This Sunday is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), a day that recognises the struggles faced by the LGBTIQ community in today’s world. The day brings awareness to the everyday issues facing people of a diverse sex, sexuality or gender (DSG). People with DSG backgrounds can be subject to anything from bullying to sever human rights violations around the globe.
IDAHOBIT is a day for our community to stand together to recognise the resilience we have shown and proudly show that we will continue to strive towards a world where we can all live safe and healthy lives.
People who identify as DSG face a unique challenge in life – they are not the default. They will need to experience a personal identity crisis early on in life as they realise that they are not becoming the person that their parents, society, school, religion and even fairy tales all told them they should be. This crisis will usually culminate in “coming out” – having to publicly tell the world you are different. Risking love, life, and safety at one of your most vulnerable points in your life.
Unfortunately, this identity crisis is also accompanied by bullying and mistreatment. Most people will have experienced bullying – maybe it was because of hair colour, or glasses, or an embarrassing mistake you once made – we can all agree being bullied is not fun. Now imagine experiencing that specifically about something you’re already struggling with – 55% of students who identify as DSG report having experienced bullying directly related to their sexuality and gender.
But IDAHOBIT is not just about active bullying persecution, IDAHOBIT is about recognising small things that make our world that little bit less safe for the LGBTIQ community. Inconsiderate language like saying “that’s gay” or not promoting positive representation for diverse people in today’s media also has a significant effect on the mental health of people who are coming to terms with themselves.
This IDAHOBIT, take the chance to make your support for the LGBTIQ community visible. Wear a pin, decorate your home or desk, post to your story on social media – you never know who will see it. You may be a little ray of support someone desperately needs to see in a life burdened by homophobia, biphobia, intersexism or transphobia.
On Sunday, make sure you visit the StartOut Facebook and Instagram pages to see how our volunteers and role models are supporting IDAHOBIT.