Show Your Colours – Celebrating IDAHOBIT
The freedom to be yourself is a very special right that everyone – indeed, everyone – is entitled to. Today, we celebrate that freedom to be yourself, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, faith, beliefs and gender or sexual identity. Today, we give everyone a real chance to flourish. Today, we embrace difference and say NO to any and all forms of discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community. Today, we celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
IDAHOBIT is observed annually on May 17th and aims to coordinate international efforts to end the continued discrimination of global LGBTQI communities and raise awareness of LGBTQI rights violations. The day coincides with the decision by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder, removing it from the International Classification of Diseases in 1990.
It is a special day that encourages people, especially the youth, to encourage freedom: the freedom to love and to be loved, the freedom to express yourself without fear and prejudice, the freedom to exist. IDAHOBIT is a day dedicated to being a voice for those who have been silenced, for accepting everyone as they are. It is aligned with our three-pronged approach: supporting the community, educating those who may be ignorant and advocating for fair and equal treatment.
The focus for this year’s celebration is on family – the role of families in the well-being of LGBTQI family members and the respect of the rights of LGBTQI families.
This focal point opens an avenue for mobilisation, advocacy and alliance building in the fight to end discrimination and any form of injustice for people of LGBTQI experiences. The focus on families will, hopefully, encourage honest discourse among family members about their experiences and strengthen the call to visibility, recognition and rights. Though the day is historic and an open call to action, we cannot forget that the fight for LGBTQI rights is far from finished, nor can it be done alone. We must continue to shut down bigotry where it arises and help create safe environments for LGBTQI people to be themselves in.
In the face of discrimination, exclusion, violence, bullying and prejudice, we must stand strong, united in our diversities, proud of our differences and always believing in ourselves. We must also always remember that together, we are unstoppable.