International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia is observed on May 17 internationally. It aims to coordinate events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and work worldwide. The 2016 celebration is being held under the theme “Mental Health and Well Being
The main purpose of the May 17 mobilization is to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression of LGBT communities worldwide. This in turn provides an opportunity to take action and engage in dialogue with the media, policymakers, public opinion, and wider civil society.
United and Strong Inc the only LGBT organization in Saint Lucia will join the rest of the world and other activists in the region to highlight the various psychological and related issues faced by LGBT persons. The recently held Caribbean Men’s Dialogue in Dominica from April 18-21st brought forth the myriad of issues faced by Caribbean men along with possible strategies to curb the social stigma and discrimination.
IDAHOT celebrations in Saint Lucia will be launched with the posting of a documentary developed under the What’s Your Position Project supported by UNDP – Social Innovation for Change Project. The film dubbed “Acceptance”will highlight the various forms of social stigma and discrimination experienced by an LGBT individual and will be posted on various social media platforms of United and Strong Inc.
The documentary will also explore the many psychological challenges faced by the individual and the paths explored to acceptance and working through the various challenges at work and in her personal life.
Celebrations will continue into the month of June and will feature a number of panel discussions and debate involving stakeholders along with members of the LGBT community. A major part of IDAHOT celebration is an opportunity for the community to celebrate their diversity with a Pride Stand. The activity will feature LGBT allies and United & Strong members coming together to silently highlight the forms of social stigma and discrimination.
Saint Lucia as a small Caribbean nation has an important role to play in fighting for the basic human rights of everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The struggle to end discrimination against LGBT persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the organisation’s commitment to promoting human rights.