Month: May 2017

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

In at least 76 countries around the world today, same-sex relationships are illegal, at times involving lifetime imprisonment. In 10 countries the death penalty is possible for same-sex acts.

In almost all countries, freedom for people to live out and to express their true gender identities – and to have them rightfully recognized by the state – is harshly limited by transphobic laws and attitudes.

 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

But even in progressive countries, violence and discrimination against LGBT people still exist in the form of discriminatory laws, unjust representations in the media, unfair treatment by employers, negative social attitudes, and even in everyday interactions with people we care about, and who care about us.Homophobia and transphobia target all people who don’t conform to majority sexual and gender roles, and they affect the lives of everyone – to express themselves and their opinions freely, and to have the rights of their, friends, family members, and loved one’s recognized.The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the media, and the public in general to these issues, and to promote a world of tolerance, respect, and freedom regardless of people’s sexual orientations or gender identities.As much as May 17 is a day against violence and oppression, it is also a day to promote freedom, diversity, and acceptance.

The date of May 17 was chosen to commemorate the decision taken by the World Health organization in 1990 to take homosexuality out of the list of mental disorders.

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is now commemorated in approximately 120 countries around the world!

The situation remains overall very bad……

  • Same sex relationships are still illegal in 72 countries. Source ILGA  
  • These 72 countries represent 37% of UN member states.
  • In relation to death penalty Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen actually implement it. In addition, the death penalty is implemented provincially in 12 northern states in Nigeria and the southern parts of Somalia. In Mauretania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, UAE and Qatar it is on the statute, but is not known to be implemented. In ISIS/ISIL/Dash control areas of Iraq and Syria the death sentence for same-sex sexual behaviours is implemented by local non-State actors.  Source ILGA
  • In 2013, 5 billion people that is 70% of the world population live under laws and regulations that limit freedom of expression around sexual orientation and gender identity. This does NOT include the 8 US states which still have laws on the books that ban schools from teaching anything positive about homosexuality (Source: Only 0.06% of the world population lives in countries formally protecting people from homophobic hate speech. Source IDAHO Committee
  • 33 African countries have explicit criminal laws against same-sex sexual relations between men. In 24 of them, these laws also apply to women. Source ILGA
  • 23 out of 46 Asian countries criminalise same-sex behavior. Source ILGA
  • 2,343 reported killings of trans* and gender-diverse were documented by Trans Murder Monitoring in 69 countries worldwide between the 1st of January 2008 and the 31st of December 2016, 1,834 of which were reported in Central and South America. Further analysis of this data shows that 64% of all murdered trans and gender-diverse people whose profession was known were sex workers. Source Trans Murder Monitoring Project
  • In Europe 41 countries recognise a trans person’s gender identity, with only 4 countries which have such provisions basing their procedures on self-determination. 23 European Countries require a proof of sterilization in gender identity recognition. Source Transgender Europe

But the understanding and acceptance of sexual and gender diversity is growing….

  • The World Health Organisation declassified homosexuality as a mental disease in its 1990 International Classification of Diseases Manual
  • 87% of World countries are moving towards stronger social approval of homosexual behavior. Source:International Social Survey Program, 2011 in Smith, Tom W. 2011. Attitudes towards Same-Gender, Sexual Behavior across Time and across Countries. Chicago, IL: NORC.
  • A global survey showed that Kenya was the only surveyed country where acceptance of homosexuality was lower in young people than in their elders. Source International Social Survey Program 2008 in Public Attitudes towards Homosexuality and Gay Rights- Introduction across Time and Countries – Tom W. Smith,∗ Jaesok Son,† and Jibum Kim‡ November 2014
  • Marriage is open for same-sex couples in 21 countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, Brazil, France, Uruguay, New Zealand, the United Kingdom (Excluding N. Ireland), Luxembourg, the United States, Ireland and Colombia with Finland joining in 2017. In addition, same-sex marriage is recognized and performed in 10 states of Mexico. Source Wikipedia.
  • 22 additional countries recognize civil unions of people of the same sex. Source Wikipedia.
  • Homosexual behavior has been observed in 1,500 animal species and is most widespread among animals with a complex herd life. Source: University of California – Riverside. “Same-sex Behavior Seen In Nearly All Animals, Review Finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2009
  • Access joint UN OHCHR/IDAHO Committee 2013 infographic on “Debunking the myth of homosexuality as a Western import”


More information on the history & significance of May 17 here.

Figures on the legal worldwide situation for LGB people: ILGA 

Figures on global violence against Trans people: Trans Murder Monitoring Project

Figures on the legal and social situation of Trans people in Europe: Transgender Europe

The IDAHO Committee

The IDAHO Committee was established by the founders of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in 2005. Its mission is to inspire, support, and promote the global mobilizations around May 17.

With contacts in LGBTI and human rights movements in over 120 countries worldwide, and with the privilege of a global panorama of actions planned worldwide for May 17, we are available to support journalists in reaching out to specific contacts and to provide up-to-date and detailed information on actions for the Day.

