International Day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is observed every year on May 17th.
This day is dedicated to raising awareness about discrimination and violence that the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other identities) community faces. IDAHOBIT is celebrated in over 130 countries and aims to promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals.
The first International Day against homophobia was observed on May 17th, 2005, to commemorate the World Health Organisation’s decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. Since then, the day has been expanded to include biphobia and transphobia, as these are also forms of discrimination faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals. The theme of this year’s IDAHOBIT is “Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!” This theme emphasises the need for solidarity and mutual support among the LGBTQIA+ community, allies, and other marginalised communities.
Discrimination and violence against LGBTQIA+ individuals are still prevalent worldwide, despite significant progress made in some countries. In some parts of the world, homosexuality is still illegal, and LGBTQIA+ individuals are at risk of imprisonment, torture, and even death. Even in countries where homosexuality is legal, discrimination is still present in areas such as housing, education, employment, healthcare, and access to justice. The situation is worse for trans and gender-nonconforming individuals who face discrimination and violence in every aspect of their lives, including healthcare, employment, and housing.
One of the most significant challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community is the lack of legal protection. Many countries do not have laws protecting LGBTQIA+ individuals from discrimination and violence. This lack of protection leads to the underreporting of hate crimes and other forms of violence against LGBTQIA+ individuals. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the inequalities and discrimination faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. LGBTQIA+ individuals are more likely to experience job loss, homelessness, and lack of access to healthcare during the pandemic. Additionally, lockdown measures have increased the risk of domestic violence for LGBTQIA+ individuals in abusive households.
On IDAHOBIT, it is essential to remember the progress made towards equality and the work still to be done. Governments and organisations need to create policies that protect LGBTQIA+ individuals and provide equal rights. It is also crucial for individuals to be aware of their own biases and take steps to challenge and overcome them. Allies can show support by educating themselves about the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community and advocating for their rights.
IDAHOBIT is an essential day for the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies to come together and raise awareness of the challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals worldwide. It is a day to celebrate the progress made towards equality and commit to creating a world where every person can live freely and without fear of discrimination or violence. Remember to show your support by wearing the rainbow flag, attending events, and educating yourself and others on the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community.