Even though attitudes and legislation concerning the LGBT+ community have improved over the last decade, discrimination is still present in our societies. This is proved by the fact that same sex relationships are criminalised in more than 70 countries in the world, and LGBT+ people are often victims of inequality and hate crimes. This is an issue that concerns all of us: who promotes LGBT+ rights fights at the same time against discrimination and stands for the respect of Human Rights.
From 8 to 15 June 2019, the Italian city of Genova hosted the Liguria Pride, which included 67 events, such as artistic performances, debates, exhibitions, street actions and a big parade. Besides promoting LGBT+ rights and gender awareness, this event focused also on the values of social inclusion and active participation.
“Civic awareness is rather awareness of oneself and others, it is knowledge of interpersonal ties, of social responsibility. Just as individuals are not autonomous islands and separated from others, so identities are not to be understood as rigid boundaries that hinder social cohesion. We believe in a city where all people can fully live whole and authentic lives: we want to live like this every day, launching this model not only for our city” (Extract from the Liguria Pride 2019 Political Manifesto)
In this context, contributions from the IVS movement are important. The Italian branch of Service Civil International organised an international workcamp to support the activities of the Liguria Pride Village. Matteo Testino, SCI Italy activist and member of the coordination team, held a workshop on gender issues during the workcamp.
“It was very nice to see 25.000 people [together], especially because it was truly intersexual. Besides LGBT+ people, we had people with disabilities, different members of the community and the biggest migrant community in town”
This approach shows that it is possible to link the promotion of specific rights to important values that foster cooperation, respect and dialogue, creating synergies and partnerships among organisations, groups of citizens and institutions.
The workcamp embodied this spirit with its intercultural dimension, and the volunteers worked hard to prepare workshops on gender education and to provide logistic support to the events, offering an essential contribution for the success of the event, as stressed by Matteo:
“this is the essence of what we believe: it’s creating a community not just for LTGB+ people, it’s a community as a whole and a space where you can really feel free to be what you are”
The EYF and CCIVS support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors. The EYF and CCIVS cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.