Follow the the Day online

Official Global Facebook page:
Official Global Twitter account:
Official hashtag: #IDAHOT

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Apply for an NYC Pride Community Grant!

Every year, NYC Pride awards thousands of dollars in grants to local LGBT-friendly and LGBT-serving community organizations. These grants are “working” grants: in order to receive funds, members or volunteers from an organization must perform specific functions or services—as a group—at NYC Pride’s annual events. Grants are awarded in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $3,000, depending upon the assignment.

Apply for an NYC Pride Community Grant!

A designated individual from your organization must complete the online application. Once submitted, your application will be reviewed and a determination will be made. If awarded a grant opportunity, your organization will receive an official agreement, outlining NYC Pride’s expectations of your organization and what your organization can expect NYC Pride to provide in return.

To Apply

  1. Click here to view and download the Community Grants Application.
  2. Fill out and save the Community Grants Application. You will upload this file as part of the submission form below.
  3. Click here to view and download the Available Grants document. You will need to reference this document when selecting your preferred grant opportunities on the form below.
  4. Fill in remaining form fields and submit.

Be sure to review all information before submission. Partial or incomplete applications will be disqualified.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the application process or application forms, please email


Already interested? Apply here! Deadline: June 20, 2017

Support from your organization is so important to the success of our annual events and I hope you will consider applying for some of this year’s opportunities. Additionally, please feel free to pass the application link along to any other organizations that might benefit from this program.

A full rundown of the available grants is available on the application page linked above. Please feel free to email or call 212-807-6348 with any questions you have regarding the application process or other details of the program.

Apply for an NYC Pride Community Grant!

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Call for testimonies by agender or gender-fluid members of our community

Israeli newspaper Haaretz is seeking to interview members of our community who identify as agender or gender-fluid. The purpose of the article is to increase awareness about these identities around the world in general, and in Israel in particular.

Call for testimonies by agender or gender-fluid members of our community

If you are interested in being interviewed, please contact Sylvain Bruni at

Call for testimonies by agender or gender-fluid members of our community

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6 Historical Figures You Didn’t Know Were LGBTI+

History books like to make events out to be black text on white paper — but life isn’t always like a book or movie — and people aren’t just one thing or another. We all fall on a spectrum of gender and sexuality. Repression of people who didn’t fall on the “normal” sides of the spectrum — though normal describes a washing setting more than a human being — was rampant in the not-to-long-ago past.

6 Historical Figures You Didn’t Know Were LGBTI+

There’s more to their story, and it’s time to get educated about a few particularly pivotal, rad and real individuals who make up the colorful history of the world:

  1. Marlon Brando

Born on April 3, 1924, Marlon Brando grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. His found fame fairly early in his career with a notable role in the film “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Unlike many actors in Hollywood, Brando’s age didn’t stop him from getting outstanding roles. The most famous perhaps is his character in “The Godfather,” but others include “Apocalypse Now” and “The Last Tango in Paris.”

Though Marlon Brando was a known womanizer, seducing Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, he was attracted to men. In later years, Brando revealed he had fallen in love with actor Wally Cox, calling his attraction to men “unashamed.” Brando once stated he wish they could have married, but times didn’t allow that.

Today, the two are buried next to each other. He once had a passionate affair with Laurence Olivier, Cary Grant, and other alleged affairs with the steamy silver screen men of Hollywood, turning down Elizabeth Taylor. It’s apparent Brando’s magnetism appealed to all sexes and continues to fascinate people in modern times.

  1. José Sarria

Born on December 12, 1923, José Sarria was an activist, singer and drag performer, and he was also a game changer for the LGBTI+ in public office, as the first openly gay man to run for a position.

Born and raised in San Francisco, California, Sarria was of Latin-American descent and raised by his maternal family, a mother and grandmother who let him wear women’s clothing. Later, Sarria enlisted in the army during World War II, and though he faced discrimination among soldiers, he made friends with others by introducing them to a vibrant San Francisco.

In the city, Sarria performed at The Black Cat gay club and was a major hit. This was a time when the bars would warn patrons of gay raids before they happened, and Sarria introduced the warning humorously, to keep hearts light. His most famous closing song was, “God Save Us Nelly Queens.”

In the 1960s, gay bars began getting shut down in mass due to the raids. A drag ball was organized by the Tavern Guild of San Francisco to protest, and Sarria was Queen. Sarria went on to cofound the Imperial Court System, which helped raise money for those with HIV/AIDS and other serious conditions internationally. A street was later named for Sarria in his beloved San Francisco in 2006.

  1. Christine Jorgensen

Born on May 30, 1926, Christine Jorgensen lived in the Bronx, New York as a male named George William Jorgensen, Jr. As the child of a carpenter, Jorgensen was aware from a young age that she was a female in a male body and later wrote in American Weekly (1953) that she had wondered why boys’ clothes were different than girls’ pretty dresses.

