17th May is IDAHOBIT, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, which is dedicated to raising awareness about the violence, discrimination, and repression experienced by LGBTQ communities around the world.
How did IDAHOBIT come about?
Frenchman Louis-Georges Tin, a Black, gay man, felt that there should be a day specifically focused on combating discrimination, violence, and homophobia. He launched IDAHOBIT (previously known as the International Day Against Homophobia or IDAHO) on 17 May, 2004, to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision on that day in 1990 to remove homosexuality from the international classification of mental disorders.
The day creates an opportunity for groups around the world to mobilize efforts, organize events, and engage in dialogue with policymakers, media, and others to raise awareness about human rights violations against LGBTQ people. For instance, in 2019, Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at the federal level.