Every year, in June, the world comes together to commemorate Pride Month.
For 50+Years, during Pride Month, the LGBTIQA+ GNC Community stands in solidarity in further recognizing the anniversary of the stonewall riots which was indeed a turning point for LGBTIQA+ GNC rights.
Here in Fiji, for the second year and due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic, the Haus of Khameleon is coordinating and spearheading it’s ongoing online activity such as #TransActionFiji including providing relief and response efforts to our Transgender and GNC communities in need, through food ration supply and documenting the lived experiences during these times.
“Despite a Constitutional Ban on Non-Discrimination in Fiji, much further needs to be done and we recognize the Human Rights Commitments by the Fijian Government in upholding the rights of all Fijians, but it’s time the Government of Fiji must work with civil society LGBTIQA+ GNC Rights organizations in moving beyond a constitutional protection as a constitutional protection isn’t enough.
Everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics have a right to equal access to opportunities, services and their safety including access to justice, education and health services.
The LGBTIQA+ GNC community must always be protected even during these times of the pandemic.
As rights holders we will not stop here, we will continue the work on Justice and Human Rights and everyday, let us recommit to further securing the rights and dignity that all Fijians deserve, regardless of who you are or whom you love.
Hatred will never defeat pride” said Ms Miki Wali Director of Haus of Khameleon.
A Fijian Pride is also about the testament to the extraordinary progress we have achieved in the fight against bigotry and discrimination as well as a vital reminder of the work that remains to finally achieve full equality for LGBTIQA+ GNC Fijians.
In too many places across Fiji, LGBTIQA+ GNC Fijians endure continued violence and harassment, particularly transgender and gender non-conforming people who suffer a disproportionately rate of homelessness, Sexual assault and murder.
The Haus of Khameleon urges the Fijian Government and other stakeholders, during these times of COVID-19, to give visibility to and protect LGBTIQA+GNC persons.
Haus of Khameleon calls on the Fijian Government to pursue all means necessary, including conducting research, adopting legislation, public policy, and ensuring access to justice mechanisms to ensure that this public health emergency will neither exacerbate existing misconceptions, prejudices, inequalities or structural barriers, nor lead to increased violence and discrimination against persons with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and sex characteristics.
The Haus of Khameleon joins every LGBTIQA+GNC Fijians across the world as we stand in solidarity for Pride 2020.
And as we draw near to the final few days of Pride Month, our collective efforts in advancing the rights of ALL LGBTIQA+ GNC Fijians will not stop here, may the spirit of Pride Month continue.