Conceived in 2004 by French activist Louis-Georges Tin to commemorate the decision of the World Health Organization (1990) to de-pathologize homosexuality by removing it from the International Classification of Diseases, May 17th has become a globally recognized day to raise awareness of LGBTQI lives and call attention to efforts to end discrimination and violence and promote equality.
This year, from China to the Congo and Canada, LGBTQI peoples and our allies in over 150 nations will sponsor conversations, festivities and events, as well as demonstrations and marches for an end to the criminalization of Queer life and the implementation of policies that recognize and respect the diversity of God’s creation. The themes are Mental Health and Well Being. The focus is designed to ensure that everyone, including those within the LGBTQI community, receive all the supports for mental health that are necessary. This will refute the ways in which government and societal leaders wrongly characterize people of different genders, sexualities, and gender expressions as mentally ill. The goal is to create opportunities for well being and to confront/eliminate violence and discrimination.
We join organizers in encouraging people to:
- Push for the depathologization of transgender identities
- Oppose “conversion therapies” and specifically protecting young people
In Hong Kong, community activists will honor businesses that have supported LGBT equality. Organizers will celebrate the fifth LGBTI pride event in Albania, also gathering people from Kosovo and Macedonia. Activists on every continent will pause to remember slain LGBT journalist in Bangladesh who were hacked to death last month.
Everyone can do something to highlight LGBTQI life and our victories or address the challenges that remain before us.
The Public Policy Team invites MCC congregations around the world to mark May 17th INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, BIPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA!Here are some suggestions for you, your congregation, or your ministry:
- Host a Bible Study, preach and pray about ending discrimination and promoting peace and goodwill throughout the earth.
- BE CREATIVE
- Organizers encourage the use of dance and the arts in hosting the events.
- Use music, host a flash mob, busk, hold street performances, be improvisational.
- Advocate for full equality.
- Add your community’s support to a local legislative drive to promote equality and safety for all youth.
- In the United States, contact your U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative and encourage them to move the Safe Schools Improvement Act to end bullying against Queer youth out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.
- Host a gathering and invite your neighbors, family and friends to the movement for equality in your location and make them aware of what volunteer or organizational opportunities are available. Invite a local activist group to speak or provide resources.
Every word offered, every event celebrated, every step taken, every prayer lifted up can and will make a difference for God’s LGBTQI peoples and a world at peace with its own diversity. You can inspire others around the world by sharing what you do. Send your stories and photos to the Public Policy Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for making this world a better place.