Being able to be yourself – IDAHOBIT

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.’ – Oscar Wilde.

Being able to be yourself and have your own identity is so important. This includes expressing your gender or sexuality. Everyone should be able be comfortable in their own skin and live a life free from discrimination and harassment.

May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) which celebrates LGBTQIA+ people globally. This day also helps raise awareness and educate people on what is means to be LGBTQIA. It’s a catalyst for building LGBTQIA+ inclusion all year round!

IDAHOBIT started on May 17, 1990 when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. May 17 is now celebrated in more than 130 countries.

A lot has changed since 1990, but we still have a long way to go to combat discrimination. There are around 68 countries where homosexuality is criminalised, and trans and gender diverse people around the world continue to face discrimination and violence.

According to Minus 18,
– 75% of LGBTQIA+ youth experience some form of discrimination*
– 77% of Trans & Gender Diverse people report being discriminated against in the past 12 months*
– 35% of LGBTQIA+ Australians have experienced verbal abuse in the past 12 months*
– 39% of LGBTQIA+ people have experienced depression in the past 12 months*
– 33% of LGBTQIA+ people have experienced anxiety in the past 12 months*

Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia can occur online, face to face and by creating spaces where people feel unsafe and where they can’t be themselves.

In 2022, the focus is on Building LGBTQIA+ Inclusion, a call to action for the community and allies to drive inclusion through meaningful action.

So whether you are LGBTQIA, an ally, or someone wanting to learn more, let’s help make the world a better place for LGBTQIA+ people. No one should have to face discrimination just for being themselves.

For more information, or to take part in IDAHOBIT, visit www.idahobit.org.au

*Private Lives, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, 2021

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