International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia: Declaration by the Co-chairs on behalf of the Equal Rights Coalition

The co-chairs of the Equal Rights Coalition, on behalf of its Member States, join the global LGBTQI+ communities in observing this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

This day commemorates the depathologization of homosexuality by the World Health Organization in 1990, and has expanded its meaning through the years to raise awareness of, and call attention to, human rights abuses and violations against LGBTQI+ persons worldwide.

In this vein, we manifest our solidarity and support for the rights of LGBTQI+ persons in every corner of the globe, understanding that the rights of persons with diverse SOGIESC (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics) are fundamental to all conversations and debates about human rights.

However, we recognize the multiple and intersecting forms of violence and discrimination faced by LGBTQI+ persons who are also marginalized due to their age, race, ethnicity, religion, ability, class, caste, income level, nationality, migration status, and many other markers of identity and lived experience that render individuals vulnerable to increased stigma and discrimination.

We witness the compounded effects that multi-layered inequality, exacerbated by poverty, political instability, displacement, natural disasters, COVID-19 and other pandemics, epidemics, and emergencies, has on LGBTQI+ populations worldwide. 

We observe with great concern the recent waves of criminalization (and re-criminalization) targeting LGBTQI+ persons in different countries, who now face increased persecution and violence, as well as imprisonment and even death due to draconian laws against people of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics. 

We lament the increased persecution of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming individuals around the world, who continue to be victims of harassment, violence, and marginalization due to stigma and misguided fears perpetuated by reactionary anti-rights political dogmas.

Nonetheless, and despite these challenges, we stand in solidarity with fierce and relentless LGBTQI+ communities worldwide who refuse to quiet down or to step back from the collective pursuit of their rights and liberation. 

We applaud LGBTQI+ individuals and activists worldwide who stand proudly for who they are, while also extending our care, solidarity, and compassion to those who cannot do so due to the threat of violence, persecution, and criminalization.

We commit to ensure that no one is left behind when it comes to the pursuit of equality, freedom, and justice for all, including, but not limited to, raising awareness about the needs of LGBTQI+ persons in discussions about Sustainable Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda, and in the context of other multilateral conversations.

This IDAHOBIT, and forever and always, we envision a world free of homophobia, biphobia, lesbophobia, and transphobia, and where the rights, integrity, and dignity of those with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics are respected, honoured, and upheld.