Today marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), a day to draw attention to the discrimination and violence experienced by the LGBTI community.
The day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights are for everyone, inclusive of sexual and gender diversity. This is particularly important since the outbreak of COVID-19, where people not conforming to sexual and gender norms are facing further abuse, neglect, incarceration and stigmatization.
IPPF’s vision for "a world where all people can make decisions about their sexuality and well-being, in a world free of discrimination" strongly supports the position that all people have the right to self-determination according to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics.
IPPF is made up of people who also reflect sexual and gender diversity – many of our staff, board members, volunteers and partners are part of LGBTI communities. Our Federation is committed to providing quality and non-discriminatory services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people, and to fight for the recognition of the rights of sexual and gender diverse people worldwide.
“The trans community has been implementing projects for sexual health promotion with MEXFAM for many years. We work with our peers from the LGBTI community, but also with the general population and they really appreciate what we do. They come to us for counseling and information. We are not the ‘weirdos’ anymore." – Joseline Sosa, volunteer at MEXFAM Oaxaca, an IPPF Member Association
We work in cooperation and solidarity with the LGBTI movement by:
- Promoting inter-governmental declarations that recognize the right to a life free of violence and discrimination for LGBTI people at the UN in Geneva and New York
- Fighting for the decriminalization of same-sex acts where it is still prohibited, including Trinidad & Tobago and India
- Provide friendly services for HIV and STI prevention and treatment for men who have sex with men in Botswana
- Partnering with LGBTI organizations to respond to humanitarian situations in Nepal and Tonga
- Supporting teachers in providing sexual and gender diverse education all over the world
- Implementing protocols for sex change for trans people in Colombia
- Providing trans-specific dignity kits during natural disasters in Sri Lanka
- Fighting for same-sex marriage and recognition of same-sex families in Romania
Those are just a few examples, but members of our Federation have been supporting the movement for years, and in some cases for decades.
Since 2018, IPPF has established a Steering Committee, led by our Member Association in Norway, Sex og Politikk, to advance the sexual and gender diversity agenda within and outside our Federation.The Steering Committee includes representatives from all the Regional Offices.
On 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we reaffirm our commitment to achieving a world in which no person suffers discrimination or violence because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or sex characteristics; a world where the life or the integrity of people is not put at risk by prejudice; a world where all people can decide with whom to share their sexuality and their life; a world where people live healthy lives regardless of their sexual practices and their bodies.
IPPF – in all of its diversity – will continue to fight for the human right for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics, to be respected, celebrated and recognized.
In the end – love wins.
Image from FreePik and modified by IPPF