Why The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia Is Celebrated
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia is a global event celebrated on May 17th every year to raise awareness about the discrimination, violence, and stigma faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the world.
This day is important as it provides an opportunity for everyone within society to come together and promote tolerance, inclusion, and diversity, and to speak out against discrimination and violence towards LGBTQ+ individuals.
If you’re wondering why exactly the day International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is celebrated and the history behind it, carry on reading to find out.
History Of The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia History is an important annual day that raises awareness of the ongoing struggle for LGBTQI+ rights, promotes inclusivity and acceptance, and encourages action to help tackle homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia.
This annual day was first celebrated in 2004 and has since grown to become a major global event within more than 130 countries.
The reason why it is celebrated on May 17th is to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1990. We know, it’s scary to think that this was just 33 years ago.
Whilst there has been significant progress for the LGBTQ+ community since this day was first celebrated, there are still significant challenges faced by members of the community worldwide, including criminalization, violence, and discrimination.
Why Is It Celebrated?
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is celebrated to help promote equality and acceptance for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
This international day provides an opportunity for individuals and organisations to come together to challenge homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia, and to celebrate diversity and inclusivity.
Despite LGBTQI+ rights coming a long way, individuals across the world still continue to face discrimination and violence due to their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Staggering research highlights that same-sex relations are still criminalised in close to 70 countries, and in around 10 of these countries the punishment can be death.
Sadly the UK is not without fault either, research by Stonewall found that one in five LGBT individuals have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months, and trans people are most likely to be the victims of violent crime.
A quick search online for LGBT hate crime within the UK will show you that we’re still a long way away from tackling homophobia, transphobia and biphobia.
So, we all need to come together on days like this to help ensure that individuals are treated equally and have the same level of respect and dignity as everyone else.
How You Can Get Involved
The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia is celebrated on May 17th every year, with this year’s theme being “Together always: United In Diversity”.
Below are just a few of the ways you can get involved for this international day.
1. Attend Or Organise An Event
One way you can get involved with the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is by attending marches, conferences, or other events to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community.
If you’re able to, try to wear rainbow colours or other symbols of support for the community like a pink triangle or a trans flag to show that you’re an ally for the community.
If your university or local town or city isn’t hosting any events, you can consider organising one yourself to show your support.
Remember, even if you’re not part of the LGBTQ+ community you can be an ally by standing up for your friends and family members, and advocating for their rights.
If you live in our student accommodation, you can host your own event for this special day using our residents app KLIQ.
You can decorate your social spaces with rainbow flags, posters, or stickers to show your solidarity!
2. Educate Yourself
If you want to get involved with this international day, take some time to learn more about the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community and the history of their struggle for equality.
Whether it’s reading books, watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, or speaking to members of the community, try to educate yourself on the discrimination, violence, and stigma that still exists towards members of the community across the world.
After all, studies suggest an estimated 1.4 million people aged 16 years and over identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual so it’s likely there’s people in your life from family members to friends to colleagues, who are members of the community.
So, you should do your part to find out more about the prevalent issues which still exist today to help promote equality and inclusion.
3. Spread The Word
It doesn’t just stop at educating yourself, this International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, educate others about the realities of discrimination faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals.
Whether it’s using your social media platforms to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community through sharing posts, articles, and information to spread awareness, or speaking to people face-to-face about what this event is all about.
It’s so important to help spread the word to inspire everyone to take action to help create a better world for members of the community.
4. Donate To A LGBTQ+ Charity
Whilst not everyone is in a position to donate money, if you’re able to, there are so many organisations that work to support and advocate for the rights of LGBTQ+ people.
Making a donation to organisations like Stonewall, the LGBT Foundation, and MindOut can help them continue their important work to empower and support members of the community.
Of course, there are so many amazing LGBTQ+ charities out there, so do your research and donate to causes close to your heart.
If you cannot donate, volunteering for charities like the ones we have mentioned are a great way to give something back to LGBT+ communities too.
5. Speak Up Against Discrimination
If you witness homophobia, transphobia, or biphobia, it’s important to try and speak up against it.
You can use your voice to challenge harmful attitudes and behaviours and advocate for a more inclusive and respectful community for members of the LGBTQ+ communities.
If you’re worried about speaking up against homophobia, transphobia or biphobia, you can report incidents of discrimination or violence to your university or the relevant authorities.
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is just one day, so it’s important to continue advocating for equality and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community throughout the year.
We can all help to make the world a more accepting and inclusive place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex individuals. Do your part and make sure to celebrate this May!
Here at Homes for Students, all of our properties are registered under The Safe Space Alliance which helps to ensure a diverse, inclusive and accepting environment for members of the LGBTQI+ community.