The Suva Peace Vigil convened by FemLINKPacific at the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral in Suva every Thursday is dedicated to the commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) in collaboration with The Drodrolagi Movement (droMo).
“The vigil will be staged from 1230 – 130pm and is an opportunity to reaffirm the need for safe democratic spaces for all,” says FemLINKPacific Executive Director, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, “and that as we come together regardless of our faith backgrounds we are also reminded that daily members of our society do not enjoy the respect, dignity and pride because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Building a culture of peace and non violence requires everyone to enjoy personal and political security.”
IDAHOT is a day to draw attention to the issue of homophobia and transphobia in the community. On May 17th 1990, twenty-three years ago, the World Health Organisation made the landmark decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.
droMo is a community-based organization in Suva, Fiji whose mission is to create and celebrate a culture of equality, respect, dignity and pride for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community in Fiji.
The Movement stands against homophobia and transphobia, which is defined as the irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against people with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
“A person’s biological sex, what gender they identify as, how they express that identity and who they are attracted to can be as diverse and dynamic as a rainbow” said droMo’s spokesperson, Kris Prasad.
“IDAHOT is about encouraging people to see that these dimensions of a person’s identity should not be used to discriminate against them, or to rob them of their basic human dignity.”
This will be the third year that droMo has commemorated IDAHOT and the week-long planned activities hope to encourage the community to educate themselves on sexual orientation and gender identity issues and to stand up against homophobia and transphobia in Fiji.