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International Day Against Homophobia (May 17th) May 17, 2008

Posted by Raul in food for thought, random thoughts, upcoming events.

Canada (at least some parts of the country) is considered one of the most progressive countries in the world in regard to gay/lesbian/bisexual/queer/trans issues. Being queer in Vancouver is seen almost as natural as having a beer on a sunny beautiful day on the patio. It’s not even an issue. Of course, I have read about gay bashings in the West End, and nonsensical gay slurs being blurted out, but generally speaking, I have the sense that queer folks feel relatively safe (I may be totally wrong on this one, so I’d welcome commentary on this particular topic).


Photo credit: jencinar on Flickr

However, being gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans/ is still considered a crime in many countries. International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) is today, May 17th. This day is

In 75 countries being gay is still a crime. French activist Louis-Georges Tin, founder of the International Day Against Homophobia, hopes to change that by having the United Nations adopt a resolution calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality worldwide.
[IDAHO website]

fijate a quien odias
Photo credit: Citius64 on Flickr. Translation – “Be careful who you hate. He/she may be someone you love”

Last year, I wrote about National Coming Out Day (October 11th). Many queer people are afraid of coming out for fear of retaliation and rejection. I have been a witness to some parents reject their own children because they do not conform to societal perceptions of “normal”. However, I have also seen a lot of public support for queer people. For example, VanCity, TD Canada Trust and KPMG have all implemented strong “diversity in the workplace” policies. This kind of progressive thinking should permeate all levels of society.

Therefore, please join me and stop to reflect for a moment on the need to realize that we are all human beings, that we all have rights and that homophobia should stop. Let’s celebrate diversity and International Day Against Homophobia.



1. studioyvr - May 17, 2008

I am not allowed to come out as I am severely style challenged. The brothers just keep pushing me back in. Him? He couldn’t be gay. WAY? AS IF!
Oh wait. Did I just.. ZOMG. This is the Internet. And totally public. Jeez. I better get apply for a job at Vancity.

2. The Mr. Gay Canada pageant is this week « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - September 16, 2008

[…] because as you may recall if you’ve read my other posts about queer events and milestones, in other countries, being gay is a crime. In Vancouver, having a gay friend is almost as common as wearing an umbrella (given our rainy […]

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