MBA star Jason Collins with Ambassador Pedersen and First Secretary Iselin Larsen . Photo: Marte Fløan Beisvåg
Sport came out against homophobia
Last updated: 12/14/2013 //
Every day LGBT people from all over the world are met with violence, hate speech and persecution. December 10 is the Human Rights Day and this year it was celebrated with a big event at the United Nations, where athletes, member states and human rights activists met to take a stand in the fight for basic human rights and against violence and discrimination.
The event was organized by the LGBT Core Group where Norway is a member, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the event with a message to everyone who took part in the "Sport Comes out against Homophobia" event. He disapproved of the attacks and the violence that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex people are met with, and pointed out that all people are born free and equal and with basic human rights. He opposed imprisonment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and applauded all people who fight for LGBT peoples’ rights all over the world.
The panel consisted of tennis star Martina Navratilova, NBA player Jason Collins and activists Thandeka Mkhuma, Hida Viloria and Anastasia Smirnova. It was led by the anchor man from MSNBC Live, Thomas Roberts. Navratilova and Collins underlined how important it was that athletes contributed in the fight for LGBT peoples’ rights, and Navratilova spoke about how far we have come since she came out thirty years ago. When Collins came out earlier this year President Obama called and congratulated him. – When I came out in 1981 I didn’t get a call from President Reagan. Things have changed! She said and added that despite of all progress we still have a long way to go.
Activist Thandeka Mkhuma moved the audience to tears when she told her story of rape and attacks, and how lesbians in South Africa live in constant fear for their lives. Activist Hida Viloria emphasized the importance of bringing the “I” for intersex in the LGBT. Intersex people are people who are between being a girl or a boy and many people are traumatized from being forced into a gender identity that doesn’t fit. She called on states to not have surgery on babies but rather let them grow up to be the people that they are.
The event proved that social media are important when taking this discussion to a broader audience. The hashtag #Sport4LGBT was handed out beforehand and was frequently used. Hundreds of tweets were shared before, during and after the event, and @NorwayUN took an active part in sharing this important message to a digital audience.
#Sport4LGBT Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Sport4LGBT&src=typd