Why IDAHOBIT remains still relevant for the LGBTQIA+ community across the globe

The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is observed on May 17th yearly. It was first observed in 2005 and is now celebrated in over 130 countries globally. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a remnant of the British colonial era in 1861, criminalized homosexual acts. However, on September 6th, 2018, the Supreme Court of India issued a historic ruling decriminalising consensual same-sex relationships. This momentous decision was an important step towards recognising the rights and dignity of India’s LGBTQ+ community.

Despite this encouraging growth, India’s LGBTQ+ community faces various hurdles. Deep-rooted social stigma and prejudice continue, resulting in widespread discrimination, exclusion, and violence. Homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are widespread in Indian society, families, schools, workplaces, and public areas. One of the most challenging issues is families’ lack of acceptance and understanding. LGBTQIA+ students are frequently bullied, harassed, and discriminated against at educational institutions. Homophobic and transphobic attitudes among peers and teachers contribute to a hostile atmosphere that impedes academic and emotional development. LGBTQ+ employees frequently encounter prejudice regarding career possibilities, promotions, and workplace settings. 

Hate crimes, physical violence, and harassment are regularly recorded, leaving people vulnerable and terrified. LGBTQIA+ people face stigma, hostility, prejudice, and violence. Killings, torture, sexual assault, criminalisation, and arbitrary detention are all examples of persistent human rights violations. “Conversion therapy,” forced sterility, and critical examinations are all detrimental procedures. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic’s consequences worsened inequality and marginalisation.

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Louis-Georges Tin formally established IDAHOT (now IDAHOBIT) in 2004, and the first event occurred on May 17th, 2005. It was attended by around 24,000 people. May 17th was chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness. International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia is held every May 17th to celebrate sexual and gender diversity and raise awareness of the violence and prejudice faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals worldwide.

Creating safe spaces and support networks for the LGBTQ+ community is critical to the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) in India. These places offer individuals a sense of belonging, support, and empowerment while also functioning as venues for activism and advocacy. Safe spaces and support networks are not restricted to specific physical locations but extend to many aspects of life, including educational institutions, corporations, and public spaces. Schools and colleges should create inclusive policies and practices to safeguard LGBTQIA+ students from harassment and discrimination. Similarly, workplaces should prioritise diversity and inclusion, making a secure, respected, and appreciated environment for LGBTQ+ employees. It is also critical to provide LGBTQ+ inclusive public spaces where people can express themselves without fear of violence or harassment. By creating these safe spaces and fighting for inclusive policies in various areas, India can move towards a future in which homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are eradicated, and all individuals can live authentically and freely.

Since the day was originally recognised in 2005, IDAHOBIT has gone by many different names and meanings-2005 – the day was known as IDAHO, standing for International Day Against Homophobia2011 – The name was updated to IDAHOT, standing for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia2018 – The name was updated to IDAHOBIT, standing for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersex Discrimination and Transphobia.2022 IDAHOBIT grew to be referenced to as the Day Against LGBTQIA+ Discrimination to specifically include those of us who are lesbian, queer and asexual.


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