The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) launched a video yesterday to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). The video is part of the United Nations Free & Equal campaign, which seeks to combat homophobia and transphobia.
“Faces: can you see past the label?” is a unique two-minute video that shows real people from all over the world, who just happen to be LGBT, going about their daily lives as doctors, athletes, teachers, and other professionals. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a prominent world leader and straight ally, joins everyone at the end of the video.
According to United Nations Free & Equal, the video “celebrates the contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people make to families and local communities around the world.” The video played throughout the day on giant screens at Times Square in New York City.
The full video can be accessed here.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also published a blog post today on LinkedIn to draw attention to discriminatory laws and policies in the workplace that put LGBT people at risk. LGBT people are often wrongfully denied access to benefits and entitlements for themselves and their families due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Secretary-General praised businesses that have reformed their policies to ensure equal benefits for LGBT employees. He also highlighted policy changes at the UN that have gradually begun to provide equal entitlements to same-sex spouses of staff.
IDAHOT is on May 17 each year and celebrates the anniversary of the day in 1990 when the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. It is a day that draws attention to violence and discrimination against LGBT people around the world and to celebrate achievements in the advancement of LGBT equality. HRC teamed up with the United Nations Foundation and OHCHR earlier this week to host a reception in honor of Randy Berry, the first-ever U.S. State Department Envoy for LGBT Human Rights.