Every year on the seventeenth day of May, we recognise the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. What exactly is this day, why is it so important and how we can show our support?
Promoting Equity and Respect
Established in 2004, this day illuminates the unique challenges, violence, and discrimination faced by the LGBTQIA+ population across the globe.
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia is observed on May 17th in over 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal, promoting equity and respect for all sexual orientations and gender identities. May 17th was chosen to commemorate the day the World Health Organisation made the landmark decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness.
Through collaboration and kindness, we can unite to keep inspiring landmark decisions. The IDAHTB is a time to celebrate, reflect, and act to affirm the rights and dignity of LGBTQIA+ individuals worldwide.
A platform for Advocacy
The LGBTQIA+ population face persistent and often life-threatening challenges. The statistics are alarming. For example, over 80 local governmentsin Poland have declared themselves 'LGBT-free zones'.
Additionally, Brazil has earned the unfortunate distinction of being the deadliest country for trans people, with 175 trans women murdered in just 2020. These distressing realities highlight the urgent need to address and combat homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia on a global scale.
The IDAHTB serves as a platform to advocate for the rights and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals everywhere. It provides an opportunity to foster understanding, promote inclusivity, and encourage legislative and societal changes that protect and affirm the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Becoming an Active Ally
When acknowledging this day, it is crucial to embrace allyship. A good start would be to actively listen and remain open to understanding the experiences and history of the LGBTQIA+ community. Take the time to move forward with empathy, listen to your friends' personal stories, and ask questions respectfully.
Allyship is about acting. Consistently supporting LGBTQIA+ rights and actively speaking out against discrimination will help challenge the status quo and create a more accepting future society for all. It can be a simple case of challenging anti-LGBTQIA+ comments and jokes, and making it clear to your friends, family, and co-workers that as an ally, you find such behaviour offensive.
You can also educate yourself about LGBTQIA+ history, terminology, and the ongoing struggles faced by the community – Stonewall, for example, is a great resource. You can join community groups like Pride in Tech, who provide a safe space for members of the community and allies to learn and form meaningful connections.
Our charity partner, TENI
We are proud to be partnered with TENI, a transgender charity based in Ireland, who have a vision of a world where all people, regardless of gender identity or expression, enjoy full acceptance, equality, and human rights. Find out more about TENI on our website and learn about how you can donate or get involved with their fantastic work.