Staying safe in warmer times
April 26 2021Read more
The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is a day to celebrate diversity and to raise awareness of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTIQ+) people.
IDAHOBiT 2021 takes place on 17th May. The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia was created in 2004 to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.
Why May 17th?
The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.
The Day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders, local authorities, etc. to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.
It’s now celebrated in more than 130 countries globally. This includes 37 countries where same-sex acts are illegal! LGBTIQ+ people still face serious challenges in their everyday life. With 69 countries still criminalising same sex relations, millions of lesbians, gay men and bisexual people live in fear of being who they are and showing who they love. Transgender people are subjected to punishments in at least 26 countries and experience unprecedented levels of violence across the globe.
The theme for this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is “Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!” The theme was chosen due to the recent challenges that the world has faced this past year.
Celebrating diversity in a pandemic
The global pandemic is far from over, and in any case it will have a long-lasting impact on social activism. Some good ideas have emerged in all this chaos, which can keep providing inspiration. Some new tools and forms of organising have emerged that are here to stay. And, due to restrictions, some limitations won’t go away anytime soon.
A few ways to highlight this day:
LGBTQI+ people are particularly vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19 as many are part of the poorest people and are already victim of many forms of discrimination, stigma and persecution. Funding is desperately needed, and May 17 can provide a good entry point for a call for solidarity.
People can hang flags, posters and banners in their windows at home and work. It’s about visibility, a constant reminder to people that a wonderfully diverse array of people live, love and work alongside them—even if they don’t realise it.
You don’t need to take it upon yourself to change the world on your own. But the more people speak up about LGBTQI+ issues, educate others, and normalise these conversations, the better.
Speak up, let your voice be heard. Understand and illustrate the harms that discriminate against and exclude LGBTQI+ people, with compelling stories that draw in and engage people.
Engagement is the hardest part. Sadly, a lot of people still want to pretend that these issues will go away, if ignored. It’s everyone’s duty to stress that the opposite is true—and we can usher in a more inclusive and diverse world for all.
If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on:
UK: 0844 892 2493
ROI: 01 886 0324
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