International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 2016

Human rights for LGBTIQ people everywhere. It's a straightforward declaration. Humans have rights and they should extend to everyone. Still, worldwide, some 2.8 billion people live in the nearly 80 countries that criminalize same-sex activities. Criminalize. Rest on this a second.

Yesterday, we held our annual Celebration of Courage where we honor activism in the global LGBTIQ movement. Thank you to everyone who attended and supported us Monday night. The speeches from our awardees and allies were a reminder of how far we've come and how much more work we have to do. As Ban Ki-Moon's statement said:

“We have made great strides, thanks to the courage of activists and allies on the ground around the world. But in many places, resistance remains strong, and those fighting for change risk losing their families, jobs, and even their lives in pursuit of justice. They deserve our solidarity and support.

I join you in honouring the brave men and women of Arus Pelangi – recipients of this year’s Felipa De Souza Award – who have faced down hateful rhetoric, threats and violence in Indonesia. Their example is an inspiration as we push for respect, recognition and human rights for LGBT, intersex and queer people everywhere.”

IDAHOT / IDAHOBIT is a day of visibility, recognition, collaboration and solidarity for LGBTIQ worldwide. As such, we are signing on to support H. Res. 263 which lobbies for official recognition of May 17th in support for the goals and ideals of an International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia by the United States President and government. If you live in the US, we hope you will join us in supporting H.Res. 263 by emailing your representative to ask them to cosponsor this resolution.

“Unfortunately, homophobia, transphobia and discrimination against the LGBT community can still be found in communities across our nation and around the world. Whether it is in the form of hatred, exclusion, bigotry or violence, it is unacceptable,” said Congresswoman Lee. “I hope this year’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia marks a turning point toward full equality and acceptance for all.”

~ House Representative Barbara Lee

This day is not just about discussing ‘phobias’-- it’s also about coming together to share our stories. Why is this important? In a recently released global survey by ILGA in partnership with Logo TV, they found that most attitudes towards LGBTIQ people become more favorable when the person “knows someone who is LGBTI” and “sees LGBTI people in the media”. This is from 100,000 respondents across 65 countries.

OutRight and our partners around the globe fight everyday to advance human rights for all of us. Globally our movement is stronger than it has ever been. But we need everyone to contribute. If you can find the opportunity today to share your story with someone new, please do.

We can change attitudes, one story at a time.