IDAHO becomes IDAHOBIT!
The International Day Against Homophobia is going through a bit of a transformation – now many in our community refer to it as IDAHOBIT – International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
IDAHO – celebrated every May 17 – began in 2004 as an initiative to create a global movement to make people aware that discrimination, abuse and violation of human rights is not acceptable towards LGBTI people.
IDAHOBIT 2012 involves mixed emotions. While wanting to celebrate the amazing insights into sex and gender of trans people, we sadly have other considerations. That Australian trans people, today, are way short of equality in Federal equal opportunity law, documentation, health care and many areas is simply not on. Last week, Chile and Argentina led the way with great reforms. Let’s spread their approach worldwide.
Eventually IDAHOBIT will only be a total celebration of Lynn Conway’s IT genius, Australia’s own Paige Phoenix and Jade Starr’s music – and all the other amazing trans (and GLBI) people past, present and future.
- Sally Goldner, spokesperson, TransGender Victoria.
International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is a day Bi-Alliance Victoria is proud to support in the fight for a more inclusive, equal, open and supportive world. We look forward to the day when IDAHOBIT is a day we celebrate the end of the battle for equal rights and respect. We look forward to the day when IDAHOBIT is a day when we remember the bad, old days of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia because these are things of the past.
- Bi-Alliance Victoria vice-president Rebecca Dominguez
Beyondblue – anti-depression
Exposure to negative attitudes and derogatory comments are hurtful and can inhibit the development of a young person’s positive self-image. We don’t want people to feel they have to hide their sexuality or gender identity because they fear violence or discrimination.
- Jeff Kennett, chairman, beyondblue
Minus18 – LGBTI youth
Our recent same-sex formal was an advocacy event to encourage schools to reduce homophobia and transphobia and to support sexual and gender diversity. That’s the next step. The projects of organisations like Minus18 are there because there’s a need for them. Particularly, Minus18 events exist to reduce social isolation – the number one cause of social isolation is homophobia. It’s the fear of expressing themselves because of their fear of being rejected because of who they are. And it’s important to remember young people in rural Victoria – more needs to be done to reach them.
- Micah Scott, general manager, Minus18
Learning lessons about homophobia
If you are a student or teacher and you want to do something about combating homophobia and transphobia, you’re not alone! The Safe Schools Coalition is made up of 62 schools around Victoria. Its aim is to tackle and reduce homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism within school communities. Here are some tips for improving your school environment:
1. Be VISIBLE
If you haven’t already – join Safe Schools Coalition Victoria! Make a special announcement in assembly about it and put information in your newsletter to parents.
2. Be ACTIVE
Hold a uniform free day with money raised going towards buying inclusive resources for the library or for setting up or supporting a GSA group in the school.
Have a special assembly to acknowledge IDAHO day – show the IDAHO short film competition winner or one or more of the ‘Think B4 you Speak’ videos about not using homophobic language.
3. Be COMMITTED
Pass a motion at your staff meeting or school council to support IDAHO day so that all staff recognise and are committed to making IDAHO a homophobia free day.
Review your bullying policy to ensure that it specifically outlines homophobic bullying, including examples and consequences.
4. Be CREATIVE
Set up your own photo or film or art competition that culminates with a prize giving on IDAHO day.
Host a lunchtime film screening of short films or a feature film like Milk.