Feeling “lost between the sexes,” Jorgensen found comfort in photography during her high school years, later attending class at the New York Institute of Photography. In 1945, Jorgensen went on to enlist in the military and worked as a clerk for some time, before deciding it was time for a permanent change.

Christine Jorgensen is considered as the first transsexual woman to receive sexual reassignment surgery in the United States. After her surgery’s success in 1952, she became a famous celebrity, working as a transgender activist, actress, and singer.

  1. Sally Ride

On May 26, 1951, Sally Ride was born in Los Angeles. She entered NASA’s space program in 1978, later to became the youngest American and the first woman in space at age 32. Unknown to all at the time, Sally Ride was the first LGBTI+ astronaut in space.

She flew twice on the Challenger orbiter, and, in 1987, Ride left NASA. Her brilliant career carried on, with positions at prestigious universities in physics, studying Thomson scattering and nonlinear optics. She also researched the Columbia and Challenger shuttle disasters.

In 2012, Ride passed away from cancer, and though she had married and led a “normal” life, it was discovered she had a female partner for 27 years.

  1. Lorraine Hansberry

Born on May 19, 1930, Lorraine Hansberry was an African-American writer and playwright, considered to be the first black woman to have written a play performed on Broadway. Her most well-known work is the play “A Raisin in the Sun,” which places a spotlight on the lives of black Americans who struggled with segregation in Chicago. The title of the play was inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem “Harlem.”

Hansberry is also a well-known civil rights and LGBTI+ activist and ally, but it’s now believed she herself was gay. After her death in 1965, personal letters and other private writings revealed information pointing to this fact.

Her activism even led to FBI surveillance as she attended the Montevideo peace conference, and an FBI reviewer challenged the Pan-Africanist themes of “A Raisin in the Sun,” as harmful to society.

  1. Alan Turing

Alan Turing might be the most famous man you’ve never heard of. His scientific work was the inspiration for Phil K. Dick’s novels, which have been transformed into sci-fi movies. These movies, from “Blade Runner” and “Total Recall” to “The Minority Report” and “The Adjustment Bureau” changed American film.

If that’s not enough, he was an Olympic-level runner, created a new field of biology after playing with daisies and is the father of the modern computer. With his self-engineered computer, he single-handedly broke the Nazi Enigma code that helped the Allies win World War II.

He was also gay when it was illegal to be. Once arrested, he was given the choice between chemical castration and jail. He chose castration and soon after committed suicide — an undeserving end for a world-wide hero who likely saved countless lives.

So What’s It All Mean?

Alan Turing’s story represents an, unfortunately, recurrent case within the LGBTI+ community. Feeling ousted by society, many members of the community become depressed and suffer from suicidal thoughts. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that LGBTI+ youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.

With disheartening numbers like that, it is important for the LGBTI+ community to stand together and focus on the great strides and contributions that members of the community have made throughout history. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still so much to do, and by instilling pride in the community, we can continue to make history together.

LGBTI+ isn’t history for the gay, bi, trans and intersex community — it’s all our history. These scientists, politicians, actors and writers changed the world to make it better for all of us. Their history isn’t separate. These historical figures affected changes in society on multiple levels, shaking up civil rights and leaving an impact in the world. And that is certainly something to be proud of.

Kate Harveston is a freelance writer and blogger. Her writing is generally politically-charged in nature and focuses on social justice, human rights, and equality. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found curled up on the hammock with a book or exploring the city for trendy coffee shops to hang out in. You can follow her writing by visiting her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

6 Historical Figures You Didn’t Know Were LGBTI+

The post 6 Historical Figures You Didn’t Know Were LGBTI+ appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

PrEP is Effective

On Behalf of Dan Wohlfeiler
PrEP is Effective

As most of you know. I’ve been working closely with the dating site,  Daddyhunt, to produce a web series that incorporates a storyline on PrEP, STDs, having an undetectable viral load, and condoms.  Taking advantage of the fact that the cast was all there, we made five PSAs (with input from many of you) encouraging gay men to make the choice of strategies that’s right for them, in addition to getting tested.

The first PSA, “The Right Choice,” has gotten 125,000 views between Facebook and YouTube in the first ten days. The second one, “PrEP is Effective,” has just been up for two hours and has gotten about 2000 views.

You can find all the links and more background information here:
Links to specific PSA’s:
“The Right Choice”
“PrEP is Effective”
The YouTube versions are close-captioned in both Spanish and English (find the small gear-wheel on the lower right of the screen to change your settings).
Please consider sharing links with colleagues, friends, on Facebook, and via your own lists. More PSAs will be coming out in the coming weeks. While we’re particularly interested in getting “PrEP is Effective” out there, since it’s brand new, if you have time to forward both PSAs, that’d be even better.
I’m happy to answer any questions, of course.
Thanks very much.
To your health – and to all of ours,
Dan Wohlfeiler
Director, Building Healthy Online Communities

PrEP is Effective

The post PrEP is Effective appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

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