The motto of next year’s IFED will highlight the fact that family equality concerns everyone. Meanwhile, several IFED officials took part in the World Pride 2021 in Copenhagen.
On the 1st of May 2022, rainbow families across the globe as well as their friends and allies will come together to celebrate the 11th edition of the International Family Equality Day (IFED) – an annual LGBTIQ+ awareness day that furthers family equality and promotes human rights for everyone. Next year’s IFED will be commemorated under the motto “family equality is everybody’s business”, calling on everyone to celebrate diversity in all its colors and forms.
Equal rights benefit everybody
There are still countless situations that may cause distress or even fear for rainbow families in many parts of the world – being denied parental leave, for example, or having to hide your family for fear of persecution. “Such situations aren’t just problematic for LGBTIQ+ people, but also a missed opportunity for the wider community”, says IFED Co-President Matcha Phorn-In. “In a society that allows discrimination, some of its members are forced to devote valuable time and energy to keeping safe, instead of being able to contribute fully to the well-being and development of a community. Therefore, family equality really is everybody’s business and in the best interest of society as a whole.”
Join IFED, work towards family equality!
Whether it is as an employer, service provider or educator, whether it is as a public figure, content creator or simply as an individual participating in social life – everyone can work towards an environment in which family diversity is visible, appreciated and legally protected. “It’s about educating yourself and others, about using an inclusive language as well as speaking up and taking action whenever discrimination takes place”, says IFED Co-President Benny Odongo. “And, of course, joining the IFED family and celebrating the International Family Equality Day next May is a great way of showing support!”
World Pride 2021 and LGBTIQ+ rights
The issue of equal rights for LGBTIQ+ people was also an important point of discussion during the World Pride in Copenhagen (August 12 – 22). One of the more than a thousand events during the World Pride was the Human Rights Conference. Taking place from August 17 – 19, it focused – among other topics – on the impact of COVID-19 on the worldwide LGBTI+ community. The conference’s impressive program included statements by high-level officials from governments and organizations, community members, academics or human rights activists, various plenaries, networking sessions and over 50 Break Out Sessions.
IFED representation at World Pride
One of these Break Out Sessions was led by Matcha Phorn-In and Benny Odongo. In the virtual workshop on Thursday, August 19, the IFED Co-Presidents talked about what it is like to be a rainbow parent or parent to be during the pandemic, shedding light on how rainbow families and LGBTIQ+ perspective parents are facing specific challenges and increased vulnerability due to COVID-19. In addition, IFED-founder Maria von Känel was physically present in Copenhagen and got the chance to advertise and inform about the upcoming IFED and the importance of its motto. “It was wonderful and highly rewarding to meet and connect with so many fellow activists and like-minded people who made it their mission to fight for LGBTIQ+ equality and an open, diverse and inclusive society”, says Maria von Känel. “To me, World Pride was all about shared human experiences, building alliances and mutual empowerment – and that’s also what the International Family Equality Day is all about. I cannot wait to celebrate it again next May!”