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Pan Africa ILGA Apinda Mpako, Pan Africa ILGA
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International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia

in WORLD, 18/04/2012

It is now just one month until the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17! As the countdown begins in earnest, people and organisations throughout the world are gearing up for what we hope will be the biggest and best IDAHO yet.

Each day we receive news from around the globe on actions that are being planned - from marches and public forums to photographic shoots and plays. We'd like to keep you up to date with what is planned, and hope that it in the days to come you, too, will share with us the activities that will take place in your area. For a full list of events, check out our website at www.dayagainsthomophobia.org.

Featured stories include :

  • In Israel, an academic paper contest will take place for the second year running. It is hoped that the Minister of Education will be present at the awards ceremony. An academic conference on the subject of transphobia will be also held at Tel Aviv-Jaffa College.
  • In Turkey, LGBT organisation Kaos GL's 7th annual International Meeting Against Homophobia will be held in the capital, Ankara, on May 17 and will culminate in an "Anti-homophobia and Anti-transphobia Demonstration".
  • In the Philippines, the Bahaghari Center for LGBT Research, Education and Advocacy has launched the "I dare to care about equality" campaign, forming part of the localized efforts aligned with IDAHO. The Bahaghari Center's "I dare to care about equality" is a photographic campaign calling for everyone to take a more proactive stance in fighting discrimination.
  • In Australia, the opening night of the play "The Laramie Project - 10 Years Later" will be hold on May 17 at the Arts Centre Melbourne in commemoration of IDAHO.
  • In the US, the city of San Francisco will lower the UN and American flags for 24 hours at UN Plaza on May 17 as a mark of solidarity and a show of support for IDAHO.
  • In the UK, the London Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association and organization ‘School's OUT' will mark IDAHO with a panel discussion on May 18 featuring speakers from the world of education and LGBT rights. The panel will discuss issues affecting the rights of LGBT pupils at schools, from the prevention and resolution of bullying, to the need for curriculum development and the role of faith schools.
  • And in the UK, the city of Brighton will officially recognise IDAHO by flying the rainbow flag from the Brighton and Hove town halls. There will also be a special event on May 17 featuring the Brighton LGBT choir, a minute's "noise" to remember the international victims of LGBT violence, and a release of sky lanterns symbolising "hope for change".
  • Also in the UK, the University of Liverpool's LGBT Staff and Postgraduate Student Network will hold their second Flagship public lecture of the year entitled "Homophobia: A Global Phenomenon" on May 17 to mark this year's IDAHO.
  • And again in the UK, Stonewall Scotland and Aberdeen City Council are holding an evening reception at the Aberdeen Art Gallery on May 15 to mark IDAHO. This will be followed by a wine reception.
  • In Brazil, the national LGBT Federation is organizing the second National March against Homophobia. The national protest action at the federal Parliament will focus on the shelving of the national ‘School without homophobia' program
  • Many actions are scheduled to take place around the country, like at the Centre for Gender Identity and Subjectivities of the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Southern Brazil) in Florianopolis, which is promoting their fourth poster contest focusing on homophobia, lesbophobia and transphobia in schools as part of the IDAHO celebrations, using art to address discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in educational institutions.
  • In Cambodia, the LGBT community will celebrate IDAHO with a workshop on family acceptance of LGBT people and coming out as LGBT, organised by Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK) as part of the annual Pride celebrations.
  • The "Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook"initiative will this year again do a FULL DAY of action on May 17. This represents a unique contribution to making the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia stronger, more diverse and more visible.
  • First time ever IDAHO celebrations will take place in HAITI
  •  …and in MOROCCO, as the Moroccan LGBT organisation GayMaroc has announced that they will launch a national campaign to repeal article 489, which criminalizes same-sex relationships.

As many of you will know, a special focus is put this year on discrimination in education, as organizations around the world join forces to "Fight homo/transphobia IN and THROUGH education". These actions aim at raising awareness of the damage that homo/transphobia causes to young people, and that schools can be dangerous places for gender-nonconforming children and youth.

In order to create a forum for joint visibility of the various initiatives, we have launched a Facebook action entitled "Global voices against homophobic and transphobic bullying". Here, users will be able to post their messages, tell their stories and share their advice on how to make schools safer. They will also be able to access a list of related initiatives through the tab labeled "Worldwide initiatives".

To contribute to the visibility of this "Worldwide Voice", we invite your organization to join the action. Here are a few easy tips and suggestions for quick action. We hope you'll join us!
As an existing Facebook page or group or as an individual, you can:

  • Inform your network about the action and send a call to action for your members to submit contributions. Insist on the fact that this is a global initiative and that the submissions are bound to be read by people in more than 100 countries.
  • Alternatively, you can set up a specific action on your own Facebook page or website in relation to this international mobilization (our common ground should just be that initiatives are linked somehow to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and that they focus on bullying). Inform us about your initiative and we will feature it on the "Worldwide Initiatives" tab on our Facebook page, so people all over the world will know about it and will maybe join your action.
  • In addition to the above, you can invite your members/fans to upload a pic-badge ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia to mark their participation. The global pic-badge we have developed is at http://www.picbadges.com/international-day-against-homophobia-and-transphobia-2/1715117/
  • Invite your members/fans to disseminate the information and call to action their own network of friends.
  • Tweet about the action and post it on your website, blog or other social network. For all these actions, you can use the logo of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia to signal your participation in this global initiative. It can be downloaded here.

If your organization wants to engage in further action, some suggestions and interesting ideas which have been developed by existing campaigns include:

  • Encouraging people to upload videos they have made in relation to the issues. This is both entertaining and engaging, and will attract more visitors to your site.
  • Holding a live Facebook Q&A to discuss the issues. This can be linked to your Twitter feed, with excerpts from the Q&A posted to Twitter in real time.
  • Conducting e-polls on the relevant issues. This will promote greater knowledge of the issues, generate broader discourse and initiate positive action.
  • Having people sign e-petitions on the issues that will be sent to the relevant people and organizations.
  • Holding a poster contest encouraging people to upload posters they have designed, on which people can vote.
  • Holding a song competition encouraging people to write and perform their own songs, on which people can vote.
  • Encouraging people to upload photos of themselves holding up campaign slogans and signs.

We will be coming back with more information soon. In the meantime, we wish you a happy IDAHO 2012 preparation !

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