by Shane Foster
In previous articles we have explored a number of different issues that are encountered by those of us who choose to crossdress, including various forms of discrimination, most of which derive from a lack of understanding.
These forms of discrimination are usually centred around those whom we interact with, family members, colleagues, etc., as well as those we meet in our everyday lives, such as when we are shopping or when on a night out.
As a nation we should be far more removed from discrimination in this modern age we live in, however as humans we have not completely evolved into having full tolerance for those who are different to ourselves, or whose characteristics stand out from the crowd.
In order to break down these discriminations it is vital that we continue to make in-roads into changing people's perceptions and highlighting why discrimination is no longer acceptable in society.
To that end the UN, along with a number of other international organisations, now celebrate Zero Discrimination Day. It is an annual day celebrated on 1st March and aims to promote equality before the law, and was first celebrated in 2014.
The first annual Zero Discrimination Day was launched on 27th February 2014 by Michel Sidibé the Executive Director of UNAIDS, the joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS. The launch was used to call on people to "make some noise around zero discrimination, to speak up and prevent discrimination from standing in the way of achieving ambitions, goals and dreams”.
Whilst this day is particularly noted by organisations to combat discrimination related to those living with HIV and AIDS, it is more commonly being used by those who wish to speak out about discrimination about the LGBTQ+ community.
Surprisingly, even today, discrimination is commonly rooted in fear or misinformation and resistance to the unknown. Creating awareness and dialogue on discrimination is, therefore, the best way to develop an understanding and patience towards others.
Remember, discrimination is essentially a human rights violation and must always be challenged. The good news is that everyone can make a difference. It may not seem that way but one act can create a domino effect that transforms societies based on fairness and equality.
Whatever you do on 1st March, spare a thought for Zero Discrimination Day as it highlights how people can become informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and, above all, a movement for change. Zero Discrimination Day is helping to create a global movement of solidarity to end all forms of discrimination.