Monday – 17 May – is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). For many years now, the ‘official’ LGBTQI movement has organised a visibility action by asking cities, communes, municipalities and districts in Flanders to fly the rainbow flag.
All will do this by the 17th of May. It’s the third year in a row all local governments play along, says coordinator Jennifer Tuttle.
This action is organised by the rainbow houses of the Flemish provinces and of Brussels under leadership of UniQue of Flemish Brabant. The other provinces are West Flanders, East Flanders, Antwerp and Limburg.
LGBTQI visibility and acceptance is more poignant this year, after the Beveren Incident where David Polfliet was killed by some young guys who lured their victim via a gay dating app. Probably Grindr.
There is some criticism as some feel the action is only window dressing.
But there’s more to it. The rainbow houses and çavaria offer free training sessions to local government officials.
Also, Unique president Dimitri Cools points out more and more municipal governments have an alderman or alderwoman for Equal Opportunities. In Flemish Brabant 39 out of 65.
These local governments are also asked to follow up on their sister cities’ behaviours. Flemish cities with sisterhoods in Poland and Hungary are asked to address the issue when said sister city declared itself ‘LGBT Ideology Free’.
In Wallonia the rainbow flag action is less a thing.
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