Connected with Our Colours Under the Same Sky
On 17th May International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, we repeat the same message we have had since the beginning of our existence, but this time louder with more excitement and love: we are all connected together with our colours under the same sky!
We sadly announce that streets will not be filled with the diversity of our colours this year, due to COVID 19 pandemic which has affected everyone. However, our struggle for freedom has overcome many obstacles over the years and has continued to advocate for liberation and solidarity even during the most hopeless times. Therefore, our struggle will not be voiced in streets but through our screens during these times in which we are encouraged to stay at home. Although we won’t be walking in solidarity in the streets, we will be reminded that we are connected under the same sky once we take a look outside, wherever we are. This time we’re not just in the streets of Nicosia, we are everywhere!
During this week, our online activities will be taking held with our partners Baraka, GIGEM, CTP Youth Organization, TDP Youth Organization, EMAA Art Centre, Bağımsızlık Yolu, ÇAĞSEN, Mesaoria Women’s Initiative, University Women Collective, EU Info-point, People’s Party (HP) – TCEK, KAYAD and Queer Cyprus Association members and volunteers.
Just like every year, the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s removal of homosexuality from mental illness classification on 17th May 1990, will be celebrated this year with a variety of live streams, discussions and performances on a diverse range of topics and themes. In addition, there will be film screenings of LGBTI+ films, panels with film crews, and screenings of various videos. These will be accompanied by a digital exhibition, DJ and drag performances, and many other surprises. Our activities will conclude with our virtual pride “walk”.
The penal code on Human Trafficking, Smuggling and Hate Speech, which entered into effect on 23rd March 2020, is undeniably a huge step forward for our movement. As it will take time for this decision to be implemented through social practices, there are many more steps to take in order to eliminate the unjust treatment and rights violations, and physical and psychological attacks on our existence as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and plus (LGBTI+) individuals. In this context, as the 17th May Organisation Committee, we would like to announce that our collective efforts will continue with the same acceleration, hope and stability.
- Elimination of any denial policies that lead to violations of LGBTI+ rights and the diversity of gender identity or sexual orientation; and the revision and formulation of laws on these grounds.
- Deterrent penalties for homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and other forms of discriminatory behaviours.
- Radical changes in family, health, work and educational policies to ensure the acceptance of diversity.
All activities in the scope of the 17th May week, which has collectively gathered us under the “Connected Under the Same Sky” theme, are open and accessible to all individuals who are free of prejudice and would like to show support and love.
We are not wrong nor alone! We are connected with our colours under the same sky!