In the face of repression, events celebrating this year’s May 17 International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) are planned for at least seven of the 82 countries where homosexuality is not legal. As people in many other countries celebrate diversity and the right to free expression, remember how difficult it is for many LGBTI people in nations where persecution — or prosecution — is often the norm.
This year will mark the 10th celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia and [since 2009] Transphobia. The theme for May 17, 2014, will be “Free Expression” in a celebration of sexual and gender diversities worldwide. IDAHOT commemorates the day, 24 years ago on May 17, 1990, when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. For information about many of the hundreds of events planned worldwide, visit the official website for IDAHOT.
For the second time the day will also be celebrated in Lesotho. A march through Maseru is being planned by Matrix Support Group, a Lesotho-based NGO working to advocate for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals in the country. The organisation, which only received legal recognition in 2010, is the first of its kind in Lesotho.
The event will begin at 11am from Setsoto Stadium, going through Maseru down Kingsway to Maseru Club, where various activities including a performance by local poet Siphiwe will take place. Join the event on facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest.
FAST FACTS and FIGURES
- Same sex relationships are still illegal in 81 countries, 10 of which apply the death penalty. This represents 40% of the world population.
- 70% of the world population live under laws and regulations that limit Freedom of Expression around sexual orientation and gender identity.
- May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
- IDAHOT is the largest LGBTI solidarity event to take place throughout the globe with over 1,000 events that will take place in more than 120 countries worldwide.
- Major international institutions (UN, EU, World Bank, etc.) will mark the Day.
- The international focus issue for 2014 is Freedom of Expression.