Today’s blog post is brought to you courtesy of NQAPIA Volunteer Luella Garies. Enjoy!
NQAPIA is celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) today on May 17. According to the official website, IDAHO was created in 2004 by an international group of activists to raise global awareness of this issue and encourage people to take action. The date of May 17 was chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. IDAHO is now celebrated in over 100 countries around the world and throughout Asia, including in Cambodia, Burma, South Korea, the Philippines, India, and Indonesia.
With homosexuality still illegal in Malaysia, Burma, Singapore and Samoa, with basic federal protections against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity still elusive in the United States, with same-sex marriage not legalized in most of the U.S. or anywhere in Asia or the Pacific except for New Zealand, and with the majority of Asian/Pacific countries having no laws at all protecting trans/gender non-conforming people, IDAHO is very relevant to our community today.
Recognition of IDAHO in the United States is still growing. There are a couple of major things happening in the LGBTQ AAPI communities that coincide with / follow IDAHO that we want you to know about.
- D.C.’s 13th Annual Pride & Heritage Celebration on Saturday, May 18th. Pride & Heritage is a coalition of local organizations celebrating May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and will intentionally recognize IDAHO. Participants include Asian Pacific Islander Queer Sisters (APIQS), Asian lslander Queers United for Action (AQUA), KhushDC, and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF-DC). This year the event will honor local community leaders Danny Leung, Mala Nagarajan, Vega Subramaniam, and Lan Van.
- Additional social events are happening this weekend in New York with Q-WAVE and in Los Angeles with GAPSN.
How will you get involved in IDAHO?