International Family Equality Day 2021: Being our authentic best
Today, rainbow families across the globe celebrated the 10th International Family Equality Day, taking pride in themselves and the families they have created.
Each year, the first Sunday of May marks the commemoration of the International Family Equality Day (IFED) – an LGBTIQ* awareness day highlighting the beauty and richness of family diversity and furthering equality for everyone. This year was no exception: In an astounding and record-breaking 214 cities in 67 countries, rainbow families, friends and allies joined forces today to promote equal rights and celebrate the uniqueness of each family. Participating for the first time this year were Turkey, Vietnam, Latvia, Uzbekistan and Eritrea.
Be yourself, be proud
The motto of this year’s IFED edition was “Being our authentic best”. It emphasized how crucial it is for all rainbow families to be visible as well as proud of who they are and of the family they have built, irrespective of what may be considered conventional in society. “Family is such an integral pillar in life”, says IFED Co-President Benny Odongo (Kenya). “The definition of the term, however, doesn’t matter. What counts are our families, our history as well as the loving bonds and support systems that we create.”
United for more equality
The same point is stressed by IFED Co-President Matcha Phorn-in (Thailand): “Rainbow families exist in every context and variation. When we stand united, we will achieve family equality one day.” For Zeynel Abidin from the city of Ankara (Turkey), it is clear that “we – in Turkey, in the world – still have a long way to go. However, thoughts and concepts are changing, and, with solidarity and awareness, we will progress and create an environment where we can all be and do our authentic best.”
Many cities, many ways to participate
Since its beginnings in 2012, IFED has always been celebrated in many different ways. The various Covid-19 conditions and regulations in each country, however, added to the great number of manners in which IFED was commemorated this year. While in some countries, rainbow families were able to meet in person in smaller groups and often outside, they met virtually using communication software in others. Also, the IFED family took to social media to spread messages of equality and inclusiveness as well as share pictures. “It is amazing and moving to see how everybody found their own way to celebrate this special day”, says IFED-founder Maria von Känel. “More than ever, in times like these, it is crucial to support and empower each other.“