Solidarity on Every Frontier: Statement on the 2018 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (#IDAHOTB)
ASEAN SOGIE Caucus joins the world in celebration of this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB). Our commitment has always been to solidarity with all LGBTIQ people and all broader coalitions of human rights advocates wherever we operate. We reaffirm this commitment today.
In Southeast Asia, commitment to solidarity has become more important than ever. Criminalization, shrinking political spaces, direct attacks against LGBTIQ people, murder, abandonment, state-sponsored conversion therapy – the list goes on. In recent events, that disproportionate rage against us is evident. In the semi-autonomous Aceh region in Indonesia, many transgender women have fled from the persecution of militant religious forces and police who have targetted them specifically for their so-called attack on public morality. And in the time leading up to and even during the seige of Marawi City in Southern Philippines last year, we found LGBTIQ persons were systematically targeted by ISIS-linked militants and were threatened with death.
This year, we ask everyone to make this same commitment with us. Our appeal is simple: Let us work together. Whether it is in our homes, our churches, our governments, our advocacy networks, or in our own hearts and minds, let us do our part to build the alliances that will help remake the lives of our communities.
There are many ways to work in solidarity. Solidarity in our homes means working together with our families to rediscover trust and nurturance as the cornerstones of the home. Solidarity in our churches means urging our religious leaders to return love to its rightful place as the axis of faith. Solidarity in our governments means remaking the instruments of the state to serve its original purpose of serving all people. Solidarity in our advocacy networks means letting go of all the pettiness that gets in the way of the real work. And solidarity with our own hearts and minds means unlearning what our lives have taught us about what it means to live as an LGBT person and rebuild our trust in the wonders love can do.
Our commitment to solidarity have often taken much from many of us, and our burdens are often passed on to those who come after. Much time has passed since these commitments began, and within that time perhaps our experiences have taught us sad lessons about each-other, and this has made us cynical about solidarity. But gambling away our solidarity is an unacceptable gamble. So let us try to work together again. Let’s carry these burdens together. Let’s commit together. Solidarity on every frontier in Southeast Asia!