Welcome to a place for imagination, hope and change

I have fallen in love with the imagination. And if you fall in love with the imagination, you understand that it is a free spirit. It will go anywhere, and it can do anything. ~Alice Walker

Alice Walker, the African-American Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, poet and human rights activist, inspires us to call upon the powers of the imagination in our work for change. We are faced with the reality that too many of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) sisters and brothers, their families and friends, and allies live in vulnerable, dangerous places.

In more than 77 countries it is illegal to be gay, where homosexuality is criminalized. In Uganda, Nigeria and other African countries additional anti-homosexuality laws with heightened penalties including life imprisonment are on the rise. The threat of the death penalty exists in 7 countries. A current wave of anti-gay laws and actions engulfs most of Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Russia.

While there are welcome advances in LGBT equality in many countries, persecution and violence persists in too many others. Reports indicate that transgender persons experience a high level of discrimination and violence. This work for understanding and equality includes persons that are intersex as well. More often than not, the sanction for this inequality and persecution comes from exploiting religion, tradition and culture. When the curtain is lifted, politics is the insidious force using religion, tradition and culture for its own gain.

“Together we will create a world that is free and equal.” The Human Rights Commission of the United Nations recently launched the Free and Equal Campaign, a global campaign for LGBT equality. Inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the United Nations’ General Assembly on 10 December 1948, this global campaign dares to imagine a world that is free and equal.

For those of us committed to working for change and to create a world that is free and equal, the starting place is within the imagination. We imagine a world where persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities live together in harmony. We imagine a world where LGBT children, youth and adults are accepted, embraced and celebrated. We imagine a world where the human dignity of every person, including LGBT persons,. is affirmed and protected by laws in every country.

In addition to equality, we imagine a world where everyone has enough food, water and shelter; a world where peace prevails and there is no war. We care about every social justice matter not just LGBT equality, because we live and work at the intersections of oppression and liberation. We are not single-issue people, we do not live single-issue lives.

Alice Walker reminds us that the imagination can “go anywhere” and that “it can do anything,” so let us dare to allow our imaginations to take us to that world that is free and equal. This is the first step in the journey toward change.

The United Nations Free & Equal campaign presents the first-ever Bollywood music video for gay rights, featuring Bollywood actress and UN Equality Champion Celina Jaitly. Share if you believe everyone should be welcomed into their family’s hearts, regardless of their sexual orientation.