The “A Day in Hand” is a new campaign set to promote equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people (LGBT). The campaign encourages same-sex couples to hold hands in public in order to highlight homophobia against the LGBT community.

“Hand holding is a simple, liberating gesture that is essential to our communities’ health, visibility, and respect. I want the campaign to give all people good reason to hold hands every day, and tools to fight those voices inside our heads that say we can’t do this. We can!” said the campaign’s founder David Watkins.

The campaign, which is set to officially launch on 17th May 2009, the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), encourages people to upload pictures of same-sex hand-holding to the website, to help spread the word and raise awareness.

The photos are being used to create a same-sex “love map” of the world. So far London is currently the same-sex hand-holding hotspot of the world, with more couples in the city uploading their photos than anywhere else.

“A Day in Hand” has also received celebrity backing, with Brian Paddick, the openly gay former Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, fronting the campaign.

“It’s only natural that couples want to hold hands in public but being concerned about how others (and the media) might react means we don’t often do it as much as we’d like. This campaign will help people to become more accepting of same sex public displays of affection,” he said.

Straight people are also being encouraged to partake in the campaign. Watkins said, “We want straight people to hold hands with someone of the same gender in public, and describe how it made them feel. This is an inclusive event and involving straight people will support a wider understanding of this issue.

“You don’t have to be gay to object to homophobia and inequality. Hand-holding crosses gender, age, orientation and geographical borders. We want to show that LGBT people are relevant to everyone, and that we live and breathe in all communities.”

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