Guyana to be included in UN Free and Equal Campaign


by Mark Murray


The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office has reached out to Guyana as plans are underway to launch a new music video for International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) 2016.

American singer Rachel Platten will produce this year’s video in collaboration with the UN Human Rights Office using her soundtrack “Fight Song” in the video as part of the ongoing UN Free & Equal campaign.

The video, “Why We Fight” is expected to be a tribute to global activism and features, specially shot footage of individuals, families, advocates and allies in countries around the world including Guyana.

Local Human Rights organization, the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) was approached to have Guyanese activists in the video at a local landmark or in a setting that reflects the architecture or natural environment of Guyana.

Last Saturday SASOD decided to capture its footage with individual messages in front of the St. George’s Cathedral in the heart of Georgetown.

Advocacy and Communications Officer for SASOD, Schemel Patrick said being part of the video is an opportunity for Guyana to lend its voice to the global call for equality justice and an end to homophobia and transphobia for LGBTI persons.

Schemel Patrick
Schemel Patrick

“For us some of the issues that we raised through our posters were an end to homophobia and transphobia bullying, equal rights and justice for all Guyanese, repeal of the discriminatory laws and of course an end to gender inequalities” said Ms. Patrick.

One of SASOD’s volunteer, Kimberly  said “being a part of SASOD and an active volunteer this is something good, it’s not only for us to be a part and actively get together and do, but also to show globally what we are advocating for as a group and as members of a society.”

“It is not just to say okay yes, I support this and I support that but being a part of educating persons” said Delon Sancho another volunteer.

Meantime, Alan DaSilva, also a volunteer, believes that “there is a greater need to change the culture of homophobia and transphobia because in the 21st century it is not cool, it’s not right to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.”


The video is expected to be launched several days before IDAHOT, May 17 and be made available via the UN Free & Equal campaign website ( and via the campaign’s social media accounts.

According to the UN for last year’s IDAHOT video “Faces” there was an estimated 10 million viewers who looked at the video across YouTube, Facebook and Weibo.

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