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Tijuana to observe IDAHO with three days of events, invite San Diegans to attend

TIJUANA, Mexico -- In honor of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), Comunidad Cultural de Tijuana LGBTI (COCUT - LGBTI) will host its annual Jornada Cultural Contra La Homofobia starting today at 4 pm and running through Saturday.

Today marks the seventh year of IDAHO, and human rights activists around the world are observing the occasion with events and educational activities to raise awareness of homophobia and transphobia.

The organization put together the three-day Jornada event to raise awareness of the fact that large numbers of Mexicans are vulnerable to harassment, bullying, discrimination, abuse and violence because of their sexual orientation. COCUT says that it has received numerous reports of harassment from LGBT community members in Baja California, including discrimination in service establishments, educational institutions, workplaces and homes.

The organizers also say have the some public figures continue to use language that contributes to the institutionalized homophobia that exists in the country.

The goal of the second annual Jornada Cultural Contra La Homofobia is to foster a culture of respect, acceptance, equality and inclusion of the LGBT community in the Tijuana region.

Events will include workshops, presentations, performances, film screenings, discussions and a caravan rally to raise awareness.

While most activities will be presented in Spanish, everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend, including San Diegans.

To make it easier for community members from San Diego to attend, COCUT has organized a free bus trip to and from the celebration. The bus will depart from San Diego LGBT Pride's office, located at 3620 30th St. in North Park, at noon on Saturday, May 19.

Participants will have the opportunity to participate in the caravan rally on Avenue Revolucion and the day's events. The bus will return to the Pride office around 9 pm.

Those visiting Tijuana should be aware that a valid passport is required for re-entry into the United States. The U.S. Department of State has provided additional information on traveling to and from Mexico.

Most activities will take place at the Municipal Institute of Art and Culture (IMAC), located on Calle Benito Juarez in Tijuana. The full schedule of events is HERE.

For more information, click HERE or e-mail Andres Cruz at cocut2010@gmail.com.