Saturday, May 18, 2013

Reflection on Belize IDAHO Day, 2013

Posted May 18th, 2013

When last did Belize get a Senator, former Foreign Minister, a first lady and two media house to join on IDAHO Day to express support or solidarity in Belize, well never. As International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia were celebrated May 17th, 2013 this year. Coordination started happening as usual, on facebookwith the release of 50 helium balloons in the middle of traffic near the over pass. It was a small contingent of 9 persons Lisa Shoman, Paul Schmit and Robert Garbutt, Kelvin Ramdarace, Lisa Shoman, Debra Lewis, Caleb Orozco, Denise Frank and Brent Toombs, photographer and ally in the fight to increase visibility. We all met up at the farmers market at 11:45 am. I pulled out all 50 balloons  that was just delivered by Eric Castellanos of C-Net from Orange Walk. In the process, we lost a couple of the balloons, but not the spirit and the good will.


Our crowning achievement for the day we simply walked through traffic to the center of the round-about and proceeded to let go rainbow color looking balloons. It was subversive for we never tried it before so proactively.

More importantly, while we were there, most drivers did not care what we were doing, except two drivers. I emphasize only two drivers! Of course,  Lisa Shoman was the first to exercise her right to expression with love to those two drivers. More importantly, we stood as a collective, making a bold statement that fundamental rights and freedoms matters to all citizens, no matter gender, sex, ethnicity, age, educational level or class. The observation for the day was simply, we have a silent majority who don't care about the discussion and a vocal minority who can make progress difficult, but not impossible. While at the monument,  there was the inspiration of producing 16 rainbow flags to put on each pole in the middle of the round-about and having a planning committee to do it. The possibilities are endless with visibility. Here is our 35 second effort at showing the rebels.

Ultimately, we must reflect that dialogue instead of guns has been the norm, not the exception; freedom of expression has been the norm, not the exception as both sides has the space to increase visibility either through praying at the Supreme Court Building or having Spanish station Estereo Amor interview Elisa Castellanos of  Tikkun Olam a long time ally and San Pedro Sun writing up an article in solidarity with us see link at

This icing on the cake, for the day, was airing the riddle ad produced by the UN 3X for the day; the First Lady, Kim Simplis speaking on IDAHO in her 2 minute  and 21 second ad with grace and heart and showing up to support solidarity day for C-NET the only organization that exists to serve positive persons in the country. Acknowledgement goes to Lisa Shoman sending a reminder communication and getting the ball rolling on the first lady IDAHO message.

While I cannot say the gender policy was part of the plan when it was launched on May 16th and it was welcomed news to see that it did not shy away from the use of the term sexual orientation in its respect for diversity principles. Work still remain, as we work to make things better for next year and the next generation.

Global IDAHO Report on PM Speech



1 comment:

  1. Great work guys

    Volunteer Coordinator
    Oldham LGBT Events (UK)