Thursday, May 17 marks the International Day Against Homophobia Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB). And what better way to celebrate than with a kiss — or better still, a kiss-in?
IDAHOTB was established to draw attention to the violence, discrimination and persecution that LGBTQ people face all around the world. LGBTQ people are criminalized in over 70 countries around the globe, and in some places being LGBTQ is even punishable by death.
For this year’s IDAHOTB, our community is raising awareness about queerphobic laws and demonstrating support for our brothers and sisters who are fighting — with a kiss. Kiss-ins are planned in Mexico City, Paris and São Paulo, both as an expression of our humanity but also in solidarity with all those who can’t kiss in public without fear of arrest or violence.
And we need you! Even if you can’t make it to an organized kiss-in in one of those three cities, you can still participate. If you can kiss in public without fear of violence or arrest, we ask you to seize the opportunity to support our community. Snap a picture of your public kiss! Just be sure to tag it with the hashtags #DecriminalizeLGBT and #IDAHOTBKissIn to make sure we see it.
We’ll select the best displays of LGBTQ solidarity and feature them on our site this Friday.
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.
Those of us who are fortunate enough to kiss freely can make a statement about the value of LGBTQ lives. We must work to abolish queerphobic laws and support the hard work of those on the ground defending our human right to love and be loved.
While there have been strides in LGBT acceptance around the world, many governments have become increasingly hostile toward the LGBT community. People continue to be arrested, tortured and murdered. Join our #DecriminalizeLGBT campaign to raise awareness about these unjust laws and fight for human rights for all people.