campaign culminated in the first International Day Against Homophobia on May 17, 2005. 24,000 individuals as well as organizations such as the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the World Congress of LGBT Jews, and the Coalition of African Lesbians signed an appeal to support the "IDAHO initiative". Activities for the day took place in many countries, including the first LGBT events ever to take place in the Congo, China, and Bulgaria.

In 2009, transphobia was added to the name of the campaign, and activities that year focused primarily on transphobia (violence and discrimination against transgender people). A new petition was launched in cooperation with LGBT organizations in 2009, and it was supported by more than 300 NGOs from 75 countries, as well as three Nobel Prize winners (Elfriede Jelinek, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, and Luc Montagnier). On the eve of May 17, 2009, France became the first country in the world to officially remove transgender issues from its list of mental illnesses. [7][8]

Frenchman Louis-Georges Tin was founder of the day, and acted as IDAHO Committee Chairperson until his resignation in September 2013. He was succeeded by internationally renowned Venezuelan trans rights activist, lawyer and law professor Tamara Adrian.

Louis-Georges Tin and two other IDAHO Committee members started a hunger-strike on June 2012 to urge the French president Hollande to introduce a UN resolution decriminalising homosexuality.[9] (Same-sex marriage has been legal in France since 18 May 2013; a decision announced on May 17.[10])

Goals and activities[edit]

The main purpose of the May 17 mobilisations is to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression of LGBT communities worldwide, which in turn provides an opportunity to take action and engage in dialogue with the media, policymakers, public opinion, and wider civil society.

One of the stated goals of May 17 is to create an event that can be visible at a global level without needing to conform to a specific type of action.[11] This decentralized approach is needed due to the diversity of social, religious, cultural, and political contexts in which rights violations occur.

May 17 around the world[edit]

The day is particularly strong in Europe and Latin America, where it is commemorated with public events in almost all countries.[12] May 17 is also marked in multiple countries in all world regions including, in 2013, 32 of the 76 countries in the world[13] where same-sex relationships are criminalised.[12]

Common actions include large-scale street marches, parades and festivals. In Cuba, for example, Mariela Castro has led out a huge street parade in honor of May 17 for the past 3 years. In Chile in 2013, 50,000 people took to the streets to mark May 17, and the VIII Santiago Equality march.[14]

Arts and culture-based events are also common. For example, Bangladeshi activists organised the music festival "Love Music Hate Homophobia" in 2013.[15] Albanian LGBT activists have, in 2012 and 2013 been organising an annual Bike (P) Ride for May 17 through the streets of the capital Tirana.[16] In 2013, the IDAHO Committee called for international actions for a Global Rainbow Flashmob[17] to mark May 17. Activists in 100 cities, in 50 countries participated with diverse public events spanning coloured balloon releases, dance flashmobs, musical events, and performance and street art.[18]

Official recognition[edit]

In 2003 the Canadian organization Fondation Émergence instituted a similar event, the National Day Against Homophobia, which was held on June 1. In 2006, they changed the date to May 17, in order to join the international movement.[19][dead link]

In 2006, The Declaration of Montreal was created and adopted by the 2006 World Outgames. The Declaration demanded that the United Nations and all states recognize May 17 as the International Day Against Homophobia.[citation needed]

In 2010, Lula, then president of Brazil, signed an act that instituted May 17 as the National Day Against Homophobia in his country.[20][21]

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is also officially recognized by the EU Parliament, Spain, Belgium, the UK, Mexico, Costa Rica, Croatia, the Netherlands, France, and Luxembourg. It is also recognized by numerous local authorities, such as the province of Quebec or the city of Buenos Aires.[22]

In 2012, the city of Liverpool, England created a pioneering programme of events in association with the organisation Homotopia, called IDAHO 50. The event was supported by 50 leading organisations based in Liverpool.[23][24][25]Link PDF

On March 21, 2014, Mexico declared, by Presidential Decree, May 17 as the National Day Against Homophobia.[26] See LGBT rights in Mexico.

In several other countries (e.g. Argentina, Bolivia, Australia, and Croatia) national civil society coalitions have called upon their authorities to have May 17 officially recognized.[citation needed]

Impact[edit]

As of 2012, few countries have passed legislation at the federal level that includes full-fledged legal recognition for LGBT couples such as marriage, adoption, inheritance, and insurance rights, despite the efforts of the May 17 movement. Some countries continue to criminalize homosexuality or transgender identity and persecute LGBT people, sometimes violently. LGBT people in these countries may be vulnerable to state violence or hate crimes, and LGBT organizations or movements may be vulnerable to state-sponsored harassment.[citation needed]

An ILGA report issued for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in 2009 confirmed that 76 countries still consider same-sex relationships illegal. In seven of these countries, homosexual acts are punishable by death. In almost all countries, transphobic laws limit the freedom to act in ways that do not conform to the roles and expectations that are culturally determined by a person's sex at birth.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "www.gayrussia.ru/". www.gayrussia.ru/. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  2. ^ . IDAHO Committee http://www.dayagainsthomophobia.org. Retrieved 9 October 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ . UNESCO http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/all-events/?tx_browser_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=19095&cHash=975c172684. Retrieved 9 October 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ . ILGA http://ilga.org/ilga/en/article/o5a7LLP17y. Retrieved 9 October 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ . IDAHO Committee http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/reports.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "May 17th is the Intl Day Against Homophobia". Ilga.org. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^ IDAHO founder begins hunger strike for UN resolution on decriminalising homosexuality retrieved 29 June 2012
  10. ^ Hollande Signs French Gay Marriage Law
  11. ^ . IDAHO Committee http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/may-17/. Retrieved 9 October 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ a b Annual Report 2013. IDAHO Committee http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/reports/ |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "2010 Report on State Sponsored Homophobia Throughout the World". ILGA. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "More than 50,000 attend Chilean LGBT rights march". Washington Blade. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "Bangladesh IDAHO Report 2013". IDAHO Committee. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  16. ^ "An Unofficial View of Tirana". Continent Blog. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "Homepage". Global Rainbow Flashmob - Official Site. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "2013 Annual Report". IDAHO Committee. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Anti-Homophobia Day Marked In Windsor". The Windsor Star (The Windsor Star). 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  20. ^ "It is Official! May 17th is the National Day Against Homophobia in Brazil". [dead link]
  21. ^ "Brazil’s President Lula decrees National Day Against Homophobia". [dead link]
  22. ^ . IDAHO Committee http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/official-recognition/. Retrieved 9 October 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ Alan Weston (15 May 2012). "Liverpool supports IDAHO - the international day of action against homophobia". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  24. ^ "17th May 2012 – The Inaugural Launch of Idaho 50". Liverpool Learning Disability. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  25. ^ Alan Weston (15 May 2012). "Flying the flag for gay rights; Liverpool is the first city in the world to mark day of action, as Alan Weston discovers". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  26. ^ . Presidencia de México http://www.presidencia.gob.mx/decreto-por-el-que-se-declara-17-de-mayo-dia-nacional-de-la-lucha-contra-la-homofobia/. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]