Friday 17 May is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). The following video from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office outlines some of the difficulties that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons across the globe face on a daily basis:
A clear message from the above video is that LGBT rights are human rights. In South Africa we have a progressive constitution in which LGBT rights are protected by law. The following table (courtesy of Wikipedia) outlines lesbian, gay and bisexual rights in South Africa:
The following pamphlet (courtesy of Gender DynamiX) discusses the South African legistlation that allows transgender and gender non-conforming people in South Africa to change their gender and name on their ID documents without undergoing sexual re-assignment surgery:
However, despite this progressive legislation many LGBTI persons in South Africa still face discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes. In other words many LGBTI people are still not free or equal. The 17th of May is a day to sit with what this means and to take action. On Friday, various South African NGOs will be uniting to fight homophobia and transphobia - click here for their press release and programme.
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