Happy International Day Against Homophobia,Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia(IDAHOBIT)- Break The Silence!

May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia,Interphobia and Transphobia. The theme of this years’ day is Breaking The Silence. IDAHOBIT is a day that our global community comes together to draw the attention of the world to the realities of people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics. The day is used to call out the human rights violations that we face every day, but it is also a moment of global pride and hope.

The day was first started in 2004, and May 17 was specifically chosen to commemorate the day in 1990 when the World Health Organization officially declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. The purpose of IDAHOBIT is to bring attention to the issue’s LGBTIQ+ people everywhere are faced with and to ignite conversations about how we can create a more inclusive society.  As LGTBIQ+ people we have always been made to feel ashamed, stigmatized and have had to hide our sexualities, gender identities or sex characteristics. We want everyone to know that we have been victims of the most extreme forms of social, legal and religious “distancing” for the longest.

A person’s gender identity should never be a cause to feel afraid or discriminated against. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights

What is Homophobia, Transphobia,Interphobia  and Biphobia?

Homophobia, transphobia,Interphobia and biphobia are terms used to describe the fear or dislike or someone, based on prejudice or negative attitudes, beliefs or views about people who are or are perceived to be lesbian, gay, queer, trans,intersex and bisexual.

This kind of behavior can take many forms such as name-calling, derogatory jokes, intrusive or hostile questioning, threatening to ‘out’ someone, as well as unwanted physical contact and violence. It can happen verbally, in writing, in person or virtually (e.g. by email, messages, social media). Whatever form it takes, it is always. Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia may sound like;

Oh, you don’t look like you’re gay/a lesbian/bi/queer’ – this is based on damaging stereotypes about LGBTQ+ people, and wrongly implies you can ‘tell’ someone’s sexual orientation by their appearance.

Misgendering someone deliberately or repeatedly (i.e. using the wrong name and/or pronouns to describe a person, referring to them using the wrong gender). For example, referring to a Trans man as ‘she’, or refusing to use ‘they/them’ to refer to a non-binary person who has specified they use those pronouns.

You need to just make up your mind’ – this denies and undermines bisexuality as a valid sexual orientation.

With this year’s theme, it calls for an end to the stigma and violence that drive shame, increase HIV vulnerability, and hinder access to and uptake of services among sexual and gender minorities. However, alongside the celebration it is important for all of us to recognize that the current COVID-19 crisis has resulted in additional barriers being in place for many of the LGBTIQ+ community like living with unaccepting friends or family and the impact of social isolation on mental health. Let’s stand in solidarity for those who are less visible. Let’s make noise for those who can’t speak up. Let’s tackle the crucial issues and break down shame and stigma