Shared by: Wipe Out Homophobia
Following other initiatives, such as the National Day Against Homophobia created in 2003, by the Fondation Emergence and celebrated in June in the Quebec province of Canada. A French university lecturer, Louis-Georges Tin, campaigner for Black and LGBT Rights and chief editor of the Dictionary of Homophobia, launched in August 2004 an initiative to create an International Day Against Homophobia reaching people on a global level. He launched an appeal for a universal recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) and proposed that this day be set on May 17th, to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders.
By May 17th 2005, as a result of a year long campaigning effort, 24,000 people worldwide and reputed international organizations like ILGA, IGLHRC, the World Congress of LGBT Jews, the Coalition of African lesbians, just to name a few, had signed the “IDAHO appeal”. In May 2005 already, the IDAHO saw several activities take place in many countries in the world. The very first LGBT events ever were organized in Congo, China and Bulgaria. Josepp Borrell, President of the European Parliament, made a statement supporting the IDAHO and invited Tin to the conference that the EU Parliament organized for IDAHO 2006.
By that time a new campaign had been launched calling for a universal decriminalization of homosexuality, and by May 17th 2006 it had attracted support from several Nobel Prize winners: Desmond Tutu, Amartya Sen, Elfriede Jelinek, Dario Fo, José Saramago; artists: Merryl Streep, Cindy Lauper, Elton John, David Bowie; and intellectuals: Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Bernard-Henri Lévy, NGOs (ILGA, FIDH), politicians, etc…
For IDAHO 2006 again, the IDAHO Committee and GayRussia co-organized the first Gay Pride in Moscow, preceded by an International IDAHO conference that brought together many activists, organisations and politicians from all over Europe and North America. In July 2006, thanks to the efforts of Fondation Emergence the Montreal Conference on LGBT Human Rights, organized in the wake of the Outgames, included in its Declaration of Montreal a strong recommendation to all Governments to recognize May 17th as the International Day Against Homophobia.
In 2010, regional workshops were held in Asia and Latin America to reflect on the added value of taking action on IDAHO.
Some of the arguments that were highlighted include:
Provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to demand political attention from policy makers. It aims at giving organizations an opportunity to call on to their political leaders or any other influential people/institution.
Generates mainstream social attention and allow to get messages out to constituencies that are outside of the “usual” LGBT/Human Rights circles. It may therefore increase the public campaigning potential around LGBT issues, including through the mobilization of social networks.
Attracts increased media attention on the issue of homo/transphobia and provide a key moment in the year to go public and talk to the media.
Encourages LGBT organizations to engage in activities that spread over different countries and regions, bringing together organizations in different countries and world regions. Beyond single actions, it aims at helping to build perennial alliances.
Generates actions from constituencies who are not specifically focused on the fight for LGBT rights but who join the concern to fight hate crimes and violence.
Download the two reports here.
|Document to download|
|IDAHO Latin America Workshop English|
|IDAHO Asia Workshop publication|
LATEST IDAHO VIDEO:
In English : http://player.vimeo.com/video/41191271
In Spanish at http://vimeo.com/41429156
In French at http://player.vimeo.com/video/41191281