The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) is commemorated on 17th May each year.
According to May17.org, it is a worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities. It was created in 2004 by founder Louis-Georges Tin with the aim to draw attention to the brutality and discrimination faced by LGBTQIA people around the world.
The date of 17th May was specifically chosen to observe the day the World Health Organisation’s decision to remove homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems in 1990 which declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder.
Despite this, LGBTQIA people around the world still face hardship and repression around the world on a daily basis. IDAHOBIT is now commemorated in over 130 countries and this number increases every year.
Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia can occur online, in person and can affect everyone by creating environments where people feel unsafe and unable to be themselves.
Sexuality and gender identity or status aren’t always visible, so creating a culture where everyone feels safe is more important than ever before.
Discrimination Takes Many Forms
Name-calling and verbal abuse are the most common forms of homosexual discrimination. Various abusive words and phrases with negative connotations can all have a harmful impact. Homophobia can also include threats of violence or physical violence, sexual harassment even deliberately excluding someone based on their sexuality.
Biphobia is abuse towards someone who is attracted to more than one gender, and also includes the attempt to erase that person’s identity. A prime example of this is telling someone that their sexuality is “just a phase” or asking them to “pick a side”.
Intersex discrimination happens when an individual is treated less fairly than someone else because they have physical, hormonal, or genetic features that are neither wholly female nor wholly male; a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male. Interphobia can also include the exclusion or mistreatment in medical services.
Transphobia is negative feelings or actions towards someone who is transgender or gender diverse. This includes transphobia language, or even restrictions on the way people are allowed or able to express their gender. Differences in the uniform people are allowed to wear or toilets they can use are common. Transphobia also includes abusive threats or physical violence, sexual violence or harassment and deliberately excluding someone because of their gender.