Owing to the social distancing norms across the globe, many pride parades and events are on hold. The month of June is celebrated as the Global Pride Month and considering the pandemic concerns, a virtual challenge called the #21DaysAllyChallenge, an initiative by Pride Circle is being organised as a “global programme to take conscious steps to recognise and neutralise biases and stereotypes about the LGBT+ community and enable social change”.
The challenge aims to bring together individuals and influencers from over 28 countries and 70 organisations to build a global community of LGBT+ allies. Kicking off on June 1, it will see a series of 21 mini-challenges spread over a period of 21 days in the month of June. As per Pride Circle’s statement, “this is based on science that it takes 21 days to form a new habit”. Anyone can sign-up and participate free-of-cost by clicking on the link https://thepridecircle.com/21daysallychallenge/
Some of the challenges as part of the initiative include building consciousness about the existence and journey of an LGBT+ person, for example – Read or watch or know the coming out story of an LGBT+ person, laws associated with LGBT+ people; visible allyship – Test your biasness – Have you ever discriminated or made fun of an LGBT+?; Wear something which shows allyship or just a shout out that you are an ally; Build your knowledge about the community – Know about the art and literature by LGBT+ people and go all out and talk about the stigma and discrimination against LGBT+ persons.
Commenting on the initiative, Ramkrishna Sinha, co-founder, Pride Circle, said, “In our country where homosexuality legalisation is yet to complete two years, this India-born initiative is our leap of faith to create a large-scale, global movement to advocate for equal rights and fair treatment for the LGBT+. We believe that allies are some of the most effective and powerful voices for this movement. The contribution of allies in terms of helping create a space of comfort, help bridge the gap in understanding of others with respect to the importance of equality, fairness, acceptance and mutual respect, can be vast. The #21DaysAllyChallenge is an affirmative action in the direction of building an inclusive and just society with the support from the allies.”
The movement, led through India, is joined by individuals, influencers from 28 nations and 70 organisations, along with respected academic institutions such as IIMs, IITs, NMIMS, MICA and Tagore International School. “This is a huge achievement in the direction of creating safer schools, workplaces and society for the next generation,” read the statement.
Supporting organisations also pointed out how such an initiative is the need of the hour. “Allies play a critical role in the broader fight to advance LGBTQ equality and inclusion in key areas of life, including the workplace,” said Milagros Chirinos, associate director, HRC’s Global Workplace Equality Program, USA.
Pete Mercer, head of global programmes, Stonewall (UK) said, “This initiative is a great opportunity for people in India and across the world to come together in support of equality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. Visible allies to the LGBT community make a huge difference, whether that’s championing LGBT rights in your work, or supporting LGBT family members or friends. Now, more than ever, we encourage everyone who believes in LGBT equality to Come Out For Equality and find out more about how they can be an ally.”
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