Raise discrimination awareness on May 17

Mel Smith
Country Organiser

While generally speaking progress has been made over the years in many countries towards recognising the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people (GLBT) people, discrimination still exists.

Recently Russia and some African nations have legislated to further deny rights to GLBT people.

While GLBT people in Australia have a variety of rights, there has been discussion about marriage equality and the human rights discrimination bill where differences still exist between straight and GLBT people.

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on May 17 is an opportunity to fight against homophobic and transphobic laws that many people live under and address the violence and lack of dignity that GLBT people face in their lives around the world.

May 17 is the date that in 1990 the World Health Organization decided to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder and as such is an appropriate day to take action against homophobia and transphobia.

Ways to mark IDAHO

• Note IDAHO on the calendar
• Take action against homophobic laws in other countries by signing a petition calling for change
• Implement a GLBTI specific lesson plan about homophobia/transphobia
• Create and display posters at school/in your workplace to develop awareness of homophobic/transphobic practices and behaviours
• Visit an IDAHO event
• Ensure your educational institution has books and other resources that are inclusive of GLBTI people and their families in its library and other resources
• Hold an event to recognise the day — which could include inviting speakers from various organisations, or running activities throughout the day
• Access professional development resources. Federation’s library has some available (www.nswtf.org.au/my-interests/federation-library/about.html).