IDAHOT IDEA – GIVE ‘EM HOPE CAMPAIGN


 
If, like me, you support IDAHOT2015, share your “Coming Out” story with the Give ’em Hope Campaign.

Your story or your video can have such an impact and would be a welcomed addition to this campaign. Here is a link to the fb group for more info: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiveEmHope/

  
The following information is sourced from http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/ 
The annual landmark in global mobilisation for LGBTI Human Rights now stretches over a full week of worldwide action –  Over 1000 events in 120 countries – Many allies join in, from the UN to FC Barcelona.
In many countries around the world, IDAHOT has now evolved into a full week of action, often interweaving festive, cultural and political actions.
Some events are truly huge, such as Pride marches in Brussels, Berlin, Santiago (Chile), Caracas, la Havana,  and many more. Many iconic building light up in Rainbow colors, from Bridges in Brisbane or Newcastle, to Bangkok city hall or UK intelligence service headquarters. 
Over 300 rainbow flags fly over city halls throughout Belgium. At least as many in the UK too, with over 100 in Nottinghamshire alone and more than 36 municipalities and 10 embassies will do so in Chile. Australia also boasts a massive participation, with Brisbane lighting up its iconic bridge in rainbow colors again while Sydney City Hall will raise the flag amidst a range of countless community events, school interventions or cultural initiatives around the country. Hundreds of events will mark the Day in Canada and Brazil, two of the historically most active countries for May 17.
Many important reports and studies are released highlighting the legal worldwide situation, the legal and social situations in Europe or the level of hate crimes directed to Trans people worldwide.

But many event will also be of smaller size, from community cultural events and parties, film screenings, church services, lectures and conferences, and much more. Europe will once again be bustling with colorful Rainbow Flashmobs organised in at least 12 bigger cities across Germany, 10 in Russia in spite of the legal bans, in Ukraine, Greece, Bulgaria, and more.

In Asia, at least 40 events will be held in Indonesia. Cambodia and the Philippines will be particularly eventful too.

In Latin America, all countries but one have reported a programme of action for the IDAHOT week, almost always culminating with a Pride March.
In Africa too, activists will go online and have social events in Uganda, Nigeria, Liberia, Botswana, Kenya and most of Southern Africa to share stories of LGBT people to break the wall of silence.
Early estimates are that over 1000 events reaching over 120 countries will take place again this year.
The Day  once more provides an important space for the LGBTI community to be visible. And to provide evidence of the effects of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia on the day-to-day lives of LGBTI youth
With the name of the day now formally mentioning biphobia, many stakeholders now also include this specific issue in their IDAHOT discussions. And with leadership from the Council of Europe, intersex issues also increasingly make it to the light. Both these evolutions build on the most important contribution made in recent years by the Transgender movement to deconstruct the gender and sexual binary, on which the opposition to sexual and gender diversities mainly rests, and which the gay and lesbian communities sometimes perpetuate themselves.
Throughout the world, thousands of members of the LGBTI community share their stories, their writings, their pictures, or simply raise their voices as a visible part of their society. In many countries selfie campaigns, video contributions or publications of personal testimonies mark the IDAHOT campaigns. The Day also successfully manages to be an important window of opportunity for groups living in violently homophobic contexts. Actions are taking place in at least 36 countries of the 76 where homosexuality is illegal, offering a rare moment for visibility, occupying virtual spaces when this is the only option.
But it is equally a Day to rally the support of allies!

