May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).

There is perhaps no bigger movement currently shaping the world than the fight for LGBT rights. Every several weeks, it seems, courts overturn laws that once prevented gay marriages; transgender people show up on national talk shows; and major news outlets features pieces discussing morality as it relates gender identity and sexual orientation. There are even days dedicated specifically to the movement.

One such day is May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The day’s website,, provides information about the event and encourages people everywhere to get involved with promoting its cause.

The committee sporting the same name, the IDAHOT Committee, works to coordinate events in different countries and fight for equal recognition under countries’ laws. Notably, Mariela Castro, daughter of the current Cuban President Raúl Castro, has conducted rallies in Cuba for several years, and last year, in Chile, approximately 50,000 people marched to support the committee’s goals.

The world is not always a safe or fair place for people who identify as transgender or whose sexual orientation differs from what others expect. This fact is well known, but The Guardian has magnified the situation with a recent infographic on its site that displays the legal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people around the world.

The news organization’s interactive graphic reveals that “more than 2.7 billion people live in countries where being gay is a crime.” Regarding consensual sex, workplace non-discrimination, marriage, adoption, and protection against hate crimes, many countries do not have laws that support any of the above situations. In some places, courts can still sentence people to death for simply being who they are.

Day Against Homophobia offers information about a number of ways that supporters can join tomorrow and make their voices heard. All people can donate time or money, participate in a local march, take quizzes to improve their knowledge about the LGBT community, or find a place to share their stories. It is only one day away, but every ounce of effort is appreciated and necessary in the fight against unequal rights and laws the world over.

Image courtesy of Eligius4917 via Flickr