Home / May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia

May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia

It was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally.

Since then the Day has grown in both scope and depth. In 2013, actions around the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia took place in almost 120 countries. In the United Kingdom alone in 2013, almost 200 events took place around the Day, whilst in Brazil just under 120 events were registered one month before May 17.

In short, in under a decade, the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia has established itself the single most important date for LGBTI communities to mobilise on a worldwide scale.

The International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia is not one centralised campaign; rather it is amoment that everyone can take advantage of to take action.

The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia has received official recognition from several States and such international institutions as the European Parliament, and by countless local authorities. Most United Nations agencies also mark the Day with specific events.

LGBTI organizations, governments, cities, human rights organizations, corporations and celebrities have all taken action on May 17th to:

  • Draw media attention to the issue of homophobia and transphobia
  • Organise events which mobilize public opinion
  • Demand attention from policymakers and engage in lobbying activities
  • Network with like-minded organizations and develop new partnerships, at home or beyond
  • Mobilize existing constituencies and address new audiences.

Evolution in the name of the Day

The Day was initiated in 2004 under the original name ‘International Day against Homophobia’ with it’s associated acronym IDAHO.
It was originally created in order to visibilize the existence of homophobia as a social hate against homosexual people.
In 2009, following the global increased recognition that Trans communities (covering all non-conforming gender identities and expressions) experienced  an aggravated form of gender-based violence with distinct patters which differ from homophobia, the name of the Day evolved to ‘International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia’, while the acronym of IDAHO evolved towards IDAHO-T or IDAHOT.

Following this evolution, lesbian women and bisexuals have also requested to be visibilized though explicitly naming lesbophobia and biphobia, based on the scientific and  theoretical evidence that these are distinct from homophobia or transphobia.

This is why the IDAHO Committee is working to create a way to 1) Cover and visiblize all minority sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions; 2) Visibilize them in a positive way in order to overcome discrimination and violence against those populations; 3) Do it in a flexible way that would allow all the groups and identities to feel themselves covered, and allowing them to work all around the world for this purpose.  any imputs and ideas  for achieving this goal.

We are proud to announce that for the 17 May 2015 we should have in place this new concept that should cover all sexual orientations and gender identities, allowing to visibilize them in a distinct manner, as this visibilization should be needed in any specific country or environment.
We welcome any contribution towards this process. Please write to contact@dayagainsthomophobia.org

2013 IDAHO Committee - All Rights Reserved

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