Around the world,
many faith communities and organizations mobilize on May 17th to
commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. These
faith communities and organizations not only come together to highlight the
intersections of faith and sexuality, to remember victims of
homo/bi/transphobia and to stand against religiously-based homophobia and
transphobia, but also, and predominantly, to raise the voices of progressive
faith leaders in supporting the positive role of world religions and faith
communities in shaping inclusive societies.
This year, the IDAHO Committee, together with the
European Forum of LGBTQ Christian Groups, encourages individuals, organizations
and faith communities to be a part of the Global Prayer Initiative - which aims
to bring together different faith communities, denominations and groups to
bring their voice to the IDAHO 2013 commemorations.
CAN YOU DO?
One of the simplest and yet most powerful ways to be
involved in the Global Prayer Initiative is to organize a vigil. Vigils can be a powerful tool to draw
attention to thoughtless acts of intolerance, and to religiously-based
homophobia and transphobia. Vigils carry a certain weight that is symbolic in
so many contexts, whether religious, spiritual, commemorative or memorial.
Consider drawing your faith community together in commemorating the
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
Sparking discussions and dialogue around homophobia and
transphobia is also a great way that faith communities can bring about change
in their places of worship. Interfaith communities also have the opportunity to
bridge the divides between communities where homophobic and transphobic
sensitivities still persist. Consider promoting a dialogue between different faith
communities or religious denominations in creating a new platform - such as a
workshop, conference, email list or prayer network - through which to exchange
information, gather together ideas and promote collective actions.
Sending a thought or prayer on the internet is another
simple and effective way to show your solidarity and to help get the message
out. You could do this via facebook or twitter, perhaps by using the hashtag
#IDAHOprayer. You could create a youtube video, to offer your thoughts, well
wishes and prayers towards those who have faced, and continue to face, stigma
and discrimination within their lives.