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Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Twenty years ago on May 17, the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental health disorders. To commemorate that, we have the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. From the IDAHO (not the greatest acronym…) website:

In 2008, sexual relations between persons of the same sex were punishable by death in 7 countries and considered to be some form of crime in more than 80 others. In most countries in the world, people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, intersex, queer, … community are being denied their fundamental human rights as defined, inter alia, by the Universal Declaration of Human Right, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The Day has been launched with the idea of creating a worldwide community of activists and committed people, sharing the ideal of a world without homophobia nor transphobia in which everyone can freely live their sexual orientation and the gender identity they wish to live in.

One of their current campaigns is to “expose and oppose the negative impact of religious fundamentalist discourses and to give visibility and promotion to voices who are working for inclusion, tolerance and peace.” I tend to do that all the time, so maybe I’ll participate in their other campaign: a Kiss-In!

Gay, straight, black, white — whatever you look like and whatever your political stripes are — as long as you believe in love and equality for ALL people everywhere, we want you to join us in a kiss-in near where you are.

Record a video of you with your partner and/or friends featuring friendly kisses in a creative way. Put these videos on Youtube or other video shareware and share them with kissin@idahomophobia.org or go directly to our special site www.gays.com/idaho

Unfortunately, I don’t have anyone to kiss here, so I’ll post an old picture of me about to kiss a really hot gal:

Heh heh, I’m so tricksy.

Anyway, go check them out and show your support!

Comments

  1. says

    I would like to introduce you to a person of transgender experience who has touched my heart with the eloquence of her words, Sass Rogando Sosot is a LGBT activist who is in increasing demand to speak all over the world, and once you’ve seen the video you’ll understand why. I defy you not to feel any emotion for her words and presentation.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…Sass has had a difficult life, being rejected by her mother and her Catholic influence, but I’m pleased to say she has found happiness and acceptance worldwide.

  2. nstrong80 says

    That’s a total bummer you have no one to kiss one Kiss-In day, but the IDAHO thing made me laugh since like the Wisconsin tourism board’s old initials, were WTF, so there was once a WTF.org the actually existed.

  3. Metal_Warrior says

    Little bit on the narcissistic side there, are you? :D If there’s no one to kiss around you, maybe you should leave the keyboard behind and go out? ;) Since you’ve graduated there seems to be a reason to party anyway…

  4. John Sherman says

    I am curious as to what people believe constitutes homophobia. I have now and have had in the past gay friends. I completely support gay people’s right to marriage and any other right people enjoy and exercise. But I am still disturbed by men kissing in public. And I certainly don’t want to hear the particulars of male homosexual acts. On the other hand, female homosexual acts don’t bother me at all. Am I a hypocrite? A closet homophobe? A gay friend once told me he couldn’t bare looking at photos of nude women because their vaginas reminded him of an open wound. Was he hetrophobic? Is hetrophobia even an issue?

  5. says

    To be honest, not many people like seeing a hetro couple trying to eat each others faces in a public setting, but a quick peck on the lips is acceptable, why shouldn’t the same apply to a gay couple?I was born into an era of homophobia, I grew up with homophobic comments being the norm, but I can accept gays living their life as they chose, so why can’t anyone else?A mathematical genius who was instrumental in shortening WWII by at least two years was found guilty of homosexual acts and agreed to chemical castration, he commited suicide a little while later.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A…A great loss to the country, and it was only last year that the UK government officially recognised it’s wrong doing through a public apology by the Prime Minister.The sad thing is that gays are still being persecuted today, mainly driven by religious puritans.

  6. says

    Most all of us, however liberal and enlightened we are, have some prejudicial hangups about all sorts of things. They’re socially conditioned, they’re practically in the water. The trick is to recognise them, accept them, work against them where you can, and don’t let them bother other people.

  7. Introbulus says

    Fortunately, splitting everything in half becomes surprisingly easy. Though I’ve heard restraining orders can be a bit of a hassle.

  8. Introbulus says

    I was just talking to a friend the other day about the type of abuse that the gay community goes through, particularly (and no offense to people from that region) the South. He puts forth that the argument made by some religious groups *can’t remember which one specifically at the moment* argue that they should not have their freedom of speech taken away. This is not, incidentally, because they are entitled to their opinion, but because they would then be incriminated for the violence that they encourage people to enact on the homosexual community. He had a number of other things to cite too, like the fact that the life span of the American Homosexual Man is roughly 40 years old due to suicide and hate crimes, and one individual who was assaulted at a college bar by a group of men who kidnapped him, tied him to a post, beat him within an inch of his life, and left him to die, where he was found days later, covered in blood, with the only recognizable part of his face left by the stains of his tears. I went to bed feeling ashamed to be a part of humanity. I…I’m honestly sickened sometimes by what happens in this society in the name of a higher power. This…this should not happen.

