"We need open mindedness about sexuality, about sex and about sexual health. Only then we can empower young people and give them confidence." ~ Reina Buijs of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaking on sex rights and education at #AIDS2018.
"Today, a shameful history of pathologization, institutionalization, “conversion” and sterilization begins to come to a close."
Statement on the WHO update to the ICD-11 from GATE, AKAHATA, TGEU, APTN, ILGA, Post-Soviet Trans* Coalition, Iranti.org, STP International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization
"This idea that men are not allowed to show vulnerability, be soft, intimate, etc. is toxic for everyone, including the men who try to uphold it and suppress their emotions – which results in unhealthy expressions of uncontrollable anger. Homophobia and misogyny can be expressions of toxic masculinity."
~ By Lou Constant-Desportes, AfroPunk Editor-in-Chief
"Despite our achievements and contributions to India in various fields, we are being denied the right to sexuality, the most basic and inherent of fundamental rights."
~ Businesswoman Ayesha Kapur, dancer Navtej Singh Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, restaurateur and TV personality Ritu Dalmia, and historian Aman Nathin in their joint petition against India's Section 377 criminalizing homosexuality.
“In 1960, black people were killed for peacefully protesting the fact that they were treated differently because they were black. That was the atrocious event that created the day we commemorate today.
We are commemorating this day at a time where people are still being stigmatised, discriminated against, ostracised, and even killed for being of a different sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in the African continent.”
– Anthony Oluoch, Program Manager, Pan Africa ILGA on South Africa's Human Right's Day
“We are all born the way we are. We need to support, embrace and respect each other. When we treat each other with dignity, we are all more dignified. When we treat each other with respect, we are all more respected.
I wish you affirm yourselves and your identities as well as your various diversities and celebrate your wonderful, beautiful, outstanding humanity.”
~ South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
Frankly, I don’t even care about acceptance, but how dare you label me a criminal?
The truth is that I live in New Delhi, am financially independent and fairly well-known.
All these help protect me but one only has to visit smaller cities, or go to villages to find out more about discrimination. I’ll also say that it’s not only about class and money; it is also about the environment. Imagine a mindset in which girls are raped in the belief that they’ll become straight.
~ Celebrity chef Ritu Dalmia on the Indian law, Section 377, that criminalizes her sexuality.
"Nuestra ciudadanía hoy es más libre. Hoy estamos más cerca de hacer realidad la aspiración de cualquier pareja a ser feliz, quererse, respetarse y protegerse en igualdad de condiciones, sin importar su orientación sexual. Como sociedad debemos sentir satisfacción al haber colocado un eslabón más en la extensa historia costarricense de respeto a los derechos humanos." ~ Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera
"Our citizens today are freer. Today we are closer to making reality the aspiration of any couple to be happy, to love, to respect themselves and protect themselves in conditions of equality, regardless of their sexual orientation. As a society, we must feel satisfaction at having placed one more link in the extensive Costa Rican history of respect for human rights."
"I was extremely angry that I hadn’t been able to do anything to save my boyfriend’s life. I was still grieving. So I turned my grief and anger into rage and action and got involved with the movement."
~ Eric Sawyer, founding member of ACT UP NY, co-founder of Housing Works, and co-founder of HealthGAP
When I told my parents last year I was gay, my father beat me up. My mom took a plastic bag, stuffed it with food and clothes and then I was kicked out. I did not have anywhere to go, didn’t have any money.
I did not dare to go back to school because of all the bullying that was going on. I ended up doing sex work to survive. Through an acquaintance I learnt about this shelter.”
~ Rajan, 18-year-old Albanian, on being expelled from his family home and seeking refuge at the LGBTQ shelter STREHA
“LGBTI people have the right to decide freely over their own body and sexuality, this is absolutely fundamental.
Because if just one person doesn’t have the right to be who they are, then how can we claim that human rights are for all and not just a privilege for some.”
~ Martin Bille Hermann, Denmark’s State secretary for Development Policy, to the UN LGBTI Core Group
“[The Minister’s] statement flies in the face of the constitutional rights to freedom of expression and association – and people are afraid to speak up. But we must remember that Tanzania would never have become independent were it not for the voices and actions of people who were opposed to the government at the time.”
~ Neela Ghoshal, Senior Researcher at Human Rights Watch on the crackdown against LGBT and other rights organizations