“Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights” is the global theme for this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHOT). Its importance resonates with all ages and identities.
All TBLGIAPQQ2S (Trans, bisexual, lesbian, gay, intersex, asexual, pansexual, queer, questioning, two spirited) communities have the right to live out their sexualities and to express their gender(s) freely. This year’s theme reminds the world that we must demand a life free of physical violence, conversion ‘therapies’, and forced sterilisation of Trans and Intersex people.
After two years of strict pandemic rules and isolation, this May 17 is a day of celebration and remains one of the most important days of the year to the TBLGIAPQQ2S community.
May 17 was chosen for IDAHOT because it marked the day, in 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of International Classification of Diseases. Before this date, it was listed as a mental illness and practices such as ‘aversion therapy’ were used to ‘cure’ homosexuality.
Today, IDAHOT is celebrated in more than 130 countries around the world, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal. In these countries, homosexuality and transgender identity are criminalized and TBLGIAPQQ2S people continue to be violently persecuted because of it.
The presence of IDAHOT couldn’t be possible without great allies. Becoming an ally takes time, thought, understanding and action. An ally is someone who:
- Creates a safe and confidential space for those who identify on the TBLGIAPQQ2S spectrum.
- Understands and challenges common issues such as heterosexism, transphobia, cisexism and homophobia.
- Will actively speak up when witnessing acts of aggression, bullying, and oppression against TBLGIAPQQ2S individuals.
Let us all continue to fight for equality and acceptance.
Use the hashtags #IDAHOT and #LoveOverHate on social media to show support!
JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President
Laurie Nancekivell, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer
Morgen Veres, OPSEU/SEFPO Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel Co-Chair