IDAHOBIT 2018- “Alliances for Solidarity”

Once again the 17th of May is upon us and as we continue to boldly face HOMOPHOBIA, BI-PHOBIA and TRANSPHOBIA as our greatest obstacles in the fight for equality for LGBTIQ persons, we cannot deny how far we have come as a movement and a people. The theme for IDAHOBIT this year is  “Alliances for Solidarity” and it couldn’t be more appropriate.

While we as LGBTIQ persons have done so much (with some of our comrades even losing their lives in this fight), we must take a moment to appreciate and acknowledge the work that has been done by the few allies that we have across the globe.

Therefore, as we commemorate International Day against Homophobia, BI-PHOBIA and Transphobia let's remember every person that has been a victim of this terror and celebrate the gallant persons that refuse to be held back by societal beliefs masked as truth. Instead they bravely stand with us, hold our hands, nudge us on and sometimes take to the forefront of this fight to have every sexual and gender minority respected and given equal rights.

Our allies who have become close associates, friends, partners and supporters have opened up their hearts, finances, and whatever other resources they possess, to not only safe guard us but ensure that we are treated with respect. In whatever discipline or constituency of human rights that these thousands of allies are engaged in, they have made it their priority to identify, prevent, mitigate and provide remedies for the social, economic and political injustices that have very sadly become acceptable as ‘what is right’. Their determination to see these injustices undone is not only humbling but also gives us hope that we are on the right track and one day hopefully in the near future, we will see more people embrace this belief and actually work towards it.

To our brave associates, we appreciate the positions you take and the work you put in to push all the countries, where LGBTIQ persons are treated as second class citizens, for development to equally put into consideration the rights of every human being and the appeal to governments to adopt more inclusive policies. This is especially true for third world countries, and while we are yet to see the concretizations of these efforts, we do recognize and appreciate the exertions towards this. Thank you for not looking on as the world continues to foster the belief that being an LGBTIQ person is a curse or a sin that needs to be cured, and mostly importantly thank you for taking the bold steps to ensure that LGBTIQ persons feel safe in their own skins as well as the world.

To our own global movement, we have done a commendable job creating allies at the missional and diplomatic level and while we must continue nurturing these relationships, we must also realise that the work we do as a movement must get to a point where we prioritize mindset change within our societies- this right here is how we will make more allies, even if it means one person at a time. We must find ways of incorporating attitude change at the grassroots level because safety and societal inclusion at this level will most definitely see us achieve much more. Securing the trust and confidence of the people with whom we live will see us go a long way.