In Azerbaijan, the organisations AZAD and Nefes Azerbaijan Alliance have carried out creative activities for IDAHOT to fight against stereotypes within society and to send a clear message of equality for LGBTQI people.
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On May 13, Nefes Azerbaijan Alliance organized a bowling championship in Baku. This event was part of #Compete4equality which Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan held about 2015 Baku First European Games. Also, this event organized within the May 17 International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). The essence of the idea is to gather LGBT and heterosexual people together, and jointly send positive messages to a larger society. While competing for equality and peace, the participants expressed views that it’s possible for LGBT and heterosexual people to share the same environment and have fun together. Participants were rewarded with certificates after the competition. In the game that carried the mission of “The Contest for Equality”, there was no declared winner.
Nefes LGBT Alliance has also planned to organize other events:
1.Pride Meeting – This year’s gathering will be a possibility for LGBT and allies to meet and discuss the role Religion has on LGBT-phobic attitudes within society. It will also provide a platform to exchange experiences and share personal stories.
2.Remembrance Day – This activity will take place in Sumqayit where more than 200 candles will be lit in a park in remembrance all of LGBT people in the world that have been and/or are victims of Homophobia.
Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance has been active since 2012 and works towards more acceptance of LGBT people within Azerbaijan society as well as towards progress in legislation and politics.
Also in Azerbaijan the Azerbaijan Free LGBT Organisation (AZAD) held a special beach clean event on May 17th. The event, to mark IDAHOT 2015, brought together members of the LGBT community to clean up one of Azerbaijan’s most polluted public spaces.
The aim of the event was both draw attention to the message of IDAHOT, whilst also fighting stereotypes about the LGBT community in Azerbaijan. Common misconceptions include ideas that the LGBT community are ‘lazy’ or ‘unmotivated’ and that they do not put back into their local community.
For more information on the group, the event, and how to take part please visit their official website.