International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Supporters of LGBT Rights Celebrate IDAHO Around the Globe

May 30th, 2016

On May 17th 2016, the supporters of LGBT rights celebrated the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). This year’s focus was on Mental Health and Well Being among minority groups and the attitudes of the society regarding the LGBT community and individuals. The day draws the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, opinion leaders and local authorities to the situation lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people and all those who do not conform to majority sexual and gender norms are forced to face.

For the cultural diplomacy perspective, May 17 is an example of a success of creating a day to bring nations, communities and world leading partners together. People are made more aware of the rights that the LGBT community shares with majority of the population and at some places big steps are made for equal treatment. For instance, embassies around the world have raised the rainbow flag to show support to local activists, and they have supported countless local actions and have been at the lead of showing the support.

The “IDAHO Forum”, which brings EU stakeholders together to discuss cooperation and regional politics, was hosted by the Danish government and opened by Crown Princess Mary. The May 17 is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal, with 1600 events reported from 1280 organizations in 2014. These mobilizations unite millions of people in support of the recognition of human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. For example, the Russian LGBT activists took part of the day, even though the harsh conditions they have to face in their day to day life.

The day was first celebrated in 2005 and the day has achieved attaining the official recognition from several States, international institutions as the European Parliament, and by countless local authorities. 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.

Cultural Diplomacy News

Aira Lukka, CD-News