Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). “The Day represents an annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people and all those who do not conform to majority sexual and gender norms.” (https://dayagainsthomophobia.org/what-is-may-17th/)
The theme of this year’s IDAHOT is “Alliances for Solidarity”, drawing attention to the fact that LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) activists and allies across the world working together for LGBTI rights are more powerful than when working alone.
Pan Africa ILGA (PAI) works with member organisations across Africa to build alliances for solidarity. We expect to bring together activists from across the continent at our 4th Regional Conference in Botswana from the 31st of May to the 4th of June. In many countries in Africa, it is difficult to organise and associate freely as LGBTI organisations. The PAI conference therefore provides a space for solidarity where LGBTI persons can learn and share with each other and develop strategies for holding their governments accountable for their human rights obligations. It is also an opportunity to build consensus on common LGBTI issues and share best practices to deal with these concerns successfully. This conference provides a rare opportunity for delegates to meet in person in a safe space, enabling a creation of networks that build alliances for solidarity.
As with the rest of the world, we acknowledge and celebrate the milestones that have been reached, and also recognise the need to strengthen our efforts to fight against homophobia, intolerance discrimination and rights violations in order to ensure that human rights for all LGBTI individuals are guaranteed and protected, but, more importantly, to protect the lives of the many in our communities that face daily violence.