Scenes from IDAHOT 2015 around the world

This Sunday, thousands of advocates and LGBT allies from around the world celebrated the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in an attempt to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBT people internationally. Rather than calling for a unified action, IDAHOT encourages people and organizations around the world, to join the campaign in their own way.

This year, allies from over 120 countries, including 37 countries where same-sex acts are illegal, joined in together and showed their support for the LGBT community. Iconic buildings lighted up in Rainbow colors, from Bridges in Brisbane and Newcastle, to Brussels City Hall or UK intelligence service headquarters.

Pride marches took place in Brussels, Berlin, Santiago de Chile, Caracas, Havana, and many other cities all around the world. In Havana, the week-long ceremony started on Saturday with a symbolic same-sex wedding ceremony headed by President Castro’s daughter Mariela, who has for many years advocated for LGBT rights improvements in Cuba.

In St. Petersburg over 350 people gathered together to celebrate IDAHOT, making the event becoming the largest LGBT rally in Russia this year. Representatives of Coming Out, the Russian LGBT Network, Side by Side LGBT festival, the Youth Human Rights Group, and the Center for Development of Democracy and Human Rights spoke of the importance of solidarity within civil society, support of vulnerable groups, and the growing strength of the LGBT movement in our common struggle for peace and human rights in Russia.


In Africa, advocates turned most of their attention online.  None on Record for example, has produced a video series featuring LGBT youth and allies working and living in Kenya talking about their experiences growing up LGBT in Africa. Have a look at some of the videos below.

In Asia, at least 40 events were held in Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam and South Korea. In Vietnam for example, over 1,000 LGBTI people and allies gathered in Ho Chi Minh City for the public IDAHOT events despite the heavy rains sweeping through the country. Also counting over 1000 people, South Koreans gathered at the Seoul Station Square under the title “STOP HATRED and OPEN the SQUARE”, making the celebration biggest IDAHOT festivity in South Korean history.

As part of its ongoing Free & Equal campaign, the United Nations Human Rights Office released an inspiring new video, highlighting the diverse roles played by LGBTI people around the world. Featuring real people in their workplaces and homes, has encouraged people to see past the labels and 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; transgender writer Ashley Love; electrician (and former GLAAD intern) Nicholas Coppola, and an straight ally, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The video was screened on the giant Reuters and NASDAQ screens in Times Square and is now available to download from the UN website