Freedom Centre Coordinator Dani Wright Toussaint explains IDAHOT and shares their thoughts on a world without transphobia, homophobia and biphobia...
International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (otherwise known as IDAHOT) began on May 17 2005 to bring international attention to the discrimination faced by LGBTIQ+ people. The date was chosen to mark the anniversary in 1990 when the World Health Organisation declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. But we have a long way to go to change the public discourse so that we can say that transphobia, biphobia and homophobia are a thing of the past.
Today, IDAHOT is celebrated in more than 130 countries around the world with hundreds of events taking place to mark the day. Whatever action you take in your community is an important step in making sure that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia become a thing of the past.
What would that look like? Many would say that LGBTIQ people would be accepted and celebrated. While this is true, it doesn’t accurately reflect the real cultural change that is needed to truly make our society free from discrimination and marginalisation towards LGBTIQ people.
We need a world that doesn’t assume people aren’t LGBTIQ as the default mentality. One that declassifies being transgender as a mental disorder. One that makes unnecessary medical interventions on intersex people unlawful . A world that understands that people of all ages can learn about LGBTI people. A world that understands that sexuality and gender and sex characteristics aren’t black and white: gay and straight, man and woman, male and female. A world that accepts that some people experience sexuality and gender in ‘phases’ of change and others do not, and that either way their experiences and sense of self are valid and need respecting and celebrating in the here and now. A world that understands that LGBTIQ and heterosexuality aren’t mutually exclusive – many trans and intersex people are heterosexual. A world that doesn’t teach kids about gender based expectations from before they’re even born. A world where parents who support their trans kids aren’t accused of being abusive. A world where trans people aren’t suspected as sexual predators when they use the bathroom. A world where kids can learn and explore and develop a sense of self without limitations couched in gender based expectations.
These are my aspirations on IDAHoT 2016. I hope one day IDAHoT will be a day of looking back at our mistakes and misunderstandings, knowing we have improved our world for the better for everyone.
IDAHOT 2016 at the WA AIDS Council
Freedom Centre (FC) is for young people (under 26) to support each other and their communities to be informed, happy and healthy about their sexuality, sex and gender.
Find out more.