Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). The day takes place on May 17 to commemorate the World Health Organization’s removal of homosexuality from its list of mental disorders on this date in 1990.
The day began when the National Day Against Homophobia was created by Canada’s Fondation Émergence in 2003. The next year French academic and activist Louis-Georges Tin created the International Day Against Homophobia. The focus was expanded in 2009 to include transphobia.
While Pride events focus primarily on celebrating LGBT lives, IDAHO exists to shine a light on and take action against hatred and oppression based on sexuality and gender identity.
From the IDAHO website:
In 2008, sexual relations between persons of the same sex were punishable by death in 7 countries and considered to be some form of crime in more than 80 others. In most countries in the world, people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, intersex, queer, … community are being denied their fundamental human rights as defined, inter alia, by the Universal Declaration of Human Right, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The Day has been launched with the idea of creating a worldwide community of activists and committed people, sharing the ideal of a world without homophobia nor transphobia in which everyone can freely live their sexual orientation and the gender identity they wish to live in.
Via Pam’s House Blend comes word of a Pride event in Minsk in May 15 that clearly demonstrates the need for IDAHO. A peaceful march was broken up by anti-riot police. this disturbing video shows some of the police brutality:
Fondation Émergence’s focus for today is on homophobia in sports. You can learn more and take action here. This year IDAHO is focused on ending religious justifications for and promotion of homophobia and transphobia. You can take action here.