This article was published on May 8th, 2018
It is important for the LGBT community to work together to promote our common interests and fight the good fight against those that wish to do queer people harm. As recent as a few weeks ago, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, signed another executive order barring transgender people from serving in the military and axed a ban from discriminating against LGBT government workers. It’s times like these that the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia, have become vitally important to the visibility, happiness, equality, rights, and freedoms of gay and sexually marginalized people’s lives.
A day that ironically began as the acronym with one of the most conservative states in America, the IDAHO initiative, as it was originally called, was created and founded in 2004 by LGBT activist and Frenchman Louis-Georges Tin. After a year-long campaign, the first International Day Against Homophobia began as more than 24,000 individuals in more than 20 countries on May 17, 2005 signed what was then called the IDAHO initiative. This date was chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases in 1990.
In 2009, Transphobia was added to the name to help add visibility for transgender people and the injustices done to the trans community. In 2009, a new petition was launched and signed by non-government organizations and delegates in more than 75 countries. In 2015, Biphobia was also added to the name to support bisexual people in their plight for visibility.
Since 2009, the date has become officially recognized by the European Union parliament, along with the governments of Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the UK, Mexico, Costa Rica, Croatia, the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg and Venezuela as a day against homophobia. Other nations like Canada, Chile, Cuba, Albania, the United States, and more have had individual municipalities, cities, states, and provinces honor May 17thas a day against injustice to the LGBT community.
In 2017, more than 130 countries held International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia events, parades, marches, etc. to raise awareness of the bigotry and discrimination that queer people still face today. The main goal of this day is to bring media attention to the violence and repression of the LGBT community throughout the world. A pink triangle outlined in black with a solid black exclamation mark has become the symbol of the day and movement.
This May 17, 2018, join in on what has become a global movement to stop the hatred of LGBT. This year’s theme “Alliances for Solidarity” is a call to arms to gather the global community together to fight the discrimination of gender and sexual minorities.
Learn moreabout the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.