Global Campus Visual Contest celebrates inclusion with gender and sexual diversity
The Global Campus Visual Contest aims to create a platform to celebrate diversity in all its forms, including gender and sexual identity. We look for images and short documentaries that can showcase gender diversity and change people’s perception of what is LGBTIQ+.
Despite decades of growing awareness of sexual, gender, and sex diversity, the force of negation still exerts great power all over the planet. In different societies numerous people who act or identify as one sex having been born another are exposed to verbal, physical abuse and discrimination just for expressing themselves as they do, for being who they are. Currently, there are 124 States, (122 UN member States as well as Taiwan and Kosovo) where there are no legal penalties levied for consenting same-sex sexual activity between adults in private.
There are 72 States where same-sex sexual relations are de facto severely outlawed. Very few countries legally recognize the gender identity of transgender people, and only two countries (Malta and Chile) provide legislation aimed at protecting the rights of intersex people. Even in countries where punitive laws have been repealed and social attitudes are changing, LGBTIQ+ people continue to be excluded from many spheres of life and continue to experience stigma, discrimination, violence and even death.
Coming out for LGBTIQ+ people is often a very though process to go through because of the stigma, discrimination and even violent attacks they might suffer in society. Human rights defenders and young people around the world are putting a great deal of energy into the ongoing fight globally and locally for LGBTIQ+ acceptance and inclusion worldwide ( watch our interview to Gabriel Alves De Faria, Founder and Director of Not Only Voices and member of Global Campus Alumni Association).
Backlashes against LGBTIQ+ rights such as Trump’s ban on transgender military service and at the same time positive advances such as the bill introduced by a UK MP to legislate for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland or the petition calling on Commonwealth countries to roll back their anti-gay laws are a sheer reminder of the role that everyone in various sectors can play to build a society in which we nurture solidarity and inclusiveness instead of hate and fear.
Many Companies have joined forces to support the cause thanks also to the evidence brought by various studies that diversity can be of benefit for business and that people perform better when they can be themselves. A notable example is the new video campaign of the fashion brand Burberry “Wrapped in Love” covering a range of topics through the lens of today’s LGBTIQ+ community. This delivers a message that goes beyond clothes to defend LGBTIQ+ rights.
Through the GC Visual Contest, EIUC and the Global Campus of Human Rights would like to further support these messages through compelling images and videos. Thanks also to a forthcoming GC Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) there is the intention of promoting knowledge on LGBTIQ+ rights. This is a call to everyone to dispel stereotypes and uphold an unwavering commitment to LGBTIQ+ rights so as to help them in their cause for worldwide acceptance and human dignity.