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WHAT IS IDAHOBIT DAY 2024, AND WHY MAY 17?

Today, we’re celebrating IDAHOBIT – the International Day Against LGBTQIA+ Discrimination.  

On May 17 1990, the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases. The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community globally. It also raises awareness about the ongoing efforts needed to combat discrimination. 

Rainbow IDAHOBIT Day 2024

 

IDAHOBIT is a time for celebration – it is a time when we can all be proud of who we are and who we choose to love. Coming together as a community allows us to learn from each other's differences. We are strongest when we unite our diverse perspectives. 

IDAHOBIT is not merely a celebration but a time to honour those who fought for our rights in the past is here. We still need to make more progress in respecting diversity for LGBTQIA+ people. About making sure that everyone, no matter who they love or how they identify, feels safe and accepted.

I remember my first IDAHOBIT celebration in high school. We painted rainbows and pledged to improve diversity and inclusion in our school community. Years ago, I promised to support the rainbow community. Now, as a youth worker and sexual health educator, I am proud to say I am keeping that promise.

How can I celebrate IDAHOBIT and support the LGBTQIA+ community?

Going rainbow

Visually showing rainbow items in your space is a simple way to show support for the community. It demonstrates your commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Supporting the LGBTQIA+ community helps them find safe people in the world. Wearing a pin, lanyard, or ribbon is an easy way to incorporate something rainbow into your everyday life.

Think about ways to make your office, school, or community group more welcoming to LGBTQIA+ individuals. Could you display queer-friendly posters? Could you provide name tags or pronoun pins for people to choose from? Could you ensure your promotional materials include a diverse representation of the community?

I understand the saying, "You can't be what you can't see". If LGBTQIA+ people can't see that you support them, they may feel unsafe around you. Visually demonstrating your support in both your work and personal life is crucial. This will help them feel comfortable and accepted in your environment. 

Sharing pronouns

Pronouns are the words we use to refer to people we are discussing when not using their names. You should never assume someone's pronouns, and if you are unsure how to refer to someone, it is best to ask. Sharing your pronouns is an easy and essential way to help promote a safe and inclusive space. By sharing our pronouns in daily life, we show others that it's okay to be themselves in conversations. 

This could be the first time that members of the trans and gender-diverse community feel comfortable sharing their pronouns. It could also be a significant moment for those uncertain about which pronouns to use.

Sharing pronouns with others may be a new experience for these individuals. It could mark an important step in their journey of self-discovery. Sharing your pronouns helps others understand how you want them to address you. It also shows that you cannot assume someone's gender based on their appearance.

Try telling someone new your name and pronouns. For example, say "Hi, I'm Bec and I use she/her pronouns." You can add your pronouns to your social media profiles, email signatures, or Zoom names to promote inclusivity online. 

rainbow female holding each other

Supporting local

Support a local LGBTQIA+ group or charity on IDAHOBIT to show support and help the community. You can donate directly or share their resources with your friends or family. This is also an excellent opportunity to take the pressure off the community. 

Studying LGBTQIA+ rights history can help us support diversity and inclusion. This benefits not only the rainbow community but also ourselves and those around us. Supporting local also means supporting our LGBTQIA+ friends and family.

Remember to reach out to your friends in the LGBTQ+ community. Do this, especially during discrimination and negativity in the news and social media. Showing support and care for your loved ones is important. Checking in can make a significant impact on their well-being. 

IDAHOBIT can be a happy occasion for some people. However, for others, it may trigger negative memories. This can lead them to prefer solitude over socializing with others. They may feel more comfortable being alone than being their true selves around others.

I always feel so loved and supported when my friends and family join me in celebrating my queer identity. It shows they value my experience and are always there to work alongside me and my advocacy projects. 

These are just a few suggestions of many ways you can celebrate and support the LGBTQIA+ community this IDAHOBIT. Remember, support should be ongoing, not just for one day. A decision we make daily, all year round. 

To get more information or donate or share resources, I recommend checking out IDAHOBIT.org.au or Minus18.org.au.

To my rainbow friends and family, I hope you have a fabulous IDAHOBIT – we see you, validate, and love you! 

 

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