Saturday, May 17, 2014

Happy IDAHOT 2014

Today is the 9th annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.   It has become one of the largest international solidarity events since its conception by Frenchman Louis-Georges Tin.

He acted as the IDAHOT Committee Chairperson until his resignation in September 2013 and was succeeded by internationally renowned Venezuelan trans* rights activist, lawyer and law professor Tamara Adrian.

IDAHOT was created to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression of LGBT communities around the globe, provide an opportunity to take action and engage in dialogue with the media, policymakers, public opinion influencers, and wider civil society.

There are 120 countries in which some type of IDAHOT event is taking place today, and in addition to Vice President Joe Biden tweeting about the #IDAHOT, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have also released statements in support of it. 

Here is President Obama's statement, released yesterday.

Tomorrow, as we commemorate the 10th annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we recommit ourselves to the fundamental belief that all people should be treated equally, that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, and that no one should face violence or discrimination -- no matter who they are or whom they love
This year, the United States celebrates the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.  In doing so, we reflect on lessons learned from our own civil rights struggles and reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that the human rights of all people are universally protected.

At a time when, tragically, we are seeing increased efforts to criminalize or oppress LGBT persons, we call on partners everywhere to join us in defending the equal rights of our LGBT brothers and sisters, and in ensuring they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon released a statement late on Thursday, May 15, affirming his support for the global commemorations. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, followed his statement, with her own IDAHOT op-ed, released Friday, May 16. UNDP, UNAIDS and other UN agencies have also released statements in support of the Day. - See more at:
UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon and UN High Commissioner For Human Rights Navi Pillay have also released statements and op-ed columns in support of IDAHOT.

Poster on the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia 2014Here in Houston, IDAHOT falls as the TBLG community here is involved in a pitched battle against the local Forces of Intolerance to pass a Houston Equal Rights Ordinance that includes sexual orientation and gender identity protections.

In a few hours I head to the Montrose Center to take part in an all day New Organizing Institute event starting at 9 AM and running until 4 PM entitled 'Public Narrative Training For Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming Gulf Coast Organizers'. 

Do you identify as trans* or gender non-conforming? Then this workshop is for you! Join us as we pull together some of the best organizers from throughout the Gulf Coast region to share stories, skills, and strategize!   Gain the confidence to tell your story of self, now and community.

Happy IDAHOT people!

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