This year’s International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) focuses on raising awareness on the role of families in well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. At the core of this year’s theme are two inseparable concepts: inclusion and human dignity. These concepts are also at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which commits to leaving no behind.
Families play a vital role in ensuring well-being by fostering the conditions and opportunities essential to human development. Multiple and overlapping forms of discrimination, the threat of violence and violence itself increase the risk of exclusion - and exclusion from family life impedes opportunities for LGBTI youth, further marginalising them.
For example, estrangement from family can lead to underachievement at school, dropping out of school and poor access to employment. Such exclusion also negatively affects physical and mental health.
According to a joint statement on ending violence and discrimination against LGBTI people signed by 12 United Nations organisations in September 2015, levels of suicide, mental health problems, homelessness and food insecurity among LGBTI youth rejected by their families are disproportionately high. Additionally, in many parts of the world, LGBTI families lack legal recognition and face multiple forms of stigma and discrimination in their daily lives.
Inequalities and exclusion impede sustainable human development. A growing body of research shows the correlation between social exclusion of LGBTI people and loss of Gross Domestic Product. In line with the 2030 Agenda, UNDP supports countries to reduce inequalities and end exclusion for all those left behind. This means supporting countries to create enabling legal and policy environments that will end all forms of stigma and discrimination and advance the rights of all people including LGBTI people.
On this day, let us recommit to building a more just and inclusive world where well-being, opportunity and human dignity are for everyone, including LGBTI people and their families.