Yesterday, in commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and (IDAHOTB), Hornet organized a worldwide IDAHOTB kiss-in protest with events around the world in Paris, Sao Paulo, Mexico and Taipei. At the protest sites, hundreds of people kissed in solidarity with all those LGBTQ people who cannot kiss in public without fear of being arrested or attacked.
A kiss is laden with all sorts of meaning. It’s the climax of a marriage ceremony, the tender goodbye between two parting lovers, the sultry display of strangers on a street corner. No matter the intention, when queer people kiss in public, it’s a political statement.
We organized the IDAHOTB kiss-in protests as part of our #DecriminalizeLGBT campaign, focused on raising awareness and repealing anti-LGBTQ laws around the world that seek to shame, intimidate and punish LGBTQ people just for their sexual orientation or gender identity.
All those who couldn’t attend the kiss-in protests in person joined in via social media to help spread the message of inclusion and love online.
While there have been strides in LGBT acceptance around the world, many governments have become increasingly hostile toward the LGBT community. Right now, LGBTQ people are criminalized in over 70 countries around the world. People continue to be arrested, tortured and killed in regions within Russia, Indonesia, Africa, and throughout the Caribbean and the British Commonwealth.
Even tolerant countries like Brazil, France and the United States all have instances of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and violence aimed at making queer people ashamed and afraid for their lives.
LGBTQ people around the world observe IDAHOTB on May 17 in honor of the date when homosexuality was no longer considered a mental illness in the World Health Organization’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Problems (ICD).