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IDAHOT International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Lesbophobia and Transphobia

by | May 12, 2023

On May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental health disorder. As a follow-up, in 2004, a global campaign was conceived, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Lesbophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), and in 2005 the first IDAHOT day of awareness was launched to underscore of the struggles and stigma across the globe for LGBTQ+ people, and to celebrate sexual and gender diversity. 

There is a diverse range of sexual orientations, gender identities, expressions, and sex characteristics within the LGBTQ+ community. IDAHOT is a call-to-action and a reminder that the LGBTQ+ community and allies need to continue to fight for equal rights and equality in all jurisdictions around the world. A culture of inclusivity and freedom can only extend to everyone if we fight for it.

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Lesbophobia and Transphobia

Why IDAHOT matters 

LGBTQ+ people continue to face discrimination and violence at unacceptable rates, and this day of recognition is a valuable tool to highlight the challenges and struggles within the community. Today, more than 70 countries globally currently have laws in place that deem same-sex relationships illegal, and in 10 of those the punishment is potentially death, leaving millions of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are unable to live their lives openly. 

The IDAHOT movement

The main purpose of the May 17 celebration is to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression of LGBTQ+ communities worldwide, which in turn provides an opportunity to act and engage in crucial dialogue with the media, policymakers, public opinion, and the greater civil society. Events around the world take place including inclusive street marches, parades, film screenings, art exhibits, conferences, rallies, and festivals. 

Issues facing LGBTQ+ people 

Equality and rights are different in every jurisdiction around the world. Some countries have worked hard to protect human rights, including equal rights legislation. Other jurisdictions are facing rollbacks on rights and freedoms, while other countries continue to be steadfast in supressing rights and go as far as imprisonment and even the death penalty. The right to marriage, gender-affirming care, adoption, and access to healthcare are all challenges faced daily by the LGBTQ+ community. 

Help make a difference 

Here are some ways you can get involved on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Lesbophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) at your school, workplace, and community: 

  • Join a march or rally in your community 
  • Post on social media to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community 
  • Make a donation to a charity that supports LGBTQ+ rights 
  • Volunteer for a LGBTQ organization 

How will you help raise awareness and celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Lesbophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17? Please comment below. 

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Brian Webb

Brian Webb


Brian Webb is the founder and editor-in-chief of HomoCulture, a celebrated content creator, and winner of the prestigious Mr. Gay Canada – People’s Choice award.An avid traveler, Brian attends Pride events, festivals, street fairs, and LGBTQ friendly destinations through the HomoCulture Tour. He has developed a passion for discovering and sharing authentic lived experiences, educating about the LGBTQ community, and using both his photography and storytelling to produce inspiring content.Originally from the beautiful Okanagan Valley in the southern interior of British Columbia, Brian now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. His personal interests include travel, photography, physical fitness, mixology, drag shows.

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