The International Day Against Homophobia, held annually in countries across the globe on May 17, comes to Atlanta this year and will include a proclamation from the City of Atlanta recognizing the day. Openly gay state Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) will present the proclamation to organizers at the event.

GA Spotlight: International Day Against Homophobia

Atlanta’s IDAHO event is being organized by Alternative Perspectives, an LGBT radio show that airs every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on WRFG 89.3 FM. The show is hosted by longtime queer activist Betty Couvertier.

“No one else in Atlanta or Georgia … had picked up the banner for IDAHO and I hope that Atlanta IDAHO will be a annual event,” Couvertier says on the Atlanta IDAHO’s website. This year’s global theme is “Silence in Sports,” but homophobia must be stopped in all areas of society, Couvertier adds.

“Silence anywhere about fear, hate, injustice and ignorance is dangerous,” Couvertier says. “It propels actions that are harmful. When ignorance is stirred in with fear and hate of anything, the outcome allows one individual to condemn another and feel that he or she has the right to do so. And we must change that.”

The day includes speakers and entertainment beginning at 6 p.m. at Virginia-Highland Church, but before then members of the “Shirt Off My Back” campaign will meet at 5 p.m. and march from Piedmont Park to the church to raise awareness about homeless LGBT youth. Straight ally Laura Gentle started the SOMB campaign last year.

Speakers include Fulton County Commission candidate Joan Garner; transgender activist Tracee McDaniel; and Georgia Safe Schools Coalition co-founders Anneliese A. Singh and Maru Gonzalez.

International Day Against Homophobia
Monday, May 17
5 p.m. — Shirt Off My Back campaign meets at Piedmont Park and marches to Virginia Highland Church
6 p.m.-11 p.m. — Speakers and entertainment
Virginia-Highland Church
743 Virginia Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306