New video presents the faces of LGBT “everyday heroes” to the world


The contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people make to families and local communities around the world are celebrated in a new video produced by the UN human Rights Office for its Free and Equal campaign.

The 2 minute video features everyday people filmed in their workplaces and homes - among them a fire-fighter, a police officer, a teacher, an electrician, a doctor and a volunteer; as well as UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, a long-time ally of the LGBT community. Singer Sara Bareilles is lending her support to the initiative: her iconic song “Brave” provides the video’s soundtrack.

”FACES” was launched on 14 May – days ahead of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, which is celebrated in many countries around the world on 17 May. The video was premiered on giant NASDAQ and Reuters screens in Times Square, a renowned attraction for millions of tourists from around the world who visit New York City every year.

The UN has implemented a policy change to extend to same-sex spouses of UN staff the same benefits as heterosexual spouses, including health insurance coverage.  In a blog post published on LinkedIn for the Day,  Ban Ki-moon expressed pride in fighting for equality and against homophobia and transphobia not just for UN staff, but for everyone, everywhere.

“All people, without exception, should be free to live a life of dignity no matter who they are or whom they love,” he wrote.

In addition, in a joint statement, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, a group of UN human rights experts, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe urged Governments worldwide to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex young people and children from violence and discrimination, and to integrate their views on policies and laws that affect their rights.

Within 24 hours of its release, the video had been viewed more than 400,000 times on Facebook and YouTube. It is available in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Khmer, with Chinese, Russian and Arabic versions to follow.

15 May 2015


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