IDAHOT Around the World | The good, the bad, and the ugly

By Cathy Kristofferson, May 18, 2013

earth_rainbow_icon-359x359The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia – IDAHO, IDAHOT, IDAHOBIT or however you like it – annually celebrated on May 17, was conceived in 2004 to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1990. This year over 100 countries joined in the celebration. To end on a positive note, we’ll take this good, bad and ugly review in reverse…

But first, The (unbelievably) brave…


iranFrom an Iranian Activists who shared these photos: “In Iran homosexuality is a crime and the base culture of our pepole has phobia to all of LGBTs and its hard for us to live a normal life, we have to fight for our rights . taking this photos are too dangerous for us and it could take our life . photos are taken in Tehran – Iran on the morning of May 17th.”

The Ugly…

Tbilisi, Georgia:


Shakh Aivazov — AP Photo

“Georgian church clergymen and activists unite to protest against a gay pride rally in Tbilisi, Georgia, Friday, May 17, 2013. Thousands of anti-gay protesters, including Orthodox priests, occupied a central street in Georgia’s capital Friday, with some threatening to lash with nettles any participant in a gay pride parade which was to take place there. Police in Tbilisi guarded several dozen gay activists and bused them out of the city center shortly after they arrived at the gathering.”

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia – the Global page : Hacked

“The IDAHO Committee’s reporting of events suffered a blow as hackers paralysed the site.” Message on Facebook: “We are temporarily rerouting our site to a new url, following a hacking attempt.”

The bad…

Kenya: Police Intervene to Stop Peaceful Demonstration in Nairobi, Kenya

iadho_kenya_2013“Organisers of a peaceful demonstration in Nairobi, Kenya today report that police intervened to halt the action from preceding. They had previously been granted a permit for the procession, but after assembly at Freedom Corner, Uhuru Park, had it unexpectedly revoked.”

Zambia:Government reaffirms its firm position to never legalise homosexuality in Zambia

EDGAR-LUNGU31Zambian Home Affairs minister (and Acting President) Edgar Lungu decided to celebrate IDAHOT – the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia – by making the declaration:

“Let me announce to you that Satanism will never be a reality or legalised as long as PF is in government, let us continue to pray that we eliminate witchcraft, prostitution and greed in our church.”

His comments were made at the close of a nine day interdenominational prayer meeting held with the Roman Catholic, United church of Zambia, Reformed Church in Zambia, Anglican, Salvation Army, Presbyterian and ACCP church all participating.

China: Activists detained by police

changsha2Activists in at least two Chinese cities were detained by police as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates across China, with unprecedented enthusiasm, took to the street to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) on Friday.

Actually China should perhaps be listed as “good” since all activists have now been released.

European Union: almost half of LGBTs in EU experience homophobia

The European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights released a report highlighting the ongoing discrimination of LGBT individuals in the EU’s 27 member nations and Croatia. According to the survey, almost half (47 per cent) of the 93,079 respondents have personally experienced harassment or discrimination because of their orientation.

The good…


AlbaniaDozens of LGBT activists biked today in the main Boulevard of Tirana with bicycles from Ecovolis, wearing T-shirts that read “Gay (P) Ride Against Homophobia”. This is the second time (ever) that such an event has taken place, but this year the number of participants was several times higher. The LGBT activists biked in boulevard accompanied by the police.

After the event was finished, a group of LGBT activists were attacked with tear gas explosive at the premises of a bar in the vicinity of the Academy of Arts, by two unidentified young men. Despite this hateful incident the event was a success as the cause was supported by straight allies.

Armenia: RainbowFlash in Yerevan

IMG_6818-300x199Armenia is ranked second to last of the 49 EU countries in legal human rights protections for LGBT people. Despite this, “On May 17 at 6pm people gathered in Yerevan near Tumanyan park for participating in RainbowFlash 2013. Few seconds, and the pleasure began: lots of colorful balloons in the sky that have started their peaceful mission.”

Belize: RainbowFlash

BelizeIDAHO“When last did Belize get a Senator, former Foreign Minister, a first lady and two media house to join on IDAHO Day to express support or solidarity in Belize, well never.” This makes me smile since we have been covering the constitutional challenge to their anti-sodomy law in Belize here on OBLOGDEE and I see that Caleb was at this celebration, of course! “Our crowning achievement for the day we simply walked through traffic to the center of the round-about and proceeded to let go rainbow color looking balloons. It was subversive for we never tried it before so proactively.”

The Hague, Netherlands: IDAHO Congress 2013 First international top-level conference on gay emancipation

“International developments involving the emancipation of gays will be the focus for two days during the first European edition of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) conference that will start in The Hague on Thursday, 16 May. As the host country and initiator of the first edition of this top level conference, The Netherlands will receive over 700 participants from home and abroad.”

Jamaica: Homeless at Home : Displaced and in Search of A Safer Life

jamaicaHomosexuality is illegal in Jamaica, a country that has been described by human-rights groups as the most homophobic place on earth. Despite that, on IDAHO they held A Symposium on Homelessness, Forced Migration and the Need for a Jamaica that is Inclusive of LGBT People. “As Jamaicans, we are socialized to believe that gender and sexual minorities do not belong in our communities. LGBT people also understand that they can be evicted from their communities without notice and might be forced to flee the island. This situation begs for analysis and we hope you will join us to have this important conversation.”

South Africa:

Despite constitutional protection in South Africa, the LGBTI community suffers very a high rates of homophobia, violence and so-called ‘corrective rape’ problems.

100+ countries around the world participated

IDAHO was celebrated in over 100 countries worldwide and whether a given event produced the good, the bad or the ugly, the ultimate result was the imperative show of increasing awareness, illuminating the call to end homophobic violence .

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5 Comments on “IDAHOT Around the World | The good, the bad, and the ugly”

  1. Dr. Rex May 19, 2013 at 5:51 AM #

    This is an awesome article! Incredible reporting! Thanks for sharing all this information. The world has indeed become smaller because of the cyber-connection we share. Re-blogging!!!!

  2. Dr. Rex May 19, 2013 at 5:53 AM #

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    IDAHOT …. around the world. By Melanie Nathan. Please, check this out!! So interesting, informing and educative!!


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