International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia: Learning and Strategising in Asia

Published: February 1, 2011

Editorial

Across the vast and diversified region of Asia, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia knows about as many faiths as there are contexts. From nation-wide mass mobilisation in some countries, to a total absence in others.

Yet overall, in many countries some movements exist that invest the Day to undertake mobilisation, campaigning or lobbying actions.

In order to build on the learning of organisations which have already been engaged in action on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia for a long time, and to understand the challenges that they and others are facing, a workshop was organised in New Delhi in October 2010, with the support of HIVOS and the Arcus Foundation.

During the workshop sessions, participants confronted their challenges and examined whether, and how, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia could provide a relevant tool to face these challenges.

Regional organisations joined the discussions to input their own analysis of the challenges in the region. We also chose to include here information and contributions from Japan and Hong Kong although unfortunately no activists from these places could be at the workshop.

Some of the main outcomes of the discussions have been summarized in this booklet, so that they can be shared with other organisations, who we hope will find in these pages some interesting food for thought … and for action. The workshop concluded on the perspective to engage a joint activity at
regional level, targeting the World Health Organisation. Indeed, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia commemorates the decision of the WHO to withdraw homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. Yet, 10 years after this decision, a lot of constituencies, including many medical and scientific ones, have not genuinely and fully recognised this, leaving the door open for state-sponsored and social homo/ transphobia. We hope that the seeds for national and regional activities that were sown during the workshop will keep growing, and that this booklet will help their
dissemination.

The IDAHO Committee

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