International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

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.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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