CWU commemorates IDAHO day
21st May 2012
Over the weekend the CWU commemorated International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) by hosting the first IDAHO weekend school and laying a wreath in a poignant ceremony at Alvescot Lodge, the union's education and training centre.
CWU members from all over the UK attended the school which aimed
to raise awareness of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)
issues, explore the associated language, barriers and stereotypes
that exist and look at ways to tackle homophobia and
Addressing students, Levent, a guest speaker from NAR-UK, which represents a voice for the Turkish Cypriot, Turkish and Kurdish LGBT communities in London, spoke about the historical aspects of how LGBT issues have evolved. Students were shocked to hear the story of Ahmet Yildiz, a Turkish gay man who was murdered in cold blood by his own father when he came 'out'. Levent also urged CWU activists to join NAR-UK when they march on World Pride day in London this summer calling on Turkish
authorities to deliver justice for his murder. A short film also highlighted the oppressive manner in which the Transgender community have been treated throughout history.
In a moving tribute, IDAHO students paid their respects to Ahmet
Yildiz and all the other LGBT people who have suffered persecution
as a result of their sexual orientation and gender identity by
laying a wreath in the memorial garden on Saturday morning.
Linda Roy, CWU national equality officer, commented: "We are incredibly proud to be able to play an important role in continuing to build awareness around the IDAHO concept. LGBT people around the world are still being persecuted purely as a result of who they choose to love, or for undergoing gender transition. The case of Ahmet Yildiz, who was murdered by his own father in July 2008 was very upsetting for us to see. It is cases like this that we have to share with the world so people can understand and appreciate the importance of IDAHO Day."