Thursday, May 03, 2012

Golden Gate Xpress: SF Prepares
for May 17 IDAHO Flag-Lowerings

Ana Preza is a journalist for the Golden Gate Xpress newspaper published by students at San Francisco State University, and she wrote this fantastic story last month about what will take place here for IDAHO. It's so good that Preza is bringing the global day of solidarity to the attention of young students and raising their awareness about the problems faced by too many gays around the world.

Please join Gays Without Borders on Thursday, May 17 at UN Plaza for our flag-lowering ceremony that starts at noon.

From the Golden Gate Xpress:

Imagine living in a country where being gay is considered a crime. A place where people feel restrained from expressing their sexual orientation, are persecuted and always fear the day they may be imprisoned, stoned, beaten or killed for being gay. International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, commonly known as IDAHO, is a day that asks everyone regardless of sexual orientation to unite with LGBT communities to fight discrimination and violence. [...]

The goal of this day is to bring awareness to the violence, discrimination and murder of people within the LGBT community around the world. Several countries in Europe and Central and South America have recognized May 17 as a day of action against homophobia and transphobia.

Late last month, then San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution petitioned by Gays Without Borders, a gay activist organization that fights for equality and rights for the LGBT community. They asked that San Francisco lower the American and United Nations flags for a 24-hour period in recognition of IDAHO.

“Lowering the UN and American flag in the UN Plaza is a visual message of solidarity,” said Michael Petrelis, a member of Gays Without Borders in San Francisco. [...]

“I think it’s important for those of us who live in places like San Francisco where we don’t have to deal with those horrible situations that we acknowledge the suffering that other people have,” said David Campos, the supervisor who introduced the resolution to the board. [...]

Gays Without Borders has participated in IDAHO for several years. [...] This year they plan to honor gay teens that have been murdered in Iraq and Chile because of homophobia.

Petrelis wants to make American youth aware that being gay in other countries can get you killed. March 2, Daniel Zamudio, 24, of Chile was beaten and found with swastikas carved all over his body because he was gay. He died of his injuries 25 days later. [...]

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