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Khomsa Yahia Zaidi, Khomsa

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"Colors and Shapes" International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2013

in ALGERIA, 15/05/2013

In solidarity with "Colors and Shapes" LGBT and gay-friendly individuals living outside of Algeria also took part in the action. A booklet of these pictures and testimonies of LGBT victims of homophobia has been completed and will be shared on the Alouen Association website and Facebook page.

May 17th 2013 will be celebrated as The 8th International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. This date has been chosen symbolically because in 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to remove homosexuality from the mental disorders list. Since, many countries have made a leap towards building societies that are based on tolerance and acceptance of others.

Unaffected by this progress, the Algerian society continues to be infested by a multi-faceted evil : Homophobia, which exists in both a legal form, since the discriminatory laws against homosexuals (Laws 333 and 338 of the Algerian Penal Code) are still in effect, and a social form : Daily derogatory remarks, insults, harassment, physical assault, and sometimes, when violence reaches its peak, homicide.

The dismissal of homophobia-induced murder cases reflects the unwillingness of the authorities to shed light on these "honor killings", which obviously does not act as a brake to homophobia, quite the contrary.The vast majority of victims of homophobia hole up in a silence that can be devastating because very few of them dare to react and speak up. And even if they do, there are no care centers or support facilities to listen to them.The Alouen Association takes part, for the second time, in the celebration of this international day coordinated by the IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) Committee. Last year, the action focused on the denunciation of homophobia in the education system; the Alouen association had completed four comic panels in an effort to raise awareness within the Algerian society.

The concept this year is called "Rainbow Flashmob". It consists of gathering as many people as possible in public places in order to carry out actions around the colors of the rainbow flag of the LGBT community. In Algeria, it turns out that this could be a very difficult, if not an impossible, operation: Knowing that simple gatherings are repressed by the authorities, bringing LGBT people together may pose a danger to their safety.Despite these constraints, the Alouen Association insisted on participating with the action of “Colors and Shapes” by bringing a few people together in major cities across the country to take pictures anonymously. With the aim of increasing LGBT visibility, but paradoxically with a hidden face, several photos were taken in Algiers, Constantine, Oran and Tlemcen.

In solidarity with "Colors and Shapes" LGBT and gay-friendly individuals living outside of Algeria also took part in the action. A booklet of these pictures and testimonies of LGBT victims of homophobia has been completed and will be shared on the Alouen Association website and Facebook page.

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