Invitation to LGBTIQ+ people awaiting IDAHOBIT: Write a letter!

Since 2004, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) has been celebrated to draw attention to the stigmatization, violence, and discrimination faced by lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, and intersex individuals, as well as people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and sex characteristics that are not hetero and cisnormative. IDAHOBIT Day, May 17, commemorates the day in 1990 when the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.

The theme for this year’s IDAHOBIT is “Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!”

On that occasion and in the spirit of the aforementioned global theme, Sarajevo Open Centre, BiH Pride March, Tuzla Open Centre and Centre for Youth KVART invite all LGBTIQ+ people to send letters and share everything they would like to say to a younger version of themselves, their parents, guardians, sisters, brothers, friends, but also all other close people regarding their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Through these letters, you can express how you felt when you first outed to someone, what you would like to say to a close person or a younger version of yourself who has just started to explore their LGBTIQ+ identity.

Many of us find the process of outing (revealing our gender identity and/or sexual orientation to ourselves and others) challenging because we experience homophobia and violence in situations where we need love, support, and acceptance. Some of us find love and comfort in an LGBTIQ+ community that becomes our second family and allows us to be ourselves. If this is the case, we encourage you to write to us explaining how much and why community support was valuable and necessary to you.

Every experience is unique and genuine, whether the outcome is positive or negative, and each one is important for each individual. Through this action, we hope to demonstrate to our parents, guardians, brothers and sisters and loved ones how important their support is to us as LGBTIQ+ people, as well as the effects of their lack of support on our mental health and self-acceptance process. That is why we encourage all LGBTIQ+ people to share their experience through writing, which they can do anonymously, under name, full name, or under a pseudonym – the choice is yours. You are not required to name the individuals in the letter; instead, the emphasis is on your experience and feelings. The maximum length of letters is 500 words, and they should be sent digitally to [email protected] by 10 May 2021.

All letters will be published on the social networks of organizations and informal volunteer group BiH Pride March.