Today, Wednesday 17 of May, is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Intersex Discrimination and Biphobia, also known as IDAHOBIT Day.
For some, it is easy to forget that discrimination can shape lives. For others, forgetting is not so easy.
Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are still issues for many people. This prejudice affects and targets all people who don’t conform to society’s accepted sexual and gender roles. It hinders people’s ability to express themselves and their opinions freely. Discrimination stops governments across the world from recognising the rights of certain citizens, and oppression can limit a person’s economic and social opportunities.
There is a wealth of evidence exposing the way bigotry affects the health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people. Shame impacts a person’s mental health and sense of self-worth. Fear exposes people to intimidation, aggression and violence. We know that many LGBTI people must also live with the compounded burdens of racism, ableism, sexism, poverty and discrimination based on their religious beliefs.
But we also know that LGBTI communities and allies are fighting every day to make homophobia, biphobia, intersex discrimination and transphobia things of the past.
May 17 was chosen to commemorate the decision taken by the World Health organisation in 1990 to take homosexuality out of the list of mental disorders. Today, we recognise the enduring strength, joy, and perseverance of our LGBTI communities. We also pay tribute to those we have lost: to violence, to AIDS, to suicide.
We express our gratitude to elders of the LGBTI community, who have paved the way for a better future for all. We also celebrate LGBTI youth, for helping make that future a reality.
North Richmond Community Health has a long history of being a welcoming an inclusive health centre that works with both individuals and communities to foster better health outcomes for all.
This IDAHOBIT Day, we reaffirm our stance against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia and our commitment to the health and well-being of Victoria’s diverse communities. We also stand in solidarity with LGBTI communities around the world.
Together, we can end homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. If you’d like to help promote the rights of LGBTI communities, here are some things you can do:
- sign the Amnesty International petition calling on a thorough investigation into the reported murder of Gay and Bisexual men in Chechnya.
- make a donation to an organisation like Transgender Victoria or Minus18
- promote an LGBTI inclusion committee or inclusive policies in your workplace
- learn about how to support your LGBTI friends and family members.
For global events and news, see The IDAHOT Facebook page.