International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Posted in: LGBT+ history, Notable Days

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is recognised on 17 May, which marks the date in 1990 that homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organization Classification of Diseases.

As a gay woman, seeing this written in black and white is hard to stomach. The nineties is really not a very long time ago, and there are so many people who may only even be in their 40s today who would have grown up hearing that they were sick and diseased for feeling love for a person of the same gender. Can you imagine the impact this would have on a young person? Research shows that even still now LGBTQ+ young people are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers (Johns et al., 2019; Johns et al., 2020).

Media rhetoric seems to shout that ‘everyone is LGBTQ+ these days’ and we have all the rights we need or we’re ‘taking over the country with the Woke Agenda’. Whist research does show that younger people in 2022 were the age group most likely to identify as LGB this just shows that the effect of historical homophobia has had on keeping older generations from identifying as LGBTQ+. There isn’t magically more gay people nowadays, young people just feel safer to be who they are in society these days.

Working in an educational institution we all have a responsibility to the young people we are here to teach and support. Everyone deserves to feel safe, valued and accepted for who they are. It is our place to challenge all forms of discrimination when we see it here at the University amongst our community. Take five minutes to read this article on our staff learning platform about being a bystander. Actively challenging discrimination is key to being an ally.

Find out more about IDAHOBIT here.

Posted in: LGBT+ history, Notable Days


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