Sun. May 26th, 2024

Next week on May 17th, millions of people around the world will celebrate the international day against homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia – IDAHOBIT Day.

First acknowledged in 2005, IDAHOBIT day is held on the anniversary of homosexuality being removed from the classification of diseases by the World Health Organisation.

Despite recent steps forward in recognising and protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, many people around the world still face discrimination.

In Australia alone, two out of three LGBTQ+ youth have experienced abuse due to their identity. LGBTQ+ people are up to three times more likely to experience depression in their life, and almost half of all LGBTQ+ people hide their sexual orientation or gender identity in public to protect themselves from violence or discrimination.

Several members of the New England LGBTQ+ community spoke about why IDAHOBIT Day is important to them.

Simone (she/her) is a 29-year-old lesbian. She says, “It isn’t about activism entirely.”

“IDAHOBIT Day serves as a fresh reminder that with or without segregation, we still exist. All we ask for is the love and acceptance to be who are.”

“We celebrate IDAHOBIT Day to show support and to educate against discrimination and hate towards our Queer community.”

Will (he/him), a transgender man, talks about the importance of IDAHOBIT Day in our current socio-political climate.

He says, “IDAHOBIT day is especially important given the amount of homophobia and transphobia we are currently seeing across the world, especially in places like the US.”

“It’s important to fight against the misinformation being spread, to help people realise that we are all unique, and to celebrate our differences.”

“I’d love to live long enough to see a world where people celebrate and uplift each other despite our differences and really want to understand each other. In the current climate I fear this won’t be a possibility, but I hope that we can continue to stand against hate and help our community flourish.”

23-year-old Isabelle (she/they) says, “IDAHOBIT Day is important to me as a trans woman, because it lets young people growing up in similar situations to myself know that there are people out there in the world who feel the same way they do.”

“It lets them know that it is okay to be who they feel they are, and that there’s a community and people out there that care about their wellbeing as a genderqueer individual.”

“Being different is not an acceptable reason for hate or assault against you, and it isn’t your fault.”

Ollie (she/her) is a queer trans woman. She says, “IDAHOBIT Day is an essential path towards sanity.”

IDAHOBIT Day, also known as the Day Against LGBTQIA+ Discrimination, aims to build a world free from discrimination. The organisation has many free resources available for individuals and organisations to use to create a safer environment for LGBTQ+ individuals.

You can find out more on their website: www.idahobit.org.au.

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