“Happy Birthday” to Ed on 11 May – at least you get to eat all the cake. Hope it’s gluten free!
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is observed on 17 May 2020 and aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide.
Previously, the commemorations have taken place in 132 countries across the globe, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal.
You may have heard of the acronym IDAHO, but you may not be entirely sure what it signifies – the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. It’s coming up on 17 May, so now is the perfect time to brush up on your knowledge of how IDAHO started, what it represents and how to celebrate.
For LGBT people, IDAHO serves as an interesting retrospective on our history and how much has changed as well as a chance to publicise how much we need to continue pushing for change.
It may surprise you to learn that up until 17 May 1990, the World Health Organisation classified homosexuality as a mental disorder. In 2004, the IDAHO movement chose this date to host the very first International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia to reflect the contemporaneous struggles and stigmatisation that still occurs across the globe for LGBT people.
According to the official website, IDAHO is an entry-point to understanding the vast community of individuals who identify with a diverse range of sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions and sex characteristics. Other commonly used acronyms for the day include IDAHOTB and IDAHOBIT – the day is intended to be used by all, with a non-exhaustive list of issues to publicise and ways to participate.
Indeed, the day has grown in scope and influence. IDAHO is a call to action and a reminder that our community needs to remain consistent in making demands in relation to equality. Accordingly, organisations and individuals are encouraged to participate at all levels – from national to local and community initiatives.
While physical events may be off limits for 2020, there are still a number of ways to show your solidarity on 17 May. Socially distant initiatives are a way to showcase your creativity as you get involved – you may be in a position to fundraise online, display a pride flag, join an online event or attend a social media protest. You may also take the opportunity to watch an LGBT documentary or read a book.
Discrimination and violence against LGBT people continues to occur at unacceptable rates, and we all have a responsibility to use our voices to speak up, in relation to our own challenges and the struggles of others. A culture of inclusivity and freedom can only extend to everyone if we fight for it.
Step up! For more information on IDAHO and to register your May commemoration, make sure you visit may17.org and register yourself to join in the springtime celebrations. The 2020 IDAHO theme is Breaking the Silence, and there are a number of online resources to help you research and plan your participation. There’s even a map tool online to see which countries are participating.
The Day is not one single campaign. It is a moment when thousands of ideas and initiatives converge over a single vision: freedom and equality for all sexual, gender and bodily minorities. You can join in whichever way you want: be creative, this is YOUR day!