May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). Started in 2004, this celebration is recognized annually on May 17 to commemorate the date in 1990 that the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. It is an oportunity to recognize the LGBTQ+ community and protect their rights
A 2020 report commissioned by the Human Dignity Trust found that members of the LGBTI community are not only more likely to be subjected to criminal acts of violence and abuse, but those crimes are also more likely to be accompanied by high levels of physical violence compared to non-hate-based crimes. According to the report, many LGBTI people report that living with a heightened risk of imminent physical and sexual violence harms both their mental and physical health.
IDAHOT gives voice to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics. Now celebrated in more than 130 countries, IDAHOT events will look different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many events shifting to an online presence.
Here is a list of some of the activities planned around the world:
- In Albania a video will be shared on May 15 featuring members of the LGBTI community and allies raising the LGBTI flag on their balconies.
- In Nepal a number of organizations are working together to present a webinar that covers a number of important issues including transgender rights and marriage equality.
- The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank are presenting a series of virtual programs, including a live discussion on the cost of exclusion.
- The Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Philippines is hosting a Twitter panel discussion on ensuring LGBTQI inclusion in the time of COVID-19.
In addition, organizations are calling for members and supporters of the LGBTI community to be vocal on social media on May 17, using the hashtags: IDAHOT, IDAHOT2020, #IDAHOTB, or #IDAHOBIT.
The theme for this year’s IDAHOT is “Breaking the Silence.”
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