FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 17, 2016
The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) joins organizations across the world to recognise the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). IDAHOT is an annual event marked internationally for the recognition of LGBTI rights, promotion of tolerance, and discouraging all forms of homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia.
The theme commemorating IDAHOT 2016 is: MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING. One particular issue to be highlighted in a place like Nigeria is that of the “psychiatric problem” excuse used to uphold the subjection of the LGBT members to Reform/Conversion “therapy” to “cure” them of their sexual orientation, gender identity and body diversity, which is erroneously perceived to be a “mental disease”. While there is a growing campaign against this method, this idea of “helping” LGBTI persons continues to pose a great threat to the mental well-being of the LGBT community.
To support and create the much-needed awareness for 2016 IDAHOT Day, TIERs will be organizing a seminar for the LGBTI community on the topic: “The importance of access to mental health services and wellbeing programmes for LGBTI persons in Nigeria”. The seminar will be followed by a question and answer session. This 1hr discussion will provide the audience with an opportunity to learn about mental health issues as it affects members of the LGBTI persons and their community. It will provide information on how to manage mental health issues and suggest best practices required to avoid a mental break or relapse.
There will also be a social media campaign leveraging on all TIERs’ social media platforms to generate more conversations on the theme for the IDAHOT Day for a wider audience. The hashtag for the day will be #WeAreHuman, #IDAHOT2016.
TIERs also uses the opportunity of the IDAHOT Day 2016 to remind Nigerians of the importance of a society free from all form of discrimination and encourage Nigerians to promote equality for all LGBTI persons