In Cameroon, despite laws criminalising same sex relationships and a recent uptick in violent hate crimes against LGBTI communities, various actions were held in commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2014.
Sexual, gender and human rights communities came together to coordinate a meeting which brought together religious and political leaders to discuss homosexuality. An exhibition on human rights violations was organised, featuring paintings of recently deceased Cameroonian LGBT activists; other works included representations of recent cases of abuse, including the collective rape of a Lesbian woman, the arbitrary arrest of 6 men and the expelling of female students from secondary school on suspicion of homosexuality.
Portraits of deceased LGBT activists
The international focus issue around ‘freedom of expression’ was marked by a specific outreach to journalists, to raise their awareness on the current coverage of LGBT issues by the media and provide recommendations for improvement, including on how journalists can resist social and peer pressure to put up a homophobic facade even if their personal views are much more progressive.
Activists also offered media and legal affairs training specifically for lesbian communities, to empower them more in the LGBT community.
A community evening for 200 people was also held on May 17th which included information on HIV testing and treatment, resulting in 56 tests being done during the event. The programme also featured the raising of a Gay flag, the election of Miss and Mister IDAHO, music and danse.
On May 18th, the IDAHOT program met the Candle light memorial day. The programme featured for the first time a dialogue between LGBT activists and religious leaders