Indeed official support keeps increasing. 
Countless public authorities take action; UN agencies almost all participate in activities at some level, often with declarations from the highest levels; On Times Square, the UN Free and Equal campaign had their special IDAHOT video screened for a full day on giant screens. Heads of UN agencies and Special procedures also issue statements. Over 200 delegates from institutions, members countries and civil society met in Montenegro for the annual intergovernmental IDAHO Forum.
Embassies support local actions in difficult contexts; The US Congress passed a resolution recognising the Day. In the UK specifically, Police stations, County authorities, medical facilities, schools and universities and many other public and private bodies now routinely (but always passionately!) mark the day. 
Corporations issue statements and policies for their LGBT staff and Transport For London even had its first Rainbow Cab hit the city streets to celebrate IDAHOT.
Support from influential opinion leaders is also growing. In Lebanon, local TV celebrities participated in a video calling for the decriminalisation of homosexuality. In Latin America cartoonists took to their pencils while Youtube celebrities shared their message through video.
The world of sports also increasingly steps in, with Rugby legends or FC Barcelona taking specific actions for the Day.
This year, the support from allies is particularly visible around the global focus issue on LGBTI Youth, with major international groups joining over a ‘Thunderclap’ campaign and many Youth organisations taking special initiatives.

But beyond the high level mobilisation and its wave of visibility, individuals too take ownership of the Day.
A couple from Trinidad and Tobago organised their honeymoon to coincide with the day. A rainbow cake ordered for IDAHOT in Ireland, and turned down by the bakery, resulted in a thunderstorm and legal action. These are the best signs that the Day has become a landmark for all and now truly belongs to everyone!
Like every year, some IDAHOT actions will surely face opposition, all too often with shameful violence. But activists increasingly find creative ways to avoid clashes and still be heard by occupying all possible virtual spaces.
Sometimes too activists successfully take it to court, as is the case in Georgia: when let down by police protection when the peaceful IDAHOT 2012 march was brutally attacked, activists took it to the European Court for Human Rights, which just ahead of the IDAHOT 3 years later  condemned Georgia for “degrading and inhuman treatment in a discriminatory manner”. 

  

David E Watters

National Diversity Award Winner, David E. Watters, is a teacher, motivational speaker and writer; a passionate equality advocate, committed to enhancing the lives of young people and adults who may feel marginalised or limited by labels.

As a teacher, he is committed to developing the whole person through creatively challenging students to embrace their unique value, and that of others, to encourage them to fulfill their full potential. He is nominated for an Excellence in Diversity Award 2015, for his contribution to enhancing the diversity agenda within education.

Since graduating from The Institute of Education, University of London, David has gone on to train as a mediator, and is a qualified facilitator for The Pacific Institute. 

As Director of NBI Associates, David devises and delivers engaging, enjoyable and interactive Diversity and Cultural Enhancement workshops utilizing Cognitive Behavioural and Performing Arts strategies for individual, corporate and academic clients.

Watters is also the founder and coordinator of the inclusive, inspirational and international Give ’em Hope Campaign; an online initiative which utilises all available social networks to encourage and uplift those who doubt their validity, feel isolated or limited by labels, through the sharing of written and video testimonies. The campaign was honoured at the National Diversity Awards 2014 when it won the Community Organisation Award (Multi-Strand).

Watters was a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK; taking the British Government to the European Court of Human Rights in 2010 and successfully achieving Marriage Equality for same-sex couples in the United Kingdom.

His passion and expertise has brought many opportunities to write and speak on social change and his book, NEVER BLEND IN, brings together this wealth of experience and the voices of those whom he has met along the way.

CONTACT INFORMATION


MOBILE: 07800813189

SKYPE: never.blend.in



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About neverblendin

David Watters, a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, Trinity College of Music, London and the Institute of Education, University of London, has worked internationally within education and Educational Management for more than 20 years. He has taught extensively within many socially and culturally diverse settings; most recently as a Head of Performing Arts within Further Education. He is a personal and professional development associate with The Pacific Institute (www.pacificinstitute.co.uk), personal coach, freelance writer and founding member of NBI Associates. He is a writer on social equality issues, is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK and author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN which features key voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and which aims to inspire and encourage those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity. David is currently promoting a youtube campaign"Give 'em Hope"and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity. He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out, The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Albert Kennedy Trust and numerous others. His background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, and his passion for Equality Advocacy drive every aspect of his work as a personal development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer. View all posts by neverblendin

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