Nairobi, 17 May 2021-- On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), UN-Habitat joined with the international community to support the LGBTI community. This year the theme was “Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!”.

“The global pandemic is still ongoing for the LGBTI community and for all communities globally,” said UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif. “We know the LGBTI community has been hit hard during these times, and we believe that assuring the full human rights of all LGBTI people will both protect them now and in the future. The full recognition of the LGBTI community is a key part of the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s promise to leave no one behind.”

UN-Habitat has partnered with the NGO Dialogo Diverso to advocate for, empower and ultimately better protect the LGBTI community during the pandemic. The Faces of COVID-19 project, launched early this year in Quito, Ecuador, leverages the use of public spaces to make vulnerable groups more visible, and their needs better understood. This project is funded by the Block by Block foundation.

Dialogo Diverso worked closely with the Government of Ecuador’s Ministry of Culture, the City of Quito, and local artists to create two murals representing the diversity of the LGBTI community. These two murals entitled “Faces of COVID-19” and “Trans Memories”, were created in a public space at the Contemporary Art Centre of Quito.

“Human Rights are universal, and for all people everywhere,” stated Danilo Manzano, Director of Dialogo Diverso. “Let us continue to stand against homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. We are not all the same, but we are all equal.”

IDAHOT was created in 2004 to bring attention to the ongoing violence towards the LGBTQ+ community with 17 May becoming the designated day due to the 1990 World Health Organization’s decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. It is celebrated in over 130 countries, including some of the places that still criminalise the LGBTQ+ community.