May 17 is recognized around the world as International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Today, as advocates and our allies in countries across the globe continue their important work day-to-day addressing life-threatening issues of violence and discrimination against LGBT people, NQAPIA takes this opportunity to join the global chorus of voices calling for justice.
As a federation of Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) LGBT organization, NQAPIA is proud to particularly spotlight activism happening in Asia and the Pacific Rim. India is commanding the world’s attention now as it ushers in new political leadership, but the actions of its Supreme Court around gender and homosexual activity have been a particular flashpoint for the LGBT community. In December, the Indian Supreme Court issued a ruling on Section 377 of India’s Penal Code that in essence re-criminalized homosexual behavior. While a more recent ruling from the Court allows for the creation of a “third gender” and promises to provide recognition of Indian transgender communities, activism on the ground in India, with support from Indian and South Asian diasporic communities in the U.S. and elsewhere, continue to monitor legal and political actions and their implications for LGBT people.
We also note today’s significance as the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Brown v. Board of Education case that ruled racial segregation unconstitutional. Our work at the intersection of racial and LGBT justice resonates with the confluence of today’s celebration of both IDAHOT and the Brown v. Board anniversary. We stand in solidarity with all people of good will fighting for justice in the U.S. and around the world.