Toespraak van Koningin Máxima ter gelegenheid van het IDAHOT+ Forum, Den Haag

De toespraak is uitgesproken in het Engels.

Your Excellencies, dear guests,

It’s wonderful to meet you here in The Hague. I can remember the very first IDAHOT Forum which took place in 2013, and all the enthusiasm and optimism that went with it. Since then, great steps have been taken in order to gain equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

In various countries, laws have been passed in order to better protect LGBTQ people. Broadly speaking, the situation has improved. And the rainbow city network currently has more than fifty cities worldwide that support and motivate each other in this field. The colours of the rainbow are shining more brightly than ever.

Nonetheless, not everything looks rosy. The acceptance of gender diversity has stagnated. The acceptance of transgender people is much less than that of homosexual, bisexual and lesbian people. 
And the wellbeing of young LGBTQ people is far less than that of their heterosexual peers. More often they are the victims of bullying and have trouble sleeping. And more frequently they are unhappy. 

I talk with many young people about mental health and they tell me how important it is to be open and honest about your feelings, without having to feel any form of shame. What connects us all today is the conviction that everyone is entitled to be themselves, he, she or them. So thank you for your commitment! 

This Friday is International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia and people all over the world will go out on the streets to draw attention to the cause of being able to be who you are. It is a day of unity in all its diversity. It is a day to say to each other; you are fine the way you are. You are just fine the way you are! 

In the end, we all want to be accepted, with family and friends, in our work, at school, in the café, at the sports club, on the street, on social media. 
My message for all young people is: give yourself some space. The search of finding who you are may take time. And there is nothing wrong with that. There are no straight lines in life. Take as long as you like. Trust yourself and talk about your feelings. You are not alone!

Thank you.