IDAHO Day Is Coming

Graeme WatsonIDAHO day has grown in prominence over the last few years, if you haven’t come across it before it’s the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and it’s on May 17th. Now I didn’t automatically assume that IDAHO day was from Idaho, it is after all an acronym, but I did presume that this new milestone on the LGBT calendar had come from America, along with It Gets Better and NOH8.

Turns out that IDAHO Day began in France. And the reason it’s marked on May 17th is that’s the date that the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases in 1990. IDAHO was launched in 2004 and has quickly spread around the world, often being the date on which some nations like China and The Congo have held their very first LGBT events.

Many countries now officially recognise the day, Australia is not one of them, but in Spain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and most recently Brazil it’s an official day recognised by their governments.

The aim of the day is to draw media attention towards homophobia and transphobia, organise events that mobilise public opinion, to lobby and campaign, network with likeminded people and organisations, develop new partnerships and address new constituencies.

Looking through this month’s OUTinPerth as it heads to the printers it’s obvious that the fight against homophobia is far from won, whether it be hearing from young LGBT community members who have been shunned by their own families, or more shockingly a member of our community who was recently assaulted, reflecting on the recent rally for the protection of marriage or the unbelievable comments recently published in a regional newspaper in WA.

There are still a lot of fights to be fought.

Graeme Watson


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