For IDAHOT, UN asks people to look beyond the labels

The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia is coming up fast on May 17, and a new video by the Free and Equal Campaign by the United Nations has encouraged us to look at lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people in the face and learn about what they are doing with their lives.

The video features no actors, but several everyday LGBT people at their jobs and living their lives, including GLAAD Media Award nominated journalist, Edward Wyckoff Williams; New York City transgender firefighter Brooke Guinan; transsexual and intersex journalist Ashley Love; electrician (and former GLAAD intern) Nicholas Coppola. Also making an appearance is straight ally, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who last year went purple for Spirit Day.

Created in 2004 to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder, IDAHOT has become the single most important date for LGBT communities worldwide. It is celebrated in more than 120 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal, with over 1600 events reported from 1280 organizations in 2014. It is estimated that around 17% of all annual discussions on Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia are generated around this day.