Today Marks IDAHOTB: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

We take a look at this year's theme and the history of the day.

idahotb 2019

Each year, on 17 May, the world marks International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. IDAHOTB was created in 2004 to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by members of the LGBT+ community. This year’s theme is “Justice and Protection for All.”

The date of May 17 was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

The day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision-makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders, local authorities to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.

UNICEF Nepal tweeted: “LGBTIQ children and young people can experience particularly severe forms of such abuse and persecution.  They are more likely to be homeless, to experience anxiety, self-harm, depression or suicide and are more likely to skip or drop out of school.”

May 17 is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal.

Angola, India, Trinidad and Tobago have decriminalised homosexuality in the past year.

Chile, Portugal, Luxembourg, Uruguay, and Pakistan have made it easier for trans people to correct their gender on legal documents. This progress is worth celebrating.

However, homosexuality is still illegal in 70 countries and is punishable by death in 7. In 45 of these countries, the law is applied to women as well as men. In many places around the world, LGBT+ people still face injustice and live in fear and danger.

In an article for GCN highlighting the importance of IDAHOTB for in 2014, Jane Casey wrote “It gives a chance to those who feel they don’t have a place in Pride to have a voice on both a local and international level, in areas where it is not possible to have a Pride march or to campaign against homophobia and transphobia.”

In Dublin, to mark this day Frontline Defenders just presented the 2019’s #FLDAward to five human rights defenders who have been working to defend and advance the rights of the LGBT+ community.

 

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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