Paris, France (PRWEB) May 18, 2009
A global project to create a public awareness video for the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO) on May 17 has attracted the participation of 359 people from 48 countries across six continents around the world. The groundbreaking project is a joint undertaking of the Paris-based IDAHO Committee and the social network Gays.com, attracting 50,000 people to its website within a month.
Said Louis-Georges Tin, founder of the IDAHO committee, “We are overwhelmed and, at the same time, humbled by this torrent of enthusiastic support that has poured in from all four corners of the world since we kickstarted the video project in April. People have made the effort to go to such places as the Statue of Liberty, the Great Wall of China, the Sydney Opera House, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Merlion, the Petronas Twin Towers and the Eiffel Tower to shoot their video, contributing to the spectacular visual feast you see in the mashup.”
In April, members of the global LGBT community were invited to step out in front of the camera and in their own language introduce themselves, state where they are from and how proud they are to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The result is a video that sends the powerful message that LGBT individuals are present in every country, every society and every corner of the world. Participants submitted videos in all of the world’s key languages, including Afrikaans, Arabic, Cantonese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tamil and even American Sign Language.
In addition to the groundswell of support from local communities from around the globe, renowned celebrities, activists, politicians and web personalities have also participated in the project. These include (in alphabetical order):
Ali Hili: Gay Iraqi activist now living in exile in London and founder of the Iraqi-LGBT group
ANT: Host of VH1 reality series Celebrity Fit Club and U.S. of ANT on MTV’s LOGO channel
Lizzy the Lezzy: Animated lesbian standup comedy character with a cult following on Youtube
Michael Buckley: Celebrity host of the entertainment show What the Buck, the 5th most subscribed comedy channel of all time on Youtube
Michael Kauch: German member of parliament and coordinator of the gay and lesbian policy for the Free Democratic Party
Stephen Williams: British Liberal Democrat member of parliament for Bristol West
Said Kenneth Tan, spokesperson for Gays.com, “Much has been said about Stonewall 2.0 and netroots activism since the Proposition 8 vote against gay marriage in California. This project was made possible only by the Internet, and we believe there are a limitless number of opportunities for the LGBT community to harness the power of the Internet to educate, raise awareness, promote equality, and to debunk myths. We have been honoured to partner with the IDAHO Committee in the execution of such an amazing project.”
Prior to the launch of the video, Gays.com announced that it experienced a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack which began at approximately 3.50am Hong Kong time on May 15, 2009, causing the entire website to be inaccessible.
A distributed denial of service attack occurs when a multitude of systems attempt to flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system with illegitimate website requests. The flood of traffic by these requests cause the Internet bandwidth of the attacked site to be consumed to such an extent that the website is inaccessible to other legitimate users.
Said Kenneth Tan, Gays.com spokesperson, “The timing of this DDoS attack on Gays.com is by no means a coincidence. We have been working for weeks on this high profile video campaign together with the Committee for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The final product of this campaign, a public awareness video, was going to be launched on the campaign site at http://gays.com/idaho on Sunday. This is a well-timed, well-orchestrated assault by a large botnet with tens of thousands of PCs sending requests to our site. Engineers with our Internet Service Provider remarked they have never seen an attack of this intensity before. We deplore these unscrupulous actions by an organised group to harrass, intimidate and silence us for what we are doing.”
Added Tan, “Our technical staff are now working round the clock to restore services to legitimate users. In the meanwhile, we are going through our access logs, gathering information through various mechanisms and connecting the dots to identify the origin of the attacks. We will be working with law enforcement officials to bring the cyberterrorists to justice.”
The video “IDAHO 2009: One Voice, One Message, Heard Around the World” is now accessible at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2Rp8ep_ezE
The Committee for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is a network of activists, present in over 50 countries, who seek to promote the idea of an international day against homophobia and transphobia. This day has been recognized officially by a number of governments around the world and provides an opportunity for the LGBT movement across the world to unite in a powerful demonstration of collective visibility.
Gays.com was designed for members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community as the world’s first LGBT social networking website that designed for real people with real names an real world connections. The site aims to build an authentic social environment that helps people maintain their relationships with people they actually know. Launched in May 2008, Gays.com is headquartered in Hong Kong with a development team spread between Shanghai, China and Bielefeld, Germany.