On February 10th, 2015, the national LGBT* rights organization LGL proposed that the stamp publishing department of the ‘Lithuanian Post’ include the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia– celebrated on May 17th– in its 2016 stamp-planning contest. In its letter, LGL emphasized that the contest, organized by the ‘Lithuania Post,’ would provide an opportunity for young artists to express their solidarity with LGBT* persons.
LGL has already put forth the idea for a stamp commemorating the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia via the internet-poll provided by the ‘Lithuania Post.’ LGL hopes that the ‘Lithuania Post’ will use this opportunity to assert itself as an institution that is socially responsible, represents diverse societal groups and contributes to the promotion of tolerance.
This year, LGBT* communities in Lithuania and throughout the world will commemorate this day for the 11th time by organizing a variety of events. This is the LGBT* community’s most important commemorative day of the year, and remembering its history is important not only for LGBT* individuals, but for their loved-ones and allies as well.
In Lithuania, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia went by the name ‘Rainbow Days,’ and was celebrated for the first time in 2007. This year, LGL is organizing ‘Rainbow Days’ for the fourth time. Previous events were successful and attracted great interest. This year, LGL plans to hold film screenings in three different Lithuanian cities and to continue its established tradition of driving around the streets of Vilnius in the ‘rainbow bus.’
Since 2004, May 17th has been celebrated throughout the world as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). May 17th is also a special day in history because the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of psychological disorders on that very date in 1990. Furthermore, this important date has been officially recognized by the European Parliament, as well as by many representatives and countries of the United Nations, including Belgium, the United Kingdom, Holland, France, and Spain.