International Family Equality Day 2021: Being our authentic best
Join in celebrating the International Family Equality Day at the beginning of next month and help encouraging rainbow families around the world to be proud of who they are!
On Sunday, the 2nd of May, rainbow families across the globe will joyfully commemorate the 10th edition of the International Family Equality Day (IFED) – an LGBTIQ*-awareness day highlighting the preciousness of every type of family and promoting equality for everyone. Having started out small in 2012, IFED has by now become a worldwide movement: Last year, rainbow families, friends and allies celebrated IFED in a record-breaking 62 countries and 152 cities
Be yourself, be proud
This year, the IFED motto is “Being our authentic best”. It emphasizes how crucial it is for all rainbow families to be able to be themselves, to be proud of who they are and of the family they have built, irrespective of what may be considered conventional in their community. “Family is such a great and essential pillar in life”, says IFED Co-President Benny Odongo. “It doesn’t, however, matter how the term is defined. It’s all about the families that we create.”
This point is also stressed by Co-President Matcha Phorn-in: “IFED is about celebrating the beauty, uniqueness and value of every family, no matter their composition, origins or legal status. I am very much looking forward to seeing rainbow families around the world taking pride in who they are as well as sharing invaluable moments of mutual encouragement and support.”
Many different ways of celebrating
Before 2020, rainbow families and friends used to celebrate IFED by coming together in person. In some cities, they met up in large numbers in parks while in others, they organized cozy get-togethers in private backyards. Last year, however, the Covid-19 crisis made such gatherings impossible. The IFED community hence took advantage of apps and communication software and met virtually.
This year will be similar, says IFED-founder Maria von Känel: “Depending on the Covid regulations and conditions in each country, the IFED family is going to celebrate online, at home or in smaller groups outside. More than ever, we’ll get creative and find different ways to both commemorate this special day as well as spread our message of equality and inclusiveness.”
IFED 2021 and personal changes
The upcoming edition of IFED coincides with a couple of changes in the organization’s leadership. Former Co-Presidents Maivon Wahid (Fiji) and Derricia Castillo-Salazar (Belize) passe the torch to Matcha Phorn-in (Thailand) and Benny Odongo (Kenya), who were both elected as Co-Presidents at the IFED General Assembly at the end of March 2021. “It gives us great pleasure to be handing over our portfolios to Matcha and Benny”, say Derricia Castillo-Salazar and Maivon Wahid. “It is exciting to see IFED members from Thailand and Kenya take the helm of such an instrumental global network.” As for Castillo-Salazar and Wahid, they both remain on the IFED board and will continue their efforts to share the important strides IFED has made over the years. “I look forward to directing my focus on the Caribbean region and hope to inspire more local organizations to work and engage with IFED“, Castillo-Salazar adds. And to Wahid, it is clear that “Fiji still stands to creating an inclusive, safe space for all families. Our fight isn’t over and there is much to be done, as a collective.”
Finally, Tai Yamada from Japan joins the ranks of the IFED board as its latest member. “Japan has been celebrating IFED from day one and I am thrilled and honored to be the first to represent my country on the IFED board and get actively involved in such an inspirational initiative”, says Tai Yamada. “I am very much looking forward to being a part of it.”