  9. A Student says

    Just remember, Iran has no homosexuals. That’s because the regime executes them or they flee the country.

  10. beardedskeptic says

    This is one of those things I find so absolutely frustrating.Gays have absolutely no negative effects on society. Homosexuals have always existed, and humanity continues to keep going just fine. The blind hatred is disgusting, but it is also a huge waste of time and resources.Think of all the money spent to fight bigotry and to support it. All the energy spent trying to keep gays from having the same legal protections as non-gays. It is seriously ridiculous. People need to wake up.

  11. help remedy my ignorance says

    “In most countries in the world, people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, intersex, queer, … community”If I may ask, as a serious question, to remedy my own ignorance, and with no desire to give offense, what group, preference or interest constitutes “queer” in that sentence?

  12. Pablo says

    Rats, I was not aware it was IDAHO. I would have done something for it.Oh well, it’s not too late. Perhaps I will renew my membership in the LGVMA (lesbi-gay vet medical association)?

  13. says

    I grew up in a small southern town. I read about prejudice against homosexuals, bi-sexuals, etc in the news. I saw it on TV. I heard about the grievous offenses. I looked around my small town and never saw anyone who I recognized as being gay. As a young man, I thought this must mean they were closeted out of fear of all this persecution I’d read about. I was sure, when I moved to a bigger city, I would see that kind of persecution. I was sure when I started college I’d see this nasty behavior everyone was talking about being so rampant in the south.I didn’t. For the most part, homosexuality or bisexuality wasn’t a big deal. It was just there. Nobody cared. Nobody talked about it. If you were to point out to someone that their friend was gay, they’d just look at you blankly and maybe say “so?” I very rarely saw any evidence of this horrible treatment I’d heard so much about. The only time I even heard about it was when I heard people – mostly reporters, bloggers, etc. talking about how prevalent prejudice against homosexuality was. A few professors talked about it. But I just wasn’t seeing it in practice.I visited a few gay bars with some friends of mine. For the first time, I saw heterosexuals uncomfortable around homosexuals. But not because of the homosexuals’ lifestyle. It was because (and this happened to me as well as most of my friends) after we explained that we were not interested in guys but appreciated the compliment, it seemed as if those present felt a need to throw everything in our face. You have no idea how many times remarks were made which made the speakers seem like would-be rapists. How many remarks were made which were meant to make us seem the bad guys or “wrong” because we didn’t find other persons of the same sex attractive.I have a theory that most people, today, aren’t so much uncomfortable because of another person’s sexual lifestyle but rather because of the circumstances in which they are confronted with it. I can’t back this up with evidence besides personal experience, since it’s just a theory based on personal experience and I’m not in a position or a field to do studies on this. But think about it; a woman would be uncomfortable in the position we were in if it was a man approaching her. Gay men would be uncomfortable in a position where people refused to take no for an answer. Anyone would.I’d say one area where a bit more discomfort exists might be with transgender situations. I’ve known a few people who chose to change their gender for various reasons. It didn’t bother me that they did so. I still think of one of them as “Henry” instead of “Tara” because that’s how I knew him(her) for a long time and that’s just the person I know. I wouldn’t choose to get involved with someone who had a sex change, no matter whether it was completed or how well done it was. I find women attractive. And to me, if someone was born a guy I’m always going to consider them a guy in that respect. Can’t help it. I support their decision to do what they want with their body and life and if they can afford the surgeries with their money, hope they get the surgery they need to feel right with themselves. I hope they find a partner, if that’s what they so choose, to spend their lives with and enjoy one another’s company and all the other benefits of a lasting relationship. That being said, I would be creeped out if I found out afterwards that a “girl” I’d been with was (to my mind) actually a guy. I’d feel that it was dishonest of them not to tell me before being with me. And yes, I would hit the road from their lives.I think that prejudice drives less of peoples’ actions than the media and “common knowledge” would make it seem. What someone is comfortable with letting be a part of their personal lives and lifestyle has more to do with it. In other words, “live and let live, just please don’t force your lifestyle on me and flaunt it in my face.” Same reason a lot of people don’t like seeing straight couples groping and shit in public. I don’t see what’s wrong with that.

  14. Twin-Skies says

    Hmm, if one makes out with a clone of oneself, is that masturbation, or incest?

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