Tuesday May 17, the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (or IDAHOT), marks an important moment for people worldwide to unite together for LGBTI equality. By helping change hearts and minds, IDAHOT represents a key opportunity to raise awareness, start conversations, and spur collective action to address the pernicious impacts of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, whether at home or abroad.
The United Nations, under the leadership of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has launched a number of actions to promote the LGBTI equality and rights. Here are five easy ways to get involved, learn more the role of the UN in the fight for LGBTI equality, and connect with others to help ensure no one is discriminated against for who they are or who they love:
1. Watch and share the UN Free and Equal’s campaign’s new video, Why we Fight. The concept is simple. The UN Human Rights Office asked activists from countries around the world why they are committed to advancing the human rights of LGBTI persons. The result was a compilation of inspiring video messages from advocates and allies stretching from Brazil to Kyrgyzstan, including a guest appearance by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Share using #WhyWeFight.
2. Explore the UN’s leadership in promoting the human rights of LGBTI people around the world via the UN Free and Equal Campaign, resolutions at the Human Rights Council, reporting of the UN Human Rights Office, as well as the efforts of UN agencies – including UNDP, UN Women, UNAIDS, and the UN Refugee Agency – to support LGBTI equality and inclusion.
3. Review the first-ever UN global report on homophobic and transphobic violence and education., set to be released at a UNESCO convening of education ministers in Paris May 17-18. The report will take stock of challenges such as bullying stemming from sexual orientation or gender identity as well as share best practices for ensuring equality in education. Learn more about the historic conference, and join the conversation using #OutIntheOpen.
4. Watch remarks from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at “Leaving No-one Behind: Equality & Inclusion in the Post-2015 Development Agenda,” where he affirmed combating marginalization based on sexual orientation or gender identity was a “human rights priority . . . and development imperative.”
5. Voice your support for continued UN leadership in promoting LGBTI rights and inclusion using #IDAHOT2016.