5 brave ways activists are fighting for LGBTI rights worldwide


An article by Azmina Dhrodia, Amnesty International (abridged)

Around the world, people face violent attacks and threats simply because of who they are or who they have sex with. But some brave activists are still standing up for their rights. To mark the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) on 17 May, we celebrate the courageous activism of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people worldwide.

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1. Pushing to end hate crimes in Greece

. . . On this international day of action, activists from Greece and around the world are using the hashtag #KostasZabi to send support to the couple on social media, and to tell the Greek government to end hate crimes and stand against homophobia and racism. Greek activists, including Kostas and Zabi, will organize a ‘kiss-in’ in front of Parliament to highlight their case and the situation for LGBTI people in the country.

2. Ending homophobic violence in Cameroon

In Cameroon same-sex sexual conduct is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine, and LGBTI people suffer violence, police harassment and even arrest and detention. . .

In 2011, Stéphane, a 36-year old gay man, was dragged away from his house by a group of men, stripped, beaten and tortured for hours. Four years later, the men who attacked him have not faced justice. But that has not stopped Stéphane. “Today my fight is so that my younger brothers or my friends don’t suffer discrimination like this,” he tells us. “I am alive today and I want to be an example, a living example. I will keep telling my story for as long as I can.”

3. Standing up for LGBTI rights in Tajikistan

Across Central Asia, homophobia and transphobia is on the rise. Police blackmail gay men, threatening to ‘out’ them to family and colleagues unless they agree to pay a bribe. Lesbian women face violence and abuse from within their families, and may be forced to marry against their will.

One example is Komil, a gay man from Tajikistan who was kidnapped, tortured, beaten and humiliated by police, and was eventually forced to flee the country. “Can you understand spending your whole life hiding that you are gay just to stay alive?” he tells us. “I am not a politician. I am a simple person who just wants a tiny piece of his own happiness. That is all.” With the help of his friends, he is rebuilding his life, and now speaks out for LGBTI rights in the region.

4. Celebrating EuroPride in Latvia

Latvia will be the first post-Soviet country to host EuroPride – a Europe-wide event dedicated to promoting LGBTI rights. In 2015, the event also celebrates a decade since Riga held its first Pride event: when 70 activists marched for their rights in spite of threats of violence and hostility from several thousand protestors. . . .

5. Campaigning for transgender rights in Norway

John Jeanette Remø Solstad is a 65-year-old transgender Norwegian woman who wants to change her legal gender from ‘male’ to ‘female’. . . .

In April 2015, an expert group appointed by the Norwegian government stated that the current practice is a violation of fundamental human rights, and stressed the need for change. “this is everything I have dreamt of and hoped for,” she told us. “It was worth the fight. It took a long time, but when the results of our work finally came, it felt great.”


Question related to this article:

The struggle against homophobia, Is progress being made in your community?

It would seem from articles on CPNN that progress is being made in some communities. In particular this is true in the United States according to the article by Danny B and in Bulgaria according to the article by Diana Tashkova.