To mark the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17 the Office of the Embassy of Canada, the Australian Embassy, the British Embassy, the Delegation of the European Union, and the U.S. Embassy in partnership with Proud to be Us Laos, hosted a reception in Vientiane. The guests included members of the Lao government, the diplomatic community, civil society and the business community. The reception focused on the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender or intersex (LGBTI) individuals and increasing awareness of equal access to health services, educational and employment opportunities.
Speaking on behalf of hosts of the event, Charge d ’Affairs of the Canadian Embassy Office Lee-Anne Hermann said, “Today, let us unite in this global celebration of diversity and community. A coming together to share experiences and stories to deepen our understanding and appreciation of LGBTI persons and their contributions to society.”
IDAHOT was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally. May 17 is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, and seeks to promote a world free from discrimination for all, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.