IDAHOBIT 2022: What is IDAHOBIT and why do we observe International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia?

The organisation describes the day as “a worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities”.

In September 2021, Scotland became the first country in the world to embed LGBTQ+ education into the standard curriculum. While this is an important step forward, there is still a way to go in eradicating homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in Scotland and across the UK.

For example, according to the latest research from LGBT Youth Scotland, there has been a drop in the number of young people who think Scotland is a good place to be LGBTI, falling from 81% 15 years ago to 65% in 2022.

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The vast majority of participants in the survey also stated that they believe that homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are a problem, both across Scotland as a whole, and in their local area.

Organisations around the world are still working hard to eradicate such experiences through days like IDAHOBIT, which falls on May 17th. Here’s what you need to know about the day, its history, and what it seeks to achieve.

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What is IDAHOBIT?

IDAHOBIT stands for the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. It’s observed around the world, although is most prevalent in Europe and Latin America, with some using the acronym IDAHOBT as well.

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The day falls just a few weeks ahead of Pride Month. Photo: Andrew Mulligan/PA.

It has been run by the IDAHO Committee since 2004 and coordinates grass-roots efforts around the world seeking to dismantle homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. It has been officially recognised in the UK since 2010.

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It’s always recognised on May 17th, to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases, which happened in 1990.

Originating as the first International Day Against Homophobia, transphobia was added to the event in 2009, with that year’s theme focusing primarily on transphobia. Biphobia was then also added in 2015 to acknowledge the differences that different LGBTQ+ communities face.

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IDAHOBIT 2022

This year’s theme is ‘Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights’. It was decided after a large consultation with queer organisations across the globe.

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"A great theme under which many forms of advocacy are possible: claiming our rights to live our sexualities and to express our gender(s) freely, but also demanding to be from physical violence, from conversion so-called “therapies” to forced sterilisation of Trans and Intersex people,” reads the IDAHO’s event website. “A theme that reminds us that many of us across the world live LGBTQI-phobias in their very flesh every day and that our bodies are being abused, ruining our lives. Our bodies are our lives. And we have a right to live free and in dignity!”