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Viewpoint - Why IDAHOBIT is still relevant in 2018

Published: 15 May 2018 Tags: LGBT Foundation, IDAHOBIT 2018 By James Huyton

Despite only being established in 2004, May 17 the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) has firmly established itself as the single most important date for LGBT communities to mobilise on a worldwide scale to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBT people internationally. James Huyton from our Community Safety Team explains why despite the significant strides that have been made when it comes to LGBT equality in recent years, this date remains relevant to LGBT communities in Greater Manchester and beyond in 2018.

This May 17th 2018 marks this year’s IDAHOBIT – the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. The day commemorates a yearly worldwide effort from organisations and activists across the globe to raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide.

As IDAHOBIT arrives, as happens every year with many LGBT centred events like Pride, some question the continued relevance of the day. In an age of growing representation of people from across the LGBT spectrum, and as regressive laws continue to fall across the globe, some say that the need for days like IDAHOBIT is in the past. It is of course true that we have made incredible progress as a community over the past few decades, and I’m sure I’m not alone in being thankful for that every single day. But in spite of this, there remains important work to do and equality has by no means been achieved.

Research last year showed that in 74 countries worldwide same-sex sexual contact is a criminal offence. Closer to home, in only February of this year Ethan Stables was sentenced to planning a terror attack at a Pride event in Cumbria. Police found a cache of weapons in his home, and a collection of social media rants where he vowed to declare war on gay people. Even more locally, the rates of hate crime in Manchester increased in the last year.

If these examples seem particularly extreme, you don’t have to look far to find examples of hate or discrimination in more everyday settings. Last Tuesday, Channel 4 broadcast their Genderquake debate. On there, a Trans panellist was subject to a transphobic hate crime from a member of the audience. This on a show broadcast on primetime television and sanctioned by a major broadcaster.

It is for scenes like this that we continue to mark IDAHOBIT every year. At LGBT Foundation, we are using this year’s IDAHOBIT to raise awareness of our ENOUGH campaign. Our ENOUGH campaign focuses on the rights of LGBT people everywhere to express their sexuality or gender identity as they choose without fear of discrimination or hate, and for our allies to show their support for the community. Through our work, and the work of countless LGBT organisations worldwide, we continue to strive towards a world without hate or discrimination.

To mark IDAHOBIT 2018 LGBT Foundation has organised a day-long programme of events. For more information CLICK HERE.

We’re also using IDAHOBIT to launch our ENOUGH campaign encouraging LGBT communities and our allies to come together and demand an inclusive and equal society that celebrates all LGBT identities.

To mark the launch of we’re asking supporters to join a Thunderclap on May 17 2018 to send out a message of support for every person’s right to have their gender identity recognised and respected. Add your voice by clicking on the link HERE.

For more information on the ENOUGH Campaign and how you can get involved CLICK HERE.