In honor of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) 2017, one of FRIDA’s advisors from the MENA region writes about organizing in Tunisia.
The celebration of this year’s IDAHOT in Tunisia comes at a time when homophobic and transphobic campaigns and shows have taken the spotlight in the media. During the first four months of 2017, several arrests were already reported (not counting those that went unnoticed) under different articles of the Criminal Code which continues to be applied and to sentence LGBTQI ++ to custodial sentences, cruel treatments and illegal practices considered to be torture.
In spite of all this, approximately 300 people were present at the Rio to celebrate the International day against homophobia and transphobia (IDAHOT) in Tunis, reinforcing their position and right to integrity and dignity as full citizens.
With the highlight of this year being the trans* community, the event emphasized on diversity and recognition of all sexualities and gender identities and expressions. Organizations, activists, feminists, LGBTQI ++ and human rights defenders were present to share a moment of pride, solidarity and resistance against laws and taboos.
A coalition of five organizations contributed to the event ATFD, ADLI, Chouf, Mawjoudin and Damj. For the first time, it was decided to open up the event, make it public and not keep it limited to the community. The program was varied and included presentations about the current situation of the LGBTIQ+ community in Tunis, documentaries, as well as drag performances and testimonies.
We chose to use a card game called chkobba as our theme in order to reconnect with the society using the common language of this card game under the slogan: “cut, reshuffle and redistribute the cards”.
This IDAHOT, our wish is to break apart all the archaic regulations used against us. We want to reshuffle the rules for a more open, inclusive and accepting society.
The live event can be watched here.
Senda Ben Jebara
FRIDA MENA advisor
Board member Mawjoudin
To read FRIDA’s public statement on IDAHOT 2017, click here.