IDAHOBIT , the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Inter-sexism and Transphobia is today. Launched in 2004 to celebrate LGBTIQ people globally, today, we use IDAHOBIT to champion inclusion, and build a better world for the LGBTIQ community.
To celebrate the day, POF hosted a morning tea in each office – with the team dressing in bright colours to show their solidarity.
POF Partner Rodney Cruise has also written a Q&A, outlining the importance of this day, what it means, and how we as a community can come together to be mindful, equal and accepting, not just today, but always:
- What is IDAHOBIT about?
IDAHOBIT is a day about identifying, acknowledging and dealing with discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people. Many people think discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people magically disappeared with marriage equality became the law in Australia. It did not. In fact in many cases, it increased it. Currently, LGBTIQ+ students and teachers can be discriminated against in private schools. Trans, gender diverse and Intersex people are discriminated in how they self identify. The intolerant in our society feel free and emboldened by political leaders to attack and demonise LGBTIQ+ people, especially trans children. The levels of depression, drug addiction, self harm and suicide are still exceptionally high in our LTGBIQ+ community, much higher than the general population. The distance we still need to travel in this country is great. It is still greater for LGBTIQ+ people in other countries. IDAHOBIT is a day to understand and challenge the hate that send our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, friends and colleagues to depression, sefl harm and early deaths. It is a time to acknowledge the privilege of being a cis-straight individual in our society and commit to making it better for all.
- What is the IDAHOBIT theme in 2019?
This years’ theme is Justice and Protection for all. When 1 of us is not equal, none of us are. This is as broad as changing laws to provide equality and remove discrimination. It is also localised as well – such that organisations like ours ensure our policies and languages are inclusive.
- What can you do for IDAHOBIT?
The best thing you, as an ally can do is to listen to LGBTIQ+ people. Listen to their issues and concerns. Listen to the problems that they face. Keep listening. Then stand with them as an ally for justice and protection for all.
- That is great – but what about the rest of the year?
IDAHOBIT is a day of the year to focus on LGBTIQ+ discrimination but every day of the year is a day you should work towards removing it. You can do that by being an ally. A proud ally. If you hear homophobic jokes or comments – say something. Tell people that it is unacceptable. If you have a friend, relatively or colleague who identifies as LGBTIQ+, let them know you are an ally. If someone tells you that their preferred pronoun is He, She or even They – then use it. If you make a mistake or forget, just apologise. Do not deliberately misgender people. Be respectful. There are a million things to help be an ally to LGBTIQ+ people. They are your friends, colleagues and family.