This year ALDE is celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (May 17) with the exhibition of a 16 meter long ‘Rainbow Dress’, designed by Dutch fashion designers Mattijs van Bergen and Oeri van Woezik. The dress is made from the flags of 75 countries (all outside the EU) where homosexuality is still included in the penal code in 2018. It is meant to symbolise the progress and change the LGBTI community is striving for, because as soon as a country improves its laws, the national flag in the dress is replaced by a rainbow flag.
ALDE Group First Vice-President Sophie in ‘t Veld who took the initiative to host the dress in the Parliament commented:
"The European Parliament has been fighting for equal rights for many years, I am therefore very proud that this special Dutch creation is exhibited in the political heart of Europe. The fact that in many countries in the world today you still do not have the freedom to love who you want is unacceptable. Everyone must be able to choose who they want to be and who they want to be together with."
"Although important results have been achieved worldwide, there is still a lot of work to be done in the field of LGBTI emancipation and Europe is not an exception. Just look at Poland or Latvia. People are still being discriminated against or intimidated because of who they are or whom they love. That is unacceptable and we must continue to fight against that. This Rainbow Dress is also an important symbol of this fight."
On Tuesday a special photoshoot took part inside the Parliament with transgender model Maxim Magnus (20) with an important message to the wider community about acceptance. “I am convinced that even in our immediate environment, there is still significant work to be done in terms of changing attitudes, especially when it comes to accepting transgender people for who they are, for who they want to be” — she said.
On Thursday, on the International Day against Homophobia, the rainbow flag will be flying on the European Parliament building for the very first time.
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