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It's International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Pride rally

The observance has been going on since 2004. Read all about it here.

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Today, May 17, is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.

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The day has been observed since 2004 "to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics," according to the IDAHOBIT website. It is now celebrated in countries around the world, both where queer rights flourish and even in places that are lacking protections for LGBTQ+ people.

May 17 was chosen because that was the date in 1990 when the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder.

This year's theme is “No one left behind: equality, freedom, and justice for all.”

The website reads that the theme is "call for unity and solidarity at a time of global anti-democracy and anti-rights pushback, when many LGBTQIA+ individuals continue to face violence, stigma, and discrimination."

"62 UN member States criminalize consensual same-sex relations, either by law or in practice. At least 59 countries have restrictions on freedom of expression related to sexual and gender diversity issues, and the past two years have seen an alarming acceleration of States enacting and debating such provisions. While laws protecting individuals from hate crimes based on sexual orientation exist in 59 UN member States, only 38 do so based on gender identity, 9 on gender expression, and 5 on sex characteristics," the website reads.

However, the organizers note that progress is also being made. They point to 16 UN member states banning conversion therapy nationally and nine restricting unnecessary surgery for intersex youth. Also, "17 UN member states allow for legal gender recognition based on self-determination at the national level, and 35 have legalized marriage equality."

IDAHOBIT is a decentralized observance, with organizations and individuals everywhere free to hold whatever kind of event they choose. It is managed by a coalition of activist groups, some regional and some organized around a certain issue.

Numerous governments and other institutions have recognized the day, including the European Parliament and most United Nations agencies.

In 2022, President Joe Biden issued a statement supporting the LGBTQ+ community in observance of the day. Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also issued one:

"International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is an opportunity to join together in condemning the vile hate that still threatens the safety, well-being and fulfillment of our LGBTQ friends, neighbors and loved ones. Today, and every day, we recommit to rooting out discrimination from our schools, our workplaces and the very fabric of our society. That fight remains as urgent as ever, as right-wing forces target trans students, Republican leaders threaten to unwind marriage equality and a radical Supreme Court takes aim at Americans' most fundamental rights.
"Subjected to hateful discrimination and violence, many LGBTQ Americans continue to fear for their jobs, their homes and even their lives. House Democrats have long been proud to combat this inhuman bigotry alongside courageous LGBTQ leaders and advocates -- from ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' to enacting landmark hate crime protections. Today, we remain unwavering in our commitment to the continued struggle for justice. Last year, the Democratic House again passed the Equality Act, historic legislation codifying non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans under the Civil Rights Act. And this February, guided by the tireless advocacy of Congressman David Cicilline, the House passed the Global Respect Act to sanction foreign officials responsible for anti-LGBTQ discrimination and violence. As he restores America's global leadership, President Biden is leveraging the power of American diplomacy to further combat vicious human rights violations against LGBTQ communities around the world.
"May today serve as a rallying cry for all Americans to speak out against hate and to rekindle hope for a brighter future. As San Francisco's fearless Harvey Milk once said, 'Hope will never be silent.' Channeling the wisdom of his words, let us renew our resolve to secure the liberation of full equality for everyone, everywhere."

And below are posters created for the day by IDAHOBIT organizers. They are free for anyone to use.

Freedom to Love poster

Gender Diversity poster

Gender Freedom poster

Power of Love poster

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.